As a child, my dad would bring home large sheets of white butcher paper and jars of powdered tempura paint colors that we’d mix with water in empty tuna cans! I remember him giving me BIG paint brushes, encouraging wide, sweeping strokes, imagining puffy spring clouds, dark hidey holes, forest animals and always water. As a 3rd grader, I won my first 1st Place award from a Marin County All Cities Schools Annual Art Contest. It was a big tempura painting (yes, on butcher paper) of a white Pegasus horse with a black mane and tail, flying and cloud hopping through a child’s dream. I find joy in creating stories with watercolor that speak to people.
Water induces feelings of calm and meditation. The nature of watercolor is to ‘float’ and settle… the trick is to let the pigment flow freely… and let the water do the work. Rich layers of colors allowed to dry between layers create the desired jewel-like glazing effect – producing luscious, juicy, translucent depth in glowing colors that seem to vibrate from the surface of the heavy rag papers. Years of watercolor instruction, class work and workshops pushed me to evolve my own unique and color-intense style.
In 1994 my style took an unexpected leap when I became a student of master Chinese Watercolorist Lian Quan Zhen. His ancient pouring method using only a triad of primary colors contributes to my growth as a painter.
My passion for the outdoors and respect for nature channels energy, inspiration and imagination into my paintings. I find myself looking for “the painting” in every watery pond, cloud pattern, shadowy doorway, and brilliant seasonal change. I want the viewer to be drawn into a painting by visualizing a story with passageways for exploration and joy.
Instagram @ SusanJBerg
1433 Topanga Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648