An Interview with SAGE Member, Ann McCune of Sheridan, Wyoming
We spoke with watercolor artist, Ann McCune about her experience in painting. Ann currently has work displayed in the SAGE Member Gallery, and her piece "The Raven" is also featured in our 10th Annual National Juried Show, presented by First Federal Bank & Trust through July 25, 2020.
1) What motivated you to begin creating art?
A good friend, Tracy Boyle, is a watercolor artist. I signed up for her watercolor class at SAGE in February, 2019 to support her and SAGE. I didn’t know I would fall in love with painting at that point. I had never taken an art class. That is also when I became a SAGE Member.
2) Tell us a bit more about the class you took in 2019 at SAGE.
Tracy focused on a number of watercolor painting techniques. Key points that I remember were using the side and not the point of a large brush, diluting the paint with water, minimizing strokes, and painting without a preemptive template. I also learned how to know when to walk away from a painting. We painted still life compositions that Tracy placed in interesting configurations—vegetables, pitchers, fruit, vases, and flowers.
She encouraged us to visualize shapes within the still life rather than the objects themselves. I found that challenging. I just wanted to paint the apples, grapes, and the vase, putting in every detail and shadow. I tried my best to see the triangles and circles that Tracy could so easily see! It was interesting to see our end results and how we each saw something in the still life differently. I never managed to complete my painting in the allotted time but would photograph the still life and spend hours working on it at home.
3) What is your favorite medium to paint and your favorite subject and why?
I only have watercolor experience. I spent one afternoon painting cows using acrylic paint with Sonja Caywood. That was fun. I would love to take an acrylic painting class.
My favorite subject is birds. Their shape, colors, textures, eye and expression are beautiful. I can get lost in their intricate anatomy. That’s one thing I just love about painting animals—learning their anatomy. I’m fascinated especially by crows and ravens because they are so incredibly smart.
4) Tell us about where and how you create art.
I don’t have a studio. I wish I did! I paint on a little table in the corner of my kitchen. Once I start something, I lose track of time and realize hours have passed when it felt like minutes. Taking a photo during the process helps me see areas that need fixed. I’m not sure why that helps. Tracy and my son Joe have both provided helpful suggestions. Joe encouraged me to follow my own watercolor path and incorporate pen and ink into some of my watercolor paintings.
5) Are there other places people can see your artwork?
At this point I haven’t promoted my art other than through SAGE.
6) Anything else you would like to share?
This has been a fun new life experience. I want to continue to learn, improve and explore other art mediums.
Member Spotlight is a new monthly series in the SAGE Community Arts blog that features the artwork and skill of our many SAGE Members. If you are a Member and would like to be featured, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.