Publications

The Brush and BeyondCheap Joe’s Art Stuff – The Brush and Beyond DVD with Mary Ann Beckwith

Award-winning watercolor artist and instructor Mary Ann Beckwith’s premier DVD project is less about painting than it is about learning how to make “Art”. Entitled “The Brush and Beyond”, she takes us quickly into her “experimental” painting world where our results are always a source of inspiration, and if practiced, lead us to the next step in our artistic journey.


MaryAnnBeckwithExperimenting

International Artist Circle – Experimenting with texture and media

Mary Ann Beckwith demonstrates an experimental technique that’s bursting with texture, color, symbols…and cobwebs. (Free download PDF, 35 Mb)

Tangles of roots. Thread. Treetops. Frost on a window. Regardless of the kind of texture, I’m intrigued by it, and that love of texture has often been the basis of my paintings. In fact, years ago during a Maxine Masterfield workshop I was greatly inspired by poured pigments and sprayed inks, along with impressions of leaves, shells and cheesecloth…

International ArtistCopyrighted images and text used by express permission of the International Artist Publishing, Inc.


Creative Watercolor

Hard Cover, 144 Pages Richly Illustrated in Full Color

Book – Creative Watercolor

Creative Watercolor: step-by-step guide and showcase¬†will teach you innovative techniques used by some of today’s most accomplished watercolor artists. You will be guided through the process with photos and text, as each artist shares the secrets of their approach to watercolor. Freezing pigment, using such unusual tools as a heat gun or a mouth atomizer, or transferring color from another surface through a print-like process, are just a few of the techniques demonstrated in this book. A showcase of creative watercolor techniques, this volume provides the inspiration to begin your own exploration of the unending possibilities of watercolor. A must for all watermedia artists, from the novice to the seasoned professional, this book is a thought-provoking guide and an inspiring source of techniques and creative approaches to watercolor.

Creative Watercolor

Introduction

Introduction

Writing a step-by-step guide implies art can be produced by formula or recipe. It suggests artists always produce their work by some predictable process that can be recorded and duplicated. The artists in this book recorded techniques used to create some of their works. They may never use this same succession of steps or even the same process in another painting. In truly creative processes, the first step dictates the succeeding steps. Each piece of art will progress in an individual way; none will duplicate the process of another.

The steps, materials, tools, and processes illustrated in this book provide a starting point for your own explorations. Innovative approaches to watercolor encourage total spontaneity and freedom from rules, steps, or predictable processes. We hope the step-by-step demonstrations and the innovative showcase images serve as a springboard and inspiration for all of you.

Sample Chapter Page 1

Sample Chapter Page 1

Mary Ann Beckwith is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University, where she formerly taught drawing, design, and watercolor painting. She has also taught numerous workshops, served as juror in a variety of shows, and served as the president of the Midwest Watercolor Society.

Page 1 Pic 1“The intense, saturated colors I use are not part of my environment or of places I have been. They are from a part of my soul. I feel a very strong need to fill my world with great, outrageous fields of color.” -Mary Ann Beckwith

“The images which I create reflect the evolution of my vision.” Design is a conscious element within Beckwith’s work. Washes of white paint build rhythmic patterns on the surface and enhance her design. She uses layers, sometimes as many as ten to fifteen, of colored washes, as well as applications of colored pencil and pastel. She varies her watermedia techniques with each new painting-from the application of traditional transparent washes to the use of webbing and spraying ink.

Sample Chapter Page 2

Sample Chapter Page 2

Origins: Revelation

  • Arches 140# hot press watercolor paper
  • Creepy Cobwebs-threaded dacron cobwebs used for Halloween decoration
  • Lighfast inks (including white)
  • White gouache paint
  • Natural and geometric cutouts for painting resists
  • Transparent watercolors
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Gatorboard
  • Spray bottles for the inks
  • Windex
  • Pushpins

Page 2 Pic 11Beckwith begins by attaching two sheets of watercolor paper to a piece of gatorboard with push pins. Creepy Cobwebs are stretched tautly over the surface and attached with push pins. The surface and webbing are sprayed with water and any excess water is poured off. Working quickly, Beckwith sprays lightfast inks onto the paper and cobwebs. The colors flow along the webs to create a rich variety of colors. During the painting process, she gently rewets and presses any cobwebs that lift from the watercolor surface.

