watercolor & pastel
by Judy Westergard
giclees prints starting at $22 available at
A client who visited my studio the other day asked me why I paint. I was tempted to give an artsy answer...something about how deeply I want my work to affect the viewer, maybe how art has always been my calling. I was tempted to sound profound but he would have seen through my dishonesty. ¶Frankly, my husband figured it out before I did. "Judy," he said, "you've always been making something." It's true. In fact, one of my fondest memories is a cold, rainy October afternoon in Mrs. Fitch's third grade classroom. Pale light came through the 12 foot high windows. Our dark oak desks held the engravings of previous children. The inkwell was blackened with ink spilled by students' mind-numbing practice of the Palmer method of handwriting. But we third graders were oblivious to our surroundings. What excited us was the smell of torn newspapers soaking in a thin flour paste. This was our clue that this was the day that we would wrap those newspaper strips around the coat hanger armatures each of us had previouisly formed. ¶I was beside myself with excitement. Today we would bring life to our "animules" -- imaginative creatures that evolved from the drawings we had done while Mrs. Fitch read to us. ¶I never did become a great sculptor of papier-mache animules but as my husband observed, I'm not happy if I'm not making something. Knit sweaters, woven wall hangings, great quantities of cookies and bread...and now paintings. I often think of Mrs. Fitch when I pick up my brushes, and I thank that dear lady for the lifetime of pleasure her "animules" engendered.