Intro and Latest News  

Welcome to my website.

You will notice that almost all of the paintings displayed have been sold. I typically do not do editions of prints. However, if you see a painting and would like to have a print, I can do a “One Off” print as an Artist’s Proof. These are museum quality Giclee prints. They run between $450.00 and $750.00 depending on the size of the print. Also, if you would like to discuss my painting a similar painting for you, please send me an email at laurinmc@aol.com. I would love to hear from you regarding questions or comments about my paintings.

All the best,

Laurin

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Upcoming Workshops

I am teaching the following upcoming workshops. Participants will learn how to see, draw, and paint objects in realistic detail with watercolor.

July 14-17, 2021
4-day workshop in Matthews, North Carolina
Cost: $645
Learn more and register at Award Winning Artist Workshops.

August 10-13, 2021
4-day workshop in Reno, Nevada, hosted by the Sierra Watercolor Society (SWS)
Please contact SWS Vice-President, Linda Halicki, for details: halickilinda@gmail.com
I don't teach many workshops out west, so I hope you will take advantage of my being in the Reno area and join us.

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NEWS

Projectors for Tracing Your Art

Over the years I have used quite a number of projectors, from opaque projectors to 35 mm Kodak Projectors. They were mostly inadequate because of one or two flaws; the lens were not sharp enough, the lamps were too weak, or the lens were flawed, such as they were weak at the edges.

Then Art-O-Graph came out with a series of terrific digital projectors. They were light, portable, had sharp lenses and a lot of lumens etc. Then, several months ago, without any notice, Art-O-Graph went out of business.

The art materials purchasers at Cheap Joe’s contacted JG, the company that made the projectors for Art-O-Graph. Cheap Joe’s now carries two LG projects, which are very similar to the ones sold by Art-O-Graph.

These projectors do not have all the bells and whistles that the Art-O-Graph projectors did, such as series of grids that can be superimposed on the image, a red filter, etc. I did not use any of those add-ons anyway.

The protectors can be found on Cheap Joe’s website: https://www.cheapjoes.com/lg-cinebeam-led-digital-projectors.html 

The projector I would recommend is the CineBeam PH150G. It is small and light It has plenty of lumens, especially if you are projecting in a dim room. It is listed at $349.99

The CineBeam HF60LA has a lot more lumens. It is listed at $949.99. You really only need this many lumens if you are working ion very large pieces or you are working in an area that is difficult to darken.

Most of the digital projectors on the market are made for projecting either PowerPoint images and are therefore very low resolution, or they are made to project TV images. They are also not very high resolution. The biggest problem with those made for projecting TV images is that they cannot project a very small image. The smallest is image is about 20x30.

Tape for Masking Watercolors

Many of you have heard me recommend masking tape, the kind that originally was made by 3M and that made by Pro-Tape as a safe and effective way to mask watercolors. However, both of these products have changed dramatically, and I no longer recommend them.

In checking with the manufacturers, I found that the glue that was used on these tapes is no longer manufactured. There just weren’t enough architects and engineers using the tape any longer and the art market wasn’t large enough to justify making a new batch at the scale that made economic sense. In fact, the glue had not been made since 2018. It has taken that long for the remaining product to flow through the supply chain.

I have been researching alternatives and I do have a new recommendation. It is another product manufactured by Pro-Tape and is distributed, at present, to a limited number of stores and on-line providers.

The tape is called “ph neutral Masking Tape” and is sold under the Art Alternatives brand. That is a line of art products distributed by Macpherson.

The tape is more translucent because it is a bit thinner than the previous tape, but the characteristics of the glue are very similar to drafting tape. I have used it on a complex painting was pleased with the results.

The tape should be burnished with your finger when the tape is touching the watercolor paper. However, if you are using the tape on an area that has previously been painted you will need to burnish the edges well to prevent infiltration under the tape. That is just like using the old tape.

