Amber Wray sees the world differently through painting with watercolor
Local watercolor artist Amber Wray will be leading a two-day workshop on July 2nd and 3rd, from 9am-12pm each day, at Wenatchee River Institute’s (WRI) Barn Beach Reserve, 347 Division St., located along the beautiful Wenatchee River in Leavenworth.
Wray has been painting almost as long as she has been able to hold a brush, and began her focus on watercolor about four years ago. “Most people are intimated by watercolor and see it as a very difficult medium,” explains Wray. Knowing this, she has designed the workshop to be beginner-friendly, guiding participants through exercises so that personal watercolors of landscapes are completed, from beginning to finish.
Wray loves to paint landscapes involving snowcapped mountains and big skies. She finds certain elements in nature fascinating, like mist or smoke. When she strokes brush across paper, Wray finds there is always something that proves to be both challenging and surprising. “You have to be in tune with the medium to tackle it,” said Wray.
Wray grew up in Southern California, was an undergrad at Biola University and attended grad school at Otis College of Art and Design. While in university, she made friends who lived in the Pacific Northwest whom she would visit often. Wray fell in love with the area and after an artists’ residency at Plain’s Grunewald Guild she committed to stay, moving to Leavenworth five years ago.
When Wray isn’t teaching art and design courses through Wenatchee Valley College or Methow Arts Alliance, and helping with WRI’s Amazing Artists Camp (August 5-9, students entering grades 4-6) she spends time outdoors, taking in the nuances of the natural world surrounding her. Writes Wray, “What I hope most in my paintings is to share and inspire a connection to nature. It is outside that I feel most whole and most alive. I want my viewers to also experience a sense of beauty, playfulness, and being alive in each painting.”
The first day of the two-day WRI workshop in July, will be held in the classroom with participants being oriented on basic techniques and materials. The second day is spent outdoors while Wray demonstrates painting landscapes and students apply freshly learned techniques to their own watercolor works of art.
“What I love most about teaching is providing opportunities for people to see the world in a different way, to find time to rest, pause, and be curious about the world around them,” enthuses Wray.
For information about attending this workshop –two-day fee, what to bring and what to wear– please visit wenatcheeriverinstitute.org / Community Experiences / Workshops / Amber Wray Watercolor Workshop, call (509)548-0181, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Amber Wray and her art, please visit amberwraystudio.com.
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