A Patchwork Fall

A Patchwork Fall
"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art." ~Paul Cezanne~

September 18, 2015

FRIDAY FEATURE: Featured Artist ~ Colleen Reynolds

Step on board the U.S.S. Watercolor with Colleen Reynolds!

Funny and direct, I have worked with Colleen Reynolds on the Board of the Utah Watercolor Society for the past year and a half. She was actually the person responsible for recruiting me to take over as the UWS Newsletter Editor. Colleen is the current UWS President, and we are in for a fun-filled year! 

Big Ship and a Little Tug  ©Colleen Reynolds

Colleen served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and 6 months. She enlisted as a communicator, then called "Radioman," and achieved the rank of Radioman Chief Petty Officer (RMC or E-7). She was then selected for a commissioning program and earned Cryptologic Officer, achieving the rank of Lieutenant before retiring in 2000.

She served in San Diego, CA; Oslo, Norway (with NATO)l; Edzell, Scotland; Washington D.C.; Moscow, ID; and Chesapeake and Norfolk, VA. While in Norfolk, she had opportunity to serve onboard the U.S.S. George Washington, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt; the U.S.S. Blue Ridge and a British Frigate, the H.M.S. Brave.

Butterfly Bushes  ©Colleen Reynolds
Now, Colleen spends her time working as an artist (with a focus on watercolor) in her studio at 21st Studios in Salt Lake City. She teaches classes and workshops in watercolor, Brusho® crystal colours pouring techniques, and is a distributor of Daniel Smith Watercolors.

Colleen was gracious enough to answer my blog feature questions. 

Q: What are your favorite materials and tools...the ones you just can't live without?

A: My studio! I have the best space imaginable for creating art and teaching classes. It is spacious with north natural light, located in the heart of Sugar House. I feel like I'm surrounded by the heart of the art community in Utah. Besides my studio, my favorite tools are my Lowe-Cornell #14 round brush, my little palette knife for applying masking fluid and mark making, and my Daniel Smith paint and Brusho® pigment. 

Flirting in the Light  ©Colleen Reynolds

Q: Who are your artistic influences and why?

A: Hmm, this changes a lot? I would say my earliest influences were my mother and father. Mother taught drawing lessons in our home when I was in pre-school and during my early grade school years. And my father entertained us with cartooning. I remember a drawing book, "How to draw cartoon animals" occupied my brothers and me for days and days, years and years. Since leaving the artistic nest of home, I would say taking an Art History class while in Washington D.C. had me visiting some of the best original art in the world, in the Smithsonian museum system. It gave me the itch to learn to paint myself. I was entranced when viewing Monet's paintings for the first time, and the watercolors of John Singer Sargent. I loved the figurative paintings of Thomas Eakins. I haunted the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in D.C., which featured ballet dancer bronzes by Degas, screen prints by Andy Warhol and much, much more. I started out as an oil painter and took some classes in Salt Lake before going back to school at the University of Utah to study painting and drawing. Certainly my professors there are some of my biggest influences; Diana Gardiner, Tom Hoffman, and John Erickson are my friends today. I've recently moved to painting almost exclusively in watercolor, so I have come to admire several watercolor artists around the world, many who I've had the honor of meeting and learning from; Jean Haines and Joanne Boon Thomas out of England, Bev Jozwiak out of Washington state, Gerard Hendriks from Holland, Thomas Schaller from California, Chinese artist, Lian Quan Zhen. I've come to enjoy Barbara Nechis, John Salminen and Stephen Quiller after taking their workshops, sponsored by the Utah Watercolor Society.

Chinese Lanterns  ©colleen Reynolds

Q: What is/are your favorite subject matter and why?

A: Figurative work. Portraits. Animals. Plant closeups. I have always been drawn to the figure, mostly human, but animal figurative work as well - especially felines. I pride myself on my proficiency with it. I think figurative work is a test of the best. But I also love the nuance of light casting on many a subject, a portrait, a flower, or a kitty laying in the sun.

They Lit Up the Room  ©Colleen Reynolds

Q: What advice would you give to emerging artists?

A: Draw. Observe. Tell stories with pencil and paint. Do it a lot, every day if you can, even if you don't feel like it. Network with other artists. Learn and observe others' work. Don't think every painting attempt is precious. Give yourself the opportunity to learn. Create rather than copy.

Gossip Girls  ©Colleen Reynolds

Q: What are your favorite quotes?

A: "The bigger the brush, the bigger the rush"  - John Erickson. "Don't be afraid of the dark!" - Richard Stephens. "Let's Paint!" Sandra Stroschein. "All art has a story to tell." - Thomas Schaller. "Put miles on the brush." (can't remember where I heard it first).

Jonesy  ©Colleen Reynolds

Q: What would you most like to be remembered for in life?

A: As a kind, exuberant, giving contributor and teacher - to art and to my community in general. As someone who lived a meaningful and happy life.

You can find Colleen's paintings on her website, and you can follow her blog as well. 

Colleen is represented by The Framing Establishment in Murray, UT; The Art Bank in Ely, NV; Taylor Jensen Fine Art in Palmerston, New Zealand; and her own gallery showroom at 21st Studios in Salt Lake City, UT.

Iris Rain  ©Colleen Reynolds

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!

I hope you enjoyed this Featured Artist post. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and feedback. I would love to hear from you!

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