We at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop want to celebrate our visual arts friends this summer with a peek into their work or studio spaces on Instagram. We are curious about the spaces and rituals that give rise to creation. Do folks leave home to go work in a studio, or clear a corner of the kitchen table? Is the creative space a physical one, or perhaps a set of tools that signal it’s time to make art. Read the full length features and follow us on Instagram @chawindc to meet and learn about some of our favorite, local artists.

This week we’re featuring watercolorist and CHAL member Carolyn Rondthaler.

1. In a few sentences, introduce yourself.

I moved to DC from Portland Oregon 8 years ago and I joined Capitol Hill Art League about a year after that. I learned about art classes at CHAW and took classes from Carolina Mayorga. I also participated in open studios on Friday nights with Will Fleishell. I am now part of the Wednesday Studio group with Ellen Cornett. I work primarily in watercolor. I started when I visited an aunt in Easton, MD, who was a watercolor artist. When I told her that I loved watercolor and wanted to do it, she challenged me to do it if I wanted to. I went back to Portland and enrolled in a class then. I am a Studio Arts volunteer for Smithsonian Associates and am active in Capitol Hill Village. 

2. Briefly describe your work and/or artistic process.

I love to paint “en plein aire” but that is not always possible, so I also paint from photographs. I also like to do sketches and enjoy doing sketches when travelling. Although I have a room that could be used as a studio, I usually paint at my dining room table.  It works for me and, as I look back on other place I’ve lived, it is what I usually do.

“Peaches” Watercolor

This is actually a small painting on a thank you card thanking my grandson for the peaches he brought me.

3. What is your favorite art supply at the moment? Or tell us about a happy accident in your studio.

My favorite art supply at the moment is mineral paper.  It is “made from rocks, not wood” according to the label.  It is slick and quite a challenge, but I like most of the paintings I have done on it.

“California Coast” Watercolor on mineral paper

 I grew up in Northern California and this is one of my favorite scenic spots. 



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