With the popularity of short videos all over social media, painter Ellen Crimi-Trent, 50, is harnessing the trend and incorporating it into her watercolor work. The Abington resident posts time-lapse videos of herself painting watercolor scenes, as well as stills of the finished product on her Instagram feed @ellencrimitrent. We spoke with Crimi-Trent between paintings.
Q. What inspired you to delve into watercolors?
A. I’ve been painting watercolor and acrylics since I was a teenager. The feel of it is fast, fun, free, and you have to work with it really quickly, whereas acrylics you have more time. It’s a challenge in a way to do things so quickly but it’s fun to do.
Q. Your feed seems to tell a chronological story of holidays and seasons. Do you have a favorite time of year that inspires your art?
A. Probably spring and summer because of the nature. For watercolor, I love to paint flowers the most — really more than anything else. I also like to paint patterns, but there is a lot of floral in my feed.
Q. For the patterns, where do you find your inspiration?
A. A lot of them are in my head. I also have lots of books on patterns and floral design and find ideas in ancient cultures too, because different cultures have patterns — Moroccan, African, Indian. The Internet is full of that, so it’s great. I find patterns in nature too. The patterns have been there for generations and centuries and you kind of take your interpretation of it.
Q. In your bio, you say you are an angel lover and many of your paintings reflect that. What started that love?
A. It was one of those years that was trying for us as a family, so I started painting angels and I feel that they are always around you so I decided to paint them more. It’s a really hard time right now for a lot of people and I found that people were buying them for people with cancer or for someone who had lost somebody, so I felt like I was giving them some sort of joy with my work.
Q. Why did you decide to use Instagram as a platform for your art?
A. Everyone is doing it, frankly. As an artist, I’ve always been techie and I like all the new stuff. I like Instagram, and there are so many amazing people on there. Snapchat is the one thing I just can’t wrap my head around!
Q. Do you participate in the artist community on IG?
A. Yes and I’m blown away by some of the people on Instagram from all over the world. Young people, older people, everyone. It’s full of inspiration, ya know? And I don’t think it’s ever going to stop. I think it’s only going to get bigger and bigger.