I’m Jennifer McLean. You may have guessed that from the header. I have two passions, art and books. I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist and an avid reader, so you’ll always find either a book or a paintbrush in my hand. I wish there were more hours in the day because there’s never enough time to both create and read. I supplement my energy with many cups of hazelnut coffee. I guess that means I have three loves, not two.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an artist, but it took many intervening years of angst and frustration to finally propel me to do what I really wanted, paint. In my twenties and thirties I was so afraid that if I tried painting and wasn’t good enough, my dream would die and I’d have nothing. So instead I dabbled in dozens of crafts, from Ukrainian eggs (pysanky) to designer wedding cakes. Nothing fulfilled that desperate need to paint. Finally my mother, in her frustration, yelled Just Add Water, Silly! The next week I created my blog and started learning to paint in watercolor. For several years I was also the Canadian Contributing editor of Featuring Magazine. Some of my early art was featured in that international art magazine.
My favorite subject matter to paint has deep shadows and interesting, compelling colors. I thrive on the brightest, cleanest colors I can get. It thrills me to make art that jumps off the page and glows. I am most excited to create either painterly pieces where you can see the personality of the artist in the work or hyper-realistic pieces that accost the eyes with luminescent details that thrill the viewer.
Through all those frustrating years where I didn’t paint, I always had books as comfort. I’ve been a voracious reader since early childhood. In fact, throughout my University and working years I had a well earned reputation for never being without a book. I took every opportunity I could to eke out time in my day for reading. Nothing has changed, all these years later. My favorite genre is mystery. From that foundation I tend to branch out a little into fantasy, thriller, detective fiction and even some military/political intrigue. And of course, there’s always art books. I review books for many authors and publishing companies and truly enjoy helping other readers find a new author or favorite book.
I am Canadian and live on an island in British Columbia. Since I live in Canada, I add my reviews to Amazon.ca where I proudly hold the rank of top 500 reviewer (#123 at present). Living on such a beautiful, coastal island influences my love of color and outdoor spaces. If one could paint, read and drink coffee all on the beach I would be blissfully happy every hour of every day.
That’s me in a nutshell… actually pinecone would be more appropriate in British Columbia, all those pine trees, ya know. I’m the only nut around. ;o)
If you’re an artist who would also love to learn about supplies and read about how to paint in watercolor, come visit me at my art blog, JustAddWaterSilly.com.