Sitting in the hotel lobby, drinking coffee and painting as I do in the mornings, wherever I am….I saw a man walking towards me excited to see me. I had no idea who this man was but I could not wait to find out.
He came close and began to ask me to tell him about what I was doing. He said I never come to the lobby like this, I must have come just to meet you. He kept asking me questions, I kept telling him stories about my palette and the small paintings all around and I told him stories about all of you. I wanted him to know I teach watercolor to anyone wanting to learn. I told him I teach watercolor. I bragged, MY STUDENTS, ARE 100% SUCCESSFUL! I said My students know the success of their paintings is all theirs! He was so very excited about meeting me and I kept wondering who is this man? Then I found out, The truth is, he is the only person I have ever thought of that I actually thought I would never meet. He is Pierre of http://www.savoirfaire.com the importer of Fabriano Artistico Paper, the 5×7 blocks of Artist Quality Paper I used all those years riding the bus and painting as the Buspaintings Artist. This is the paper that allowed me to turn a little painting that many people called a card into a business, and even today these paintings hold the attention of admirers of Fine Texas Art.
Many times in my life I have said how much I would like to say thank you, for making it possible for me to have access to this wonderful watercolor paper. And then Pierre walked through a lobby I was sitting in and he discovered me. Later that day I was invited to the Savoir Faire Booth at the trade show and I was introduced to Pierre’s wife, Maureen Labro, an artist and lovely person, her smile said it all as Pierre introduced us with voice and gestures only a friendly French Man could. I also had the honor to meet Andrew Cook, Account Manager Education.
The way I see it: God said Kathleen, I love you and I have this gift for you, sit right here and paint a bit to receive it. I did and I received the gift, no small miracle in my world, it was nice to meet you Pierre and yes I thank God for you every day. Visit my patreon.com/ktws site and watch an interview Pierre and I did.
My sweet, very good looking Pastor husband, Robert, says “Kathleen talks and thinks in negative space”. When he first said this I knew he was correct. I think and talk in the same method as I plan a painting.
I meticulously lay out the negative space, the white space in my paintings. This is the space where the purpose, the focal point is not, the space where your eye can rest and then wander back into the painting.
Now thinking a bit more and a bit deeper about this – Even as a child I surmised that everything in the painting, that is not the focal point is the negative space. And the negative space becomes the supporting evidence of the purpose of the painting.
I was about 13 when I first heard the gospel. I desperately wanted the relief that people talked about experiencing when they accepted Christ as Lord. I began the journey of implementing this new knowledge into my life. I was 22 before I had teachers in my life that began to inspire me to read the Bible and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. For me it was not the magic of the sinners prayer, it was the line upon line precept upon precept that allowed me to make changes in my life, but I remained human. Now as a Christian, trying with all my mite to do the right things I proceeded to experience life in ways that I think mirror Job and his heartbreaks and losses at the hand of satan. I was a very unhappy person, holding fast to a love for Christ but not walking in Christ’s love for me.
I then made a conscious effort to turn my life around. I made the decision to wake every morning, reach my hand out to Jesus and tell Him I wanted to walk in the garden with him.
This was when I began to live consistent with my purpose and let my day-to-day life be the supporting evidence to my purpose: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
I began to paint each day while I walked and talked with Jesus. Each day, a new day, a new garden, a new experience of Christ love and each painting included a deeply experienced time of coming away, of being still in the presence of my Lord and Savior.
When I invite people to learn to watercolor paint from me, I teach them to paint, but one of the results is that people learn to become quiet and be still for a bit. This is not something that happens in the American culture unless you individually allow it, it is an act of your will. Knowing how to do this is not easy, but it happens as you learn to watercolor paint from me. I believe when the Holy Spirit called me to teach people to paint with this method that I was being called to share daily devotions the same as Frances J. Roberts in her devotional Come Away My Beloved, and Sarah Young with Jesus Calling and many other writers of daily devotions.
For me, and maybe for you to turn your life around, to experience the everlasting love of Christ you need something to do with your hands to learn to, Be still and know God, as intended in Psalms 46:10.
Come learn to paint flowers and birds and trees and seeds and insects that live in the garden and see if you find yourself walking with your Lord in the garden that you have now learned to paint.
To learn how you can receive my teaching videos, see my paintings and read my devotions and stories, please visit my Patreon page. I ask you to pledge support so that my message and teaching methods can be shared with many people.
The page is found at this URL online
Kathleen McElwaine to learn more visit my website kmcelwaine.com
To Purchase Keep The White Space® art supplies go to kathleenmcelwaineart.etsy.com
I am often asked the question “How do your watercolor classes work?” This question comes up because I do not require people to pay for a series of classes. Each class can stand alone and students learn more and more about how to watercolor each time they attend. I tell them to come when they can and pay when they come.
It is not unusual to show up at 10:00 or 2:00 and find the room active and feeling a bit full, but then again, you might show up and you pay $35.00 and you receive a private class from me. I enjoy this method, I don’t spend all my time doing bookkeeping and answering questions about makeup classes. I do sell tickets on my website to classes and if you find you purchased a ticket and can’t attend, no problem, come when you can and your ticket is good.
