The ART of Watercolor

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Missouri Artists On Main 315-321 South Main St.  St. Charles, MO 63301  636-724-1260 http://wwwmaomgallery.com

A type of paint in which water is the dispersal agent. The particles of  pigment are bound together by a colloid, usually gum arabic, which is spread on to the painting surface, normally paper, by the action of a brush loaded with water. After the water has evaporated the pigments remain bound to the paper by the gum arabic. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.)

Most watercolor is transparent, allowing the white of the paper to shine through and giving a luminous effect determined by the degree of dilution of the watercolor. Painting with pigment and water goes back to antiquity and occurs throughout the world. The ancient Egyptians dipped brushes made from rush stems in water and rubbed them on cakes of ink and gum to decorate papyrus rolls. The Chinese were beginning to paint on paper by about the 9th century (although they were using other supports, such as silk, before this). In the West, early manuscripts were illuminated with transparent washes adorning ink outlines or more elaborate applications heightened with gold.

The early decades of the 19th century can be claimed as the great age of watercolor when its exponents included such masters as John Sell Cotman, Thomas Girtin, and one of the greatest masters of British watercolor landscape painting J. M. W. Turner. They also saw the foundation of artists’ societies specifically devoted to the promotion and exhibition of watercolors such as the Society of Painters in Watercolour (1804). During the Victorian era watercolors were avidly collected by the newly emerging industrial and middle classes and were particularly championed by the artist and critic John Ruskin. As a medium it has continued to be popular to the present day.

The advantages of watercolor lie in the ease and quickness of its application, in the transparent effects achievable, in the brilliance of its colors. Watercolors have a delicacy difficult to achieve in oil and are equally flexible, lending themselves to immediate expression of a visual experience. Their handling demands considerable skill as overpainting of flaws is usually impossible. Watercolor was traditionally a comparatively perishable medium, vulnerable to sunlight, dust, and contact with glass surfaces, but the use of modern pigments has made it much more stable.

Missouri Artist On Main features the work of several Missouri watercolor artist.

Jean McMullen owner and director of the gallery is recognized for her work in and teaching of the medium.

Jean McMullen_white_iris Jean McMullen “White Iris”

Janine Helton takes a different approach with the medium as shown in her piece “Here Comes Trouble” which was juried into the Missouri Watercolor Society’s 2016 International Exhibition.

Janine Helton_here comes trouble

Beautiful florals by MAOM watercolor artist LaVerne Emanuel

LaVerne Emanuel

Alicia Farris, MAOM watercolor artist and teacher masterfully captures  personality in her portraits.

Alicia Farris_portrait

“Heritage Man” by Alicia was exhibited in the 40th annual Western Federation of Watercolor Societies exhibition that took place in Lubbock Texas April 16 – July 15, 2015.

MAOM is open every day in beautiful, historic St. Charles Missouri. Please come by and see the work of all the talented watercolor artists.

Thinking of picking up the brush and opening a box of watercolor paints? Check the MAOM web page ( http://www.maomgallery.com/ ) or call the gallery ( 636.724.1260 )for dates of upcoming watercolor classes and workshops.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The ART of Watercolor

  1. Clinton, I love your posts!

    How might I go about doing this for another gallery I’m in? How do you get followers? Do you send this out to the entire MAOM email list? I looked on MAOM website but didn’t see a link. Is this considered a blog? As you can see, I’m pretty much clueless:). Maybe I could stop in and see you at the gallery next time you work (26th?) and you could teach me?

    Janine Helton http://www.janheltonartworks.com

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    Like

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