May 2017

Moored-Castine, Acrylic on paper, 18” x 18”

For centuries, masters of medium have formed and joined organizations germane to their styles of choice. In modern history, few such clubs have become as prestigious and revered as the American Watercolor Society (AWS), a group that has supported such members as Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, and Edward Hopper. Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, the organization has welcomed native Tennessean and longtime Nashville resident Nick Long into its ranks.

Long’s acrylic work Moored-Castine, an incredibly lifelike 18×18, contemporary realist depiction of rope and stone, was chosen by AWS’s jury of selection for signature membership. The work is notable for its depth of detail, textural contrast, and complementary color palette. The painting was featured last month during AWS’s anniversary exhibition at New York’s Salmagundi Club.

“I want a viewer to be drawn in with the dynamic and simplicity of the composition, moving closer to feel the warm light on that September afternoon in Maine and then experience the texture of the stone and rope as if they could touch it,” Long said. “I want visitors to see what I saw.”

Long, who moved to Nashville in 1977 to pursue a graphic design career and illustration work, has been working in acrylic since he was in college and it was introduced as a new medium. He decided to exclusively work in acrylic fifteen years ago.

“Acrylic gives me the flexibility to move paint around any way I want,” Long explained. “Some passages are thick while others have very thin washes or glazes to alter the value or temperature . . . What [the medium’s range of hues] gives to an expressive hand is the opportunity to make bright, explosive paintings with texture and color or a nuanced, understated painting with subtle color transitions.”

See more of Nick Long’s paintings at



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