I don't get back to the blogosphere very often, but try to update when possible. It seems most of the online art action is happening on Facebook, where I also don't have much time to participate. Nevertheless, please look for me there, if we aren't connected already:
A big thank-you to the people who participated in workshops in Austin, Tallahassee, and the Cote d' Azur! Looking forward to returning to Idyllwild, Hawaii, and Oregon -- please see the schedule for details.
Spasibo bolshoi to Konstantin Sterkhov for kindly including me in this St. Petersburg, Russia exhibition, January 20-31, 2015. I'm also happy to see my painting Summer Wind on this poster! Many of my friends and colleagues are participating, wish I could be there.
Kostya, in addition to being a fantastic artist, is fast becoming one of the most important international ambassadors of watercolor - check out his blog and Facebook pages!
I've cut back on workshops, but am still accepting them in favorite places as well as select new destinations. More events will be added as they are confirmed.
If you or your group are interested in bringing me to your area for a workshop, judging, demonstration, lecture, or exhibition, please please use contact information on this page or the website contact page:
I was recently in Narbonne, France for the opening of the World Watercolour Competition, sponsored by The Art of Watercolour magazine. This is the largest and most important watercolor exhibition that has happened in Europe, and I was very flattered to be one of the judges. The selection was almost impossible as there were simply too many incredible paintings for the space and awards allotted. This speaks well for the organizers, and all credit must go to the magazine staff, particularly Janine Gallizia.
The venue was beautiful, and the opening attended by 800+ people. Held in conjunction with the 2014 Narbonne Biennale, the whole town was inundated with watercolor -- exhibitions, demonstrations, and workshops going on everywhere. I don't believe I've seen anything quite like it in our medium, and it was a very impressive spectacle. I met a lot of friends there, old and new. :)
Special congratulations go to Cheng Chen-wen for his painting Loving Mother, which was awarded the gold medal and a sizable cash prize.
The catalog is an encyclopedia of contemporary watercolor; nearly every serious watercolorist working today is represented -- almost 1900 paintings by over 1600 artists. A must-have for any watercolor enthusiast. Ordering information here:
I'm very happy to be a guest of honor in Caudete, Spain. There is a lot of travel coming up, but I am going to do my best to attend. Thank you to the organizers, Wladimir Lopez de Zamora and Nieves Bordel for inviting me!
Bolshoiya spasibo to Konstantin Sterkhov
and the publisher Lan for this book of incredible watercolor art. Many
of my best watercolor friends and heroes are included - Stanislaw
Zoladz, Ong Kim Seng, Viktoria Prischedko,
Sergey Temerev, Jeannie McGuire, Ted Nuttall, Eugen Chisnichan, Xavier
Swolfs, Barbara Nechis, Shirley Trevena, Linda Baker, Iain Stewart,
Samir Mondal, my NAWA colleagues Carol Carter, Keiko Tanabe, Mark
Mehaffey, Thomas W Schaller, and others. Not to mention the great
Konstantin himself (with a fantastic painting that is in our own
I wrote the foreword:
Perhaps more than any other visual medium, watercolor has been bound by
tradition, institutions, and its perceived limitations. As recently as
fifty years ago, a person undertaking watercolor had the weight of the
medium's history on his or her brush, unassuaged by the liberating
developments such as occurred in oil painting, decades prior.
Watercolorists were long-burdened by notions of what their medium should
be, rather than emboldened by what it could be.
Eventually, watercolor caught up with the modern art revolution, and creativity exploded.
While the medium is still deeply rooted in, and to a degree encumbered
by, its customs and perceptions, there has been a significant influx of
ideas, techniques, and materials that have broadened its scope and
critical acceptance. Indeed, a number of contemporary watercolor artists
have expanded the repertoire to include subject matter and methods well
outside of the conventional realm, sometimes on a scale previously
reserved for canvases. While change and innovation often induce
resistance among traditionalists and purists, the advancement of the
medium depends upon trailblazers in order to survive and remain
This book, the second in a series, highlights the
work of a number of artists committed to expressing a personal vision,
while taking watercolor to places seldom seen. They respect what has
come before without repeating it, and set an example for others aspiring
to master a notoriously difficult and elusive medium.
doubtless speak for all of the artists in my heartfelt thanks to
Konstantin Sterkhov and the publisher, for providing an inside look at
our backgrounds, thought processes, opinions, and creations -- a
celebration of the magic we call watercolor.
Summer Wind is a painting I did as a demonstration for the very beautiful publication, Pratique des Arts. I was aware of this magazine, but had never actually seen a copy until I received No. 114, with the above article. This was a logical extension to the article I wrote for Art of Watercolour last year on the subject of watercolor vs. acrylic watercolor, and the idea was to combine the mediums in a way such as to highlight their respective properties. The first layers were thrown at the paper while attached to the studio wall in order to create a spontaneous underpainting from which to build an image. This was done in acrylic watercolor so that subsequent applications would not disturb the resulting effects. I then switched to standard watercolor, taking advantage of its impermanence, should corrections be necessary. Painting watercolor on top of acrylic watercolor also creates a resist that can enhance textures.
Merci beaucoup to the publishers for inviting me to produlace this demonstration. Though the magazine is published in French, it is so superbly put together (high quality paper, and outstanding reproductions), I think it would be of interest to any painter, even those who do not speak or read French. (moi!)
A big "shey-shey" to Zhou Tianya and Ruan Hoe for including me in this terrific new book. It is apparently the best selling watercolor book in China. It is aimed solely at the Chinese market, so I'm sorry to say there is no English version.
* * *
second volume of Inspirations & Technical Breakthroughs, Secrets
from the Contemporary International Watercolor Masters, Vol. II in Chinese
language by Ruan Hoe and Zhou Tianya is published by Jilin Fine Arts
Press, China, in December 2013. Following the first volume, the second
volume features another nine outstanding contemporary American
watercolor masters: Mary Whyte, Susan Swinand, Dean Mitchell, Ted
Nuttall, George James, Joseph Alleman, Carl Purcell, Peggy Zalucha and
Nicholas Simmons. In the book they candidly discuss their inspirations,
generously share their creative processes and show-case their exemplary
work with Chinese readers.
& Technical Breakthroughs is the product of an international
collaboration. Editor Dr. Ruan Hoe, a Chinese-American watercolorist and
a principal researcher at UCLA, translated and edited the text. Second
editor Zhou Tianya, a well-known Chinese professional watercolor artist,
member of Chinese Artist Association, signature member of NWS and AWS,
curator of Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial 2013-14, originally fathered the
idea and designed the entire book. As the first of its kind, the first
volume was critically acclaimed in China and its first edition’s 4000
copies are almost sold out. The second volume (4000 copies) is currently
being distributed to all major Chinese bookstores and also available
online (paper back, 11.6”x 8.8”, 144 pages, ¥78.00RMB, approximately
$12.50USD). The third volume of this title with nine artists from the
United Kingdom is in the planning phase and scheduled due out in later