When Edmonds watercolor artist Roger Whitlock determined to go away the sunny islands of Hawaii and return dwelling to the Pacific Northwest to color, Hawaiians requested him, “What are you going to color there?”
“I jokingly advised them ’50 Shades of Grey Skies,’ ” Whitlock stated. “However I actually like (to color with) the grays and the neutrals. And this space is simply so stunning.”
As an award-winning artist who spent 46 years dwelling, educating and portray in Hawaii, Whitlock grew up in Ballard. He acquired his bachelor’s diploma from Whitman Faculty in Walla Walla, a grasp’s diploma in Chicago, after which taught in Ohio. He returned to the College of Washington to finish is doctorate diploma, after which he taught English in Hawaii for 31 years.
It was throughout that point educating that he additionally wrote e book manuscripts, none of them ever accepted to be printed. Discouraged, Whitlock signed up for a starting portray class in 1985 on the Honolulu Academy of the Arts.
“I painted in highschool and had an excellent artwork instructor (Grace Henning) at Ballard Excessive College,” he stated. “I used to be a part of a particular class of scholars who have been gifted in artwork and principally I painted with oils.”
However Whitlock hadn’t picked up a paint brush in 25 years.
“I selected to rediscover portray at age 40,” he stated. “It got here very naturally to me, not like writing manuscripts. With my writing I’d edit myself without end. However with portray, you recognize in case you have one thing inside the first half-hour.”
He described his portray type as “positively life like and impressionistic.”
“I just like the watercolor medium as a result of it captures gentle,” he stated. “Most my work are in impartial colours. The place I put coloration in it is rather particular. Watercolor is all about its freshness, transparency and quickness. It’s extra about design and composition, than it’s about coloration.”
A lot of his work is landscapes, however he additionally paints streetscapes. Following his transfer again to Edmonds 4 years in the past, he accomplished a collection of greater than 100 work of the Skagit Delta.
“All seasons are totally different there,” he stated. “I’d return every season and see greater than I wished to color.”
Usually, he takes images and makes use of them to feed his creativeness.
“I take advantage of them as a departure level,” he stated. “I take them on my cellphone and generally wait weeks, months, even years earlier than I take advantage of them. I take into consideration them and have a look at them in black-and-white and coloration to review the sunshine.”
He considers himself a studio painter, however this previous summer season he painted with a bunch of painters from the Northwest Watercolor Society, who met in parks the place they might social distance, put on masks and paint on location.
“We met each Wednesday morning, June to October,” he stated. “I actually loved that.”
Whitlock has taught artwork courses in Honolulu and Makawao, Maui, and accomplished educating a five-session class on Mercer Island in early 2020. However plans to show a second session have been postponed as a result of present pandemic.
He has thought-about educating through Zoom, however what he likes most about educating is the non-public interplay along with his college students.
Portray the Pacific Northwest landscapes is much totally different from portray the websites in Hawaii.
“Right here it’s about seeing the clouds,” he stated. “It’s very totally different than the panorama of Hawaii.”
A problem got here two years in the past in winter when Edmonds and the world was hit with a giant snowstorm.
“We have been marooned, and couldn’t go anyplace,” he stated. “So I took lengthy walks and photographed the snow. I used to be surprised on the magnificence.”
Having not painted snowscapes, Whitlock stated the problem was to learn to use the white paper he was portray on because the snow. Considered one of his Edmonds snowscape earned him particular recognition on the Northwest Watercolor Society’s 2019 Signature Exhibition.
He is also pleased with being chosen to be a part of the celebrated State of Hawaii Program for the Arts. The state secures artwork for public show from chosen artists who dwell in Hawaii. He has seven work in that assortment.
His favourite portray of all that he’s achieved “is the final one I’ve painted.”
“I do have some that I feel are actually good that I’ve stored for the ‘Whitman Household Assortment,’’’ he added.
Whitlock admits that he goes by way of phases, generally wanting to color landscapes and generally streetscapes. He feels fortunate that he’s been capable of journey and has painted scenes from many nations. Amongst these are England, Italy and Mexico.
Regionally, he has painted collections of Edmonds, together with native properties and structure, Gasoline Works Park, Downtown Seattle, Inexperienced Lake and different Seattle Neighborhoods. They are often seen on his web site.
Whitlock and his spouse have a daughter and granddaughter who dwell in Edmonds however, as of but, neither have proven a need to color.
“That’s the one recommendation I’d give to anybody,” Whitlock stated. “Folks typically wait to start taking up one thing new till they retire. They arrive into their ardour so late. Get began earlier than that and also you’ll have a leg up.”
A lot of his work can be found on the market on his web site, www.rogerwitlock.com., and he does present his works in espresso retailers within the Edmonds space. He’ll paint commissions and his work varies in value however common $350 for an 11-by-15-inch portray.
Most not too long ago he has been spending time at Maxwelton Seaside on Whidbey Island the place he’s discovering new scenes to color.
“It’s simply so quiet and delightful there,” he stated. “I really feel so fortunate to have this second profession.”