What might terrify some artists inspires Russell Jewell, a watercolor painter who will speak at the next Anderson Artists Guild meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Anderson Arts Center.
Jewell relishes the experience of plein air painting competitions, in which painters work outside and complete a piece in as little as two hours. “I love the idea of going out and coming in with a finished piece,” he said. “Every plein air has a quick draw in which they blow a horn after two hours and then the work is on the easel for sale.” He won the $1000 Tilghman Island Artists' Choice Award last year in Maryland, where he painted 13 pieces and sold 10, and will be competing this April at the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational in Atlanta for a $30,000 purse. He even owns a patent on a viewfinder for plein air painting.
He encourages all artists to try their hands at plein air. “You feel like you’re participating in the work because you’re standing in what you’re creating,” he said.
An art teacher at Easley High School, Jewell has a doctorate in art education. He has also published in eight of the Splash: Best of Watercolor series of books. Recent recognition includes the $1000 John Singer Sargent Award from the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, acceptance into the American Watercolor Society in New York, and representation by the Wells Gallery on Kiawah Island, S.C.
His subjects are many. “I’m painting light,” he said. “I have had portraits, landscapes, and still lifes exhibited. I don’t paint in a particular vein or subject matter. I’m looking for interesting light.”
At the AAG meeting, Jewell will be discussing a method of problem-solving self-criticism applicable to watercolor painting as well as other media. “We will look at how to see the piece as finished before you get there.”
For more information about Russell Jewell, visit https://www.russelljewell.com/.