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One of my mentors is Edmonton artist Gregg Johnson. Gregg was my high school art teacher. Years later, I discovered him running plein air art workshops in Jasper National Park. I attended these sessions for several years. While Gregg has retired from doing the intensive workshops now, for years he ran weekend workshops every spring and fall out of the hall at his church, and a loyal following of watercolour enthusiasts (myself included) returned time and again to participate. Now that I live in Victoria I miss his leadership and inspiration.
Gregg is not afraid of colour. Anyone who thinks of watercolour as a medium of pale pastels has never seen Gregg's work! One of his challenges to me has always been to push my limits - be bolder, less realistic, more vivid. Use lots of paint and let it flow! I've not yet mastered this but every time I return to his work or his workshops, I try once more.
A simple example or two will suffice. Do you think the sky needs to be blue? Gregg doesn't. Here are a couple of examples:
A Golden Beacon, Gregg Johnson
A Beacon Gone, Gregg Johnson
For more of Gregg's work, see his webpage, www.watercolors.ca/ or at the Picture This! gallery website at: http://www.picturethisgallery.com/gregg-johnson-original-art/