I am a watercolor painter.
John Singer Sargent described watercolor as “making the best of an emergency.” Edgar Whitney states “You have a minute-and-a-half to get into an area and out – then stay out!” Mary Whyte says “In a watercolor, less is more. Less color in mixes, less glazing, less noodling.” and “Rarely is a painting finished too soon. In most cases, if a painting was ruined it was because the artist finished too late.”
Why does an artist choose watercolor as a medium? An oil painting the same size as a watercolor will sell for twice as much. Many galleries will not even show watercolors.
I am a watercolor painter. Why? There is something frightening, exciting and risky about painting a watercolor. There is no other medium that has the brilliant transparency of a watercolor. I have worked in many other mediums but I come back to my favorite. When you are in the middle of a large wet wash and the telephone rings…too bad for the caller.
Living in Ohio, we are honored with the tradition of many fine watercolor painters. Charles Burchfield, Alice Shille, George Bellows and Edward Potthast all have roots in Ohio. The Ohio Watercolor Society is a vibrant organization and the regional groups are extremely active. I am the current president of the Central Ohio Watercolor Society that was founded in 1967. We are one of the few groups that require only transparent watercolors, no white paint, acrylic, gouache or inks.
At our annual Christmas party the members all shared why they love watercolor. I would love to hear why other artists choose the medium. Are you having a hard time getting into galleries? Are watercolors hard to sell?
I was lucky enough to be in art school in the early 70's so there was still some of the "old school" who taught watercolor. Unfortunately now most schools do not offer a class. I have been painting in mostly watercolor since then. I fell in love with Sargent's watercolors as well as Winslow Homer. I wish I had had the opportunity to study with Edgar Whitney - a few of my older artist friends have. I studied 3 summers with portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler (in oils) and my cabin mate was Mary Whyte, one of the best known contemporary watercolor artists. I love the transparency and spontaneity of the medium as well as the fact it is unforgiving.
Presently I have been working the last 3 years on a series of paintings influenced by a local West African dance and drum company. I am scheduled to have a 2nd show of this series this May. http://www.suzanneaccetta.com/Thiossane.html I also teach privately, give workshops and at Otterbein University.
Well, I have gone on too long, but I am thrilled there is a museum dedicated to watercolor.
Suzanne Accetta has been drawing and painting for over thirty-five years. Accetta's paintings are exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally in public, private and corporate collections as well as juried exhibitions. In May 2011, her series “African Rhythms in Paint” was the inaugural exhibition for the new Homeport Gallery at the Lincoln Theatre. Accetta was featured in Columbus Monthly, American Artist Magazine and in the book The Complete Colored Pencil Book. Her biography is included in Who’s Who in American Art. Recently, Accetta was selected to appear in two publications; The Best of Worldwide Watermedia and The Best of American Portraits and Figures.
Presently she works primarily in watercolor and in all her art; she tries to emphasize character, expression and feeling. Calvin J. Goodman wrote in the July, 1989 issue of American Artist Magazine, "Accetta tries to employ some narrative elements in every painting. She is a keen student of faces and human anatomy. As a result, her work shows great empathy for her subjects." Accetta is a much sought after lecturer, demonstrator, juror, and teacher. She has illustrated children’s books for Continental Press and teaches drawing and painting at Otterbein University in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Suzanne Accetta, www.suzanneaccetta.com