When Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, took a watercolor class while on vacation last October, she did not expect the activity to become a lifelong hobby.
Taylor has always enjoyed art. Growing up, she drew portraits at county fairs in Indiana and created illustrations for local newspapers. She even graduated from college with a minor in art.
“But I mostly was interested in drawing and sketching,” she said. “I had never tried watercoloring before.”
Seven months after the class and after studying the technique through videos and books, Taylor displayed and sold her watercolor paintings at her first art show – “The Occasional Artist Series” at the North Point Lighthouse. Her second and most recent show, “Watercolor Now,” was on display at the Hudson Business Lounge from January to March.
She describes her work – mostly depicting animals, flowers and nature scenes – as “representational, with a loose style.”
Watercolor painting also has given Taylor a way to relieve day-to-day stress.
“I think the great thing about creating any piece of art is that it is the only thing you can think about while you’re doing it,” she said. “And when it’s done, it’s done. You can do a watercolor painting in 20 minutes or a week.”
Taylor plans to practice and learn about watercolor for the rest of her life. She currently takes a Korean brush painting class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and will spend time this summer at Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan, enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s summer program.
“I like having people get to know me in a different way,” Taylor said. “Seeing people get to know me as an artist has been really fun.”