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Marly Walters

I came from a creative, inventive, do-it-yourself family. My mother was a dress designer and at the age of five I tried to copy her fashion illustrations. In high school I was encouraged by my art teachers and friends to pursue art. I won a scholarship to Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles, California. 

It was in the 70's that I discovered abstract. At first I didn't like it much, but I wanted to loosen up my style so I started wasting a lot of expensive Arches watercolor paper as I was discovering new ways to paint with ink. I liked the experimenting, but wasn't sure if I liked the end result. Now, of course, I love abstract and some of those first attempts were actually pretty good. 

When I first moved to the mountains fifteen years ago, I painted a lot of trees and little cabins. I got to a point where I couldn't bring myself to paint another tree and remembered how much fun I had in the 70's painting abstracts. I had discovered a video by George James about Yupo paper. Yupo paper is a smooth white plastic surface. It allows the watercolors to sit on top and dries into a clean vibrant layer of color.

Since I liked to experiment and try new ways of doing things, it was a perfect medium - unpredictable, challenging, and exciting. I paint with watercolor only and a lot of ways to apply it. Brushes, rollers, bubble wrap and anything else that give the appearance of texture. The results are wonderful. You can find more about about Yupo on YouTube. 

I don't always plan what I paint. I start with color, and composition and maybe shapes, the rest seems to unfold little by little. When creating abstracts I usually start with a blank piece of paper, and from there, I seem to let it happen. The tricky part is to know when the painting is finished. It's always a surprise even to me. 

I love to learn new ways to think about painting and life.

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