1. “The heart to conceive, the understanding to direct and the hands to execute.....”

  2.             .....Umberto Boccioni

  1. “Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present”

  2.                    .......Albert Camus


  1. “Travel strikes with force at  our powers of appreciation and joy, cracking open that which might otherwise go unnoticed, piercing our inner soul......”

  2.       from The Power of Travel

  3. by Steve Zikman


With my painting, “Florentine Gold” at the Shenzhen Art Museum in Shenzhen, China, December 10, 2013.

My very first International Exhibition experience took meTraveling to the Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition in Shenzhen, China, in December, 2013...... a most amazing experience.!The exhibit was outstandingly impressive as was the opportunity to meet and connect with artists from all over the world.  Photos of my painting, “Florentine Gold”, are shown below. 

               In August, 2014,  I was on the road again...this time to Belgium for the International Eau en Coulours exhibit  where my painting, “Baglioni Window” was included.  Again, I had the fabulous opportunity to meet and network with other international artists.  And, had a fabulous time!! 

FABRIANO in AQUARELLO 2019, Fabriano, Italy.....

In 2019, I was extremely honored to be one of the invited, participating artists. The USA Exhibit consisted of paintings by 39 invited artists plus one from our country leader, Laurin McCracken,.....for a total of 40 paintings amongst hundreds from over 65 different countries. This annual exposition brings together watercolorists from all over the world in order to exchange ideas and inspire creativity. The paintings are exhibited, by country, in various, beautiful locations in the medieval city of Fabriano, Italy. Fabriano has been a seat of western paper-making since the thirteenth century and produces the finest quality of watercolor paper available today. Hence, the location for this incredible event.

Translation of a description in the catalog reads, “ the artists sitting on the stairs of the square, the bright palettes of colors on the ground near their easels, brushes arranged in wooden boxes, the curious people around who gaze at the paintings in progress..... the multiple languages picked up amongst the dialogs of the watercolorists, and features of the faces that bring you to distant lands....and the smiles, smiles on everyone’s faces: artists, volunteers, visitors and citizens. Fabriano, again, welcomes the artist citizens of the world.... Everyone is invited. Everyone is welcome, artist and non-artists alike. All are here to celebrate the world of watercolor.”

FABRIANO in AQUARELLO, 2020 was forced into a virtual format due to the extreme conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists presented lectures and discussions by zoom format. Those who were scheduled to be the demonstration presenters did so from their own studios at home. All was made available on You Tube and was the result of the incredible efforts of Anna Massinissa , Curator of FabrianoInAquarello, and her team.The paintings, which were shipped in January, are still there. They will be put on display  for FABRIANO in AQUARELLO, 2021, and we, the artists, will be present once again in Fabriano.



Beneath my painting with fellow exhibitors, Stanislaw Zoladz (Sweden) and  Pasqualino Fracasso (Italy).

In front of two traditional posters of the exhibit (left)and posing with the  five other American artists who traveled to  China to attend the Grand Opening and Celebration Dinner (right).

“ Baglioni Window “

In Belgium - Laura Mitchell, Chris Beck, me and Kris Preslan with David Poxon, Royal Watercolor Society, Great Britain.


I am often asked what it is like to be an artist. Usually by someone who is not a painter or does not live with one. I’m also certain that my husband would not answer this question in the same way that I do.

From my perspective, the emotional highs are incredible. The despair, intense. I keep strange hours. I am acutely aware of color and design everywhere - often to the point of distraction!  I stare at skies and empty fields, making mental notes of color changes, pigment combinations and compositional considerations...much the same as a writer makes notes of ideas and impressions. In fact, I do that as well. My studio is overflowing with artwork and supplies. I have boxes and boxes of reference material and my camera is practically an extension of my body. I am never “not” an artist. Art  and family consume my life and make me insanely happy!

That’s the perspective from the inside. On the outside, I like to think I appear much more organized!  My art has taken me to incredibly interesting places. One of my favorite quotes is from a little book entitled The Power of Travel and states, “Travel strikes with force at our powers of appreciation and joy, cracking open that which might otherwise go unnoticed, piercing our inner soul....” I hold this as my Mantra when traveling and try, try, try to absorb it all...to keep it in my heart and push my horizons. Translating even a little bit into paint is a constant challenge...and I keep working to get better at it....To be more insightful.... To tell a bigger story.  I tell my students, “All that is necessary to paint well is to be sincere...” (Maurice Denis). Everything else can be taught. And never stop learning. 


The subject matter that consumes me evolves continuously. Ranging from Landscapes: landscapes that include rivers, skies, silent fields and trumpeting foliage...to Portraits: portraits of places and things that are depicted in strong patterns of sunlight and shadow....portraits of people in their environment... portraits of people in moments of displaying their souls...and texture...actual physical texture as well as what I would describe as the texture of life :-))


Watercolor is what stirs my soul. I’m in love with it’s capacity to create beautiful washes..... in the way that the paint explodes with color....in the transparency and texture that occur when pigment is suspended within the natural vehicle of water.... in the brushstrokes filled with intense, clean color....and in paint that suggests the strength and emotion of the subject.

Do I ever paint in oil ??  Yes, I do.......sometimes.     Jill Witty