Watercolors by Mark J. Norton

Painting with watercolors has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. I briefly dabbled with colored inks before taking up tube and cake watercolors. Most of my colors are Winsor & Newton on Arches paper. These pictures represent the gamut of my painting interests: still life, landscape, figure studies, and abstracts.

I'm attracted to the fact that painting with watercolors is fast. There's very little time in which to fool around with the paint once applied to the paper. Corrections happen fast, or not at all. Clean up is simple, supplies (relatively) inexpensive. Most people I talk to find that watercolors are just too hard. I've never really thought about it being difficult, though it can be frustrating. Watercolors, like most media, require skills that can be learned.

103k 9/7/98
I have been fascinated by imagery of magic for a long time. Astral Journey captures some of the spirit of the mage sending forth her astral projection on a flight of pure freedom.

197k 4/23/99
One of my landscape efforts showing an old, abandoned barn near Mount Desert Island in Maine. Red Barn hints at time in action, slowly bringing man's work back to nature.

116k 9/9/95
Earl Plays Bourbon Street. On business trips, I often take a small set of paints rather than a camera. This was painted on the streets of New Orleans in the french quarter. Earl was a wonderful blues player who held me captive with his music, while I captured him with my paints.

144k 9/13/94
White Mountain Falls is one of the many wonderful waterfalls in White Mountain National Park in New Hampshire. Normally I'm there with my wife or with scouts climbing the mountains. This trip was purely for getting some of the beauty of the mountains streams onto paper.

113k 12/26/94
Carnevali Escapes is the result of letting the subconscious paint. Random lines and color start to take on meaning as the paint progresses. At that point, the rational mind takes over and completes the work. This powerful technique can lead to some very strange paintings.

105k 10/12/96
Around 1994 or so I started painting portraiture and figures. That Look started as a magazine picture, with changes to hair and clothing.

143k 1/97
Crouching Nude represents an experiment with paper. Normally, I paint on Arches watercolor paper. In this case, the piece is done on the back side of a very glossy brochure. If you look closely, you can see the wrinkles in the paper. This adds a certain 3D texture that resembles impasto oil techniques.

68k 1/94
Bridge, No. 4 is part of a series of painting I did on bridges and culverts. I find the concept of 'hidden water' to be a powerful image. Most of the paintings in this series are conceptual in nature and are not drawn from real life.

88k 12/20/93
Plains of Nazca is a pure abstract. I haven't placed any deep meaning to this painting, rather, it is an expression of form, line, and color. Art should be about fun, sometimes.

212k 7/1/95
The Opera House was painted on location in Sydney, Australia. I was working a convention there, which meant that I was up before dawn to find the time to paint this.

119k 1/23/95
This was painted on the Sky Deck, SS Norway on a cruise that Brigid and I took. The view is aft and shows the odd structures found on modern cruise ships.

91k 8/24/94
Just down the street from the British Museum, I found The Plough, on Museum St.. This is typical of small British pubs that can be found through London and other parts of England. A woman just inside the doorway stared at me the whole hour that it took to paint this.

125k 9/3/1994
Anemone Cave can be found on the rocky shore of Mt. Desert Island in Maine. It shows my wife Brigid and son Michael exploring the pink granite rocks and fascinating marine life forms that are accessible at low tide.

255k 1/94
In the countryside of northern Germany, near Essen-Werden, I painted this Country Bridge. It was meant as gift to my host, but I ended up doing a portrait of his Rolls Royce, instead.

233k 6/20/1996
The Old Fireplace can be found at the York Harbor Inn, in Saco Maine. Brigid and I like to visit the occasional bed and breakfast place which serves as a base of operations for exploration. In this case, there was no need to leave to find interesting subject matter.

205k 1/3/94
Chaco Rancher is painted from a National Geographic picture of a ranch hand in Argentina. The distortion of his facial figures gives a rather ominous look

155k 6/2/91
The Clocktower captures the play of sunset on an old building in Edinburough.