Harder than it Looks

Posted January 30 2017

by Kelly Anne Powers


When you know nothing about art, everything in art looks easy.


“Oh that abstract? My kid could do it.”

The longer and harder we work, the more we realize just how much goes into a seemingly effortless line is to make. Often that line took drawing the line plus the 20 some years of learning to paint and draw.

I thought of this effortlessness when I recently watched Charles Reid’s “The Figure in Watercolor.” (Available in streaming format this Friday!) Charles Reid is a master of watercolor and the ease at which he lays down his pencil line and pushes in color is disarming. It’s such a far cry to what I experience in my own studio.

But that’s why it’s important to watch and re-watch workshops by the masters. They show us what’s possible when we’ve put in the hours and when our materials and tools are second nature. They give us something to aim for. Watching Reid you can tell he’s not fussing over his pigments or surprised by how his paper is reacting to washes. He’s already spent his time on that. Instead he can focus working to capture something deeper and more meaningful about his subject.

And really, isn’t that what we’re all striving to do at any level of art making.

Kelly Anne Powers is a full time artist living in Portland, OR. Come say high at her blog: https://www.kellyannepowers.com/blogs/news