Jolyn Wells-Moran of Shoreline isn’t a reclusive artist.
She gets so excited that she drives her family crazy pointing out all the different colors in the sky or the greens of leaves that are really a little yellow and maybe even a bit of purple.
“I love the beauty of nature and the challenges of trying to express that in paints. Impressionism speaks to me,” she said about the style she’s chosen as an artist.
Wells-Moran is a contemporary Impressionist and has been selling her art since she was in high school. Now she is nearing retirement age and devoting more time to her art business. She’s a member of the Plein Air Washington and works primarily in nature.
“My time now is all tied up in painting,” she admits.
She was a full time mental health counselor for 28 years. She’s still involved in that business but only counseling two days a week.
“Most artists have to have another career as well. Fortunately I also had a passion for working with people with psychiatric disorders, “ she said.
Working full time as an artist requires a lot of motivation. Sometimes a project can seem so daunting that Wells-Moran has to drag herself to the easel. There are so many little details involved in finishing a piece and there are a lot of failures in the process of growing as an artist.
“I’ve had to be very passionate, dedicated, and organized to be able to tolerate those painting challenges,” she said.
She’s had to do hundreds of hundreds of paintings over the years to get to where she is now as a painter. Talent alone can’t make someone into a greatly skilled artist. Even though she’s been painting for most of her life she still goes to workshops all over the country to hone her skills.
“My eye has to get good enough to see the hues and the values that emanate from nature," she states.
She adds that if one looks at something long enough he or she will see a lot of different colors coming through the dominant color or, in other words, she will discover the different hues in the object.
One also has to get the values right, meaning the amount of light and the amount of darkness in the painting has to be exactly right to convey the object or landscape accurately.
Wells-Moran finally feels she’s at a point now in her painting career where she can see problems in her painting and correct them herself, but fills it’s also beneficial to walk away from a piece for a couple days, returning with a new perspective.
“It’s always important to get feedback from other people and know who to listen to,” she said.
Currently, she’s studying under Camille Przewodek, of Petaluma, Calif., who learned from the late Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art.
Most of her work is sold on her Web site. She also has flyers, brochures and cards to help promote her art. She finds it’s simpler to be on her own and not sell directly from galleries who take 40 percent to 60 percent of a sale. She also admits it’s time consuming working for galleries, dealing with an opening, publicity, framing and a lot of other things that distract her from her work.
Right now Wells-Moran is rebuilding her portfolio. Maybe one day when she has a larger portfolio she will contact a gallery, but she’s more interested now on honing her skills and learning all she can about hue and value so she can capture not only the essences of her subject but the correct light and color.