I began painting in watercolor because I thought it was the natural first step to becoming a painter. I fully intended to "progress" to acrylics and oils. I also thought that once I took a painting class I would know how to paint. Little did I know that it would take countless classes and workshops with accomplished painters, untold hours of study and practice, plus about an acre of paper before I felt I was finally a painter. I now subscribe to the rule that "there are only about 25 things you need to learn to be a watercolorist, but each one takes a year."
In the meantime I have found that watercolor is the medium for me, even though it turns out not to be the easy first step I naively imagined. Recently I discovered the synthetic paper "Yupo" which is actually a very tough plastic sheet with a slick surface that, unlike traditional watercolor paper, does not absorb water and paint. The paint slides on the surface and is more difficult to control but makes fascinating, intricate, watery effects impossible to create on traditional paper.
I began my artistic life silk-screening designs on fabric. I then studied commercial graphic design and eventually ran my own design studio in Claremont, California. JANE WYKOFF GRAPHIC DESIGN specialized in business design, advertising and publishing and won numerous design awards. In 1999 I left commercial graphics and began my pursuit of watercolor painting. I credit my graphics background with teaching me the importance of strong composition which I strive for in all my work. I studied watercolor with Tom Fong, Nancy Shiershke, Chris Van Winkle, Frank Francese, Tony Couch, Fealing Lin, Catherine Tirr, Kwok Wai Lau, and Gwen Fox and am indebted to each of them.
Most of my work is inspired by elements of the landscape, especially rocks and water. I sketch and paint en plein air, and then interpret the subject and complete the painting in my studio. I am pleased that so many of my paintings now reside in private collections and have been honored with awards. I live and paint in Pacific Palisades, California.