Marsha Owen

Flagstaff, Arizona

Juried Artist BPAF 2018

I love watercolor! The paint is rich and soft, the brushes snap to a perfect point, and the paper is sturdy, white, textured cotton. When all this combines with varying amounts of water and an inspiring subject, some magic can happen that I wish I could take all the credit for. I’ve spent 20 years learning how to guide these elements into fresh interpretations of Western landscapes and cheerful still lifes.

My plein air work begins with a cup of coffee and a search for the best subject with good shadows and strong shapes. I do a small value sketch with markers in 3 greys and black. This captures the light and shadows before they move off. The watercolorist has to reserve the white of the paper so a good plan first is the best insurance for a sucessful painting. However some days are just better than others. Plein air is like fishing, you don’t always catch one.

With a base in Flagstaff there are so many choices and even temperature ranges to choose from. It can be cloudy, windy and cool at home and warm and sunny just 20 miles away in Sedona. My husband and I are campers so I get to try a variety of Western landscapes on our vacations or in competitions. An increase in humidity is always a surprising adjustment for watercolors. I love capturing these moments in time and place for myself and the enjoyment of others.

Painting/Watercolor

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