The southwest attracts many fine artists as the colors of the land
and its natural beauty are a perfect subject for the watercolor medium
painter. Watercolor paint has many properties which can be utilized
from soft washes to the application of delicate intricate detail.
Unlike any other medium, the application of the paint can be difficult
to control. Sometimes it can be touch and go. But not all mistakes
are disastrous. They can work to an advantage with skill and imagination.
Other water based paints are acrylic, gouache [which can be mistaken
as poster paint], and tempera. Watercolor paint if mixed with egg
has been a substitute for tempera, taking all the qualities of pure
tempera lacking only the richness and translucence obtained with pure
pigment. Mixed with clove oil to make the tempera paint.
Watercolor paint can be applied to silk as well as white paper using
washes or puddled into more intense passages. The pigment is held
together with a gum derived from acacia trees. This has been a less
expensive way of making a painting than the methods required for oil
paintings, which involves canvas and stretcher and of course a much
easier method of transporting if needed to paint outdoors. This became
very popular method with artists in the 1930s.
Inspirations of watercolor paintings can be found in the works of
Tom Hill, Norman Rockwell, Zoltan Szabo, Tony Couch, Ted Kautzsky,
Charles Burchfiels, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent, Irving Shapiro,
Frank Wilcox, Edgar A. Whitney, Vincent van Gogh, Fred Williams and
Tom Lynch. These are few of the many who have inspired the paths before
The Harwood Museum has a permanent collection of outstanding works
by John Marin, Victor Higgins, Cady [Henry] Wells, Keith Crown, Michio
Takayama, Dean Porter and others. Most of these were painted between
the 1920s and 1990s.