At present, Cheap Joe is not stocking the tape. I hope that changes soon. The tape, 1” x 60 yds., varies in price from about $10 at Fineartstore.com to $16 at Michaels.

Note that this is a new product and not all on-line stores have put it on their web site. It has a blue label.

Below is a list of stores that sell the tape:

Wet Paint (Online & Minnesota)
FineArtStore.Com/Rochester Art (Online and New York)
David Art Center (Louisiana)
The Merri Artist (Online & Oregon)
Art materials Online (Online & Minnesota)
Michaels (Online Only)
Casey's Crafts (Washington State)
Iron oxide (British Columbia)
Columbia Art & Drafting (Oregon)

(Thanks to Andrew Cook of Savoir Faire for supplying this list.)

In doing my research I heard of many other products that others are using successfully. At one end of the scale, they ranged from Clear Cover, a clear shelf covering manufactured by Con-Tac and a similar product made by Duck, as in Duck Tape. These are available from Amazon and big-box grocery retailers, such as Walmart. The other end of the spectrum is Nichi Ban, a rare and expensive tape, available in many widths, from Japan. It is very translucent and is fragile.

Many use the painters masking tape from the hardware or builders supply but remove most of the high tackiness from the tape by rubbing the tacky side on fabric before applying it to the paper. Joe Miller uses artists tape but removes that high tack by rubbing it across his painter’s his apron. The biggest draw back to these products is that they are not translucent and therefore you can’t see through them to make cuts.

If you use another product successfully, I’d like to hear from you. Please include the products trade name and where it can be purchased.

Publications

My paintings and I are featured in the December/January issue of Garden & Gun magazine. Click here to read the article (PDF).

Recent Awards

My painting, Red Apples on Foil, was selected for inclusion in the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolor 138th Open Annual Winter Exhibition. The exhibition was in the Royal Scottish Academy Building in Edinburgh. Also, my painting, Wine Glasses, won the Award of Excellence (1st Place) in the Watercolor Society of Alabama's 2018 National Online Showcase.

1st Universal Watercolor Exposition 2018

I am pleased to announce that my painting Black, White & Red (38" x 28", 96.52 cm x 71.12 cm) has been accepted for inclusion in the 1st Universal Watercolor Exposition 2018 in China. Of the 3,100 entries, 100 paintings were chosen for the exposition, and twelve received awards. I am please to note that my painting received an Award of Excellence.

This article recently appeared in American Watercolor Weeekly, the weekly e-newsletter. The title they used is "Change Starts With Us." (www.americanwatercolor.net) I welcome your comments, laurinmc@aol.com.

The Value of Watercolor

The question comes to me in many forms. How do we advance the reputation of watercolor? How do we get over the age-old prejudices against our medium? How do we reposition the value of watercolor in the minds of collectors and gallery owners and print journalists and museum directors? How do we combat the idea that watercolor is a fugitive medium? How do we address the price differential between watercolor paintings and those painted in oil or acrylic?

I believe the answer lies with watercolorists. We need to believe in our medium. And we need to be more publicly supportive of our medium.

We must be the champions of watercolor.

I was recently in a discussion with several watercolorists about this issue. One said that he did not even call himself a watercolorist anymore, but rather referred to himself simply as an artist to avoid the stigma associated with watercolor. Another asked why he would want to be identified with a lesser art form, and therefore called himself a painter. I think that this approach is wrong, wrong, wrong, and seriously detrimental to our goal of advancing the recognition of watercolor as a superior art medium.

I think each one of us who prides him or herself on the creation of quality art through the medium of watercolor should stand up and shout, “I am a watercolorist, I am proud to be a watercolorist, and I am proud of my medium, watercolor.”

How can we get anyone to believe that watercolor is an equal-to or better-than art form if we hide our pride under a basket and duck our heads rather than admit that our chosen medium is flipping fantastic?

We must price our work accordingly.

