Located at the top of the South Island, New Zealand, Bec Brown lives beachside with her beautiful son.
From her garden studio, Bec paints floral original artworks, art prints, t shirt designs and most recently children’s books, all in her signature watercolour and ink pen style.
When we recently interviewed Bec of Clouds of Colour and she was gracious enough to answer some questions on life and art.
What was your journey to defining your art style?
I had experimented for years with different mediums and styles then after a holiday to California where I picked up a palette of watercolours, I started painting what I loved most - flowers. The style stuck. Here I am 10 years later, still going!
What is your background?
After I left school, I studied Graphic Design which has been a great base knowledge. The dream for me was always to make a living via my art while raising kids so that I could be a stay at home Mumma!
Did you always want to be an artist?
Yes, absolutely, an artist and mum! I really wanted to do what I love and have the freedom of working from home.
Wild Flowers watercolour artwork by NZ Artist Clouds of Colour.
Do you have artist role models that you’ve drawn inspiration from when creating your art?
My mums garden from my childhood is a huge inspiration. If I am in a creative rut, you’ll find me out in nature absorbing all the beauty, to gain new inspiration and clarity for artworks.
What inspires you?
Wildflowers, nature, embroidery books, old wallpaper patterns… so many things!
What do you do when you're not inspired to create art? How to get your creativity back?
I head to the beach for a picnic with my son. Taking the pressure off yourself to create something amazing means that you have time to relax and recharge. It is as important as the creating part!
What does your art aim to say to your audience?
I love the idea of leaving a trail of beauty in the world. Flowers hold memories for so many so it is nice to create pieces that spark loving memories.
What are you known for?
Definitely for my floral pieces - always in the watercolour + ink pen combo.
How do you get ideas for each piece of art?
Some of my bigger pieces have come to me in dreams, or I just can't stop thinking about certain flowers. Then I create the artwork!
What is your art process?
I let the ideas brew then sketch them out. Apply the ink pen then watercolour.
How has your art evolved over the years?
I think my style has remained the same but I have refined my products. I used to desire a whole stationery range but now I get more pleasure creating big one-off pieces or artworks for the t-shirts so they can be worn!
Poppies watercolour artwork by NZ Artist Clouds of Colour.
How has everyday life impacted your art?
Being a solo-momma means I paint when I can. I have gone from spending hours in a row painting to fitting in little 10 minute moments. Lifting the pressure of completing pieces and enjoying the journey of them instead.
What media do you use with your artwork?
Watercolour and ink pen
What are your tools of choice and is there something you can’t live without?
Watercolour, ink pen, brushes. I love nice textured or handmade paper too. I couldn't live without all of them! Maybe the paper would be the hardest to live without!
What’s the best part about working with watercolour?
It is flowing and light. You can have the tiniest amount of paint on your brush and it will float across the page.
What is your favourite subject matter to draw, and why?
Flowers. Wildflowers, more flowers.
Do you use photo references?
Yes sometimes for new flowers!
Where do you have artwork displayed?
I have a few stockists for my art prints plus currently, three cafes have framed pieces on show.
What’s your favourite artwork?
Oooh, I have many. Some that I can't quite part with yet I will have up in my home until I am ready for them to move on to the next home. It feels nice to enjoy them first!
What’s the benefits of being an artist?
Waking up every day excited about what I am doing. And putting my creative energy into my own business.
5 fun facts about Bec
- I really enjoy plant-based foods. We spend a good portion of our week, eating and testing new interesting recipes. Over the years I really have grasped just how must health and vitality start from the inside. Foods that make you feel great, surrounding yourself with beautiful people and things! Life is so amazing.
- My fave colour changes all the time! I go from vibrant bright to just loving black or white.
- If I were a colour I would be sage. I am quite obsessed with sage green at the moment. It feels calming and natural.
- If I could be any animal in the world I'd be an elephant. I have always loved them. They're so peaceful.
- Outside of art, I enjoy: Being a mum! We spend a lot of time in nature, at the beach, paddle-boarding. Reading, gardening, cooking (and eating!) wholesome goodies!
Do you have any advice for quitting your job to be a full time artist?
I waited until my art was needing more time, I could feel the push to take the leap of faith. I went from having a full-time job to part-time, then full time into my art.
I also believe that mindset plays a huge part. Believing in yourself and your work, valuing your time and energy and pricing accordingly.
Do you have any art advice for beginners?
Keep playing with styles and mediums until you find one that fits you. Try not to gain inspiration from social media but rather head outdoors into nature or go to your local library or galleries.