MOLLY MURRAH on the Magic of Watercolors
I began painting in watercolor in 1997 when I took a painting trip to Greece with a local watercolor artist. The trip was incredibly fun and inspiring, but the medium intimidated me, and I put my paints and brushes away for four years. In 2001, I realized that the art pieces that stopped me dead in my tracks in any gallery I went to were always done in watercolor, so – needing a creative outlet other than what I was experiencing in my graphic design business – I took out my tubes of paint and picked up my brushes… and I have never looked back.
The transparency of watercolors is what makes this medium so exciting. It is also what makes it somewhat difficult to master… “mistakes” and problem areas are easily detected. However, contrary to common belief, a high degree of control can be maintained and, in my opinion, no other medium can create the unique images you are able to achieve with watercolors. Water media techniques produce works that are luminous, fluid and mysterious, and “accidents” – if you capitalize on them to support your theme and emotional intent – often end up being the most brilliant aspects of your paintings.
The luminosity and light reflectance of the paint and paper, the myriad of textures you can create, the infinite gradations of color, the ability to paint realistically, abstractly or every style in between – watercolors can keep an artist fascinated for many years of joyful painting.
It is my hope that in seeing samples of my work, you are inspired to try this wonderful medium yourself. Stick with it… you won’t be sorry!