Welcome to the Edgar A. Whitney Watercolor Archives! I established this blog a number of years ago in hopes of ensuring Whitney’s life and teachings dedicated to the medium of watercolor (and making art in general) might remain intact and accessible to new generations as time passed and interest in print media waned. As his friend and student Dr. Faber McMullen reminded me prior to his own unexpected passing the following year, Whitney’s impact was monumental to an era of painters and to the advancement of the medium. It is natural that trends change, leadership changes and much about a generation is lost. However, I feel personally that Whitey’s teachings were so succinct and refined that they will transcend time and trends if those in the future are willing to investigate them. What other book (The Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting / first conceived in 1958) is still printed regularly and appears in the online catalog of all major art suppliers?

Whitney students Frank Webb, Cheng Khee Chee, Naomi Brotherton, and Skip Lawrence were all inspirational in the development of this archive. In particular, Mr. Webb provided me with information and images from his personal collection as did Naomi Brotherton. Mysteries and holes remain for certain, regarding Whitney’s estate collection, workshopping logs, the whereabouts of hundreds of original paintings, and thousands of old photos must be still in the possession of former students or their families. The site has unearthed some interesting connections however, such as the fellow who currently lives in Whitneys old home in Queens, and did a web search on the former deed holder whom he heard was “an artist”. As more surfaces, I hope this site may continue to provide a forum for those who want to share findings.

Please Contribute!

Anything you feel may be worthy of a submission for consideration may be emailed to Bear Trail Studio, or directly from the contact link on the main menu.

All content shared is solely for the purpose of this archive and will not be used for commercial or other non-relevant purposes, your contribution will be acknowledged with a caption or reference unless you choose otherwise (you may choose your level of disclosure on the site re: your contributions).

Biddeford Pool…shared by Leslie Frontz

You can’t read much about Edgar Whitney without getting a taste of the Maine coastline; the visual rhythms created by boats, docks, sheds and water all creating a sort of colorful chaos for the plein air painter to decode with watercolor on paper. Blog reader (and now contributor) Leslie Frontz shares some images from her time with Ed Whitney in 1978 at the Biddeford Pool, and what she describes as a turning point that led to her painting career…. more about Leslie at http://www.frontzstudio.com/ =&0=&

Early one August morning, my husband and I loaded our car with my painting gear and headed east on a pilgrimage to Kennebunk. Like most rites of passage, this one inspired both hope and fear. I’d heard first-, second- and third-hand stories about Edgar Whitney’s “summer tours” from other artists. read more