An Interview with Eric Weigardt – Watercolorist

The Duck Hunter 2012 AWS Gold Medal of Honor Eric Wiegardt AWS DF, NWS has taught over 5,000 watercolorists his popular “Secrets of Painting Loose” seminars. Over 4,000 original paintings have been collected privately and corporately. He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society (Dolphin Fellow), National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America (Master Status) and others. He has been awarded the 2012 AWS Gold Medal of Honor, among many other national and international awards. He was invited to the Third Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary International Watermedia Masters in China. Featured in many publications as well as cover artist for both The Artist’s Magazine and Watercolor Artist Magazine, Eric is the author of the North Light Book “Watercolor Free and Easy”.

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Eric has taught many workshops for us over the years and always welcome him back because not only is his a fabulous artist and excellent teacher, he is just plain nice to have around!

Eric had theses responses to our questions:

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I think I started teaching classes and workshops around 1987 to supplement my income from painting sales. I soon found I enjoyed the interaction with others of similar interest in watercolor and the reward of helping others with their paintings.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part of teaching is the gratitude I receive from those I help. It is very rewarding to see the “light bulb go on” as a student progresses to the next level of accomplishment, and to have been a part of it.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

The best reasons for taking a workshop:

An excellent instructor will teach in terms of design concepts. This is critically important to understand for the amateur to progress from rendering to producing art.

The student’s horizons should be expanded and challenged beyond a previously constructed comfort zone.

The camaraderie provides a valuable learning atmosphere and a realization we are not in this alone.Image 7

What are you currently working on in your own art?

Currently, I am exploring the delicate balance between abstract and realism. I enjoy the abstract qualities of a painting close up and then have it unfold into something recognizable as the viewer steps back. I feel this provides the viewer with a very visceral experience.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Wiegardt Studio Galley, Ocean Park, Wa
River Sea Gallery, Astoria, Oregon

What is your favorite art quote?

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas

” A slightly false statement, yet fresh, is much better than a tiresomely truthful one”. My mentor, Irving Shapiro, on watercolor painting.Image 1

Describe your studio

My business is Wiegardt Studio Gallery. It is my great grandfather’s house he built in 1897. Downstairs is my display area for paintings, an area for framing, and upstairs is my studio of approximately 12×18′ with more display and storage space. The studio has large north facing windows and is fairly sparse. I don’t like clutter and like to have lots of room to move around.
I am fortunate in that my commute to work is a minute and a half, by walking, if I don’t have to wait for a car to go by. I love it!

Name five of your “can’t” do without tools/products

  • My Eric Wiegardt Signature Brushes
  • A mirror to check the design of my paintings
  • The knowledge I have acquired, as displayed in my video series and books.
  • My clutch pencil set and Nero leads….the best for doing sketches and value studies.
  • My associates who work for me….invaluable for keeping the paperwork off my plate!

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Paula Nadelstern and Her Merry Kaleidoscope Makers

Paula Nadelstern just finished teaching another of her magical kaleidoscope quilt classes to a group of both repeat offenders . . . . . I mean attenders and newbies. Everyone had a grand time.

Some of the comments by the students were:

My expectations were high and the class exceeded them by far!” – Bonnie Kuhn. “This class met all of my expectations and more. Paula is such a great person and teacher.” – Totty Sos

The afternoon cookie break is a favorite daily event. This is the first batch of cookies for the year!

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Cookies weren’t the only sweet delight during the week, for dessert one night three different ice cream flavors were made – chocolate, vanilla and ginger. Here they are cooling before going into the ice cream maker.

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Churning in the ice cream maker.

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Paula spent a lot of time leading discussions on fabric, designs in fabric, and how use the designs to create the magical effect of a kaleidoscope.

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Paula brought a number of her quilts to display in the class.

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She also brought a tempting array of Benartex fabrics that she designed. The designs were so luscious. I especially liked the metallics, like that purple one you can see peaking out of the middle of the pile.

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We had a contingent of Featherweight fans in the workshop, about 5, I think. Those ladies knew how to party and have fun!

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Here are some of the first set of blocks made by the class and they got bigger and even more amazing from there.

