My name is Angela Casey and I am a self taught artist living in San Rafael, California, with my husband, our three kids, our dog and three cats (follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and visit my website!). Thank you, Charlie, for the feature and the opportunity to share my creative journey!
Many artists begin creating at a very young age and I was no different. I was also the kid who brought home a variety of creatures, much to my parents’ chagrin. From kittens to dogs to lizards and frogs, they all found a way into my heart and drawings. But life happens and decades passed where I hardly created anything. The desire was there, but after working all day and taking care of my son (for many years, I was a single parent), the energy was not. I thought art was done with me, but the Universe works in interesting ways. Often our struggles lead to surprising discoveries.
Two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with an inner ear condition that severely impacted my daily life. The condition got debilitating and I was forced to leave a career as an elementary school teacher. I discovered that one of the few times I got relief was when I was making art. I began to draw on a daily basis…drawing led to painting…a lot of painting! I was introduced to watercolor, which mesmerized me with its unique properties.
I began posting some of my paintings on Instagram and received a lot of positive feedback which further motivated and inspired me. With the support of my husband, Chris, and dear friend, fellow artist & teacher, Caroline, I opened an Etsy shop in 2016. In addition to prints, I began to sell greeting cards, originals and offer custom creations.
Painting is a way for me to express my connection with animals. I feel each animal has a special spirit…a spirit I hope to capture in my paintings. Before I’m called to paint a certain animal, I spend a lot of time studying form and behavior.
Sometimes, I will sketch a light image, but often I simply let the watercolor reveal the animal. I find the interaction of color and water allows each animal’s spirit to emerge in unique and whimsical ways.
I use primarily Daniel Smith watercolors as I find their interactions on paper to be the most mesmerizing and luminescent. That being said, I have a few favorite Holbein, Sennelier and Schmincke tubes that I love for their vibrant pops of color. Daler-Rowney FW acrylic inks also find their way into my work and my favorite paper is Arches hot & cold press.
I consider myself an intuitive painter since 99% of the time I sit down with no plan aside from wanting to paint a cat, turtle, bird, etc. I let the color and water guide me. I am learning to let go of fear as I face a blank piece of paper! My paintings are usually created with multiple layers and I will often move from one to another at the same time. I need to leave a painting alone for a bit before I arrive at an appropriate stopping point. My aim is to capture a loose interpretation and engage the viewer’s imagination.
The name of my shop is Petit Papillon Art after Eevee, my papillon. Papillon is also French for butterfly, which is a symbol of transformation. Art continues to be a transformative journey and I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my animal creations.