Wes Waugh is a watercolor landscape painter who has made the North Carolina High Country his home for the past 33 years. He began painting at the age of twelve, has held over fifteen exhibitions, and has served as a workshop instructor, product consultant, guest presenter, and juror for a number of art-related businesses and organizations over his painting career. Simultaneously, Wes has held a full-time teaching and administrative position at nearby Appalachian State University, citing equal devotion to both career settings and “the inability so far to choose one over the other”. He is also active as a wilderness conservationist and currently serves as the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization “A Clean Wilson Creek”, dedicated to the protection and preservation of this North Carolina National Wild and Scenic River south of Grandfather Mountain.
Wes describes his artistic influences as diverse, yet rooted in the translational and design influenced watercolor landscapes of the late Eliot O’Hara and Edgar Whitney, both mid-20th century American watercolor masters. The Edgar Whitney “Tools and Rules” of design principles and concepts still hold a prominent role in his teaching approach. While few subjects are off-limits, Wes is well known for his bold and “colorist” approach to landscape painting. He not only enjoys sharing techniques for how he achieves these results, but also discusses the important and sequential thought processes involved. As a counseling/psychology professional, the “mindset” we develop as aspiring artists is of great interest and plays a key role in his teaching activities and discussions.