Pat Haas – Watercolor Artist

I have a BA in Business and worked as a commercial insurance underwriter for many years.  My life-long passion for art has lead me to explore a variety of ways of expressing the wonder and beauty of creation.  While I am largely self taught I have taken classes and  workshops along the way.   I have worked in pastels, oils, acrylics and even tried sculpture.  My favorite media is watercolor.  Watercolors keep me on a constant learning curve.  I am always trying new techniques that I can bring to my paintings.

I find inspiration in the beautiful beaches, rolling hills, canyons and mountains of Southern California.  The natural beauty and variety is endless.  No other area can compare to what we have in our own “back yard”.   I also find many opportunities for paintings when we travel to other areas.  I want my paintings to reflect the beauty of God’s wonderful creation; beautiful and peaceful places where the viewer would like to be.

I started painting cats and other pets when someone asked me to do a painting of their cat.  Much of my inspiration comes from sharing our home with them.  Over the years we have adopted several stray cats that are just looking for a home and someone to love and take care of them.  They have given me a variety of “models” to paint from; each with their own individual personality.  Our latest was a beautiful blue eyed Birman who we named Bob.  Little did we know we would have him another 20 years; we were able to celebrate his 22nd birthday.  Now I have the privilege of doing pet commissions for others.

I have discovered watercolor canvas; while still working with watercolor, it has a completely different look (when completed the painting is sealed to make the watercolor permanent).  I recently attended a workshop by Tom Lynch to learn more techniques working with the special canvas for watercolors.

My paintings are exhibited in the Laguna Art-A-Fair each summer in Laguna Beach.  This will be my 25th year – I always look forward to meeting people and sharing my work with them.  My work has been featured in the Fine Art Gallery in Rancho Santa Margarita and the Costa Mesa Art Association Gallery.

My style of painting

I started doing my art with pencil and paper.  It gave me a good understanding of composition and  the need for a variety of strokes from lights to darks.  I tried oils for a short time; but they had fumes they took a long time to dry.  I tried using watercolors on my own, but was not very successful.  After much searching, I found a watercolor class at a local high school.  From there I found more classes at Saddelback College in watercolor; it was enjoyable spending time with others who enjoyed working in watercolor.  We learned from the instructors and from one another.   Mastering watercolor is a challenge; it took a lot of trial and error before I was able to get good results.  Once I changed to the professional grade papers and paints my results were much better.  I still to love working in watercolor.

My Style of painting with watercolor may be different from others you have seen.  It may come from being detail oriented along with having instructors in the beginning that encouraged each of us develop our own style.  They didn’t teach there is only one way to use watercolors.  I like having a depth of color along with detail to make the painting interesting.  I am working on varying my style for subjects that lend themselves to flowing brush strokes.
I enjoy painting scenes that the viewer would like to be in – to walk along a path, stroll the beach in their bare feet, or just  sit and enjoy the view.  While I am not a great photographer, I take a lot of photos to use as reference material.  California has so much to choose from -the beaches, canyons, hills and mountains, lakes and rivers, and gardens and parks.  It is fun painting a scene for someone so they can have a special memory of a place they particularly enjoyed.

Painting  cats and kittens is especially enjoyable for me.  Our very first cat showed up hanging on a window screen in our new home.  No one claimed her, so we decided to keep the beautiful calico kitten. Since that time, we have had several cats – only one on purpose.  They each had their own personality and brought joy to our home.  Growing up, we always had dogs; my favorite was a big German Shepherd from when I was a young girl.  My husband had a Chihuahua Terrier which we had for many years together.  I really enjoy painting pets of any kind and frequently do commissions.  My booth at Art-A-Fair has many cats to fill the demand.

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