DescriptionAn early 1980s photograph of my uncle Dale Eddington inspired me to paint this portrait. Hes holding the custom-made Gibson Super 400 guitar that was his pride and joy. Guitars contain so many tricky components, and most of them make a watercolorist's life difficult, particularly the strings and fret board, but I decided to put painting them off until after I had finished Dale's face. As I painted, I was struck by my uncle's Eddington-ness. His eyes, mouth, eyebrows, and the section between his nose and mouth are just like my father's. I dreaded painting the afghan as much as I loved its down-home unpretentiousness--the hallmark of Dad's family's style. I spent days creating the multi-directional yarn textures. Aunt Marilyn (who is still with us) is indirectly part of the painting: she made the afghan, and she was always more colorful and exuberant than my gentle, low-key uncle. Dale died of Parkinson's disease over ten years ago. I have always been haunted by the memory of his trembling hands during the last decade of his life. Those tremors caused him to sell his beautiful guitar, since he couldn't play it anymore. I feel like this portrait, which I painted with a hand so steady it scares me sometimes, returns Dale's Super 400 to its rightful owner.
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!