DescriptionRoger Ebert wanted me to create this 'portrait' of a coffee shop in Boston. His friend Andy Ihnatko (tech reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times) was trying out a new camera and took some random photos while in Boston. 'This could be a watercolor,' Roger wrote to me, attaching what would become my reference photo courtesy of Andy. So three people created this painting! The original watercolor took about two weeks to complete. The preliminary drawing was difficult, a mixture of 98% man-made straight and curved lines and 2% apple, which I saved for last as a kind of treat.Last year I gave a watercolor workshop for art teachers at Eastern Illinois University, and I described watercolor this way: it's like you're taking care of a playful child--a child capable of the most disarming, beautiful, and unpredictable ideas. The child is also hyperactive, messy, and occasionally infuriating, and sometimes you really need the child to sit down and be quiet. Some people can handle a kid like that, and but most people don't have the patience and give up. I'm one of those people who didn't give up. And with the number of hard edges in this painting, that kid was in the chair for quite a while, but we had some good playtime with (to name three) the red vinyl booth, the blue chair shadow, and the glowing apple.
Kelly Eddington, St. Joseph, IL Member Since February 2012 Artist Statement Ever since I was a child messing around with a terrible paint set from K-mart, I have been obsessed with controlling pigment suspended in water. Now I paint with beautiful, hand-made watercolors along with brushes ranging from high-end to dirt cheap, but the obsession remains. I create large, highly realistic portraits, still lifes, and landscapes using the most unpredictable, unstable, and unforgiving medium known to man. My paintings are time-consuming and sometimes backbreaking. I have always tried to take watercolor as far as it can go, and as a result my work resembles oil paintings in terms of color richness and detail. Hearing my viewers say, “THAT’S a watercolor?” always makes me smile.
I was an art teacher in two Illinois public high schools for seventeen years. Anyone who has ever been an art teacher with a limited budget knows that it is a profession that stretches a person's creativity to the absolute limit. Effective art teachers must know their subject inside and out and strive to develop their own artistic visions as they teach others. I feel that teaching has made me a better artist. I used to devote each year's "off-season" to creating my meticulous watercolors, and now I’m happy to produce them year round and offer them as prints on Imagekind!