Featured Artist Magali Lenarczak

Artist Magali Lenarczak presents a portfolio of vibrant, textural paintings that tell visual stories. See more of her work by visiting her website.


abstract watercolor portrait of an American Indian by Magali Lenarczak

“Look to the Future” watercolor on yupo, 13″ x 20″


Born in France, I spent my childhood between the Alps and the French Riviera. I migrated to the United States and am now based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


abstract watercolor by Magali Lenarczak

“Loud” watercolor on yupo, 18″ x 24″


I used to paint realistically until I transitioned into semi-abstraction. As an avid sketcher, I filled sketchbooks at the doctor’s office, watching my children and their friends at the playground, waiting for school to let out, at baseball practice, at the airport. I was always on the lookout for my next potential victim!


abstract watercolor of a group of people by Magali Lenarczak

“Fragments” watercolor on yupo, 20″ x 13″


This fun exercise taught me to draw fast and get the basics rapidly! Have you ever tried to sketch a playful toddler on the run? Some of these sketches were good studies and made into large paintings. Others may never get translated.


abstract watercolor of an African mother and child by Magali Lenarczak

“Mama Africa” watercolor on yupo, 11″ x 14″


Always on the search for new techniques and methods, I came across yupo, which is a non-absorbent synthetic paper. Until then I had painted watercolor in a classic, traditional way—plan carefully, work from light to dark and save your whites.


abstract watercolors of a woman sitting by Magali Lenarczak

From left to right: “Sale” (work in progress) watercolor on yupo, 20″ x 24″/”Sale” (finished) watercolor on yupo, 20″ x 24″


The discovery of this new medium felt very freeing and helped me to develop my abstract style. Now I can easily recover the lights by simply using a damp brush. Less planning is involved, which gives me more latitude for my active and fertile imagination.


abstract watercolor of a vase of hydrangeas by Magali Lenarczak

“Friendship” watercolor on yupo, 12″ x 16″


With yupo, the paint stays on top of the slick, plastic-like surface and remains vibrant. A spray of water and the pigments disperse, flowing and mixing creating bold, impromptu designs. The media behaves erratically and keeps me on my toes! I never know what will happen and this can lead into moments of surprise and joy.


watercolor portrait by Magali Lenarczak

“Metamorphose” watercolor on yupo, 20” x 13”


It is exciting to experiment and the possibilities are endless. In addition, I can imprint found objects, “charging” the image with emotional impact from these improvised tools—using scraping techniques, stencils, watercolor pencils, applying more paint or removing some which is a bit like sculpting, until my composition starts to appear.


abstract watercolor of a couple dancing by Magali Lenarczak

“Line Dancing” watercolor on yupo, 18″ x 24″


The piece is then set aside for evaluation. After minor adjustments, I arrive at making the decision to call it done.


abstract watercolor of a woman and daughter with a fish by Magali Lenarczak

“Fish Out of Water” watercolor on yupo, 13″ x 20″


Meaning and content are more important to me than aesthetics, given that I enjoy telling a story. As I see it, painting is a bridge to the soul and a necessary tool for communication and healing. At this time, my work is evolving into a semi-abstract style.


Artist Magali Lenarczak at work in her studio

Artist Magali Lenarczak at work in her studio


I am a member of the Women Painters of Washington. I feel very fortunate to be doing what I love and I am deeply moved when people appreciate my art.


Artist Magali Lenarczak invites you to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and the Women Painters of Washington site.


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