Creativity Workshop: Painting Off-Road Responses

In the October 2008 issue of Watercolor Artist, Kathleen Maling challenged artists to take their paintings off road. “Finding subject matter that’s exclusive to your own environment may require an excursion and some exertion, but it’s well worth the effort,” she said. Artists across the country laced up their hiking boots and took to the trails to produce a startling array of locally-flavored work. We’re pleased to announce that Katherine Bates of Ridgewood, NJ is the winner of our $100 gift certificate to Jerry’s Artarama with her painting The Butterfly Visits the Dahlia. Our runners-up include Joan Elliot of Unicoi, TN and June Rollins of Wadesboro, NC.

Congratulations to these artists and all those who entered their paintings. Enjoy a gallery of the winning works and the stories behind the paintings (below) and don’t forget to enter your work to win the next Creativity Workshop. Click here to find out how.

Katherine Bates
The Butterfly Visits the Dahlia
came from a scene right outside my back door. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the butterfly was having such a grand time, I just couldn’t resist painting it!


Joan Elliott
I live in the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and love to use found, natural objects in my work, as I’ve done in Thicket. I walk and hike daily in this beautiful area, and am inspired by the interesting shapes, textures and colors from Appalachia. My works often are metaphors for the human condition.

June Rollins
I live in a rural county in North Carolina that’s experiencing economic challenges. Most of the younger residents have moved elsewhere in search of better employment opportunities, while the older generations remain, telling stories of the way things used to be. I’d driven past this abandoned setting many times and thought it would be a good, but typical, subject to render. Following Kathleen Maling’s example, I got out of my car and explored the area. Walking through overgrown bushes, I discovered this unique vantage point I would have never seen from the road. The torn metal barn siding in Once Upon A Time reminds me of a pulled back curtain, revealing a story longing to be told.

Try It!
Send us your Creativity Workshop Activity for a chance to win your own $100 gift certificate from Jerry’s Artarama. Send a JPEG image (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your watermedia painting to To see the latest Creativity Workshop Activities and a gallery of reader responses, click here.

You may also like these articles: