Arts Literature

Book Feature: The Watercolor Road

Painting and Writing Through the American South

Wyatt Waters, Author

Watercolor artist Wyatt Waters learned from his very first art teacher the importance of painting from life. Since then, whether getting his start painting on the streets of Jackson, MS, or traveling in his 1968 VW camper, or spending time in Italy, he has been on a mission to paint on location. His latest book, The Watercolor Road, is a product of journeys throughout the south, including stops at some iconic spots in Western North Carolina. “We set up camp in Waynesville last summer,” Waters says, “and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.” Among the places he painted were Looking Glass Falls, Maggie Valley, downtown Asheville and Cashiers Farmers Market.

Along the way, he has learned not to develop preconceived notions before arriving at the next location. “You hear about places you haven’t been and get this idea created in your head,” he says. “When you finally go there, it is always different. Driving to the subjects made me feel the in-between physical connection of the places—how the landscape would gradually change from mountains to hills and pastureland and into islands.”

Besides paintings, the book includes Waters’ writings. “The essays are both a painter’s musing on life as well as a travelogue of experiences,” he says.

The Watercolor Road | Painting and Writing Through the American South, August, 2022, nonfiction, hardcover, $48, by Wyatt Waters, and published by The Watercolor Road Press, Clinton, MS. Find copies at local independent bookshops or at WyattWaters.com.

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