Jenna Lo is a watercolour artist and teacher. Her work focuses on nature and designs found in nature. She enjoys spending time outdoors and her work is an extension of that.
She also spends her free time with Let's ART, a community for artist of all levels that Jenna created. Let's ART wants to break down the barrier to entry and share the love for all things art with art classes and meetups.
We asked Jenna a few questions about her work...
What is it about watercolour that you love?
I have always grativated to minimal design. Watercolor is transparent and gives the viewer a very light and soft experience.
With your work you often don’t sketch before you start watercolour painting, how do you visualise your painting before you start and ensure you get the proportions right?
I do sketch an outline, but they are very basic and light. To plan a piece, I’ll gather visual reference, usually from my own photos, do thumbnails and pre-paintings where I play around with the composition and color several times before putting down the final version. It can be a long process but worth it.
Your work is often linked to nature, is this a space that you also enjoy to paint in as well?
When I'm out, I'll take pictures, do a quick sketch, or collect interesting leaves. But finished pieces are usually done at a desk.
Working as an art teacher, how do you teach without manipulating your student’s creativity and turning them into a replica of yourself?
This is a good question. I struggled with finding the right balance in the beginning. It depends on what each person wants to get out of the class. If they just come for fun, I don’t really give feedback. If they do want feedback, I ask them what they felt about the piece, their frustrations or mistakes in their eyes. Then we talk about it but focus on how to improve technical skill rather than painting itself. I also welcome students to comment on my sketches. It turns it into a more collaborative process.
Can you tell us a little more about Let’s Art, when did you first start this community and why?
Let’s ART started in 2017. For purely selfish reason, I was looking for people to draw with. Sometimes art is a very solitary activity. I wanted to change that for myself. At meetups, people kept telling me they haven’t picked up a pencil since grade school. Or they didn’t know where to start and they didn’t have time. I realized there is real value in this and it inspired me to keep going. From there, we grew with additional hosts, adding classes and giving members a chance to share their knowledge and skills. Let’s ART is purely volunteer based and anyone who is interested can get in touch. It’s really a safe space for people to experiment, improve, try new things, and just have fun with art. It will be our 2nd year anniversary in November 2019. You can find us on social media to join the party!
Let’s ART meetups are every other Tuesday evening.