Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Feature: Lorraine Watry

"Shows Over" watercolor by Lorraine Watry
Hi Everyone,

Today I have an amazing artist as our Friday Feature, Lorraine Watry.   Lorraine's watercolor style, colorfully idealized realism, is often a surprise to viewers who think of watercolor as loose and soft.  She has been painting in watercolor for over 20 years and enjoys teaching and demonstrating her techniques.

To see more of her work check out her:
youtube channel

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?  

In about 5th or 6th grade classmates would tell me I was a good artist. So, from then on I drew more and more and decided to get a degree in art. I have a Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Colorado and ended up doing computer clip art design for a couple years while we were in Dallas. After moving back to Colorado and starting a family I needed an art outlet, so I started taking watercolor classes. It has now been 20 years of working with watercolor and I still love it. I taught watercolor at the local community college for 2 ½ years and now I teach small classes at my home studio. I also have a watercolor blog and Youtube videos with over a ½ million views.

"Sonata for Horns" watercolor by Lorraine Watry
Where were you born?

I was born in Boise, Idaho, but when I was about 2 we moved to Denver, Colorado.

If you could live anywhere where would you live? 

I love Colorado and don’t want to live anywhere else.

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

My favorite thing to paint is reflections. I started with reflections in landscapes scenes with water, then moved on to paintings of waterlilies, and now I am excited to paint reflections in band instruments.

Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I am a realistic painter, but not quite photo realistic. I like very detailed subject matter and I use a lot of bright colors. I always start with a very detailed drawing on paper that I then transfer to my watercolor paper using a light table. For most of my paintings, I use 140 lb. cold press, Arches, bright white paper that I stretch. I generally use my big #38 round brush for most of my painting before switching to a smaller brush for details. I prefer only transparent watercolor and have only a couple opaque colors on my palette. 

"Cool Blues" watercolor by Lorraine Watry
Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites? 

Yes, I use French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt, Sap green, and Quinacridone Magenta a lot. My newest favorite color is Transparent Pyrrol Orange by Daniel Smith.

Do you have a favorite artist?  

Who has been your biggest inspiration? My favorite artist and inspiration is Claude Monet and my husband and I got to visit his home in Giverny, France a few years ago. 

What have been some of your crowning achievements? 

Some of my crowning achievements so far were receiving Signature Membership and the HK Holbein award in the 91st Annual NWS Exhibition in 2011. Also, I had a painting included in Splash 14: Light and Color in 2013.

"Stained Glass Water Lilies" watercolor by Lorraine Watry

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:) 

1. I would like to have paintings accepted into American Watercolor Society and TWSA in order to become a Signature Member, receive awards, and start competing with the “Big Dogs” in watercolor.
2. I would like to start teaching workshops around the country and be asked to jury shows.
3. I would like to take a trip or two to other parts of the world with my husband.
4. I would like to see all three of my kids finished with college and happily working in their field.
5. Finally, I would like my paintings to be in several galleries and to have so many sales that I am kept very busy!

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career? 

Watercolor is an exciting, but sometimes exasperating medium. Give yourself time to learn all that it has to teach you. Taking workshops and classes from a variety of teachers is a good way to learn the medium and helpful in finding your own watercolor voice. Enter juried shows, start locally and then when you have had some success, start entering nationally. And lastly, paint what you know – if you feel a link to your subject it will show in the final painting. 

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

I think the best advice I received was to believe in myself and to keep painting. Becoming a “master” at your craft does not come overnight, it takes years of learning and practice. 

"Coasting" watercolor by Lorraine Watry

Chocolate or vanilla? Dark Chocolate always!

Your dream vacation spot?  All over Europe

Book or movie? Book 

Favorite author?  Jane Austen

Favorite movie? Singing in the Rain

Romance or comedy? Comedy

Favorite dessert?  7 Layer German Chocolate Torte

Night owl or morning person? Morning


  1. Hi Carrie, I like what you've done to update your blog. And, of course this is a wonderful interview. Her work is lovely.

  2. Thanks Carrie for featuring me on your Friday Features! I really appreciate it. It was a lot of fun to complete the interview.

  3. what a great interview .... and I have so much fun taking workshops from Lorraine.. she is amazing !

  4. Thanks for featuring Lori. She is not only an amazing artist but an amazing person as well. She is super trustworthy and gentle, persistent and fun! Love that girl!

  5. Goodness! In that first piece you shared, I thought it was your work, Carrie. I love her waterlilies and her cool blues painting. Off to check out her blog!

  6. Seeing your feature on Lori Watry was a pleasant surprise. I know her through the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, and have always admired her work. Both you and Lori are well on the way to being very successful.

  7. Carrie, I LOVE your new blog design!

  8. Thank you, Carrie, for featuring Lori. All her paintings are amazing and she is a wonderful teacher, I've taken lots of her classes the past few years and always learn many new things in every class!