Watercolors by Deborah Swan-McDonald
Watercolor Impressions of Nature

Deborah Swan-McDonald


Cactus Festival II

I have been excited about making art since I was five.  I can still remember getting my first drawing book and spending hours making sketches. In high school I began to experiment with various art mediums. I continued to concentrate in art in college and received a Bachelor's of Science in Art Education from Southern Illinois University.  At that time I realized that I was sure I wanted to become a watercolor painter and teacher.

I chose watercolor because it is exciting and unpredictable.  I love the way the medium helps me to portray the feelings that I have when I first observe my subject.  I have studied and taken workshops with a number of well known master-painters.  Some of these teachers are Katherine Liu, Jake Lee, Hal Reed, Zoltan Szabo, Charles Reid, Barbara Nechis and Irving Shapiro.  These amazing instructors have helped me to become skilled and find my own path in my art career.  I like to paint numerous subjects, but I particularly enjoy painting an impression or an essence of my chosen theme. My favorite subjects are people, gardens and landscapes.  I also teach watercolor at Otis College of Art and Design and to private classes.   

List of Accomplishments:

  • Juried Member of Watercolor West
  • Limited edition prints from my paintings produced and distributed by Publisher, Soicher Marin
  • Prints displayed at Hilton Head and Art Expo World in London
  • Paintings and prints auctioned for the California Institute for Cancer Research
  • Paintings displayed in the Charlie Chaplin and Cecil B. Demille Design House
  • Painting selected for publication in the 2005 February issue of Watercolor Artist
  • Award winner in the Valley Watercolor Society Show 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Award winner in the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibit 2011
  • My painting, "Cactus Festival II," selected for the Watercolor West International Exhibit 2010
  • Yearly exhibitions of my paintings at Descanso Gardens 2005 - 2011
  • Watercolor instructor at Otis College of Art and Design extension program - 2004 to present
  • Granted signature membership status in the National Watercolor Society - 2011
  • My painting, "The Professor", was selected to be published in Splash 14 and was chosen for the National Watercolor Society International Exhibit 2011