Magical Mysterious Watercolor

Greetings, Art fans.

I am delighted and excited to share with you my journey as a beginning watercolor painter. Just a few months ago in October of 2019, I found myself at a new and promising juncture in my life,  with new possibilities opening up. I decided at that time to embrace one of my lifelong yearnings, and that is to learn to paint in watercolor.  Watercolor has always held a special place in my heart, as the first medium that informed me, at the tender age of 15, that I might have promise as a visual artist. It is a medium of great magic and mystery and one that i have always wished i could pursue, but never had, until now.

On this page, I will post my paintings, continually updating with the most recent first, going backwards in time, to my first attempts at this delicious elusive and challenging and frustrating. Working through the self-doubt and fear of the push through to actually paint...unwraps a whole world of discovery, wonder and joy.

January to April 2020: 2nd 3 months painting

A Winter Garden
Painted as a part of a workshop with Gary Tucker, a gifted teacher.
Glowing Birch Bay
Inspired by the beach where I live. Working on capturing the shimmering glow of light on the water and the fun use of palette knife to evoke the sandbars at medium tide.
Puerto Vallarta
From a photo I took on a visit to Puerto Vallarta. Working on improving my ability to evoke mystery in the aging, deteriorating wall
Resting Trawlers
Lesson from John Lovett. I didn't have the right colors or the right paper, but did my best. The blues are way too heavy so will do this fun lesson again. But i am happy with the loose marks I practiced for the boats, as well as the fine rigger lines for masts and lines. Also I like the movement in the water.
Wetlands Drama
Lesson from Karen Rice. I was working on reflections and using unconventional tools, like sticks, cut up credit cards, etc to make marks.
River Landscape
Lesson from John Lovett.
An important lesson for me I will do again and again to keep improving at painting loose.
Wetlands Reflections
From a lesson by Karen Rice
Up the Skagit River
From an old photo I took when I lived upriver in Marblemount, Washington.
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October to  December 2019: 1st 3 months painting

Forest Creek
Basically an attempt to copy a painting by John Lovett....trying to learn technique and see if i could achieve certain effects.
Doorway to Discovery
A lesson from John Lovett. I'm happy with some of the loose effects in the corners, but can now do better with the bricks. See the Puerto Vallarta image in the other slide show.
This Old House
Lesson from John Lovett
Fishing for Details
Lesson from John Lovett. Sorry for the glass reflections....will take out of the frame and reshoot soon.
Warm Beach, Washington
Warm Beach near Stanwood, Washington. One of the first paintings I did. From one of my own photos of a beautiful remote beach. Technique is mostly dry on dry. I find this easy to do...but not really how I want to paint. I'm most interested in learning to work with more wet techniques....where all the magic of watercolor happens.
An early study piece....I did several attempts at birch scenes in winter, practicing palette knife technique.
Icy Reflections
One of the first paintings I did. Working wet in wet....trying to be very loose and free....after seeing the paint start looking like a reflection, I placed the shoreline. I like how evocative this is and how the paint made it's own statement.
Alpine Fog
Just playing with different techniques at the very beginning.
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ALL IMAGES AND DESIGN © 2018 by Suzanne Steel, HOT STEEL DESIGN. All Rights Reserved. CONTACT US

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Glowing Birch Bay

11x15 Inspired by the beach where I live. Working on capturing the shimmering glow of light on the water and the fun use of palette knife to evoke the sandbars at medium tide.