Interviews with other artists.
Seeing Trevor's watercolours many years ago inspired me to persevere in my quest to learn how to paint. In particular the play of light in his painting of ducks, see below.
"Since I was four years old - so 59 years."
Do you have time (when you're not answering questions about you from strangers) to paint every day?
"I'm always painting in my mind."
When did you become a professional artist? How did it come about/was there a defining moment?
"At school I sold work and was encouraged to do so by my art teachers. Sometimes exhibiting in exhibitions outside the school environment. My first published work was on an educational supplement for teachers."
Watercolour is said to be the hardest medium to work with. Why do you choose to paint with it?
"It's the challenge of watercolour which inspires. A limited medium so it's as wise to make ones understanding as broad as possible."
You also paint in oils - which could you not live without, watercolour or oil?
"Why does there have to be a choice? All mediums are equal. If I was stranded on a desert island without materials I would paint with coloured sands."
"I've always painted in both mediums but I started with watercolours in nursery school!"
You inspired me to paint, who inspired you? What other artists do you admire?
"The list is endless but my five inspirational artists would be John Singer Sargent, Turner, Anders Zorn, Joaquin Sorolla and Velasquez. I am so pleased to have inspired you!"
Painting outside is a challenge for watercolour artists. Do you have any particular coping strategies when you paint outside?
"I tend to work in a journal with a band to stop the pages from blowing around. Weather conditions are the most challenging : wind, rain, sun, snow....Not impossible to overcome. So I keep my expectations reasonable - it's a fact finding mission really. I sketch mostly. If you expect to complete a masterpiece onsite you might be disappointed.
My first time in Venice, for instance, got me sunstroke for my trouble! Burnt legs and sore face - I should have worn a hat and long trousers.
Common sense and preparation. Don't take too much equipment, it is easily lost."
You have painted all around the world. Do you favour one country in particular?
"Italy - love the light."
"Yes but now I use Arches Aquarelle - it can be purchased almost anywhere in the world. Having to give up Whatman exclusively forced me to try out other hand made paper also. As a watercolourist one is always experimenting with new materials."
What is your preferred method for reserving the white of the paper? What are your views on the use of white paint or masking fluid?
"I prefer to use the white of the paper. I don't use masking fluids or resists though I have nothing against them."
You paint every subject under the sun it seems whilst other artists only paint one. In your opinion Is it a help or a hinderance to limit subject matter?
"I think it is a hindrance to your education as an artist to be limited. It must simply stunt your growth. I was always taught to paint everything, real or imagined. I hope my tutors served me well."
Oil paintings have always demanded a higher price than watercolour paintings and art galleries seem to favour oil paintings. What are your thoughts on this and do you feel this will change in the future?
"There are galleries that specialise in both. Watercolours are transportable and traditionally used more as a sketching medium - often for the more monumental piece in oil to follow. But it's all one to me - the same principals of painting apply."
I feel beginners should limit their colours in order to learn colour mixing and the properties of the pigments before adding to their collection. I'd like to challenge you to pick just 6 colours. Which ones would you choose and why?
"Red, yellow, blue, purple, green and orange."
"I do it all myself - that's why it's taken me all my time to answer you! However my partner, Darlas is an enormous help every day."
What benefits have you gained by using social media sites and have you experienced any drawbacks?
"Raising profile and awareness is generally of benefit. Drawbacks? Everyone's doing it. But I might add it is not the only way :)"
Watercolour painting is full of "rules". Which rules, if any, do you break?
"All of them."
If you could only give one piece of advice to those new to watercolour what would it be?
"Try to make the best of an emergency."
Have I missed anything? Is there anything you would like to add?
"It's true to say that anyone can paint. It's drawing that counts. Learn to draw first."