Wyatt Waters: The Watercolor Road
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
A prolific painter, renowned watercolorist Wyatt Waters has painted about as long as he has been alive — starting with lessons before he was school-aged until earning a master’s degree in art. In his unrelenting quest of becoming a better painter, Wyatt draws on the influences of masters such as John Singer-Sargent, Edward Hopper, and William Hollingsworth. His passion for watercolor and traveling has led to the release of his latest book — The Watercolor Road, Painting and Writing through the American South.
His rambling and wandering through the southern trail deliver an impressive collection of 133 paintings, 21 essays, and an array of adages that depicts both the South and his relentless trek to be a better painter as a mindset rather than a destination.
The Watercolor Road captures Waters’ longing ambition to explore and present this place he calls home in plein air watercolor. Pulling a 16-foot Casita travel trailer behind his Pastormobile, Wyatt roams the rural and urban, country roads and highways, oceans and forests, BBQ joints and local diners — expressing his visceral connection to each locale with his vivid images. His pictorial explorations span from the Arkansas plateaus to the Louisiana bayous, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the low country marshes of South Carolina, across southern farmlands and down to the balmy Florida Keys — with all points in between.
“I have wanted to do this for as long as I can remember, to paint the South, the place we call home” said Waters, “And to do so, I had to be there. To feel and experience it directly — not from a studio.”
Within this compilation of southern scenery are 22 pages dedicated to his Florida excursion taken this past February. Cruising the road less traveled, Wyatt meandered along the Forgotten Coast down to the Everglades seeking alligators over to Miami’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens to channel his inner Sargent and down to Key West to visit with Hemingway’s cats.
“We saved the last part of the book for Florida. Like saving dessert for last. Driving through Apalachicola, we experienced a nostalgic gulf coast that time seemed to have forgotten. And as we drove along Hwy 98, the lay of the land gradually changed. So subtly and hypnotically was the change that I could not readily put my finger on it,” confessed Waters. “Something was different. The further south we drove, the less southern things felt. Bordered by so much water, there was an island exoticism that was more like the northern Caribbean. We saw grazing cows and horses like we would find throughout the other states, but we also passed tropical plants and iguanas that made us know we weren’t in Mississippi anymore. This was a place where I wanted to return.”
Having long contemplated his feelings and observations on painting and living through his writings — The Watercolor Road features the many truths Waters has learned along the way and how he applies them to his art and to his life.
The Watercolor Road will appeal to aficionados of southern culture as well as those who enjoy the act of painting and desire a deeper understanding of the “whys” of painting more so than the “how-tos”.
More on Wyatt Waters
Waters works solely on location – preferring the challenges that both plein air and watercolor present. His philosophy is “if it is interesting to see, it can be a painting.” This approach has led to the publication of seven very successful books including Another Coat of Paint, Painting Home, An Oxford Sketchbook, and in collaboration with Mississippi restauranteur, Robert St. John, A Southern Palate, Southern Seasons, An Italian Palate, and A Mississippi Palate. Additionally, Wyatt can be found on Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s television series, Palate to Palette, with St. John — a traveling culinary and art series set in Italy and Mississippi.
Ever the teacher, Wyatt conducts workshops throughout the Southeast, as well as in Italy and the Caribbean. He served two years as a faculty member for Plein Air South — an annual gathering of regional plein air organizations and painting groups
Visit wyattwaters.com to learn more about Wyatt and view his work.