March Madness 2024

March Madness 2024

Santa Barbara Beach with Rocks and Waves crashing into Rocks on sunny day with blue sky

February was an interesting month for me. Two artists whom I admired passed away within a four-day span. Robert Wade, an incredible watercolor artist, and Chris Potter, a Santa Barbara plein air oil artist. 

Robert Wade was among my early influences when I was teaching myself art, and watercolor painting. His books greatly aided me in understanding color theory, and generally how to plan and approach a painting. He was a true gentleman, and an amazing artist. 

Chris Potter was a local artist who quit working in the finance field to become a full-time artist. I wrote a post on my Instagram and Facebook accounts the night that I found out about Chris Potter's passing, and if you would like more information about my story with Chris, please look up that posting.

These events caused me to pause and really ponder how precious, and short, life is. I found myself asking if I am painting the kind of art that I want to survive me, and what are my goals for my art career. Specifically, am I being authentic? One of my favorite quotes that I learned in school is from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "This above all, to thine own self be true". I believe learning art is akin to learning the alphabet and grammar, and then it is up to the artist to create their own vision.

My approach to my art has always been to have the subject tell me how I should paint it in that moment (ie more “realistic”, or more “impressionistic”, etc.). And this communication and relationship with the subject is authentic to me — it is how I see and feel about something at a given place and time, and that is what I want to create through watercolor. At the end of the day, for myself, when my art lives on, I want to have left behind a unique voice, a genuine view of the world through my eyes and heart.

What I am reminding myself to bring to the table more, since the passing of these two artists, has almost nothing to do with how to paint, how to mix colors, composition, or anything technical. Rather, what their passing has caused me to underscore with myself are the gifts artists can share with others -- whether it is through their art that someone loves and purchases, or whether it is simply speaking with others about art and life. 

If you are interested in seeing more about my art, I also show works in progress, and other information about me and my art on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook.

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