Geoff Watson, Self-portrait, oil on canvas, 14" x 18," 2017.

Geoff Watson, Self-portrait, oil on canvas, 14" x 18," 2017.


"Art from life" is something of a term of art: it refers to artwork created from a live subject as opposed to photos, memory, or imagination. Examples include "plein air" works painted outdoors, or portraits painted from a live model. 

I work mostly from life. I do sometimes accept requests to work with the aid of a photo reference, but if possible I try to arrange to draw or paint the subject in person. I often do touch up my work in the studio, and I'm willing to work with clients to make corrections on commissioned work.  I live in the Washington, DC area.

For me, the phrase "art from life" has a second meaning too. I like to draw and paint scenes from actual daily life. I have painted supermarkets, garbage cans, laundry machines, farmland, parked cars, playgrounds, schools, running tracks, sports arenas, apartment buildings, street scenes, and other scenes from everyday life in the United States. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy painting a breathtaking vista as much as the next person! But I can't get to those every day, so I paint what I find around me. 

I work mostly in oils, watercolor, and gouache (a more opaque version of watercolor), but I also enjoy using charcoal, pastels, oil pastels, and graphite.  I paint most of my smaller works on Masonite panels, but I prefer canvas or linen for larger oil paintings. 

I grew up in New England in the 1960s and 1970s. My favorite "art" course in high school was actually a drafting class, which required us to make complex drawings of obscure mechanical parts.  I majored in history in college and later studied law.  I practiced international law at the State Department for several years, then went into academia.  I'm still enjoying my work as a law professor, but I'm taking leave without pay this fall to explore my interest in fine art.  

If you're interested in buying or commissioning a painting, or even if you just want to shoot the breeze, please click on the Contact page to get in touch with me.

Geoff Watson, "Old Bridge at Glen Echo Park," oil on panel, 8" x 10", 2017.