Watercolors and shopping with San Francisco artist Emily Proud

Life just looks way more beautiful through the lens of painter Emily Proud. The San Francisco-based artist translates horizons, nature and every day inspiration into abstract watercolor paintings that have the perfect balance of depth and simplicity. She exhibits her work regularly, mentors young artists and has collaborated with brands like AirBnB and One Kings Lane. We fell for Emily’s work instantly, but have since found out she also has enviable style, a gorgeous husband and an Instagram feed of dreams. We had to find out more.

WHAT DREW YOU TO WATERCOLORS? It just feels right. I’ve tried a lot of other things but I always come back to watercolor.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH WATERCOLOR? Watercolor is very honest. Once you make a mark you cannot erase or paint over it like you can with other media. It also has a bit of a life of its own. No matter how much I study watercolor, there will always be ways the paint behaves that I cannot control.

WHAT HAS BEEN INSPIRING YOU LATELY? I’m inspired by the California landscape, weather, current events and culture. Sometimes I paint in my sketchbook outside and then develop parts of those paintings into larger abstractions in my studio.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING PAINTERS? Let your work develop on paper. Paint all your ideas really quickly in a sketchbook until you have no more ideas. Then step back and see which ideas works the best. Decide what in the work is your strength and own it. Make work you want to live with both physically and emotionally, and that will continue to provoke you ten years from now.

WHAT THREE THINGS ARE ON YOUR SHOPPING WISH LIST RIGHT NOW? 1) Right now I’m eyeing sheer blouses with delicate floral prints. They look great under a blazer or a leather jacket with jeans. 2) Rachel Comey Mars Boot. I wear booties year-round in SF so I can never have enough. 3) Dresses with sleeves, like the Linter Dress by Osei-Duro. I just feel weird when my arms are bare I don’t know why!


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