Women, Water & Art
Jaclyn Rubino of Tiny House Printing
As a full time river guide, water defines her life. Jaclyn lives in places where rivers are the lifeblood. It’s the constant factor and main inspiration in her world, both calming and centering while bringing joy and focus. Every piece Jaclyn makes includes a river.
When it comes to art, Jaclyn studied fine art at the University of Hartford, where she graduated as a painting major and primarily did portraiture in egg tempera, or oil paintings with heavy chiaroscuro. Now, ten years later, living a dirtbag lifestyle in a tiny camper largely on the road, Jaclyn identifies instead as a printmaker. She makes primarily linoleum block prints and considers them whimsical and sometimes a little silly. She uses her art to convey real life visual stories while also keeping a lighthearted approach: “My goal is not to take myself too seriously, I want to always think that art is fun.”
For Jaclyn, finding her way back to art was paired with her introduction to guiding rivers: “After graduating with a fine art degree and such a specific time intensive, space intensive medium, I went through a very long lull in my making process. I didn’t stumble back into making work until around the same time that I started river guiding. I found a medium that requires me to be a little bit less strict with myself. I have to accept that sometimes I’ll over cut an area and that’s ok. It taught me how to work with those mistakes instead of obsessing over perfection.”
Carol R. Balise
Carol’s love for the ocean, rivers, and lakes is beautifully woven into her artwork. “Water offers a unique challenge to paint,” says Carol, who is a self-taught artist. For people who are mesmerized by the magnificence of water, you will certainly love Carol’s creations.
Candice Caldwell Day
Candice has been boating for 25+ years. She grew up as a slalom racer and lived in the Nantahala Gorge on a forest homestead. Water is integrated into everything in her life. It is in her paintings, the tiny river stones in her jewelry, the flow of the ink she uses, even the clothing graphics she designs.
Her background in art is both genetic and learned. Candice was influenced heavily by her dad, who was a commercial graphic designer. She also has a BA in painting from Warren Wilson College, and a MFA in Costume Design + Technology from West Virginia University.
Annaleah’s background in art started with an obsession with drawing and oil painting. Annaleah was trained by local artist Peter Ruhf. From there, she found limitless possibilities in the world of sculpture. Since then, Annaleah has also started a small fine art apparel business and started accepting design based commissions for bands and businesses around the country.
When it comes to water as a catalyst for creativity, Annaleah says, “I’m inspired by the flow of water–the process of getting into the flow with a piece parallels the feeling of water rushing through me. They both leave me feeling awake and rejuvenated.”
Check out Annaleah’s website and Instagram for more information.
Harris has an intimate relationship with water: “Water is what I revolve a lot of my decision making around, whether it’s frozen or running. I make a lot of white water based art that turns into stickers and shirts, and I also have a fine art collection that has themes of water running through it.”
When it comes to her background in the arts, Harris has always been a creative, having recently just graduated with a degree in fine art. Harris enjoys running her online shop for over 4 years and started digital illustration when creating shirt designs for whitewater events on the east coast.
Leah Lockhart is deeply connected to the power of water: “The power of water is both beautiful and terrifying! I have always been a bit intimidated by whitewater. The unpredictability and wildness that you must surrender too is humbling and deserving of caution and respect.” When it comes to women in whitewater sports, she celebrates the joy, laughter, and courage that comes with creating a women’s whitewater community. She is inspired by the grace and fearlessness needed to play with water, and brings that same grace and courage as a Kayaker and as an Artist.
Leah has spent her whole life as an artist, working in different mediums. Watercolor was a challenge for her, and she spent most of her time as a painter with mediums that are easier to control. Since moving to Southeastern Tennessee, Leah has enjoyed her journey becoming a whitewater kayaker and watercolor artist.
“Exploring whitewater kayaking gave me the courage to explore watercolor fine art. Both have taught me the joy of embracing my wild side and letting things flow. With kayaking, you spend countless hours in a pool practicing your roll but at some point you have to get out there and feel that rush of adrenaline and trust yourself. The same can be said for watercolor. The work takes a life of it’s own the minute the pigment hits the paper and you can’t expect to control it, you must let it live and it is so fun and playful. I am inspired by the rivers and waterfalls all around me and the color and life that it brings to my soul when I spend time in the raw beauty of nature.”
Katherine brings her artistic passion to stained glass: “My stained glass work the past year has been completely centered around rivers – specifically places I’ve paddled that left a mark on me, whether I visit regularly, or a once in a lifetime trip.” The pandemic left its impact on her artwork–since she couldn’t boat as much, she ended up throwing all of her efforts into building the places she missed most in glass.
