Rachel’s Garden: a favorite watercolor painting

Rachel’s Garden, ~24×35, watercolor on Yupo, museum-grade plexiglass, $3985 includes shipping and handling in continental US.

On Wednesday I challenged you to do 30 watercolor paintings in 45 days. “What is your favorite watercolor painting?” a reader responded. My favorites are by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and Anders Zorn, I said. Then she clarified that she meant a watercolor painting by me. That’s harder.

To me watercolor is like drawing: an extremely personal medium. I use it to sketch out ideas and for travel. And of course I teach watercolor once a year aboard schooner American Eagle. I like my watercolor quick and dirty, in part because it helps me get over myself when I get tied in knots in oil painting.

Bunker Hill overlook, watercolor on Yupo, approx. 24X36, $3985 framed includes shipping and handling in continental US.

Watercolor paintings are infinitely varied. The result depends on the paper used, the brand of paint and the character of the artist. I gravitate to Yupo and hot-press paper because I like their editability. Others like the soft lyricism of cold-press, and indeed that’s what I generally use and teach with at workshops.

Path to the Lake, ~24X36, watercolor on Yupo, framed in museum-grade plexiglass, $2985 includes shipping and handling in continental US.

It’s very hard for me to identify a favorite painting, though. It might be Glade, which long ago went to a private collector. Or Clary Hill Blueberry Barrens, which I think captures the excitement of a windy day at the top of the world. Or Bunker Hill Overlook, which is a painting of just one of the more than 6000 lakes and ponds in Maine. Or Path to the Lake, which reminds me of my pal Clif Travers and his cemetery obsession. But right this second, I think Rachel’s Garden, above, is my favorite. As watercolor paintings go, it’s loose as a goose, and I like that.

The deck of the lovely and gracious American Eagle.

I’ve tossed in one from my time teaching aboard the schooner, because it’s on cold-press. It’s one of the few paintings I’ve done that’s not for sale.

My 2024 workshops: