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”.
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.
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?
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.
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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