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It was an enjoyable week and a great way to start our 10th year! Already many in the class were anxious to sign up for Paula’s next class in 2016. We just have to select the dates!

An Interview with Margaret Evans – Pastels Unleashed


Margaret Evans is one of Scotland’s renowned international artists. She teaches all over the world and is the author of numbers art books and DVDs. Her latest book is Pastels Unleashed.

Margaret has been coming back to teach for us over and over again. Her workshops are always so dynamic and fun because of her enthusiasm, knowledge, and sense of humor!

She will be back again this June to teach a 5-day workshop based on her new book, Pastels Unleashed.

Here are Margaret’s responses to our interview questions:

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I started teaching in adult education when my children were still small, so evenings to begin with and gradually built up until my husband and I were like ships passing in the night!

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favourite part is probably the very part that scared me senseless in the beginning – walking into a room full of strangers, showing them not so much what I can do, but what they can do with positive attitude, perseverance and faith! And mostly out of that, a few good friends emerge for the future! I am truly blessed by the quantity of repeat business I still have after 25+ years teaching , which always helps me think I must be doing something right!

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

What – only three??!! Firstly, they are broadening their own personal horizons by indulging in something they feel interested in… Secondly, they will enjoy meeting like-minded people, sharing the same interests, fears, and challenges, and make great new friends. And thirdly,…well..they will meet ME, learn how to paint, how to express themselves on paper/canvas/board etc., and pick up a few exclusive Scottish words in the process! What’s not to like??!!
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What are you currently working on in your own art?

At present, I am working on new techniques, new ideas and new ways of introducing pastel as a strong contender for painting sales in galleries. I have cut back the number of workshops I will teach at home in the future, and am concentrating on painting more for galleries & exhibitions, plus teaching only for people like HRV. The workload on my easels consists of – more Scottish paintings for home galleries, new Italian work for International Galleries, and some Colorado work for my represented gallery in Denver, CO.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My work is in most of the top Scottish galleries, Elements5280 Gallery near Denver CO, Swanston Gallery IND and hopefully soon the Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell Atlanta GA ( my incentive is that my son lives there and gets married in December this year!)

Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

See above…. I would recommend studying the galleries that suit your style of work best, chat with the owner, let them know about your objectives, and your dedication to help them sell your work by promoting the galleries, and constantly striving to ‘better’ your work, and ‘up your game’!

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I have tried – honestly I have – Etsy, Daily Paintworks to mention 2, but find it all so time-consuming, and truly believe that my job is to paint, and the galleries who represent me ….their job is to sell! Call me old-fashioned, but that’s what I think it should be like, instead of trying to be all things to all people.

What is your favorite art quote?

It has to be Ed Whitney’s great quote ” Tell beautiful lies” reminding the artist not to copy what’s in front of them, but to elaborate, exaggerate, abstract-icate…whatever it takes to make it YOURS!

Describe your studio.

Always a mess….but a lovely, cluttered, untidy, organized mess. I have always believed that a tidy studio is the sign of a quiet unproductive studio. I don’t mean it has to be forever TIDY – there is a balance. I have to know where everything is, so every so often, I have a clear up and organize it again! I have a section for pastel work ‘on the go’ – an oil section permanently loaded up with fresh paint to keep me balancing the mediums, and a sketching/ preparation / ideas corner where my travel diaries meet my laptop/photos/computer and give me the source from which my ideas emerge. Oh and there’s usually a commission corner where portraits and special requests are under construction to keep the money coming in!!!

Name five of your “can’t” do without tools/products

  • When travelling and painting, I can’t do without my Heilman box – it is by far the easiest and best way to travel with pastels.
  • In the studio, I use lots of different brands but could not do without my indulgent Terry Ludwig Pastel sets which are like icing on the cake – creme della creme.
  • My travel easel is is an ordinary photographer’s easel that has been adapted with Velcro pads to stick the board on to -see Valpod on Google
  • My Swan Stabilo water-soluble pens are invaluable to doing little value sketches before a painting
  • Art Spectrum papers are with me always, as I love the colours, and can instantly create an exciting sketch using this paper


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