About the Artist

Carol L. Riddle, Santa Cruz Watercolor Artist

dropcap received my bachelor’s degree in Advertising Art from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, in 1965.  After spending most of my working life in the Printing Industry, I have decided to pursue my lifelong interest in painting.

My work primarily consists of landscape watercolors, although I occasionally work in pastels as well. With the use of both on­site and studio painting, I try to capture the beauty of our local scene, choosing to depict what one might see while visiting Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas.

Cowells Beach Surf Break

2008 was my first year participating in the Santa Cruz Open Studios Tour, and I look forward to taking part on an ongoing basis.

Two of my Landscapes were accepted in the juried show Irreplaceable Places: Contemporary Landscape Painters of California, 79th Annual Statewide Exhibit at the Art League in Santa Cruz, 2009, and I have had paintings accepted for 4 out of five years since, at this well respected Landscape Show.

Other exhibits have been at:

  • Many Hands Gallery in Capitola
  • The Gift Shop at the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
  • Santa Cruz Billiards and Cafe
  • The White Raven in Felton
  • La & Dos Gallerias in Moss Landing
  • Art of Santa Cruz at the Capitola Mall
  • Art Services in Boulder Creek
  • Henry Cowell Nature Store at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton
  • and Zinnia’s in Scotts Valley.

dropcapuse Natural rough finish Arches block 140lb. Watercolor paper for most of my work.  Since there is quite a bit of detail in my work, I find the blocks convenient for work interrupted, as I can close the cover flap and store it safely until the work can be resumed.  Using a standard 18 color tube set of Koi watercolor paints and a palette with 15 separate wells and a large center area, I mix whatever colors I need for my work.

Except for large wash areas, I prefer round sable brushes over flat, occasionally using a stiff flat brush to tone back or remove color.  I work from photos taken by me on expeditions around the coastal/inland area where I live (in Santa Cruz County).  Often, several photos are used in the composition.  Sometimes I return to the same area at different times of day to get the light that creates the feeling I want.  If my photos don’t capture what I feel when I am viewing the scene, I paint what I remember feeling when I was there.  I always carry my camera, as you never know when an interesting subject may present itself.

Although I do use masking frisket, it is not employed in all my paintings.  I use both wet on wet, and dry techniques during the creation of the finished piece.  A large painting may take several weeks to complete, where some of the smaller ones are completed in a day.  If things are not going well, I may set a painting aside for an indeterminate period of time until I am ready to face it once again.  I think artists are their own worst critics.

Carol Sig2014