Parins discusses mixing old and new technologies

Featured Artist Kris Parins

I Saw the Light at 44th & Broadway 22 x 30
I am not what you’d call a digital artist. My watercolors are created the old-fashioned way: one painting at a time, using good brushes, 100% cotton paper, and paints from a tube.
The difference between a traditional painter and this graphic designer-turned-fine artist is in the process I employ. While many artists use their digital cameras to capture images for inspiration and reference, I often take those images several steps further.
I like to take my original photographs and play with them in Photoshop. By cropping and combining the photos, changing the color, saturation, and texture, I find I become more involved with the images. I exaggerate essentials and eliminate detail to call attention to what I find fascinating. The results are references that are more abstract, personal, and somehow more powerful than the original photos.
Despite all the control that my process provides, I enjoy getting in “the zone” while I am actually painting, and make many of my choices intuitively. I feel that my preliminary planning sets my mind free to react to and enjoy the inevitable surprises that occur when working with watercolor.
My subject matter is usually inspired by travel or the forested landscape of northern Wisconsin where I live in the summer. A common theme in my work is the pattern created by strong sunlight. The high contrast and flat areas of color are influences from my graphic design background. I’ve always been drawn to the look of silk-screens and woodcuts, especially the WPA posters from the 1930s.

I Saw the Light at 44th & Broadway 22 x 30 Let the Good Times Roll 14 x 20 Duluth Harbor 11 x 15
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