Stir the Emotions!
Thomas Schaller’s watercolor paintings alone are enough to stir emotion in the viewer. But add to that his journey, and you’ll have a new level of appreciation for what he brings to the table.
Schaller is one of our featured artist-instructors, and his story inspires me to want to paint, explore and mostly live an artful life. Enjoy his work, his words of wisdom and his hard-won art tips! Cheers!
The Hand of the Artist
I was drawn to watercolor while studying not fine art, but architecture, at The Ohio State University. I specifically valued the technically precise use of the medium as best exemplified by the concepts of the Beaux-Arts movement, wherein ideas about design and the ideals of classicism — not the skill of the artist — are of utmost importance. Any graphic expression of these ideals sought to minimize the role of the individual — in a sense, to deny the very hand of the artist.
A great many watercolors produced by masters of the Beaux-Arts movement are exquisite in their clarity, precision and luminosity, yet they’re intentionally devoid of individual expressive characteristics. It was in this vein that my work progressed for years, as I attempted to perfect the gradations and transitions of transparent, luminous watercolor washes.
Still, something was missing. Gradually, I began to long for my work to have something of the same expressive power seen in the work of John Singer Sargent, John Sell Cotman and then later, Edward Seago and Robert Wade. I no longer wanted my work to deny the hand of the artist. Technical expertise just wasn’t enough — it was time for emotion to play a part.
So, while studying with Joseph Zbukvic in 2009–and in part with his encouragement–I began to follow a new path. I began to build on a base of technique while also exploring the role of intuition, emotion and expressiveness.
I do believe that at last, my skill as an artist is finally beginning to flourish. I still have much to learn, but it’s such an exciting journey. And I’ve never looked back.
~Thomas W. Schaller
A New Lease on Your Watercolor Skills
Learn Schaller’s watercolor painting techniques in the Design Powerful Watercolors with Thomas Schaller Collection, which is only available at North Light Shop. It is the newest collection from Schaller and is giving hundreds of artists a new lease on their watercolor art. Join in to claim those same skills for yourself!