California Watercolor Landscapes « Monterey Museum of Art
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California Watercolor Landscapes

1996.190Watercolor has been used by California artists since before the turn of the 20th century, when many first began to live and work on the Monterey Peninsula. Early California artists such as William Ritschel and Percy Grey were trained in the traditional European watercolor technique of creating highly detailed pencil sketches and meticulously filling them in with color. In 1921 Ritschel and a group of artists formed the California Water Color Society, and held their first exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art later that year. In the 1920s through the 1950s, artists such as Esther Bruton and George Booth Post began to experiment with watercolor to create representational works with broader brush strokes, looser compositions, and larger formats. They used little or no preliminary sketching and utilized the bare white paper background as an additional element of color or shape in the composition. This movement later came to be called the California School of watercolor. In this space you will find examples of the early European style, the later California School of watercolor, and more recent works depicting cities, beaches, and vast landscapes.

Image: George Booth Post, Old Captain’s House, 300 Pennsylvania, SF, n.d. Watercolor on paper, Anonymous Gift