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Martha Kisling: Splashy, Whimsical Landscapes and Florals

Martha Kisling believes art warms the heart, feeds the soul and adds joy to your life. Those of us at EmptyEasel couldn’t agree more, especially after exploring her colorful and highly expressive watercolor paintings.

The ability to use free-flowing watercolors without wanting to throw them against the wall requires a carefree, explorative personality, and it’s no surprise Martha enjoys experimenting with different painting styles, including using yupo paper for brighter, truer colors and a more painterly style.

A variety of brushstrokes in Splendor Falls (seen just below) provides a smorgasbord of texture and dimension. Nestled in the background, tucked gently behind the falls, is a plush tree canopy featuring loops and dabs telling the tale of thousands of multi-colored leaves.


Meanwhile, sweeping, downward strokes convey the rush of water through the falls, where it gathers in glassy stillness at the end of its journey in a bottomless, reflective pool. As a wonderful contrast, the deep, rich tones found in the towering rock create a marbled, smooth look that is simply captivating.

Now for this next painting I’m going to make a prediction: whenever you think of a spray of flowers from now on, you’re probably going to envision Spring Dream.


This colorful bouquet of blossoms blends seamlessly into the white background, which lends even more radiance to its rainbow of bold colors. Leaves within the bouquet seem to float away into the background, leading the eye around the entirety of the painting before settling on the enchanting flowers again and again.

And finally, the composition in Crossroads is dynamic and playful, with speckled foliage leading the viewer down a well-traveled, gently-curving dirt path to the farmhouse.


Just as this farmhouse snuggles inside a forested area, the scene as a whole sits at the heart of the composition, surrounded by the unassuming pale blue of the endless sky. This allows our focus to rest not just on the interesting structural components of the house (which are depicted almost entirely in white and blue) but also on the emerald trees and plush grass spreading outward around it.

It’s as if the world ends at the edges of the property, dropping off abruptly into oblivion. And really, when you have a place as serene and soothing as this, why would you need to travel anywhere else?

Before you go, are you a flower lover? What about a fan of any and all countryside cottages? Then you must (I repeat, MUST!) check out Martha’s huge portfolio and Etsy page, with pages upon pages of floral portraiture and iconic landscapes, each more breathtaking than the last. Visit her website today, and enjoy!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Whether it's a busy citycape or a sunlit meadow, John DuVal's gorgeous watercolor landscapes all seem to have a little extra shimmer and shine to them. Perhaps that's because he wasn't always a painter—this Jersey City artist originally trained in figure drawing at Rutgers University, and in fact, his painting career only began after a trip to Florence,. . . read more

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