How Doing the Limbo Earned a Man Immortality

I’d like to congratulate self-taught artist E. Richard Clark. The National Watercolor Society (NWS) has recognized his watercolor painting Antigua, Street Limbo (below) with the “NWS Purchase Award with Silver Star.” In Watercolor Artist magazine, Juror Barbara Nechis had this to say: “I expect the top paintings in any exhibition, and hopefully all that are selected, to be technically competent; that’s a given. What catches my eye and captures my imagination is the story being told. Why did the artist choose this subject, topic, viewpoint, color and composition? What is the artist trying to say?

“Antigua, Street Limbo was a memorable painting. It was the expression of the portrait that caught my attention and will remain in my consciousness going forward.”

watercolor portrait painting by E. Richard Clark

Antigua, Street Limbo (watercolor on paper, 22×28) by E. Richard Clark

A word from the artist:

“While I was on a cruise, the ship docked in Antigua. As I was walking through the town, I noticed a crowd gathering around this man with the darkest bluish-black skin. I was inspired immediately to paint him. His body was youthful and wiry; his face told a different story. I wanted to portray the insults that age inflicted upon his human physiognomy.

“I watched him hustle the crowd, passing his cap as he engaged spectators. He put on music and placed a bar inches above the ground. Lowering his body, he began writhing moves of a contortionist, inching along until he passed underneath the bar. He stood proudly, smiling through missing teeth, bowing to the crowd.

“I work from photos, and I edit according to what adds to my main focus. I do most of my planning in my head; once I get an idea, I make a line drawing using a No. 2 mechanical lead pencil. My technique is pretty straightforward. I work from light to dark and use as many glazes as necessary to achieve the end results I’m looking for.”
E. Richard Clark

Until next time,

Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!



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