Bethany is the Northwest Arkansas based watercolor artist behind WestOak Watercolor. Her creations are often inspired by nature, beloved spaces & places, and her two children. With over a decade of design and product development experience for key national retailers, she has a unique eye for color combinations and composition.
Bethany’s favorite subjects tend to be loose nature inspired florals and landscapes, but you’ll see her explore a variety of subjects! Since diving into watercolor full-time in January 2020, her work has been featured in HomeGoods, Marrs Mercantile, as well as on HGTV’s Fixer to Fabulous.
KINGART asks: Can you tell us a little bit more about your background and how you got started in design and product development?
Growing up, I was always very aware of the fact that doing something creative in my career was going to be the most fulfilling thing for my life - I just wasn't sure how to actually make a living doing it. My path in college took me into business, specifically merchandising, which led me to the role of product development and design. It required the perfect marriage of creatively designing products (in my case apparel and home goods) with understanding the customer and the current trends. There is nothing that makes my heart swell as an artist or creator more than seeing someone enjoy the products or pieces that I created, and I love those little rewarding moments where I get those glimpses of my product out in the real world.
KINGART asks: As a full-time watercolor artist what skills besides your talent and mastery of the medium have contributed to your success?
I have learned that for me it was important to proactively take the time to learn the tools that would help support my creative journey as it grew and evolved. While I would prefer to use every inspiring moment I have to paint, it was important for me to also dedicate time to learning how to build a website, how to use Photoshop & Illustrator for making prints, and how to set up an LLC and everything connected to being a small business owner. That way, as your talent progresses and your work begins to grow, you are able to make the most of the opportunities as they come.
KINGART asks: Are there any creative outlets for Watercolor that you would like to explore for the first time or learn more about?
I am excited to explore Gouache as a medium, which is essentially a more opaque version of watercolor. I love the way the colors can layer like an acrylic, but also be watered down and used in the same way as traditional watercolor. And while I spend most of my time painting subjects like florals, landscapes, and house portraits, I would love to expand my acumen to include painting people. There is so much to learn with mixing skin tones, and finding a level of detail that suits your style.
FAVORITE KINGART PRODUCTS
The KINGART Original Gold 9500 Filbert Series has become a staple in Bethany’s creative process, especially as she creates her beautiful loose florals.