The Challenges of Watercolor
Sep 23, 2015 03:57PM
By Corinne Moore
So many of us are afraid of challenges and making mistakes that we limit our potential and close ourselves away from life changing opportunities. These speed bumps could not stop Christine Reichow from becoming an award winning watercolor artist. On the contrary, the harder painting with watercolor got, the more she wanted to succeed. “I’ve explored many media, but watercolor was very difficult,” she says. “More difficult than any medium, and that fascinated me and challenged me. Every time I would be ready to give up, I’d say, ‘No, no, I’m gonna learn,’ and I spent more time working on it.
Inspired by her mother who was a lifelong artist, Reichow had been exposed to art all her life.
Moving to Florida in 2000 with her husband Richard, Christine Reichow was fascinated by Florida’s array of native birds and every aspect of their lives. Growing up in Michigan, she didn’t pay much attention to birds, but here the behavior of the great blue herons and great egrets got her interested, for instance. “I started to really pay attention and seek them out, and I realized that they had emotions,” she says.
“Sometimes they’d be preening elegantly, sometimes coyly displaying mating plumage,” she says, recalling how the great egrets can change colors and turn lime green on their upper beak area when they are mating.
Reichow enjoys spending her time outdoors, photographing birds and then returning home to paint them. A couple of the main places she finds great inspiration are the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples and Six Mile Cypress Preserve in Fort Myers. She’s also often found kayaking the Estero River or on Tarpon Bay in Sanibel.
Before her fascination for birds, Reichow’s paintings portrayed flowers, dragonflies and butterflies. She says flowers put her career way ahead because people loved seeing the unusual flowers she painted. “I would pick flowers most people didn’t know about,” she says of flora like the Pelican Flower, which is one of her top award-winning pieces.
An artist’s eyes are always open for inspiration, and Reichow can absolutely relate to that. Even when she travels, she and her husband make nature preserves a point to stop and spend extra time capturing nature’s spirit.
One of Reichow’s favorite spots is the place that’s most intimate to many of us ─ home. Being out on the porch, seeing her flowers blooming in the garden wrapping around the pool, creates an idyllic place for sketching as the sun rises in the background.
You can find Christine Reichow’s work showcased year around at 2 Island’s Gallery in Captiva, at Tower Gallery in Sanibel, at Naples Botanical Gardens or at the Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples.
Klaudia Balogh is an editorial assistant for TOTI Media.
(239) 287-8847 [email protected]
Christine Reichow’s work:
Becoming Bananas The flower of the banana plant has a beautiful reddish rust before it opens up petal by petal and the bananas begin to grow.
Flamingos in Paradise Flamingos have a grace and beauty that are captivating and a joy for an artist to paint.
Forest Party This is one of the many wonders to be found at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The air plant was so colorful that it reminded Reichow of a party.
Turtle Train While walking the boardwalk at Green Cay near West Palm Beach, Reichow spotted this group of seven turtles sunning themselves on a palm log.