Shirley Whyte

  • Light . Shadow. Color. These are the things I look for in a painting, and they are what I emphasize in my own work. The subjects I usually choose are trees, skies, and water.
  • To me, watercolor is the natural medium for these subjects: wet, transparent , flowing paint; I’m always surprised how such a tiny addition of a color can change the whole atmosphere of a painting. Since composition is probably the most important aspect of any painting, I do, to certain extent, plan my paintings before I put brush to paper. But I think that spontaneity is an important part of painting in watercolor. My first thoughts about it are usually the best, and if I change a color scheme , for instance, half way through the work, the painting seems to lose something. The message to the viewer is not so clear.
  • It is one thing to appreciate the finer points of a painting, but it’s quite another thing to be touched emotionally by it. It’s Head versus Heart. I want my viewer to be emotionally affected by my painting. Many times ,in an art gallery, I have thought, “What a wonderful work of art”, and gone onto the next picture without a backward glance, but sometimes I will be riveted by one painting more than the others, and will go back to look at this one , again and again. This is the one that has affected me emotionally. And this is how I want my paintings to affect the viewer.