Watercolor Painting: Coffee Break Conversations

Coffee Break Conversations – Watercolor Society of Oregon

Good News

I am thrilled to say that my painting “Coffee Break Conversations” has been accepted into the Watercolor Society of Oregon‘s 51st Spring Experimental Exhibition in Silverton, OR.  Thank you Juror Kathleen Conover for selecting my painting as one of the 80 watercolors in the show.

Watercolor Painting: Coffee Break Conversations

Its a huge honor to be included in an exhibition that includes some of the finest watercolor artists in Oregon.


The WSO Spring Exhibition will be at the Oregon Garden Resort, April 9th through May 23.  Address is 895 W Main St., Silverton OR.  Please stop by if you are in the area!

About the Watercolor Painting

I thought it would be fun to show you the original drawing and the inspiration behind “Coffee Break Conversations”.

Back Story

In 2014, my husband and I took a trip across the country.  We visited a niece who was living and working in Athens GA.  She graciously showed us the town.  At one point, we stopped at one of her favorite places for some refreshment.  As we were having our beverages, we noticed a group of four young people coming in.  They came in, sat down and immediately pulled out their cell phones.  Each person set their cell phone down at the table.  It was done so naturally that I found it tremendously amusing.  This is our times; this is what people do.

The Drawing

As soon as I saw the group of four pull out their cell phones,  I knew I had to do a series inspired by their action.  When I came home, I set about making several drawings exploring the theme of people having a coffee break and using their cell phones.  This is one such drawing.

Coffee Break Conversations - Drawing


My intention was to create a lively watercolor painting with a sense of humor.

Design Considerations

Three.  My subject is the three figures or three friends.  Three made me think of a triad color scheme, so I used three primary colors: red, yellow and blue.  Naturally, as you combine the three, other colors are suggested.  As you may have noticed, each of the figures is assigned one of the colors as dominant.

Frame Within A Frame.  As I was drawing, I decided I wanted a “frame within a frame” design scheme.  My three figures are connected by the light, warm, rectangular frame shape.  I also sought to break up the frame by connecting each figure to the background.

I find it challenging work making the frame within a frame design scheme work.   My prime consideration it to make sure I don’t have a hole in the middle of the painting.  What I mean by hole is a place or shape that one you visually enter it, you stay there.  There is no movement out of the shape.

To avoid a feeling of a visual hole, I made the frame shape relatively light and warm.  It helps keep the space shallow since optically, light shapes seem to come forward.

The other advantage of the warm, light frame shape is that it helps me establish a feeling of friendly conversations.  That is to say, even though everyone is having a conversation with someone off scene!

Center of Interest.  My center of interest is the left figure.  She is the most animated and dominates the table.  She is painted with the warmest of colors to highlight her excited conversation.

Thank you!

I do hope you enjoy the watercolor painting.  And, if you are in the area, do please see the painting and the Watercolor Society of Oregon Exhibition at the Oregon Garden Resort!  Thank you for sharing my success!





2 thoughts on “Coffee Break Conversations – Watercolor Society of Oregon”

  1. Phyllis Gustafson

    Thanks for the great demo last night at SOSA. I spoke to you afterwards about underpainting with watercolor for pastel paintings. Had a ball today doing a very bright clear underpainting of Baldy Mountain using only dying colors. Thanks, Phyllis
    PS love your work

    1. Hi Phyllis! Thank you, yes! I enjoyed our conversation about using under-paintings! I am so happy that you enjoyed the demo last night; it was important to me to say something useful!

      I’d love to see your work. Do you have a link to where I might see it? I am next to clueless when it comes to working with pastel; but it sure is beautiful!

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