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Jan. 22 SWA Meeting: Nancy Maas demonstration

NEXT MEETING Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 . The Society of Watercolor Artists meets every third Monday from September through May with the exception of January, because of MLK day.  Time: 7pm. (6:30 critique by Jo Williams) Location: University of North Texas Health Science Center, Bldg. 2 – Everett Hall, Fort Worth, TX 76107. For directions see website: http://www.swawatercolor.com/

Guest Artist: NANCY MAAS

Find out more about Nancy at her website: https://nmaas.com

In the words of the artist:

Painting provides a great deal of pleasure in my life, with a small dose of stress if things aren’t turning
out as I hoped. My Texas home studio is a dedicated space in which I can get as dirty as I like. There are
two “stations”, one for watercolor and the other for acrylics (a large easel serves both). I tend to be
rather free with paint as I start a new work, especially with acrylics, so the room is looking the part after
five years of throwing color spontaneously. Our dog Charle is my constant companion in the studio,
along with NPR (music only; no news) and a Diet Dr. Pepper.
I like to work a few hours at a time, starting in the morning and sometimes continuing in the afternoon. Break time consists of everything from lunch to walking the dog or biking with a friend, running an errand or going to the Y. I find if I leave an unfinished painting and come back after a time away, I can better see what needs to be done next. A mirror in my studio also helps, plus critique sessions, like SWA’s which I am determined to take better advantage of, and Tony Saladino’s which meet a few times a year.
In response to a question about good advice received, I would have to say that Randy Meador’s rule of putting down a good wash of fresh color, followed by LEAVING IT ALONE, is my first commandment
(which, sad to say, I often break). Also, Tony Saladino urges us to SIMPLIFY, which is especially
relevant to me in acrylics where I am constantly paring down an image (Let’s just say I don’t often bring
my watercolor weavings to his meetings). These two principles can keep me going for years. Otherwise,
as someone who always loved art but didn’t take a fine arts degree, books about watercolor masters like
Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent inspire me and can provide help in solving a problem.

As to mechanics, I use a baseline of Winsor & Newton paints, plus a few Daniel Smith’s (quinocridone
burnt orange), Holbein “opera”, and a few others. Sometimes I resort to white gouache to retrieve
whites, but only very sparingly. Critical brushes include several of the Silver Black Velvet synthetics, a
one inch flat, and, perhaps surprisingly, some larger “Simply Simmons” rounds. Now that my teaching career and the responsibilities of raising a family are in the past, I can paint at will – a privilege I almost feel I don’t deserve. In Spanish the word for retired is “jubilado/a”, suggesting a state of joy. That’s me now!

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