About the Artist
Candace N. Buethorn has been painting and teaching watercolor technique for 30 years. Her passion is working outdoors painting landscapes, local scenes and family life. Her current home in Bellingham, Washington, answered a life-long dream of a view of a mountain with an ocean nearby. The country fields, trees, mountains, lakes and rivers fill her landscapes with life and reflected light. Her paintings mirror her life-long positive outlook. They also show her love and appreciation of our natural environment.
Buethorn’s introduction to watercolor was in her first year at Principia College, in Elsah, Illinois. The concept of “saving the whites” or allowing the natural white of the paper to become the highlights in the painting was intriguing. This concept can also completely change the way one looks at the world around them. Buethorn became obsessed with this altered vision and began to paint anything and everything she saw. She loved the challenge any new subject could bring. A Hereford cow, for instance, would start as a white cow-shaped space left in a green field. The black markings on the cow’s body would be added later. A white cloud must be “saved”, the blue sky added around it, and so on.
This traditional technique of painting watercolors kept Buethorn occupied for twenty years of good weather. She actually almost never painted indoors until the demands of raising kids and living in a rainy climate forced her to paint whenever she could. During this time she started renting space for an art studio. She learned to work inside the studio with still life and models, or to re-do a failed outdoor attempt from an earlier outing. Over the years, studio work morphed into collage, the mixed media pieces that quickly filled up any rainy-day creative time Buethorn had. The cutting and assembling was slow, careful work.
The collages’ complexity and incredible attention to detail are a perfect foil for Buethorn’s loose, gestural watercolors. All the pieces in this year’s calendar started as on-site outdoor pieces, with the exception of December’s “King of the Birdfeeder”, which was seen though a window. A few of the pieces were completely repainted in the studio. Regardless of where she is working, Buethorn creates art that is full of light and movement, art that can inspire the viewer to recognize the beauty in everyday things.