Insight into the creative process

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Photo by Alyssa Coburn

A watercolor portrait of a couple’s first home.

Alyssa Coburn

Medium: watercolors

Instagram: @Fringe_Aesthetic



Member of Granby Artists since: 2021

Alyssa working on a custom home portrait. Photo by Taylor Kemp of Taylor Kemp Photography

What made you choose your primary medium?

I love working with watercolor for so many reasons: the “inner brilliance” of a transparent medium…the infinite number of shades that can be created from one tube of paint… But mostly because it forces me to embrace the unpredictability of it all. When I lay down a large wash of paint, I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to dry. It’s exciting and a little bit terrifying! But in the end, it makes for a painting with lots of character. Of course, I still have much to learn in the watercolor space, and I look forward to tapping into the wildly talented brains of my fellow members!

Do you work in other mediums?

I’m grateful to be able to say that I work in all types of creative mediums. For my day job, I’m a digital designer and motion graphics artist at a large insurance company. I love it! I’ve also been dabbling in digital illustration lately using my iPad and an Apple Pencil. It has been a very fun and interesting departure from some of my traditional fine art mediums. Plus, the clean-up is easier!

Does Granby have an influence on your art?

Having lived on both coasts, I can say the from my perspective, Granby is one of the most incredible towns. The people are so friendly, the restaurants are great, and the hiking is wonderful. My husband, son, two dogs, and I spend so much of our time exploring the trails at Holcomb Farm and Salmon Brook Park, and I’ve painted several scenes from photos I’ve taken on our adventures. Plus, the opportunity to live in a town with an organized community of artists is just amazing! Even though I’m a very new member, I can already tell how kind, talented and supportive everyone is. Being around such creative people inspires me to grow as an artist.

Tell us about a satisfying art accomplishment have you had?

Last year, I started an Etsy shop for my illustrations and have made about 400 sales to date. It’s very exciting to know that there are people across the country who have connected with my work in some way! But to be honest, I’d say that being accepted as a member of the Granby Artists Association is one of my greatest art accomplishments thus far. To me, it’s the first step in approaching my art as more of a profession, rather than just a hobby.

What is your most exciting aspect of being an artist?

There’s something very exciting and fulfilling about creating work that has an emotional connection. When I’m asked to paint a house portrait, for example, I know I’m creating something very personal to someone. It’s not so much about the structure itself — it’s about the memories and the sentimental attachment to it. Being trusted with a painting like that means so much to me, and I love the challenge of bringing it to life.

Do you have any specific goals for your art in the next few years?

Over the past year or so, I’ve been working on an “I Love You More” painting series. It’s a long-term goal of mine to write and illustrate a children’s book based off of this concept.

Sally Sargent Markey

Media: watercolors, Fimo jewelry

Contact: 860-653-3224

Member of Granby Artists since: 2002

Membership in other artist organizations: Canton Gallery on the Green, Kent Art Association, Connecticut Watercolor Association

Sally received a BA from the University of Connecticut and worked as a designer at Hallmark in Kansas City, Mo. before becoming a freelance artist in Connecticut. She has done book illustrations and had her work represented in shops and galleries in New England. She has had many solo shows including shows at the Slater Museum in Norwich, Homer Babbidge Library at the University of Connecticut, Hartford Town and Country Club, Elizabeth Park Pond House, and Duncaster Gallery space. Sally paints plein-air in watercolor weekly with friends in Granby.

Painting by Sally Sargent Markey

What inspired you to become an artist? What inspires your art?

The foundation of all my paintings has its origin years ago during long walks home from grammar school on dirt roads and through meadows and woods in all seasons, which marked my psyche and made me love the natural world. I knew quite early I wanted to paint things. The same challenges hold me today as then: seeing and rendering as truly as I can and feeling the joy of painting beautiful color, rhythms, and patterns.

I paint realistically, mostly from nature, but I enjoy the challenge of painting an abstract painting, trying to be aware of the rules of good composition that were stressed to us in college at UConn in the early 1960s.

Does your art try to relay a message? If so, what?

Paint, symbols, the emotional world are the vehicles I use to take non-representational ideas such as loneliness, contentment, or legends to make the viewer feel an empathy with the subject matter.