Artist Biography

Kay Barnes


Kay discovered her love for watercolor in 1982 and studied in workshops with many national and international watercolor instructors for many years. Her work has been featured in Splash 13 and is a finalist in the Splash 23. Her oversize floral paintings were commissioned by Nordstrom, to hang in stores all over the United States. She still enjoys the challenges of painting commissioned pieces for her patrons. Her light hearted spirit, broad based knowledge of transparent watercolor, and informative teaching style impart a sense of confidence and competence to her students. As well as teaching concepts, approaches and techniques, Kay refers to herself as the “watercolor detective” and helps her students determine what went wrong and then how to fix it.

In 2002 in Woodinville, Washington, she built Kay Barnes Watercolor Studio and The Eden Gallery. Since then students have poured in. The sharing of her love of watercolor has grown into a lifestyle. Kay is teaching private lessons, classes, and workshops in the Puget Sound Region, nationally, and internationally. Demand for her teaching throughout the Pacific Northwest has included many regional art associations. These venues provide numerous ways to share her knowledge and to continue seeking personal and artistic growth through the medium of watercolor while providing a safe and memorable passage for her students on the same voyage.

Artist statement:

What I love about watercolor is it can be spontaneous and fluid or controlled and precise, depending on the effect I am seeking… It is exciting to be able to get such variety from a single medium. I am constantly stretching to see where it will take me. Each painting is an adventure with the process as rewarding as the end result… The elements of good art are also found in a good life; perspective, balance, contrasts, harmony, and restraint, to name a few. Live your life artfully and enjoy the journey!
Learn to read colors and values. Be a shape maker.