Postcards from the Enchantments by Bethann Wilson


My friends and family are probably sick of hearing me talk about this project but I am very proud of it and think that our experience can help others to pursue their passions and make their dreams come true.

About a year ago my husband, who is an avid backpacker, outdoorsmen, and wilderness guide, decided to get a few friends together to travel to an area in Washington State called The Enchantments.  I am in the process of putting together a book about the trip and how we were able to make it happen with the help of our friends and family and the magic of crowdfunding.  

 Yours truly feeling tiny and humbled as I sit and contemplate interpreting this landscape into a watercolor.  Colchuck Lake, 2017

Yours truly feeling tiny and humbled as I sit and contemplate interpreting this landscape into a watercolor.  Colchuck Lake, 2017

In the meantime I would like to share with you the images of the little watercolor paintings that were made by me over the course of five days while camping in The Enchantments.

 Mailing the postcards, somewhere in Idaho July 2017

Mailing the postcards, somewhere in Idaho July 2017

Better images of the postcard paintings can be found here.  The oil paintings that have been completed in the studio thus far can be found here.

A couple of watercolors from the past few weeks by Bethann Wilson

I have been very busy painting in the new year.  I've been trying to balance commission work with fun things for ME that may or may not lead to other works.  I have been enjoying using watercolors.  I got back into them while we were on our trip to The Enchantments this past summer.  I will post more on that at a later date-- there is a lot to write about.

 Erin and Redds, watercolor on paper, March 2018

Erin and Redds, watercolor on paper, March 2018

This was a little painting I did of friends of our that got married earlier this month.  I really love doing portraits!

 Dreaming of Versace, watercolor on paper, Feb 2018

Dreaming of Versace, watercolor on paper, Feb 2018

This was a painting I did while sitting at the gallery a couple of weeks ago.  I really want to practice more with more vibrant colors and was looking for inspiration in a fashion magazine.  I believe it was January's issue of Marie Claire.  I came across a stunning piece by Zachery Michael that really embodied everything that has been swimming around in my head recently.

Artist-in-Residence Applications Mailed by Bethann Wilson

Did you know that the National Park Service has an Artist-in-Residence program?  Neither did I until I was researching residency opportunities recently.  With my recent #postcardsfromtheenchantments project I thought that an outdoorsy retreat where I can focus on creating art and spiritual renewal could do me and my art some good.  I love to travel.  I love to travel with my husband and family.  However, on these types of trips, time dedicated to making art is usually minimal as I'm typically the only painter in the group and there are so many places to go and things to see and sometimes it feels weird to pull back and set up an easel somewhere for a few hours.  It would be a tremendous opportunity to be able to slow down and take the time to really focus on being immersed in my art and allowing the landscape, nature, and culture of a specific location to wash over me and just see where that takes me in my work without distractions.

I submitted two applications/proposals from what residencies I found fit my criteria.  They had to be relatively short, no more than two weeks so I would need a minimal amount of shifts covered at the place that I tend bar and to not have to be away from Night Owl Gallery for too long.  They would need to be relatively close to Baltimore so that I could travel with minimal expenses.  They need to provide housing free-of-charge.  The deadline must not have already passed for 2018.  They need to be able to accommodate painters.  So once I sorted through the various residencies I narrowed it down to my top two that fit my needs.

The first one that I applied to was Catoctin Mountain Park which is near Thurmont, MD, not terribly far from Baltimore.  My husband and I have spent some time there and I know that I could definitely find inspiration there.  The park has a rich history and because it is part of the Catoctin Mountain ridge-range there are some pretty beautiful vistas and interesting rock formations.  My husband took me to Cat Rock around the time that he proposed and I have very fond memories of that place and knowing that he was "the one".

The second residency that I applied to was Fire Island National Seashore.  Another place with a very rich history and culture, one of the reasons that I chose to apply to this residency was because of the proximity to my hometown- I think I may be able to send for my mom for reinforcements if I need extra supplies or anything like that and also plan a visit with the family either before or after the residency.  I'd also really like to reconnect with the Long Island artistic community and think that this prospect could help bridge that gap.

I am really excited about both of these residencies and took in to consideration that if by some long shot I happened to be picked for both that they don't overlap.  Cross your fingers for me!

Opening Reception This Weekend by Bethann Wilson

Join me in celebrating the completion of 10 brand-new oil paintings inspired by my trip to The Enchantments in Washington State in July 2017.

The Enchantments are regarded as one of the most spectacular regions of the Cascade Range. On a whim, my husband decided to apply for backcountry permits to camp overnight and surprisingly got picked. Low on cash, but really wanting to go and fulfill this dream my husband (a writer) and I decided to try and fund our adventure using crowdfunding. We settled on Indiegogo and devised perks-packages to incentivize backing our cause. We chose to call the campaign "Postcards from the Enchantments" because all of the pictures that we saw in books and online while researching the trip were postcard perfect. (There is also an artist that I love, Julian Merrow-Smith, whose website is called Postcard from Provence) We liked the idea of postcards because we LOVE receiving postcards and thought it would be a cool way to brighten someone's day and show our gratitude. So these oil paintings are based on photographs that we took and watercolor sketches that were actually mailed as postcards to other backers. Because of the nature of this project some of the paintings are perks designated for backers but there will be a few available for sale as well.

I'm very proud of these paintings and am very excited to share them with you!

A coffee-table style art book chronicling the project is in the works

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