Many times, we are our own worst enemy. I recently saw the price listing of paintings by 30 top watercolorists from all over the country. All of the paintings were of the same size and offered for sale unframed, in my mind a real “apples-to-apples” comparison. The prices ranged from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. If we are so uncertain about the value of our art, how can the public be wiser?

The good news is that we are beginning to see a number of examples of artists who have moved up the price point (yes, let’s face reality and talk about sales in the language of the marketplace, and not be embarrassed to use words such as price-point in relation to our creations) of their paintings in the galleries in which their work is shown.

Over the past five years, I have been able to move the price of my full-sheet paintings from $2,800 to over $5,000. And a number of my watercolor friends have greatly exceeded those price points. Agreed, you have to be in the right gallery in the right geographic area of the country, but still.

There are also many stories of watercolorists selling their paintings online for prices in the thousands. If you forever price your paintings in the hundreds, that is all you will get for them, and you will be supporting the public’s low opinion of the value of watercolors.

You have to get away from your painting board and understand the dynamics of the retail art market. If you just sit back and complain that no one is paying enough money for your paintings, then you are doomed to selling your paintings under their value.

If you are sitting there waiting for a top gallery to find you and sell your work at top dollar, you are in for a shock. It isn’t going to happen. If you want success in the market, you have to work to make that success happen.

If you only want to sell your paintings in Memphis, TN, then you have to be aware that Memphis is a $350 watercolor market. If you are not willing to go where you can get a better price, then you have no reason to complain. If you want to sell your paintings for thousands of dollars, you have to find galleries that will and can sell your paintings at those prices. They exist, probably not just down your street and around the corner.

If we continue to look for and support those establishments that treat us and our work with respect, we will raise the value of watercolor across the marketplace, across the country, and around the world.

If I could, I would wear an insignia on my collar that proclaims I am a watercolorist, just the way I wore my captain’s bars when I was in the Corps of Engineers of the US Army. I was proud of being an officer serving my country, and I am equally proud to be a watercolorist.

We must educate the art-buying public.

We all need to become advocates and educators in this cause. We need to submit our best work to competitions. We need to attend those exhibitions. We need to support galleries and exhibition spaces that show watercolor. We need to go to opening nights for shows for other watercolor artists.

Each of us plays a part in making watercolor a more important and desired medium. Get out there and spread the message. Watercolor is great!

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Check out the two new downloads on my inPrint page: how I paint my black backgrounds and other helpful information from my workshops.

In October, I was invited to attend and present at the Moscow Watercolor Festival at the Kalacheva School of Art. I was one of twelve guest artists invited to give workshops and demonstrations. I gave two demonstrations.

For the fourth time, I am the only watercolorist from the USA in the Beijing Biennale Exhibition, Beijing, China. Here I am in front of the National Art Museum of China (above right). I was selected to deliver a paper titled, “A History of the China and Dutch Silk Road Trade through Dutch Still Life Painting.”



My painting, "Still Life with Clouds" (above left), was selected for inclusion in the 2017 National Watercolor Society 97th International Open Exhibition. My painting, "Double Locked" (above right), was included in the Watercolor Salon II in Thessaloniki, Greece, in October 2017.

I am pleased and honored to report that my painting “Black, White & Red” has won “Best in Show” in the Richeson75 Still Life & Floral competition. Please go visit their site www.richeson75.com to see all the fantastic art that was submitted.

I am pleased to report that my painting Canning Jars on Black has been awarded the Morris Shubin, AWS, Memorial Award in this year’s American Watercolor Society 150th International Exhibition. The exhibition will be on view at the Salmagundi Club in New York City from April 3 through April 2, 2017.

My painting, Silver, Porcelain and Magnolias has been selected for inclusion in the 40th annual International Water Media Exhibition of the Watercolor Art Society – Houston. The exhibition will be on view from March 14 – April 6, 2017, at the WAS-H Building in Houston, TX.

I am, once again, the Country Leader for the USA for the Annual Fabriano in Watercolor International Exhibition to be held in Fabriano, Italy.