Laura D. Poss, WSNC, SW, PWS
I didn’t know it at the time, but my life was about to change the first time I loaded a brush with a colorful wash and spread it across a thirsty piece of watercolor paper. Mixing the pigments in water, brushing them onto a white page, manipulating them a bit, then allowing them to dry felt familiar and natural from the first time I tried it. This should have been no surprise—water has played almost as important of a role in my life as art. My earliest memories are of the sounds of water lapping against the hull of a boat, I grew up sailing my own Sunfish sailboat, and I love almost anything you can do in or around a lake, river, or other body of water.
I was motivated to pick up watercolor because I had fallen in love with watercolor paintings. The luminosity had more to do with it than anything else, but the way that you could see how different colors mixed and mingled on the page as the water dried was a very close second. I also enjoy the unique challenges that watercolor offers. Timing is everything and you have to know how to work with the way water behaves, which is unlike any other medium.
My paintings explore a wide range of subjects. I was lucky enough to be born and (mostly) raised in central North Carolina, where The Appalachian Mountains are just to my west and the Atlantic Ocean is just a little farther to the east. I love to visit both, and it shows in my work. Birdwatching is another passion of mine, and I enjoy bringing my avian friends to life in my paintings. Most recently, I have also developed an interest in painting people, which has led to a few cityscapes. Humans are interesting, and there are limitless ways that we express ourselves through body language and facial expressions. Capturing those gestures and telling a story with my artwork is a new challenge and something I want to continue to explore.
My husband, John, and I live in Greensboro, NC. As a professional framer, John makes sure that my artwork is always framed with the highest quality materials and attention to detail. When I am not painting, showing my work, or teaching, I try to find time for my hobbies, including photography, sailing, birdwatching, gardening, reading, swimming, hiking, and a little bit of sewing.
Special Honors and Awards:
March 2020- Juried acceptance into the Southern Watercolor Society's 43rd Juried Exhibition. This is my third juried acceptance into the SWS's Annual Exhibition, and therefore means that I will be honored with Signature Membership into the Society this year. The juror of selection and awards is Mark Mehaffey. This show was scheduled to take place March 12 – July 12 at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center in Clarksville, TN, but has been moved to an online show due to Covid-19.
February 2020- Honorable Mention Award in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's Annual Online Member Show. The juror of awards was Frank Webb. This is an annual online-only show; view the award winners here and all of the paintings in the show here.
January 2020- 2nd Juried Exhibition Acceptance, American Watercolor Society 153rd Annual International Exhibition, April 6 – 25, 2020 at the Salmagundi Club, in New York, NY. Four nationally and internationally recognized artists served as jury of selection. Due to coronavirus, the Salmagundi Club has closed and the AWS exhibition will not take place in New York this year. It will, however, be posted online during the scheduled exhibition dates, April 6 – 25, 2020. americanwatercolorsociety.org
October 2019- Dorothy L. Rosenberger Memorial Award in the North East Watercolor Society 43rd International Exhibition at the Kent Art Association Gallery, Kent, CT, October 20 – November 2. The juror of selection and awards was Kenneth Call.
October 2019- Betty Mountcastle Memorial Award in the Watercolor Society of North Carolina's Annual Statewide Exhibition, October 6 – December 29, 2019 at the Imperial Centre for the Arts, Rocky Mount, NC. The juror of selection and awards was Stan Miller.
July 2019- 4th juried acceptance into the Watercolor Society of North Carolina's Annual Statewide Exhibition, October 6 – December 29, 2019 at the Imperial Centre for the Arts, Rocky Mount, NC. The juror of selection and awards was Stan Miller.
June 2019- 3rd juried Acceptance into the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 40th International Juried Exhibition, August 31 – October 26, 2019 at the Lancaster Museum of Art, 135 N. Lime St. Lancaster, PA. The juror of selection was John Salminen and the judge of awards was Matthew Bird.
June 2019- Cheap Joe's Art Stuff merchandise award in the Southern Watercolor Society's 42nd Juried Exhibition in Kerrville, TX. The juror of selection and awards was Judy Morris.
March 2019- 1st jured acceptance into the 2019 Society of Watercolor Artists International Exhibition, April 14 – May 19 in the Atrium Gallery at the Fort Worth Central Library, 500 West 3rd Street, Fort Worth, TX. The juror for this exhibition was Iain Stewart.
March 2019- 2nd juried acceptance into the Southern Watercolor Society's 42nd Juried Exhibition, May 23 – July 6 at the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center in Kerrville, TX. The juror for this exhibition was Judy Morris.
