Leah Yand Part 1: Watercolor Part One

Hello! My name is Leah Yand and I am an artist and designer. Join me as I try to put my hopes and dreams on paper and explain how and why I do that. I like to think my art is an attempt at conveying my spirit and its freedom through salvation in Christ. I don’t think I will ever fully capture the hope and truth that God has given me, but art is the best tool I have found to try and convey that. My art is informed by other artists, using multiple mediums such as watercolor, charcoal, and digital art. In this first blog post I will be talking about my most recent work which is my mixed media watercolor paintings.

I am currently working in watercolor, acrylic paint, Procreate, spray paint, crayons, and basically whatever I can get my hands on. My art is heavily influenced by my artistic practice/process.

My board of landscape experiments.
A lot of paintings start with horizontal forms and playing with areas of white and areas of watercolor bleeds and highly saturated areas.

I love experimenting with materials (particularly watercolor) to get a unique or inimitable that sparks some sort of interest to my eye and for the viewer. Oftentimes, I must embrace a multitude of failures in order to get something I find interesting or worthy of further exploration. Art for me is physical as well as mental. As an artist, I strive to be excited about the art I’m making and embrace the chaos of my process and my mind. I love to challenge myself by letting the materials do things I’d never envisioned and emphasize that part of the painting. The fear of failure has been a constant foe in my life as well as in my art. When I am making something, I have to battle back that fear of failure and embarrassment and the insecurity of things not turning out. Practicing this in my artwork has helped me do this in other areas of my life and vice versa. My artwork is an expression of my simultaneous embrace of and pushing away fear. It’s me saying, “if I’m going to feel afraid, let’s see how far I can go even in this fear. How can I push through it and have it inform my work?” My process wasn’t always as free and intuitive and fun as it is now. It used to be calculated and focused. Intent on getting exactly what was in my brain onto paper. Now I let things happen, evaluate as I go, and intuitively react to what happens on the page.

My work usually starts with a place or reference image or sometimes by diving in headfirst with forms and color. 

First layer of vertical landscape painting on Aquabord.
Two spray paint and mixed media experiments. Found that I liked the texture of watercolor applied over spray paint and the high contrast of the charcoal.

The image of a landscape or place is a good starting point for me because it is simultaneously ungraspable, because it is abstract and done in color palette that wouldn’t be found in nature, and understandable (referential) as a space. Color is important to my work. I gravitate towards magentas, blues, viridians, yellows, and lavenders. My paintings follow my stream of consciousness and because my mind is always turning with new thoughts and ideas, my paintings follow a similar pattern, but all of them inevitably end up different. 

Process photo of a larger work with a hodge-podge of some ideas featuring photos from my trip to Greece.

Find me at my website lyandart.com or contact me at leahyand@gmail.com.

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