Richard Russell Sneary
I started painting as a watercolorist, primarily en plein air, in 2011, after nearly forty years as an Architectural Illustrator and Architect. I’ve been drawing since I was 5 or 6 years old. Dogs and horses at first, later cars, planes, etc., and then buildings, which I still do today. Architecture was my first love, and has formed the foundation of my understanding of design, composition, freehand drawing, perspective, the built, the natural environment, and many other aspects of my professional growth. I became interested in plein air painting in the late nineties when myself and 50 -100 architectural illustrators would spend Saturdays at our annual conventions drawing or painting outside in some great places like San Francisco, Boston, Yellowstone, and other venues, and although I only got to do it once or twice a year, it peaked my interest. In 1997 I thought it was time I started learning more about watercolor and painting in plein air. Since then I’ve taken workshops along the coast of Maine with Carlton Plumber, in the Florida Keys with Jeanne Dobie, in Key West and Catalina Island with Charles Reid, in Victoria, Canada with Alvaro Castagnet, and at the Madeline Island School for Art on Lake Superior with Joseph Zubukvic and Herman Pekel. I’m sure it was both the excellent artists and the locations that hooked me, but either would have convinced me this was the way to paint! And so far, I have participated in some 50 plein air events all over the country, plus a couple of dozen more just-for-fun plein air paint-outs with many of my colleagues. I have had the good fortunate to paint with some of the best painters in the country, which has been a boatload of fun, and incredible learning experience, and a hell of a way to spend a day!
I am a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Missouri Watercolor Society, Outdoor Painters Society, President Emeritus of The American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), and Artist Faculty at the 2016 Plein Air Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona.
Recent awards include En Plein Air Texas 2014 & 2018, Best Architectural Award 2014 & Award of Distinction 2018; Telluride Plein Air 2018, 2nd Place Artists Choice; Shadows-on-the- Teche, 2nd Place; Cape Ann Plein Air 2016, 2017, & 2018 Neptune Harvest Award 2016 & 2017, Best Watercolor 2018; Missouri Valley Impressionist Society Juried Exhibition 2012, 2014, & 2018, Best of Show 2012, 2nd Place 2014, Best of Show 2018; Solomon Plein Air 2016 & 2017, Honorable Mention 2016, 3rd Place Sunset Quick Draw & Honorable Mention 2017; Paint The Pennisula 2016, 2017, & 2018 Best Architecture 2016, Best Waterscape 2017 & 2018 & Peoples Choice 3rd Place 2017 & Petite Painting 2nd Place 2018; Plein Air Easton 2012, 2013, 2017, Best Architecture 2012, Historic Preservation 2013, Best Use of Light & Honorable Mention 2017; Plein Air Magazine’s 6th Annual Plein Air Salon Winners, Honorable Mention; Plein Air Magazine’s 6th Annual Bi Monthly Apr/May 2017, Dec 2016/Jan 2017, Oct/Nov 2016, & Aug/ Sept 2016 Plein Air Salon Awards, 2nd Place, Best Artist over 60 (Apr/May), Best Sketchbook (Dec/Jan), Best Building, Best Nocturne (Oct/Nov), Best Watercolor (Aug/Sept); Plein Air Magazine’s 5th Annual Bi-Monthly Dec 2015/Jan 2016 Plein Air Salon Awards, Best Plein Air; 2017, 2016, 2014 Annual OPS Plein Air Southwest Salon, Honorable Mention 2017 & 2016, Dick Blick Art Materials Award for Excellence 2014; Wayne Plein Art Center Plein Air Festival 2017 & 2015, Canson Award 2017, Honorable Mention 2015; Lighthouse Art Center Plein Air Festival 2016, 1st Place Quick Draw; Plein Air Richmond 2014 & 2013, Honorable Mention 2014 & 1st Place in Fast & Fresh 2013; Easels in Frederick 2013, 1st Place in Quick Paint; Stems Plein Air Paint 2014, 2013, & 2011, 1st Place Watercolor 2014, 3rd Place Watercolor 2013, Best of Show, and 1st Place Watercolor 2011.
I am currently represented by Charles Fine Arts, Gloucester, MA, Strecker-Nelson Gallery in
Manhattan, Kansas, and McBride Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland.