Communicate With Color

watercolor landscape painting of road

“Even though I thought painting could be a way to express the joy I was feeling for the landscape my work remained bland and uninspiring,” says Joyce Hicks. “After several years of dedication and hard work, it dawned on me that the artists whose work I admired obviously knew something about making quality art that I didn’t know. I felt disappointed in my artistic progress and wanted to be able to paint and share the joy I was finding in the landscape. Why were some artists able to express their message so beautifully while others could not? What I soon learned was there’s a lot more to creating art than merely applying paint to paper! I luckily stumbled upon the words and teachings of Edgar Whitney and the role he played in bringing back the importance of the time-honored principles and elements of design. From that point on I became passionate about learning and using the power of these concepts and it wasn’t long before my work began to earn recognition and major awards. Once you can make artistic decisions based on the strength of the knowledge you have for the principles and elements of design your choices for creating great art will be in proportion to your understanding and the spirit of your own unique creativity!

watercolor landscape painting of field

“One of the most powerful ways an artist can communicate is with the use of color. Color offers huge diversity when used to create works of art. It has the ability to evoke a wide range of emotions within the viewers to make them feel happy, sad, excited or somber. Make value and temperature changes as you paint to create energy and visual interest and at the same time, remember that such decisions must be based on where a particular shape resides in the landscape and its relationship to the other values and temperatures it accompanies. Color is an irreplaceable ingredient for making grand statements and once you begin to fully understand the power of color, it can be the path to your own signature style!”

watercolor landscape painting of barn

Joyce Hicks has always been able to visualize places and things in a very idealistic way, but it wasn’t until she discovered painting that she was able to express this personal view of the world. Travel helped her see and define what her heart was drawn to; not in the grand or extraordinary but in simple unassuming beauty. Painting gave her the opportunity to unite visual images with a montage of personal memories stored over my lifetime. This approach to painting has earned Joyce dozens of awards and Signature Member status in the American Watercolor Society. Learn more about her three excellent video workshops here.


  1. I am so enamoured with your paintings ! I so appreciate your color and tonal sensibilities. I plan on subscribing to En Plein Air Mag.

  2. I often wondered whether Joyce Hicks lived in Westmoreland County PA. A couple of her paintings remind me of the rural area outside my hometown of Mount Pleasant.

  3. For you to have discovered the elements and principles later in life illustrates the importance of arts education from pre k on up through high school. I based my thirty years of teaching k-5 on the elements and principles. Having that learning early in life is important not just to the growing artist, but equally important to children’s learning to appreciate and understand works of art as future consumers of art.

  4. Hi Kelly,

    thank you for sharing this article about my work! I really appreciate it!

    You may not remember, but I shall never forget a fateful, lucky day long ago when you happened to view one of my paintings hanging in an American Watercolor Society Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Shortly afterwards you contacted me about doing a feature cover story for your Watercolor Artist Magazine about my work and travels. How amazed and honored I was at your invitation and not long after that another invitation came to author my book “Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes” for North Light Books. Your chance encounter with my painting has opened so many doors of opportunity for me that I will always feel eternally grateful to you and all others who set me on a beautiful artful journey that I could not have imagined.

    Thank you once again for your interest and support of my work, I appreciate it more than you can know.

    Your friend thru Art,


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