I painted my first watercolors when I was about 15, after having worked in oils for several years in Tobey’s studio. It was on the encouragement of my high school art teacher to “branch out”. So I started to “play” with watercolor, exploring a sort of abstract expressionist, “Pollockian” like action oriented approach, (you can see a few of these under the Gallery menu: Abstract & Non-Objective), while still practicing and developing my work in oil with Tobey. These watercolors developed into a series, what I called “Prana Painting”. I was, among other things, practicing Yoga at the time, which included Pranayama – breathing exercises. Prana, in the Yoga teachings, is Universal energy that flows through everything and can be directed in the body through breath-work. It is very similar to the understanding of Chi in Taoist and Buddhist philosophy, and a variety of names under different cultures. These expanded into large acrylic and mixed media paintings. Not long after, when I was an undergraduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I had the good fortune to formally study watercolor under the Japanese painter Kaji Aso, who required studying of calligraphy with him before watercolor. These led to the exploration of “oriental” style landscapes on rice paper and vegetable parchment using sumi ink and brush and then in 1976 I brought these materials into the field to apply them to plein air painting, (you can see a few examples of these at the end of this section).
Plein Air From the Casa Patio Rembrandt watercolor on 1/4 sheet, (15″x 11″), Gemini cold press This painting was done in a couple of morning sessions on the patio outside my bedroom in Boca de Tomatlan, looking east into the jungle and mountains beyond
At the Staircase Rembrandt watercolor on 1/4 sheet, (15″x 11″), Gemini cold press This painting, done from photos, is a view of a location not far from the Casa in Boca de Tomatlan, MX. The dock and staircase leading to the home of my dear friends Douglas (Casa Architect) and his wife Esther as viewed from the water.
Tulip Fields Near Keukenhof Gardens Watercolor on 1/4 sheet, (15″x 11″), Gemini cold press This painting was done April 2022 as a demo for a group of artists I lead on a painting and museum tour of Holland organized by the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts
Nocturne at Saran Lake plein air watercolor on 9″x12″ Fredrix w.c. canvas
Mist on the Farm Rembrandt watercolor on 9″ x 12″ Rembrandt cold press paper
Rainy Morning, (Plein air at VIC, Adirondacks) 6″x8″ on Fabriano cold press
Morning at Buck Pond, (Plein air Adirondacks) 6″x8″ on Fabriano cold press (private collection, Saran Lake)
If you would like to see more watercolor portraits go to Galleries in the Menu at top, go to Portraits in the Galleries and choose Traditional and scroll down.
While studying calligraphy, Sumi-e brush, and watercolor painting with the Japanese painter Kaji Aso at the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts I thought it would be a cool and interesting challenge, (as well as a novel idea) to paint with sumi-e brush and ink on rice paper in plein air. This is such a painting done when visiting my folks that summer in 1976, visiting a place I used to hang out at often during high school.