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Bonnie Fields    

watercolour, U.S.A.

Bonnie Fields, 2001.

There are many things to draw with, including watercolor pencils. And it is fun learning the challenges and benefits associated with each medium.

Watercolors, like the Chinese style, must be painted quickly and not overworked; freshness, intuitiveness, no time for second thoughts. You don't need to mix in this or that - simply drop a bit of water onto your colors and away you go. They dry almost immediately, so they are easy to put away as well.
As a child, I was exposed to colors and prints because my family was in the clothing business. Every so often, a magic box full of swatches of fabric would arrive and I would have a delightful time rummaging through.

In 1985 on returning to the United States, my mother gave me a Chinese brush painting set that she had purchased while touring China. It consisted of a slate and an ink stick, with a couple of brushes. I didn't know what to make of it but had a friend who knew how to use it. She ground the ink stick into a little water that she had put onto the slate and gave me one of the first lessons in Chinese painting, the bamboo tree. You hold the brush on its side and stroke for an inch or so, lift up and make a quick dab the same way, about a quarter of an inch above. You then make your tree taller by repeating this process - long and short, long and short ... and there, before you, unfolds a tree!

It was the first time I'd painted a tree that looked like a tree. My enthusiasm was great indeed! Although the majority of my paintings are watercolor, as a newcomer to painting, it is a joy to discover so many new media.

title, medium, year, to come...

Beach Scene, 1992, by Bonnie Fields.

My mother brought me back a Chinese brush painting set from a visit she made to China in 1985, and that was what first launched me into painting. These beach scenes were made shortly after completing a life drawing course; at the sight of these "live" models at a beach in Florida, I felt compelled to run and fetch my paints and give them a try!

Beach Scene 1992, watercolour on paper,
Bonnie Fields, U.S.A.

One of my favorite artists is Henri Matisse. I love the way he sometimes strays outside the lines when he colors. That teaches us about what "must" or "mustn't" be done. The suggestiveness of the Impressionsists has always awed me. As one who could never draw, I found it fascinating (and still do) that that "little dot" really does look like a person. I also like to study Milton Avery's brevity. Thankfully, there will always be endless marvels to delight the eye that one may attempt, in one's own way, to capture.

Watercolour (Cat) by Bonnie Fields.


  • Artist Profile: Arts Dialogue, October 2001

  • Watercolour: (Cat) Arts Dialogue, June 2001
  • Two watercolours: Beach Scenes, 1992, Arts Dialogue, February 2001

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