Steve Froggett

I am a representational watercolor painter. I work with transparent watercolors to create lively characterizations of real people and things; images that reflect a mood, sensation, or a passing moment. I want to capture the spirit of the subject, the spark of feeling and emotion that underlies the image, not with the hard edged detail of a photograph or the stiffness of an architectural rendering, but rather, as a simplification of nature that distills the human essence of the moment, emphasizing critical aspects while neglecting others; more like paraphrasing than quoting.
The paint, being transparent, allows light to pass through the pigment and reflect off the paper to return to the viewers’ eyes as a bright, colorful, clear image. I use no black pigment, and the white is provided by the paper itself. Shadows are made by graying the hue with its complement; values are achieved through dilution with water, complexity through glazes of pigment over stain. I use handmade rag paper, lightly starched during manufacture, that gently repels the wet pigment, so that the paint dries with tiny pin pricks of white captured within the darker values. I use rough paper to add further contrast between paper and pigment, helping to capture more light and create an interaction with the tiny shadows thrown by the textured surface of the paper.
I want to portray gesture, action, and feeling; the interplay of light and dark; the ebb and flow of events within our lives. I seek to capture spontaneous movements like the flicker of light on water, the sparkle in a woman’s eye, and the unguarded expressions of people engrossed in their own thoughts; never posed, always casual and unstudied. My paintings contain little stories revealing the meaning of the moment, simple vignettes that all can recognize. I want each painting to engage the viewer, who then frees the story within and breathes visible, emotional life into the painting.