Autumn Watercolor Painting by Walt Pierluissi - Doodlewash

GUEST ARTIST: “An Expression Of A Soul” by Walt Pierluissi

My name is Walt (Walter) Pierluissi. I am from the island of Puerto Rico. My father was of Italian descent, my mother was actually born in Puerto Rico with a Spaniard descent, and my father’s mother was Jewish. I believe that all these offspring’s and my Puerto Rican side makes me an interesting mess!

Back in my younger years, when I was about 10 or 11 years old, my mother noticed my drawing abilities and sent me to study with Maestro Jose Azaustre Muro, a Spaniard Oil Painting Artist that lived close to our home in the town of Ponce, Puerto Rico. I learned the basics of drawing, values and perspective.  I spent about 4 years in these studies meeting every Saturday for a 4-hour class. I have around 800 hours of formal art studies in the use of oils, and I enjoyed every moment.

In my teen years I was part of an Art Studio Class with a small School of Art close to my grandmother’s home. There, I learned the use of acrylics and also ventured into sculpturing in clay.  But painting was my passion and after discovering the reduced dry time and easier water-based cleaning, acrylics became my preferred medium. I went to study at the Catholic University of Puerto Rico and following my parents’ line of work, I finished my study of accounting in 1984. I continued to paint but did not pursue it seriously. It was just for my very own pleasure.

Round Barn Watercolor Painting by Walt Pierluissi - Doodlewash

In 1998, I moved from Puerto Rico to Athens, Georgia, then again in 2000 to Orlando, Florida, and continued working as an accountant.  In 2006, I decided to move to Indianapolis. Here in Indy, I started to develop a very intense interest in watercolors.  It took me over 3 years of watching hundreds of YouTube videos, over 1000 hours of videos and practice to learn this medium. It was an exciting and amazing experience just learning how to manage the water and the pigment on the paper. I truly enjoy watercolor more than acrylics and oils.

Since then, I have been using watercolor as the preferred medium due to its versatility and unpredictability. I can use my watercolors anywhere with minimal supplies; it really has driven me to experience plein air. I can paint wherever and whenever I decide.  Watercolor is the closest thing to freedom I have experienced. And believe me, still today, I am in the process of learning.

After my journey in the arts, I can say without a doubt that all art is an expression of the soul. Within art we have drawing and painting, which as part of this expression brings three-dimensional elements to the two-dimensional plane of a paper, creating the illusion with perspective and colors, light and shadows; expressing what the eye observes through the interpretation of a soul.

There are no bad pieces, only bad receivers and observers who have not understood the perception of that soul, nor the intention of the artist.

Just recently I had the most wonderful experience – I sold one of my art pieces to a total stranger.  I have sold and given away other pieces to friends and family members but to actually sell one to a complete stranger was my first. I am pretty sure that I will be working as an accountant until my retirement because living from your art is actually very tough in reality.

Antique Car Watercolor Painting by Walt Pierluissi - Doodlewash

I do art, not because I want to sell, but for my very own pleasure, to express what my soul is experiencing – to express on a piece of paper this ability that was given to me by the Creator Himself. That’s why I do art.  My G-d!!, I can’t wait until retirement so I can spend more time doing my art. I have 6 more years to go but, in the meantime, I have Doodlewash to express my soul.

These are some of the watercolors that I use: Winsor and Newton, Turner, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Lukas 1862, Sennelier, Schminke, Sakura Koi and other brands that I like to test.  It all depends on what piece I am trying to do. Sometimes, the smoothness of the Sennelier or M. Graham Watercolors will fit my intentions. Other times I want the intensity of Schmincke or Daniel Smith watercolors, or the opacity of another brand to realize my intentions on the paper.

In terms of paper, I use Arches and Bee Paper Aquabee normally because these are 100% cotton; but also, I use Canson Montval, Strathmore 500 series (which is 100% cotton also) and others for minor projects and sketching.

Homemade Plein Air Studio for Watercolorby Walt Pierluissi - Doodlewash

I am including a photo of a portable painting set up for plein air painting that I built myself using an old tripod.  Normally I work from photos I have taken in my own studio, but I always carry with me a bag with some materials because you never know from where the inspiration will come.

When I am on site, I do sketches in pencil and some colors and I take a few photos of the scenery. Then, I will spend time in my studio developing the idea. Sometimes, I just do what I see, other times, I incorporate something extra. An example is the piece of the town entrance of Beech Grove, Indiana. I placed a 1920s auto into the piece with the intention of showing the timelessness of the scenery.

Beech Grove Autumn Watercolor Painting by Walt Pierluissi - Doodlewash

The prices of my pieces are very affordable because I only want to cover materials and have a little extra for my time.  Painting is a pleasure for me and I want to keep it like this, because at the moment I start to see my art as a business, I know I will lose the touch and my interest; it will be no longer fun.

Thank You, Doodlewash, and thanks to all of the community for your comments and for viewing my art.

Walt Pierluissi

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8 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “An Expression Of A Soul” by Walt Pierluissi

  1. Walter, I’ve been enjoying the art you’ve posted here, and it’s so nice to learn more about you. I agree about the difference between doing art for love and doing it to sell. There are probably many who can juggle the two, but I think it does make a difference in how much enjoyment you get from the process. Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us.

  2. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your life as an artist. It is very uplifting to have read your story because as a beginner I often pressure myself to make “masterpieces” as good as everyone else because my art pieces are often too “simple”. But after reading your story I now want strive to be a painter who enjoys the painting process in itself as an expression more than for money or for how “beautiful” it will turn out. 😀 Thank you for the inspiration.

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