PIERCETON — Watercolor, as an art medium, has always been fascinating to me. Watercolor is also known as aquarelle, a French word that describes this painting method. Watercolor work uses paint that can be thinned with water because the paints are made of pigments that ride in water.
The watercolor process is used to paint on special paper that comes in different weights, textures and sizes. Because the paint can be moved and changed with water, it can be fragile. Most watercolor art is framed under glass for this reason.
Two artists who have manipulated this type of painting to the “Nth” degree are Jamie Wyeth and Winslow Homer. The Wyeth family has left a legacy that is carried on through Jamie. It all began with N.C. Wyeth, the grandfather who became famous for his illustrations of books like “Michael Strogoff” by Jules Verne and 112 others including “Treasure Island.” His son, Andrew then followed in his father’s footsteps and became a well-known artist.
Today we have the grandson, Jamie Wyeth, born in 1946, who modified watercolors to gain more vivid depth of color utilizing a technique called drypoint. Jamie Wyeth talked about his family legacy when he said, “What I learned from my father was that watercolor offers an artist a great freedom to respond immediately to something of interest. My father helped change the prevailing attitude about watercolor by showing how it could be used as a serious, expressive medium.”
Our second candidate for high quality watercolor work is Winslow Homer. Homer is considered by many to be the foremost watercolorist of the 19th century.
The painting you see has deep vivid colors and great depth. Homer taught himself many of his watercolor techniques and applied them to landscapes, seascapes, like the one you see here, and 19th century America scenery and activities. Homer was generous with his talent and encouraged others who also began utilizing watercolor work in their repertoire.
Homer was born in February 1836 in Boston, thus began his life in a bustling port city with many seascape and Americana opportunities for artists. He became educated in art beyond his own experimentation through the National Academy Museum and School. Today, the work of Winslow Homer is revered around the world and you will find his watercolors in well-known museums and university collections.
Upcoming and Current Events:
- The Lisa Bemish exhibit opened at Warsaw City Hall Gallery on July 22. Visit 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.
- August offers the agricultural art contest of the tomato festival in Pierceton. Enter at LAA.
- Adult and Children Workshops always available. Call (574) 594-9950 for information.
- Jan Hazelett work on exhibit at LAA through August
- Robert Hudson will demonstrate painting of mountains at the Aug. 24 meeting of Lakeland Art Asoc. Seating is first come, first served in the gallery.