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Tell us a little bit about your background?
Where are you from originally?
I have always lived in Dade City, Florida. I am a former Mayor and City Commissioner of Dade City. I am married to Glenn Weaver, I have two children and 4 step children, 11 grandchildren. I have been painting for 36 years, first 20 were in oils/acrylics/pastels and moved to transparent watercolor 15 years ago. I am mostly self-taught and from taking workshops in the early years.
Who or what has influenced your work?
Which artists do you admire?
I greatly admire Artist Richard Schmid and I would say John Singer Sargent and Sorolla as well as Schmid have had a great influence on my work.
Your watercolors are so vibrant and full of life – they dance off the page.
How do you think your painting style developed?
My painting style developed over a long period of time. I’ve have always loved color and a more loose, impressionistic style of painting. I think the training I received in the early years of painting in oil as well as drawing and I give Daniel Green that credit, he’s a great master of drawing and painting.
What materials do you use to produce your work?
I work with transparent watercolor and occasionally use a little white casein. I work on 140 lb. cold press, 300 lb. cold press watercolor paper, yupo and AquaBord for Watercolor. I also include watercolor pencils in my work from time to time.
Take us through the process of one of your favorite paintings.
(From idea, sketches, etc.)
I want to be excited about my subject as well as familiar with it. I’m always looking for light and shadow and the linkage of both. I paint all subject matter, and find that basically everything is the same as far as drawing, design and composition, value, color mixing and edges. When I moved from oils to watercolor, I just had to adjust to the surface I worked on and not using turps and white paint.
I also am a firm believer that knowing how to draw is extremely important and valuable in painting. I mostly work in the studio from photos, stilllifes or models, but do enjoy plein air.
Every idea for a painting begins with the excitement of the light, shadow patterns and color. I do a great deal of sketching, sometimes doing various compositions before deciding what format I want to work with. My palettes are limited working with no more than 5 colors in any one painting.
How do you keep yourself motivated and interested?
That’s not hard for me. I love painting and can’t imagine my life without it. I’m always motivated and interested, always ready for the next venture into a new subject, new ideas, which are endless.
You are an international watercolor instructor.
What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching your mastered skill?
The most challenging?
I thoroughly enjoy teaching and of course, I believe that those that are most skilled and knowledgable are the ones that should be teaching. It’s very gratifying to see a student light up when their drawing has greatly improved, when they produce something they are proud of and their level of skill broadens. My students give so much to me, many become wonderful friends, as well.
I think the most challenging thing is to get students to understand that mastering this skill does not come over night, it takes many, many years and really is an ongoing learning process. That it is a commitment, that requires much emotion and passion for the painting. Discipline, hard work, investment of time.
Is there any advice you’d give to those trying to be aspiring artists?
Well, as I stated, nothing comes easy and if you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the work, apply the discipline and learn the basic principles of drawing and painting, do 300 to 500 paintings a year you can become quite good at painting. There are many wonderful artists working today, but only a few great ones. Everyone has to decide where they want to go with their art, is it for their own pleasure, do they want to sell, compete, become famous? A person’s own style will evolve over a period of time if they work long and hard.
I can only tell you that painting has been my desire since I was a child, I grew up drawing and having classical music in my life. I think art and music go hand in hand. I listen to classical music when I’m painting. As I’ve explained to my students many times, there are only 7 colors, red, yellow, blue, orange, green, violet and white. There are only 7 musical notes, cdefgab. Amazing all the beautiful paintings and variations of music that come from so few colors and notes. I’m very fortunate to have been blessed with the ability to paint and teach and I love sharing everything I know with those that want to learn from me.
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