EXHIBITS

PAINTING COLORADO

An Exhibit of Colorado Scenes by

JOAN WOLBIER

March 1 to 31, 2021

East Boulder Community Center, 5660 Sioux Dr, Boulder, CO

For over 25 years, I have been studying and painting watercolors. I love the medium
and I especially enjoy how every painting I work on challenges me in different ways.
When I first moved to Colorado and began painting here, I spent many hours working
en plein air because I love painting landscapes. But now, most of the time, I paint in
my studio because I am more interested in having my paintings tell stories than
just be pretty landscapes. In this exhibit, I hope you can see how much I also
love painting people and wildlife.

moraine park elk

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is a pen and ink with watercolor.

The Creative Process

Painting Colorado is a project that I have been working on for several years. The paintings in this exhibit are part of a series of work that will eventually be published as a book called Colorado Journal. They show my appreciation of the landscape, nature, and the people of Colorado, and they document my experiences of living in this interesting state. Having grown up in Europe and the East coast, Colorado is the first place in my life that I call home.

Unfortunately paintings don’t just happen and they often take many hours of planning. Although I have spent many years painting plein air, most of my paintings are designed using photographs. I work only from my own photographs and I do not copy them exactly. The painting, Route 287, was designed using over 20 photographs. The cattle, the cowgirl, the trucks, and the sheriff all were rearranged to get the composition that I wanted. To get a perfect composition, I will also move mountains.

No matter how much I plan, it still does not guarantee a successful painting. It often takes me two, three, or more attempts to find the right composition, color balance, and mood. Another important part of the creative process is spending time looking at a painting, both during the process and after it seems finished. At a workshop, given by well-known watercolor artist Carl Schmalz, he explained that when he thought he had a finished painting, he framed it, and displayed it in his home. He then studied it for a month and, at the end of the month, if he could not find anything he wanted to change, he considered the painting finished.

When painting, I find that I enjoy the process more than the final creations. I have also learned that it is not important if a painting only takes a couple of hours, days, weeks, and sometimes months to complete. The final artwork is what is important and, if I like the finished painting, I don’t care how long it took.