Charlotte MertzPainting leads me to pay ongoing, concentrated attention to line, color, and detail in my surroundings. This awareness allows me to depict in paint the essence of a subject as I perceive it, and to minimize elements that would detract attention from that central focus. Primarily representative, my work borders on impressionistic, painted with varying degrees of loose, interpretive realism.

I tend to select subjects that hold universal appeal, whether from my travels or from closer to home—shapes, colors, rhythms that please the eye and that bring peace to the soul. My goal is to depict every subject, no matter how esoteric or familiar, in such a way that the viewer is provided with something beautiful or interesting to consider.

I especially enjoy capturing the interplay of light and color in everyday scenes. My subjects often incorporate atmospheric effects, translucence, or reflection.

Whether working in oils, acrylics, or my favorite watercolors, limiting the color palette helps me simplify a subject to its essence, allowing the viewer, in turn, greater freedom to relate to it personally.

To a great extent, my personality is reflected in my painting style—quiet, understated, contemplative, yet free-flowing and confidently spontaneous. Although they occasionally vary, my palette choices tend to be subdued as well, often relying on mid-tones with subtle temperature and chromatic variations, interspersed by a few contrasting extremes.

One of the reasons watercolor is my favorite medium to work with is its unpredictability. Control must come not with force but with a “parental” kind of guidance based on thorough understanding of the medium and the characteristics of individual pigments as well as how those pigments interact with one another.

Exciting art allows the viewer’s eyes to discover the unexpected. As I create in any medium I often experience that pleasure of discovery and feel the peace and renewal of realizing joy in unanticipated ways. I love to share that sense of serendipitous delight with others through my paintings.

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