Painting with a Magical Medium

17 Jan 2012

Astor Place by Emily Falco, watercolor painting, 14 1/2 x 14 1/2, 2009.
Astor Place by Emily Falco, watercolor painting,
14 1/2 x 14 1/2, 2009.
It warms my heart when I hear artists expressing excitement about their chosen painting medium because artists are the ones in the business of knowing all the ins and outs of their materials. For them to articulate such positive responses about their paints, pencils, and brushes validates the artistic process and stirs an equal amount of enthusiasm in me.

Emily Falco works in watercolor, and according to her, she "thinks" in it as well. "It's a magical medium-the paints can dry out but be used again; the light is contained in the paper; and the colors blend and separate in the most unique and surprising ways," she says.

Falco's success in working with watercolor is all about embracing the washes she can achieve and their corresponding drips and fluidity. For her, this started with large-scale acrylic paintings though she eventually transitioned to watercolor art to save space. "I was drawn to the idea that I could keep many paintings in a portfolio—which takes up the same amount of space as one canvas," she says.

Q Train by Emily Falco, watercolor painting, 9 x 12 1/4, 2009.
Q Train by Emily Falco, watercolor painting,
9 x 12 1/4, 2009.
So that she never misses a scene that inspires, Falco always travels with a camera. "I often combine elements from different photographs in a single painting," she says, though she also savors the opportunity to paint en plein air as well. And she has learned to go with her gut—if something catches her eye and moves her, Falco acts on it with her work—but she never tries to force or speed up the process. "I'll walk away for a few minutes," she says. "I like every painting to happen in its own time."

For more on Falco and so many other artists who specialize in water-based painting and have techniques and tips to share, check out the Winter 2012 issue of Watercolor magazine. It is the first issue that will come straight to your door with your subscription, so get it while you can. Enjoy!

 


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Comments

John Philip wrote
on 18 Jan 2012 2:13 AM

Truly amazing works! Inspiring!!!