Page 2 Pic 22Beckwith sprays additional layers of ink on the wet painting. She carefully mops large pools of ink off the painting, while smaller pools are left on the surface and encouraged to run by tilting the gatorboard. The paint courses along the strands of webbing intensifying the color where the webbing touches the surface and causing further color mixing.

Sample Chapter Page 3

Sample Chapter Page 3

Page 3 Pic 13The painting dries just until the sheen has left most of the surface. Lifting the webbing gently, Beckwith is careful not to disturb the lines that are still wet. She applies colored ink with a brush to tone any white portions of the paper. Beckwith moves the painting to a clean surface before it dries completely, so that it does not adhere to the gatorboard.

Page 3 Pic 24Beckwith lays out resists in a variety of shapes. She sprays diluted white ink, varying the density of coverage, removes the resist, and allows the painting to dry. Selected edges are softened by lifting the white ink with Windex, an excellent solvent for the white ink. Small shapes are lifted out of the white as well. Using white gouache, watercolor pencils, and diluted white gouache, Beckwith develops movement and color transitions.

Page 3 Pic 35After re-evaluating the painting, Beckwith decides to unify the painting by lifting the white to create larger shapes of color. With watercolor pencils, Beckwith builds transitions that separate each geometric shape from its surroundings. (See page 66 for finished painting.)

Sample Chapter Page 4

Sample Chapter Page 4

Origins: Celebration

  • Arches 140# hot press watercolor paper
  • Creepy Cobwebs-threaded dacron cobwebs used for Halloween decorations
  • Lightfast inks (including white)
  • White gouache paint
  • Transparent watercolors
  • Spray bottles for the inks
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Gatorboard
  • Natural and geometric cutouts
  • Windex for painting resists
  • Pushpins

Page 4 Pic 11Again Beckwith begins by spreading the Creepy Cobwebs across watercolor paper. The surface and webbing are sprayed with water, and lighffast inks are then sprayed onto both the paper and cobwebs. Beckwith again develops the circle images and enhances alternating bands of very light- to medium-intensity white layers. Each band has some intensity variation to prevent the flattening of depth that comes with even application of white. In some areas, for example to the left of the largest circle, she makes the transition between shapes invisible. The white layers are allowed to dry.

Page 4 Pic 22To develop flowing shapes Beckwith paints diluted white gouache in varying shapes that together create flowing forms. The strong diagonal forms create a contrast and tension with the bars.

Sample Chapter Page 5

Sample Chapter Page 5

Page 5 Pic 13Intense color in the two largest circles is developed with watercolor pencil using a variety of shapes. While some color transitions are subtle, others are quite stark. She extends the color forms out of the largest circle and into the band to maintain the lost edge. For opposition, a fine blue line pierces the large red form in the large circle.

Page 5 Pic 24Beckwith continues adding contrast through color layering. More flowing color forms are built, while fine contrasting red lines are used to break the blue shapes in the largest circle. Red is also added to the lower right circle to unify it with the rest of the painting.

Page 5 Pic 35The white shapes below the upper right circle are further refined to enhance the illusion of entrapped spheres, White flowing shapes are used to create greater unity in the four layers in the upper left corner. In the lower left, the white shapes are extended to create more interesting negative space. Color development is completed with minute details, such as the final red touches in the lower left portion of the largest circle.

Sample Chapter Page 6

Sample Chapter Page 6

Artist’s Portfolio

Each day of painting is a new challenge. New methods, new visions, new ideas inspire me to interpret the world around me.

Page 6 Pic 1

Origins: Flight
30′ x 22″ (76.2cm x 55.9cm) Technique: Texture, spray painting, direct painting, and watercolor pencils


Page 6 Pic 2

Origins: A Tension
40′ x 60″ (101.6cm x 152.4cm) Technique: Texture, spray painting, direct painting, and watercolor pencils

Sample Chapter Page 7

Sample Chapter Page 7

Page 7 Pic 1

Origins: Surrender
22′ x 30″ (55.9cm x 76.2cm) Technique: Texture, spray painting, direct painting, and watercolor pencils


Page 7 Pic 2

Origins: Celestial Prophesy
40′ x 60′ (101.6cm x 152.4cm) Technique: Texture, spray painting, direct painting, and watercolor pencils