Only once has the class been so full that students had to help me set up an additional table.
Also, I am asked, “How do you deal with students at all different stages of learning?” Well, I realized about 25 years ago that all students are at different stages of learning and every time you attend any class you can only come away with so much information. I teach each class and I tell stories and I talk about my philosophy around the importance of Keeping the white space in your life and in watercolor paintings each week. Each Keep The White Space® Practice Image Pattern will be a good practice for you. Do you want to paint a Red Fox? or a Blue or Purple Iris? You will be practicing watercolor painting in such a way that over time you will begin to make decisions and paint on your own. Each video I produce if you will give it a try, buy the pattern as an instant download from my Etsy store and paint along with me or watch and paint along with me, again you will be practicing brush strokes properly and building on experience and knowledge of watercolor painting.
This video on my youtube channel is a good example of this practice https://youtu.be/rqkVJ9lCDvg You can use the pattern found in my Etsy Store or you can follow along and paint. I have given you all the resources you need right in the video. The photo for inspiration, the colors I used, the painting itself so you see how mine looked in the end. Happy Painting and enjoy each painting you do and know that each painting is building on the base of knowledge you need to be as great a painter as you can imagine.
To Purchase visit kathleenmcelwaineart.etsy.com
I painted this painting the first day of Hurricane Harvey. While I painted I was praying for the people on the Texas and Louisianna coast all the way up into central Texas. The scripture in Isaiah 43:1-3 when God tells us – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One, your Savior.
I realize how busy we are and how easy it is to leave quiet time out of our daily lives. Please take a minute to put your hand out to Christ and ask Him to walk with you, just as you did the day you realized your sin and ask Jesus into your life.
Jesus wants to walk every step with you. He is not just a door man holding open the door for you on the day you received Him into your heart. Let Him be all He is. Be Still and know that I am God Psalms 46:10 or the way I say it…Keep The White Space® in your life and in your watercolor paintings.
Briley Mitchell a great guy and a good facebook friend took this photo. He is a professional photographer and so far he has been happy to let me use his paintings as reference. He is also the person to see if you are in Llano Texas, he can be found at the Chamber of Commerce and at every rodeo, at church, in the park, a long the river, in the middle of any event. What I am saying is he is a busy guy, but he sure does a good job of promoting Llano, Texas. Briley is the owner of Dust DevilDiver Photography in Llano, Texas
I am convinced, no matter how hard I might try, I can not paint anything I can’t see. So it is always a good idea to start with a photograph that depicts the feeling you are wanting in your painting of your pet. These 2 paintings are a couple of my favorites. The dog is looking at its master with a look of love or at least do you have a treat for me written all over his face. Let me know if I can paint a pet painting for you. kmcelwaine.com
Randy Deere a very good friend of mine took this photo. He happens to be a very good photographer/artist/jeweler. When I saw this photo I was inspired to try to show the reflection of the sky in this little Sandpipers fathers…I think I did a pretty good job. Thank you, Randy! This painting is available as a print from my kathleen-mcelwaine.pixels.com site.
I have friends that blog about their gardens and backyard wildlife and sunset views. I love it because when I am on the computer I find a great deal of inspiration from their photos. As you can see I left the bird out that is delivering the food and named the painting singing praises. This is an example of responding to the picture and using it truly as a reference rather than copying the photo exactly. I hope you will visit my gallery of art on kathleen-mcelwaine.pixels.com
I used Daniel Smith Carbazole Violet and Indigo, and a bit of Quinacridone Burnt Orange to paint this sweet little guy. This is another painting that I used Turners Design Gouache Mixing White. The nice thing about the mixing whites with gouache, the paint itself mixes with what ever color you put it on top of so it doesn’t look foreign to the painting. Yes, I would love to paint a pet painting for you. Send me a comment from my web site with a photo when you are ready for me to give you a pet painting quote.
I love it when I get to paint a white cat that has as much color in it as this cat does.
I used Daniel Smith Pyrol Scarlet, Moon Glow, and Quinacridone Burnt Orange and a bit of Indigo at the very end. I went back into the cat’s body, just a few places with Turners Design Gouache Mixing White. The nice thing about the mixing whites with gouache, the paint itself mixes with whatever color you put it on top of so it doesn’t look foreign to the painting.
Ask me about it and we can paint with it in class sometimes, or now that I think about it I need to do a video that shows how I use it. A few painting I have used gouache, the paintings are not too well-known so I will include the link to the painting so you can check it out, I bet you will be able to see where I used the White Mixing Gouache.
The paintings are both available as prints from kathleen-mcelwaine.pixels.com
Red White and Bluebonnets click here to see the painting https://kathleen-mcelwaine.pixels.com/featured/red-white-and-bluebonnets-watercolor-painting-by-kmcelwaine-kathleen-mcelwaine.html
Bless Your Heart of Texas Longhorn, click here to see the painting https://kathleen-mcelwaine.pixels.com/featured/bless-your-heart-of-texas-longhorn-a-watercolor-longhorn-painting-by-kathleen-mcelwaine-kathleen-mcelwaine.html
Thank you I enjoy teaching you how to paint and talking about art with you very much, I hope you enjoy it also.