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Paintings by Donald Maier
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Donald Maier
Marietta , Georgia - United States
Watercolor - Landscapes

I have been doing watercolors on location for more than 40 years, originally as a means of adding color to pencil sketches to be turned into oil painting back in my studio when I was a teenager. Gradually, I became more proficient at watercolor and eventually gave up using pencil altogether, as it tended to inhibit the brush stroke too much and make it look stiff. I moved from New Jersey, where I grew up in 1975 and moved to the San Francisco peninsula, so I could live in the west and paint the western landscape. In 1994 I relocated to Marietta Georgia, where I now live. I have been teaching various art courses at Bauder College since 1996, and painting in watercolor every chance I get. My favorite thing is to take a road trip to the southwest desert and paint from the back of my camper. My most recent trip was to California in 2008 to attend my son Jeff's wedding in Fremont, CA. This gave me a chance to visit with many of my old friends and do some pastel portraits of them, as well...
phone: 404-550-5261
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What a busy year
I had quite a busy year in 2008 and it appears that 2009 will be no different. I had four one-man or group shows during the year. And just recently had the biggest one man show ever in Carrollton Cultural Center in Jan thru Feb. This was a retrospective of over 40 years of plein air watercolor paintings done in almost every state in the US. In fact, I have been to all 50 except for 3, Nebraska, Iowa, and North Dakota. In 2007 I finally go to experience Alaska, and now am doing some large oils from photos shot there. I am traveling less these days and have begun painting these large oil from my plein air watercolor and travel photos. I took advantage of a 70% off sale on stretched canvas and bought 48 large ones.

Style / Rules of Engagement
People will often complement me on my “style”, or sometimes, if that person is also and artist, they might say they like my “approach” to painting. Many people will say to me, whether they like my work or not, that they can always tell my painting apart from other artists, having a distinct style. In thinking about this, I began to ponder the causes for this. Is style a function of the artists ability, talent and training? I a person can always tell your work from others, does that mean you have a style that is unique to you, or perhaps your in a rut and afraid to venture out and try new things. After all, I turn 60 a few months ago, and I would rather not use an old retread like old dog learning new tricks. I don’t buy that one anyway. Two years ago I was not using the internet, however in the past two years have become quiet adept at using it. I can actually say that it has change my life. . . but that is a story for another time… so I will not digress any longer.

I consider myself a purist, at least as an artist. As a teacher for ten years at Bauder College in Atlanta, I remember teaching my “Basic Color and Design” class that “in art there are no “rules”…. But we do have “guidelines”…. principles that make-up the foundation of artistic design. Well, I have thought about this statement for years, and I have come to the conclusion that our “STYLE” is a result, partially at least, of the “rules” we set for ourselves in creating our artwork. I for instance will never use opaque white paint in watercolor. Very seldom will I scrape or scratch or blot the paper to create white. White is “always” pure white virgin paper. Early on I stopped drawing with graphite pencil on my paper before painting, opting to block in and isolate my white shapes with large washes of color using big brushes and progressively using smaller brushes and darker colors. Another “rule of engagement” is to paint on location, plein air. I also work from photographs that I have taken, but being there with the wind to your back and racing the sun and feeling the urgency of the moment, are all factors that effect the outcome of the artwork. Of course it is also the other factors I have mentioned, including the subject matter, media and attack of the brush to canvas or pencil to paper. Another way to affect the look of your work is to limit the pallet that you use. Try only using 8 colors or 4 colors, or even two color, such as complimentary colors orange and blue. But the “Rules of Engagement” if you will, determine to a great degree, the look you will achieve… your style.

Again as a teacher, I gave students life drawing lessons where they would have 20 second gesture drawings vs. 20 minute contour drawings. These two extremes being the rules of a time limit affecting the outcome or approach you take in the artwork. I have done this myself by limiting my drawing surface to the backs of business cards 2”x3.5” and using a pen so there is no erasing and going back, throwing in the next rule of starting a drawing at a red traffic light and stopping when the light turns green again. This defiantly increases the urgency of the drawing and heightens the electricity of the line quality… try this one. Another idea you can try is doing sketches of talking heads on TV talk shows. I recommend CSPAN, since they stay on the speaker for a longer time generally.

Miramonte Beach - watercolor - 12"x16" - $$900

Colin Johns
2011-04-21 05:20:41
Nice work, confident and fresh
Priyanka Puja Mankotia Bhand
2011-03-08 07:51:53
great work
Beverly Tunstall
2010-08-11 00:47:34
I love the pastel outbuilding
Trilby Cole
2007-12-02 04:13:30
Excellent work, thanks for sharing.
Marilyn Moskowitz
2006-11-12 09:06:12
The perfect vacation was always to throw some art supplies into the car an go. These watercolors are wonderful. Full of light and a sense of place. Marilyn
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