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Watercolor Featured Artist: Jenna Howell

Click! will launch a Watercolor Artist group show to be featured during June and July. Jenna Howell is a local Seattle artist and we are excited to see her pieces in person! Come join us for Art Walk reception on Thurs June 14th to get a chance to chat with her. We asked her a few questions to get some insight:

How would you describe what you make?

I paint feminine, whimsical watercolors. I try to create pieces that bring to mind a happy memory and a positive feeling when viewed.

What draws you to watercolor?

I have always loved the loose, soft, and transparent look of watercolor, but what has kept me painting in this medium for so long is the wonderfully unique painting process of watercolor. With this medium, you have to step back and accept the fact that you are not in total control of the painting. Happy accidents will happen and the water will take the paint where it wants. Embracing the imperfections and enjoying the process has been my goal as a watercolorist!

Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the current collection?

My favorite piece I am displaying is a watercolor entitled; “Long Days.. Short Years”. It is a painting of a mother tenderly carrying her growing child. The child is asleep, ever comfortable in her mother's embrace. The mother’s face is downcast, she is tired from carrying her daughter, but she rejoices in the gift of life she has been given. I have never experienced a better joy than that of motherhood. The days are long, but the years are short.

If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?

Although our styles and mediums are very different, I would love to collaborate with Vincent Van Gogh or Claude Monet. I am absolutely in love with the impressionist movement. I think it was innovative, bold and exceptionally creative. I recently read a book all about the lives of Monet and his first wife Camille. This inspired one of my paintings that I will be showcasing, entitled: “Dearest Camille”, a tribute to the inspiration behind many of Monet’s paintings.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

My high school art teacher told me not to be scared to add dark values when drawing or painting. Essentially, to add enough contrast. Really observe the values of your reference photo. Do not be scared to add bold, contrasting brush strokes and strong values!

Can you describe your favorite part of the process in your work?

Although it is not necessarily part of the process, my absolute favorite part of painting is creating something that is truly special to the one who receives the painting! I am so grateful to create special commissioned paintings that really speak to a person’s heart. Knowing that I created something that means a lot to another person, like a painting of a beloved dog, or childhood home, is priceless.

When you are in the studio, what are you listening to?

My taste in music is similar to my taste in art; varied. I love Black Sabbath, Metallica and A7X, but I also love to listen to modern folk and bands like City and Colour and the Lumineers while I paint. 

What is your most treasured handmade possession?

That would be two photo albums full of pictures from my childhood that my mother put together the year before she passed away. She took the time to handwrite a little caption next to each photo. It was a wonderful gift. I cherish those photos of happy memories and also her special handwriting.

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