Avon Waters is an American artist known for his vivid landscape and wildlife images painted in expressionist and semi-abstract styles. Also an accomplished plein air painter, Waters is a lifetime member of the Indiana Plein Air Painter’s Association and currently serves as the organization’s vice-president.
Born in Peru, Indiana and raised on a farm near Amboy, Indiana (population 640), Waters learned early on to occupy his solitary hours by drawing. Encouraged by his mother—who showed him how to use paper after finding him drawing with crayons on a plaster wall—five year old Waters soon followed her to college, making coiled pots and painting while she studied art. Time spent with his father exploring fields and farmlands and contact with an aunt and uncle who wrote, travelled and made art helped expand and shape Water’s growing imagination.
After completing high school, Waters attended Indiana University at Bloomington where he studied both photography and plant biology. Dis-satisfied with the studio art program, Waters transferred to Indiana University at Kokomo, where he took painting as many times as possible before the department chair asked him to apply for graduation in 1988. Waters later completed an MA at Ball State University in creative writing and supported himself as a journalist and adjunct professor teaching freshman composition. While remaining active as a painter throughout this period, Waters helped found the artist colony housed in the former Stutz auto factory in Indianapolis, created a contemporary plein air art collection in the small town of Converse and participated in numerous group exhibitions beginning in the early 1990s.
Water’s mature work reflects the influence of a diverse range of artists and periods including Pre-Columbian Art, Abstract Expressionism and Tonalism. Interested in pushing color to its limits, Waters has paid special attention to the works of Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko and Wolf Kahn. An engagement with diverse media—including drawing media, pastels and oils—has endowed Waters with a flexible approach and broad stylistic interests. Over time, Waters has moved closer to representation, but still experiments by making abstract drawings with his eyes closed while listening to music. Currently working in a renovated 1890s post office, Avon Waters is an artist just hitting his stride, deeply interested in seeing where his art can take him next.
– John Seed
John Seed is an art writer whose work has appeared in the HuffingtonPost, Hyperallergic and Art Ltd. Magazine