Watercolor has been my primary medium for forty years. Most of the time I believe all that practice has been worthwhile. Other times I think I must be a very slow learner. The learning process has mainly been a matter of letting go — giving up control – so that painting becomes more and more an act of watching the paint do what it wants. Content becomes less and less specific, until, sometimes, it has been released entirely.
For as long as I have been painting, I have also been teaching. The two practices are now inextricably interwoven. Painting influences teaching, of course, but just as often what I’m teaching can have an effect on how I paint. The need to articulate the subtleties of seeing form rather than content, for example, has helped me gain detachment from my immediate agenda while I am painting.
Over the years, I have acquired a reputation as someone to work with if you want to loosen up your brushwork or simplify your approach. This is a lot to live up to. Trying to stay one step ahead of my students on the “free and easy” scale may have accelerated my own evolution. Who can say which came first?
Tom Hoffmann has been dedicated to painting and teaching watercolors for over thirty years. He is determined to elevate the public’s appreciation of this most challenging and rewarding medium. His work has been shown at the Seattle Art Museum, The Frye Museum, the Tacoma Museum of Art and the Park Avenue Armory in New York. HoffmannWatercolors.com