Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Q&A With Libby Davidson
Exhibiting at Artists’ Mediums:  May – July 2014
Plein Air Demonstration: May 9th (4:00-6:00)
Reception: June 5th (4:30-6:30)
1. How long have you been practicing art and was there something/someone that prompted you?
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. My dad taught art at college, high school and elementary levels, so there were art materials in front of me all the time. I loved visiting his studio up on the third floor at Vermont College and seeing his large abstract paintings. I equated the smell of the oils, acrylics and turpentine with creativity and happiness. Up in his studio, he’d give me big pieces of paper to draw on (and plenty of encouragement to go with them) as I perched high up on a stool. In high school and college, Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors, which were preliminary sketches for his more “finished” oil paintings, held my attention. I marveled at how he could create such gorgeous landscapes with splatters, scrapes and minimal brush strokes. Georgia O’Keefe’s bold paintings also intrigued me.
 "Mansfield Sky" watercolor 14 x 18" $500.
“Mansfield Sky” watercolor 14 x 18″ $500.
2. What is your favorite medium, and how did you come to discover it?
At the moment, I’m loving watercolors. I love the fact that they are so portable, affordable, and easy to clean up. When I first started with watercolors, I used them in a very controlled style, but I now enjoy painting plein air (out of doors) in a much quicker manner. (I also love the bright colors of acrylics for mural painting. Both acrylics and watercolors dry quickly, and I find it a good challenge to speed up my painting process.)
3. What do you think sets your art apart from others?
I spent many years as an illustrator of the natural world creating with pen & ink. This helped me hone my composition and rendering skills and concentrate on line and value. Delving into color was another world entirely, so it was great to tap into my years of drawing experience as I branched out into paint. I’m currently interested in capturing landscapes in a more loose, painterly style with watercolors.
"Willow Pond Birdhouse" watercolor 11 x 14" $230
“Willow Pond Birdhouse” watercolor 11 x 14″ $230
4. Can you briefly describe the process in which you make your art?
Last year I challenged myself to paint 50 plein air watercolors in my 50th year. I invited friends and family to join me on my excursions. I had my easel and supplies packed at all times, ready to head outdoors when the weather and schedule allowed. Once at a painting location, set-up time takes me about 15 minutes, then I quickly sketch in my composition. My watercolor paper is already taped to backing board ahead of time. I try to get into the paint as soon as possible and use as big a brush as I can to keep me from getting too picky. I tend to favor large flat brushes, but switch to rounds and a rigger brush for gestural details. Average paint time is 2 hours and I try to finish as much as I can out in the field.
5. Do you have any advice for artists that are just starting out?
For years I worked alone in my studio. It helped me when I joined the Essex Art League 7 years ago to make vital connections with other artists. This helped me try new styles, get inspired by others, and receive encouragement and networking opportunities.
6. Where can one find your work?
My blog on my website at shows the process of some of my 50 Project paintings. You can find my original watercolors at Artists Mediums in Williston, Bryan Gallery in Jeffersonville, Creative Space Gallery in Vergennes, Phoenix Books in Essex and Trattoria La Festa in Stowe. My cards and kids’ products at Apple Mountain Gifts on Church St, Burlington, Birds of VT Museum in Huntington, Emile Gruppe Gallery in Jericho, Flower a Day in Colchester, Green Mountain Club Visitors Center in Waterbury Ctr, Old Mill Craft Shop in Jericho, and WREN Gift Shop in Bethlehem, NH. You can also find me painting at the Jericho Plein Air Festival this July 19, 2014 at the Emile Gruppe Gallery in Jericho.
"The Rocks at Shelburne Bay" watercolor 9 x 18"
“The Rocks at Shelburne Bay” watercolor 9 x 18″

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