Watercolorist Kris Preslan did not attend art school. In fact, during an art class in college one art instructor told her she should quit painting. And she did for 40 years. But after she tried an art class in painting at Michael’s craft store that all changed. From that first class, Kris went out into the world of art and found the information she needed to improve her art. She created her own art school by consuming books and magazines and workshops.
Today Kris is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, a signature and life member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and member of The American Watercolor Society, Watercolor West and other national and state organizations.
Her favorite subjects are landscapes and urban scenes, but more importantly, she strives to paint with strong pigments and a wide range of values. She often captures – through vibrant realism – the memories of places she has been and to which she hopes to return.
Kris says that “Challenges are fun for me. I look at a subject and the words ‘I wonder if I could paint that’ pops into my head. Some workshops I’ve taken were just to broaden my abilities, to go ‘outside the box.’ That was my way to find out where I belong. I decided I need to paint subjects that I would be proud to hang in my home. That often means recreating a memory bank of places I’ve traveled and enjoyed.
She used to think that watercolors were all “wishy-washy mid-tones.” Through her eyes now, “colors are usually bold and definite.” “
I love taking a photo or photos that make me smile and then painting from them the way I remember the place … the people I’ve encountered, the culture, the sounds, etc., and to see if I can combine all of it on a piece of watercolor paper.