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Mary Ann Boysen's Bio


Mary Ann BoysenRaised in Mississippi, my interest in art began at an early age, but was secondary to my study of music until at the college level when I decided to pursue art as my major.....then studying Advertising Design, and not taking up watercolor painting until much later when my children were in school all day and I could devote long hours to the practice of painting. Eight to ten hours a day were spent trying to “catch up”. I was driven by the desire to learn the craft and excited when I began winning awards in both local and national shows.

Like many artists starting their careers, I felt the need to control the watercolor painting process into infinite detail. This mood subsided when I found an instructor who taught me how to enjoy the process, the happy accidents, and the things that didn’t need controlling.

I just wanted to paint what I saw, but add to that a mood that was interesting. I delight in strong color, strong shadows, detail only where it needs to be, yet many people say the paintings look like photographs. It is my desire to go far beyond that image, and truly create a work of art.

My subjects have been so varied over the years, that I don’t know which is my favorite. As I tackle a challenging subject, and learn the ins and outs of painting it successfully, I move on to another challenge. Perhaps I will never be known for painting one thing all my life as the world is so full of wonderful experiences that I want to paint them all! I guess my biggest watercolor painting tip of all would be to constantly experiment.

It has been my pleasure to share my watercolor painting tips for many years, gleaning information from my students as I teach them what I know and have experienced. My greatest joy sharing new watercolor techniques and products that I may have just learned about myself! Sometimes I learn watercolor painting techniques right along with them.

In 2005, I discovered watercolor canvas, and have been totally fascinated with this wonderful product. I can paint in watercolor on a surface that has been reserved for acrylics and oil over the centuries. When finished the paintings are treated with an acrylic varnish, and can be framed without glass, offering the buyer the solution to the reflection problem, I am grateful to the canvas manufacturer for having the forethought and courage to come up with something that adds diversity to the life of an artist.

I am so taken with this process that I have written a book for artists who would like to experiment with the canvas. It is available on my personal website and is full of watercolor painting tips for canvas. To read more about it, click here.

I love being able to change my mind in the middle of a painting and wipe out an entire section without destroying the surface on which I am painting. My first feeling was that I wanted to retain the clarity of transparent watercolor (like the purist that I have been since I learned to paint), but there are so many more avenues that watercolor provides, that I find it exciting to change colors, textures, and go from transparent colors to opaque colors to add body to the painting.

Chagrin Falls, OH Bandstand in WatercolorThere are obstacles to overcome, and I am finding solutions with every painting that I do on the canvas. The heartbreak is that this product and technique are not recognized by watercolor societies in juried competitions. However, I feel that the product is stable, as are the paints that I use. I have no doubt that sometime in the future, this means of painting will be very popular, not only with the customer but also the watercolor societies who are reluctant to accept change at this time.

My subjects have run the gamut from still life to architecture, landscapes, broken glass, cut glass, lace and flowers. On my trips abroad, I actually add people to the paintings because that is where the people are! The ancient buildings without people in the streets would look lonely and barren.

My other love is working with the computer, learning new things that will keep me in contact with the public as I age. My personal website has been on the Internet since 1995; although it promotes my work and not watercolor painting tips. My son calls me a pioneer, as not many people had websites then nor email! By having learned the use of the computer in those years, I now can design ads for organizations for which I volunteer, send emails to those interested in my work, and keep myself very busy on any rainy day!

So there you have it, my life, my work, my passion......creativity…painting,… being involved in life! And of course, sharing watercolor painting tips with everyone I can.

Where I've taught my watercolor painting tips

  1. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland,OH
  2. Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY
  3. Cheekwood Museum, Nashville, TN
  4. Kingsport Art Association, Kingsport, TN
  5. Art Association of SouthernPines, NC
  6. Springfield Art Association, OH
  7. Private workshops in Tampa FL,...Evansville IN, Hawaii and ....Trinidad/Tobago
  8. Lakeside Association, Lakeside, OH
  9. Valley Art Center, Chagrin Falls, OH
  10. Wildwood Art Center, Mentor, OH
  11. Painesville Art Center, Painesville, OH
  12. Western Ohio Watercolor Society, Dayton
  13. Tennessee Art League, Nashville, TN
  14. LIMA Area Arts Council, Lima, OH
  15. my studio, Paintin’ Place, Novelty, OH

Workshops and Painting Abroad

  1. Northern France(Paris, Renazé and Giverny)
  2. Tuscany
  3. Venice
  4. Provence,( Cassis en Provence)...with Phil Levine Workshops, Inc.
  5. Greece
  6. Turkey
  7. Mexico

National Juried Competitions

  1. American Watercolor Society
  2. Chautauqua National
  3. Watercolor Ohio (awards)
  4. Kentucky Watercolor Society (awards)
  5. Michigan Watercolor Society
  6. Mississippi Grand National (award)
  7. Greater New Orleans International ...(award)
  8. American Artist Magazine Competition (finalist)
  9. Boston Mills Juried Art Festival
  10. Audubon Artists Juried Competition
  11. Ohio Watercolor Society (awards)
  12. Ohio State U. National Watermedia ...Invitational
  13. San Diego Watercolor Society
  14. Georgia Watercolor Society
  15. Midwest Watercolor Society
  16. Pittsburgh Aqueous
  17. Southern Watercolor Society
  18. Rocky Mountain National
  19. Salmagundi Club
  20. Bluegrass Painting Exhibition (awards)
  21. Cain Park Juried Art Festival
  22. Cincinnati Museum of Natural History Invitational
  23. Art Pro National, Ann Arbor Michigan
  24. Associated Artists of Winston-Salem
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