#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Angela Casey of Hummingbird - #doodlewash

GUEST ARTIST: “Surrounded by Color and Paws” by Angela Casey

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.  Thank you, Charlie, for the feature and the opportunity to share my creative journey! 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Angela Casey of Cat - #doodlewash

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.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Angela Casey of Barn Owl - #doodlewash

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.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Angela Casey of Red Panda - #doodlewash
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Angela Casey of African Wild Dog - #doodlewash

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.

If it is a wild animal I can observe in nature, you will see me with my binoculars and camera hoping to capture that perfect shot to use as reference.

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.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Angela Casey of raccoon - #doodlewash

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.

Angela Casey

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34 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “Surrounded by Color and Paws” by Angela Casey

  1. I love the fact that you wanted to put spirit of animal in your painting, which makes your art more alive.
    Beautiful and inspirational!
    Thank you!

    1. Animals and watercolor seem a natural fit…I have worked in acrylic, goauche, pencil, charcoal and pastel but watercolor has given my animals a special life. You can’t really predict what an animal will do next and the same goes for watercolor! I’m so glad you enjoyed the feature!

    1. After years of working pretty much in charcoal, I don’t think I can go back to the black and white world now that I’m a self confessed watercolor addict! Thank you for your comment Magny…so happy I could share my art.

    1. Pradita, I really appreciate your comment, thank you! I spent years working in charcoal and pencil in a more photorealistic style, drawing primarily the human form. Thus, it was hard to ‘let go’ with watercolor…but once I did, the process was so freeing! In fact, if I find myself getting too caught up in the details I force myself to stop. It is not always easy 🙂

      1. That’s how one must paint, I feel. And the fact that you’ve mastered it makes it even more commendable because we start obsessing about details and perfection, when the wonder of nature lies in the little imperfections of life. I’m a fan already. I look forward to more of your work 😊

  2. Angela, you are the embodiment of a watercolor artist, allowing the paint to find its way to expressing what’s in your heart. You show no fear of spontaneity or intuition, and you trust your viewer to interpret respectfully. It takes a lot of courage to paint this way, positive of your momentum but uncertain of the outcome. Your art is spectacular and exciting.

    1. Wow, Sharon, your comment brought tears to my eyes! My watercolor journey with the animals has also been one of spirit and for viewers to ‘get it’, like you, has made the sometimes challenging journey worth it! I’m so glad my animals have touched you in this way! 🙂

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