Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW

Carolyn Rondthaler


I didn’t get serious about painting until I was in my late 40s. I sketched a little and made drawings for my family, but I wasn’t really inspired to “do art.” I did win fourth place in a national contest when I was in fourth grade, and I took a great art course at UC Berkeley where I learned a lot of basic concepts like perception of color and use of materials. I just considered art fun.

My real interest began when I visited an aunt in Easton, Maryland, who was a watercolor artist and teacher. As she was showing me the paintings in her home, I remarked that I had always wanted to paint in watercolor. She looked at me very directly and said, “I don’t think so. Knowing you, if you wanted to do it, you would.”

Around the same time, I had a dream that I had found a room in my house with beautiful things that I had forgotten about. I understood that dream to refer to my creativity and interest in art, which I had neglected. I wrote about the dream in a journal I was keeping. As time went by, I was writing more and more about painting. I realized that I could be doing art instead of writing about it. I was working out of town on a three-month assignment, but I went to an art store one evening after work and put together a simple watercolor kit and started painting an hour every day by getting up an hour earlier.

When I returned home to Portland, Oregon, after that work assignment, I enrolled in a watercolor class at a nearby art center. I was fortunate that the teacher was Dory Kanter, who has written a book called Art Escapes.Her book is pretty much like her classes, with exercises that are simple and help build confidence. She also teaches color triads, which have been useful for me as I continue painting. She no longer teaches, but she got me started.

I joined the Wednesday Studio in September 2018 and look forward to improving my art and enhancing friendships with artists.

I have a website, and also an art blog,

To see some of Carolyn’s works, visit her gallery on this blog.

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