Aqueous 2013- Pittsburgh Watercolor Society

My modest goal for 2013 was to exceed the # of juried watercolor shows I was in last year.

2012 was the first year I entered watercolor exhibitions.  I was accepted in 3 competitions-  The Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolor, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, and The Watercolor Society of North Carolina shows.

I accomplished my goal this year when my watercolor painting The Ballerina was accepted in this years Pittsburgh Watercolor Society Aqueous 2013, my 4th acceptance.  Juried by the amazing watercolor artist Frank Webb, I was humbled.

Watercolor painting of ballerina

The Ballerina, who coincidentally is my sister-in-law Annette Barcelona, was the first painting I have done in many ways- 1st portrait, and first completely free-hand painting on YUPO synthetic paper.

Synthetic paper?  That’s aka for plastic.

YUPO is a surface that watercolor artists have begun to utilize recently.  It is great because it exaggerates the fluid qualities of watercolor.   Nothing dries.  It does dry- but it takes hours (sometimes).  Best of all, if you don’t like something you can remove it (unlike watercolor paper).

Several notes about watercolor for anyone crazy enough to paint on plastic:

1.  Paper towels make great texture.  Let the watercolor dry, gently mist the area with a spray bottle, lay the paper towel down and let it absorb a little paint.  Do not be too heavy handed with this though as you could pull all the underlying layer off.

2.  Salt and rubbing alcohol give cool effects on YUPO, just as they do with watercolor paper.  The difference however, is when to apply it.   Rubbing alcohol works immediately.  Salt requires more patience and you need to time it when the paint is almost dry

3.  Sedimentary colors look super grainy on YUPO.  Throw the colors on when it is wet and watch the color grains of the color appear as they sink to the surface of the paper.

4.  It’s not an exact science, but you CAN layer on YUPO.   Remember, there is no sizing on the paper.  If you brush over the same area twice- don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My layering on YUPO formula:

Hard bristle brushes- forget about it.  They will automatically remove the surface layer.

Mop brushes-  lots of water and a little color.  Apply the color fast and don’t backtrack.  Leave the painting and go watch the entire series of LOST on netflix before returning: wondering why Hurley never lost any weight.

THE other brushes work great too.  I wish I could tell you what brush number, make and manufacturer these are, but I have used them enough that the paint has fallen off of the handles and all I am left with is exposed & rotting wood.  🙁

To make this story even better, I received the postcard for the show, and guess what painting is featured on the front?


The Ballerina will be displayed October 5-26th at the 3rd St. Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.


Ryan Fox

Etsy Shop

(919) 645-8345




2013 Watercolors- Youtube slideshow

Recent works from 2013.  This video is currently showing on my Youtube channel.  I will be adding step by step watercolor demonstrations in the future.


(919) 645-8345

Kentucky Watercolor Society 2013 Exhibition

My painting was accepted into the 2013 Kentucky Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition.

Watercolor painting of Florence, Italy

Watercolor painting of Florence, Italy

My goal for 2013 was to have 3 paintings  in national juried shows- the same number  in 2012.   And this year, I have had 3 painting accepted into 3 watercolor shows.  Goal met..

I knew the esteemed watercolor artist John Salminen was the juror.  I took a workshop with John last year after the Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s 2012 Annual Juried Show.

And was schooled.

I learned a lot and would recommend John’s workshop to anyone.

I entered this painting of the Duomo in Florence, Italy in the Kentucky Watercolor Society Aqueous 2013.

John accepted the painting.  Perhaps he pitied me…. ? 🙂

The watercolor exhibition opens October 28th in Louisville, KY and runs until December 23rd at the Actors Theatre of Louisville

Giclee prints of the painting are available on my etsy and Fine Art America marketplaces.



(919) 645-8345


37th Annual North East Watercolor Society exhibition (juried)

My 2013 goal was to have watercolors accepted into  three national exhibitions (juried).  This is what I accomplished in 2012 after starting painting again in 2011 (and very sporadically at that).

2013 did not start well for me.  I was accepted in local exhibitions, but my goal was to be in WATERCOLOR exhibitions.  Juried exhibitions.  The bigger the name of the juror, the better.

There were more than a few rejection letters.

I hate seeing a post of facebook from other artists bragging about how they were accepted into  (blank, blank) show.  Especially if I had not heard the results yet.

This meant my work was not in the show.  Bummer.

Watercolor painting of Plaza de Armas- Cusco

Well, 2013 has ended better.  First I was accepted into the 2013 68th Annual Juried Exhibition and Annual Meeting of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina.  Not bad.  Two entried in two years.  One more and I receive signature status.

The second part of my goal was met when my watercolor painting of the churches on the Plaza de Armas in the Incan city of Cusco was accepted into the 37th Annual International Open Exhibition by the North East Watercolor Society.

(Congratulatory self dance, albeit danced poorly).

James McFarlane will be jurying the awards.  The paintings were selected by 5 signature members of the NE Watercolor Society.  I wish I knew who they were…

Maybe I will attend the reception.  I do have enough frequent flyer miles. 🙂


Ryan Fox

(919) 645-8345







Watercolor Society of North Carolina 68th Annual Exhibition- Blowing Rock, NC

My goal for 2013 was to get 3 paintings accepted into national watercolor society shows.  Juried shows.

The first part of my goal was met with the news that my painting of Duke Chapel was accepted by juror Mary Ann Beckwith.

Watercolor painting of Chapel at Duke University- Chapel Hill, NC

Here is a slideshow from last years WSNC Show:

The watercolor exhibition will run September 8th- November 2nd at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) and will feature the paintings from many amazing North Carolina watercolorists.

Here is a little information about the juror:

Mary Ann Beckwith is equally a painter and teacher with a passion for both. She is a 39 year resident of the rugged and scenic Upper Peninsula of Michigan from which she derives much inspiration. A recently retired professor of art at Michigan Tech University, she brought the arts to engineering and science students. Mary Ann has twice been the recipient of the university’s  Distinguished Teaching Award.  She is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society,
National Watercolor Society, Allied Artists, Watercolor Honor Society of Watercolor USA, International Society of Experimental Artists (Nautilus Fellow), Society of Layerists in Multimedia and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.  Author of Creative Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide and Showcase (1995), published in English and Japanese, Mary Ann’s influence in experimental watercolor is international. Her work has been featured in numerous books on watercolor.
Hope you get a chance to see my work, which is for sale (hint, hint).
Ryan Fox
(919) 645-8345