Woody enjoyed being a Middle School art teacher in Kansas. Upon retirement Woody and his wife Frani moved to Albuquerque. New Mexico was an easy choice. Every June, for over 30 years, Woody drove to Taos for an annual watercolor workshop at the Sagebrush Inn. Woody quickly fell in love with the magical light of New Mexico. He soon gained signature status in both the NMWS and the Taos National Society of Watercolorists. Woody is a past-president of the NMWS and also of the retired art teachers at the national level (RAEA).
For Woody, creating each new watercolor is a true learning experience. His mentor Mathew Monks taught him to love the fluid nature of this marvelous medium. Woody finds moving a loaded brush across a sheet of Arches to be a religious experience. He loves to paint early morning shadows and the raking light across crumbling adobe walls. He also loves to paint the Poppies he grows at his home here in Albuquerque. Most recently, his favorite subjects have become street musicians in the French Quarter in New Orleans. According to Woody, “If you love your subjects, that passion will show in your paintings.”
When teaching watercolor, Woody combines his teaching skills with his love for the medium. He readily admits to stealing or borrowing ideas from many, many others over the years. Few techniques are original. “We share our ideas freely, so each new artist need not feel they have to re-invent the wheel every time they begin a new painting.”
As for advice, Woody recommends that: “if you love watercolor, do it often and you will get better. Paint what you care about, and it will show in your work. Take advantage of all the subtle little accidents that happen in your watercolors. The beauty of this medium is the inner action between the water, pigment and a good sheet of paper, go with the flow and you will improve.”