Katherine has taken art classes since she was a kid. She minored in art in college and takes art classes regularly as an adult. She definitely recommends being a part of social drawing groups.
When it comes down to creativity and art, she recognizes, “Art, in many forms, is a big part of my life.”
Water has always been important in Hana’s life. Growing up in Southeastern Massachusetts very close to the beach, she spent lots of time kayaking and canoeing, along with camping and hiking. Hana swam competitively as a child, and she finds a deep sense of peace when she is near water, especially while paddling: “I like picking my way down a rapid, reading the water, and trying to take that same approach in life; one step at a time, and don’t forget to breathe! Water really affects all aspects of my life, not just art.”
Some of Hana’s favorite mediums to work with are watercolor and ink. She loves reacting to what water does on the page, and the ephemeral feeling it can evoke. In her striving to continue to learn more about what she can do with it while creating, she practices cultivating joy and self-compassion: “I’m not always successful, but we are all just between swims, aren’t we?”
Hana has wanted to be an artist for as long as she can remember. Art was a part of her upbringing, with both parents being very artistic (in fact, they met while working at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston). She started to take art more seriously and began practice realism drawing in middle school. A move to Boston during high school led her to the Boston Arts Academy, where she majored in Visual Arts and had the incredible opportunity to practice and learn art every day at school. She went to the Massachusetts College of Art for her first year of college and then transferred to UMass Amherst where she continued her major in Photography. The roots of her intersecting art with the outdoors grew deeper when she ultimately changed her major to Outdoor Education with a minor in Art after joining the Outing Club and falling in love with the outdoors, the community, and especially whitewater kayaking.
Hana spent a few years not paying much attention to her creative side, and only in the past 2-3 years, she has been trying to create more. This past year, partially due to the pandemic closure that her former job faced, she realized that she needed to create more for her own happiness: “I started making jewelry, I started drawing more again, and the day before I left my job, I opened my Etsy shop and ordered business cards. I strive to continue learning more about my craft and becoming more masterful in using it to create beautiful things. I am content knowing that I am on my way to realizing who I am as an artist, and I look forward to what is to come.”
When asked, “How does water inspire/affect what you create?” Jenn’s response was simple: “I paint what I love.” She has been casually doing art since childhood, using it as a stress reliever and something fun to do. And wow, her talent shines with these awesome creations!
Ann grew up around water in Michigan and has always searched for water everywhere: “I drink it, touch it, swim in it, boat on it, and recognize our utter interdependence. Photographing water allows me to get into it, to see water from new vantage points, and to try to capture the moment in time of the ever-fluid, ever-changing life force.”
Ann has no professional background in art, and is an academic, a researcher, and a nonprofit worker. Ann loves kayaking which brought her into intimacy with water, and she has a desire to capture the beauty she sees. Art can often provide a silver lining: “I was going to try photography anyway last year, but the pandemic allowed me even more time to get acquainted.”
The remote backwaters of New York State’s pristine Adirondack Mountains affected Regina deeply last year while on five different kayaking camping tours with friends. These trips inspired her to capture the beauty and serenity of the Adirondack waters in a series of oil paintings and photographs. She is an emerging oil painting and photographic artist, having retired 4 years ago from a 30 year career in higher education that was capped off with 7 years as a college vice president.
After retiring, Regina’s artist daughter encouraged her to return to the arts – a childhood love. She took several college courses to develop her art skills – drawing, graphic design, digital photography, and oil painting, and has been totally immersed in painting, drawing, and photography since.
When asked about her artistic style, Regina stated, “I have the heart of an impressionist and abstract oil painter, but a realism style that flows naturally from my hands.”
As an active flatwater kayaker, hiker, cyclist, snowshoer, xc skier, and flower gardener, Regina gets to experience the beauty of nature up close – to see things that many do not ever get to see in person, and she is inspired to photograph and paint what she sees. Most of the art Regina has created has been for her own enjoyment.
Water inspires McKenzie by the way that it remains in constant motion, always flowing and adapting to move around what it encounters. Water inspires her to continue growing and changing as an artist and a human, while also finding stillness throughout that motion. Her goal is to learn to be more like water.
Without a formal introduction to painting or drawing, McKenzie began her journey as an artist by playing with watercolors. She sought out art as a way of engaging with landscapes during moments when her body needed rest and she was taking a break from moving through a landscape via an outdoor sport. She quickly found that when she is painting, she observes a landscape in more detail and pays closer attention to things she would otherwise miss: “Painting land and water has become a deeply personal way that I connect with the land that I am living on or visiting.”
Although she never intended to sell her art at the time of its creation, she realized that her art could be something that she can give back to the landscapes that inspire her by means of donating the money she makes from her art to organizations that care for those landscapes.