March 2019- Honorable Mention award in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's Annual Online Member's Show. The juror for this event was Yachiyo Beck. This online exhibition can be seen on the here on the PWS website.
October 2018- Signature Member Award in the Watercolor Society of North Carolina's 73rd Statewide Juried Art Exhibition. This was my first year as a Signature Member, and an honor to receive an award that is only open to Signature Members. Iain Stewart was the juror for this event.
September 2018- Award for "Outstanding Realism" in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 39th International Juried Exhibition in Warren, PA. I also earned Signature Membership in the Society this year. Juror of selection was Keiko Tanabe; juror of awards was Ron Thurston.
July 2018- 3rd Juried Acceptance into the Watercolor Society of North Carolina's 73rd Statewide Juried Art Exhibition. Because this was my third juried acceptance, I achieved Signature Membership in the Society as well. Iain Stewart was the juror for this event. Florence Thomas Art School, West Jefferson, NC, October 7 – November 18.
June 2018- 2nd Juried Acceptance into the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 39th International Juried Exhibition. Because this was my second acceptance, I achieved Signature Membership in the Society this year. Keiko Tanabe is the juror for this event. Warren, PA, September 15 – October 20, 2018.
March 2018- 1st juried acceptance into the Southern Watercolor Society's 41st Juried Exhibition, May 15 – June 22 at the ArtCenter Manatee, in Bradenton, Florida. The juror was John Salminen, NWS, AWS.DF
February 2018- Margery Soroka Memorial Award from the American Watercolor Society in their 151st International Exhibition. Awards were chosen by a panel of 3 nationally and internationally recognized artists.
January 2018- 1st Juried Exhibition Acceptance, American Watercolor Society 151st Annual International Exhibition, April 9 – 28, 2018 at the Salmagundi Club, in New York, NY. Five nationally and internationally recognized artists served as jury of selection.
October 2017- 5th Place Award, Watercolor Society of North Carolina's 72nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Greensboro NC, October 15 – November 22. Judged by Mary Whyte.
July 2017- 2nd Juried Exhibition Acceptance, Watercolor Society of North Carolina's 72nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Greensboro, NC, October - November 2017. Juried by Mary Whyte.
2016- 1st Juried Exhibition Acceptance, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 37th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Millersburg, PA, July 5 - August 27, 2016. Juried by Paul Jackson.
2015- 1st Juried Exhibition Acceptance, Watercolor Society of North Carolina's 70th Annual Juried Exhibition, Mooresville, NC, October - November 2015. Juried by Linda Baker.
2014- People's Choice Award, Watercolor Society of North Carolina Central Region Exhibition, Uptown Artworks, Greensboro, NC, June 2014
Honorable Mention, Festival in the Park, Charlotte, NC, September 2012
Honorable Mention, Art in the Park, Blowing Rock, NC, September 2012
Second Place Award, Summer Award Show Weekend in the Mountains, Valle Crucis, NC, July 2012
Art Achievement Award, Art on the Neuse, Oriental, NC, June 2011
Judges Choice Award, Orange Street Arts Festival, Wilmington, NC, May 2011
Judges Choice Award, Festival in the Park, Artist’s Walk, Charlotte, NC, September 2010
Judges Choice Award, Orange Street Arts Festival, Wilmington, NC, May 2010
Publications and Television Appearances:
February 2020- Our State Magazine, 5 of my paintings and a brief article in a "Painted Carolina" feature in the February issue
October 2019- Publication of Silver Linings, a book that I illustrated for Elizabeth Hudson, author and Editor-in-Chief of Our State Magazine. Copies of Silver Linings are available online from the Our State Store.
September 2012- The Blowing Rock News
April 2012- Appearance on WFMY's Good Morning Show
January 2011- The Lexington Dispatch- "Art Show Features a Variety of Media"
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Signature Member
I served on the Board of Directors for the Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC) December 2012 to October 2017. For the first four years I was the Publications Editor, which included creating and editing the quarterly newsletter, annual prospectus, a variety of documents and forms, advertising postcards, as well as other miscellaneous printed and digital materials. I also created the first-ever WSNC Exhibition Catalog in 2015. During my final year, 2017, I served as the Local Arrangements Chair for the WSNC's Annual Juried Exhibition. I, along with my group of volunteers, planned and held a weekend conference in Greensboro, NC, which included an annual business meeting, members' luncheon, awards ceremony, 3 educational seminars, a dinner and social, a gallery exhibition opening reception, and a book signing with renowned artist, Mary Whyte. I also served as the Workshop Chairperson for a 3-day Mary Whyte workshop following the conference weekend.
Me with the model for one of my most well-known paintings
My first watercolor painting, March of 2006