Christie Wright is a wife and mother of three young adults. “I am stepping into a new creative career. I grew up in northern Indiana and enjoy gardening, reading, and traveling. My business begin in May of 2020, and is growing steadily as I add new products. I have a new line of cards and stationery available!”
In July of 2020, I did my first live painting tutorial. My iPhone was balanced on a wood plank supported by two trumpet cases on each side of the step stool I was using as a desk. I had a pan set of watercolors from Michaels and a standard pad of Canson 140lb watercolor paper. The scariest part was that I had chosen to do a live video featuring something I had never done before… watercolor. I was willing to look like a fool just to prove that doing something scary is worth doing. If I have anything to prove to people it’s that I am daring; I like people thinking I am bold. My neighbors always wonder what I will be up to next as they sit back and watch… watch me fail or (hopefully) watch me grow.
Watercolors were a medium that I had tried before only to feel so incompetent that I put it away and it became a wish. “Oh, I wish I could learn how to do that. Oh, I tried that and wished I hadn’t because it was terrible.” This time around, I wanted to challenge myself and be inspirational to others.
The first few months of watercolors were rough! I watched video after video and chose subjects based on my own personal photographs. More importantly, I played! There were times that I cried after a really bad painting and times when I struggled with my lighting and camera angles. Since the beginning, I have reconfigured my camera setup at least 10 times and am on my third desk setup.
Not only has my skill grown, but so has my supply collection. Paper is the most important and I don’t skimp on it. My paint palette went from tiny 5 wells to an extra-large 19 wells with a cover. That initial Michael’s pan set was set aside in favor of Dr. Ph Martin Liquid Watercolors first and, eventually, to my current set of Daniel Smith paint tubes. The size of my paintings has also grown, from 5 x 7 to my most recent project on a 14 x 21 sheet of paper. Despite this tremendous growth, I am not finished.
This year the challenge will be to grow the fundamentals of my art. To focus on my values and composition. I’m constantly watching and learning from fellow artists and have recently joined a local watercolor society. It’s an honor to learn from people who have been painting for over 20 years compared to my 30ish months of experience.
Read the rest of Christie’s article and find her watercolor tutorial in the Spring 2022 Issue of The Turquoise Iris Journal.