I began painting in watercolors nearly twenty years ago, in part to understand why I found myself increasingly attracted to watercolors over other media when visiting a museum or gallery. Having had no formal studio art education, I took watercolor and drawing classes at the Arlington (MA) Center for the Arts and in the intervening years have attended numerous painting workshops in the Boston area, Maine, California, Scotland, and Italy.
I'm temperamentally drawn to certain aspects of the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, specifically its focus on finding beauty in the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. I tend to paint old buildings, ruins, weathered boats, or other man-made objects whose worn and crumbling surfaces suggest time's passage. When painting a landscape, I will often include architectural or other man-made elements that might suggest the notion of time.
For me, the challenge of watercolor painting is in finding a style that will allow for rendering the surface of things without losing the medium's characteristic freshness, transparency, and luminosity.
Painting on the grounds of the Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, near Montalcino, Tuscany
Photo courtesy of Pat Pratt, October 2016