Wyatt Waters sees problems as possibilities. That’s the message he tenderly conveyed to a group of watercolor painting students at a workshop at the Mill at Plein Air on Oct. 2.
Plein Air is a French term meaning “open air.” Waters, one of the most acclaimed watercolorists in the nation and a Mississippi legend made a rare appearance to help about 25 workshop students put his artistic philosophy into practice through their own passion.
“I’m interested in the deficits you find in things,” he said in the gentle, soft-spoken tone of a man perfectly at home in his own skin. “There are possibilities for great creativity in recognizing a mistake in ourselves, and in nature.”
He stressed that vision as he encouraged students frustrated with what they saw as a flaw on their canvas. “No, it looks interesting,” he encouraged them, leaning over their shoulder, his graying ponytail resting on the back of his t-shirt. “Keep going with it. You’re getting there, setting yourself up for your next painting.”
Waters grew up in Florence, MS, but now lives in Clinton. Oxford is one of his favorite places to visit. In fact, he published a book capturing his vision of familiar Oxford sites in lovely colors and evocative detail.
“Oxford is a great town with striking architecture and expressive people,” Waters said. “It’s the kind of place you always feel comfortable — you have the feeling you might see your favorite aunt coming around the corner at any time. What I love about the town is that it’s not stuck in tradition, but moving ahead informed by its colorful past.”
After the reception several hundred Waters fans and art enthusiasts attended a reception in his honor at the Mill where several of his Mississippi and Oxford-inspired works were available for purchase.
—Andy Knef, Managing Editor, HottyToddy.com
—You can email Andy at email@example.com