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THE AWESOMENESS

of Watercolor Art

Watercolors are back with a boom. As such, they’re widely used in contemporary advertising and have also been endorsed by numerous popular creatives (see James Blake). This is the awesomeness of watercolor art!

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

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image source: www.tate.org.uk

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851) is pretty much the man who started it all, not that he was the first to use watercolors. He was the first to use them in the very specific manner that, as you can see, hasn’t changed that much over the last two centuries. Frequently called the painter of light, Turner is one of the great British masters, who’s work seems as timely as it was at the time of its creation. The hues truly inspire, and you might even notice a hint of a castle there.

Craig Goch, Moel Hebog, North Wales

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image source: www.metmuseum.org

Another of the British Grandmasters, Cornelius Varley (1781 - 1873) was a devoted watercolor painter who focused mainly on the architecture and figures found in nature. With a bit more demonstrative penchant for detail and leanings towards scientific approach (in comparison with Turner’s instinct-driven watercolor work), Cornelius might have been considered a conservative. However, today he is as hip as it gets.

The Color in Anything

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image source: www.creativereview.co.uk

Sir Quentin Blake is instantly recognizable for his distinctive work on illustrating the works of the legendary British author Roald Dahl. However, despite being a respectable elder (born in 1932), Blake hasn’t lost a scrap of his superb artistry and is as demanded amongst the crowd as during his heyday. His illustrations for the 2016’s album The Color in Anything by the British musician James Blake prove that he still has a considerable knack for creating watercolor wonders and shows just how timeless the technique really is.

Perfectly Minimal

watercolor-art-ruth-mccabe

image source: www.pinterest.com

Alright, the name might be a bit smaller than those above, but only in the context of art history. Other than that, Ruth McCabe is capable of equally amazing watercolor wonders, all of it, taking into account that the lady picked up the brush only in 1997, that is, by the time she was 51 years young. Still, her creations have as much of the wall mural potential as those of her gentleman counterparts: moody, perfectly minimal and open to interpretations.

Natural Paint

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image source: artweek.la

Jennifer Wolf is by no means a traditional watercolor artist. Instead of water, she uses mineral pigments collected from different geographic sites over a period of years. Her works are said to be rather intuitive (think of Pollock), utilizing the peculiar chemical properties of each mineral and thus creating strange organic layers. They look absolutely gorgeous, though. Here, it’s all about the creative process, where each mineral revives the memory of a specific region (be it Santa Monica, France or Peru) and reveals the beauty of a pure, natural color.

Insert a Very Long Title

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image source: www.tate.org.uk

Here is another one by William Turner, and why not. Just look at it; it’s exactly the same thing every third millennial is striving to get on their wall these days. Whether Turner was incredibly ahead of his time (in fact, not only artistically, but also human rights-wise) or was simply trolling his audiences in a kind of 19th century sense (the title of the particular painting, is A Wreck, Possibly Related to 'Longships Lighthouse, Land's End') remains mystique. Regardless, it’s an absolute embodiment of taste.

Dima’s Take

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image source: dimarebus.com

On a complete, yet genuinely beautiful dark side of the watercolor art, we have a young Russian gentleman called Dima Rebus. Sure, his socio-politically affected watercolor works may come off as rather unsettling, but it’s safe to say that the sheer technical ability alone is a serious pull in this case. Whether it’s a drunkard in the company of a giant rabbit and a hen (as an obvious angel/devil substitute) or a girl with a hooked lip, make sure to check his Tumblr page. It’s completely unbelievable.

Cityscapes

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image source: note.taable.com

Who would have thought that cityscapes work so well when depicted using a set of watercolors. Iconic buildings, street corners and skylines, Amy Park takes the urban/industrial megastructures and adds a pinch of lightness to the texture-heavy sight. Documenting the gradual transformation of New York City with the help of a pencil and watercolor strokes, her works are especially compelling thanks to the cartoonish charms and the all in all feathery tone.

Calderara

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image source: www.fondazionecalderara.it

Antonio Calderara is one of the 20th century modernist giants, employing the same use of basic geometric figures and their correlations that made the likes of Malevich resonate in the early part of the century. Though somewhat of an almost conventional painter during the intro phase of his career, Calderara gradually reduced his compositions to the most fundamental elements- simple geometric figures. Lago di Garda comes off as somewhat of a juxtaposition of two Calderaras - the figurative painter from the 1920's and the formalist from the 1950's.

Creatures of Space

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image source: wsimag.com

Can an artwork capture the sunlight like it is and how it feels? The large-scale format watercolor artist Ekaterina Smirnova did exactly that with Colors of New Jersey. Her work revolves around the idea of humans existing in the vast void of space (therefore a lot of space-related subjects), and is usually created with rough brush strokes on a rough-textured paper, implementing numerous methods of paint appliance later in the process. Working together with musicians, scientists, and engineers, Ekaterina makes the watercolor art a true mixed-media experience. Once again, nothing much can be said here, you simply have to check her homepage. Exquisite!

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