Today I’m bringing you the work of Ginette Callaway, an artist who was born in France but now lives in America. Her paintings of places, landmarks, and buildings portray a sense of vibrancy and reflect the busy life that goes on around them. I’m sure you’ll love her work just as much as I do!
Your paintings have a very unique style. How did this develop?
My style for how I paint my watercolor and ink pieces developed over time. It was really a natural organic process. It’s the way I feel most comfortable painting. I like the results I get – it was simply a natural evolution.
Let’s talk about process. What steps do you take when creating each piece?
I mostly paint from photographs I take myself or those that my clients email me. Sometimes I sketch plain air. I developed my technique for painting watercolor and ink many years ago when another artist suggested to me, to experiment with some line work in ink. At that time I painted watercolors in the traditional manner, just watercolors, and I did drawing with graphite. The idea appealed to me and I experimented and finally settled on using Black Cat Waterproof ink. While the ink is wet is can be make to spread but when it is dry it’s waterproof.
Today, I occasionally still paint, as I call them “pure” watercolors, using nothing but water color paints, but I am attached to my special technique. I love the intuitive flow of my lines as I work out the ink drawing first. I don’t draw anything in graphite for these works. I start with a blank piece of paper or canvas and go right to it.At times I take a watercolor and even work on it with pastel paint. Whatever I think that will make it so I like the result.
It’s clear you travel quite a lot. What has been your favorite place to paint and why?
My favorite places are always those where I have been and areas where I live at the moment in time. I don’t have a super favorite because I find something very intriguing and paintable almost everywhere and it is the process of painting I enjoy most. I don’t like the same and repetition comes from being stuck on one subject that is boring to me. I avoid that.
Aside from travel, what inspires your work?
Nature, my personal interests, which range from old movies to herbalism and everything in-between. I spend much time learning about the natural world, and other times I delve in to old movies to relax, depending on my mood I end up painting something related. Sometimes my groceries inspire me and I end up painting my fruits and vegetables before I eat them. They are always very patient models.
What do you hope your pieces says to the viewer?
I don’t have any objective as to what to communicate other than that I sincerely paint my subject and maybe people can see that. If they can relate or enjoy in their own way that is wonderful. My paintings are my life and the stuff in my head and heart and I hope people can tell that. The feedback I get from collectors worldwide tells me they feel that.
If you could paint anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It would have to be my homeland France and specifically the South of France where I would like to live if I could at least part of the year.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Finally, do you have any tips for readers who might be interested in sketching and painting whilst they travel?
I am really bad in giving advice but I would say do whatever makes you feel comfortable.