It was around 1970 at the age of 10 when I began drawing cartoon characters and people I saw on TV. I sketched the characters in the Watergate hearings as they were televised live at that time. I was encouraged when people recognized my renditions and complimented me. In some ways you could say Richard Nixon got me started in art.

I was born in a small industrial town in Western NJ. The architecture of the old factories and mills is still vivid in my mind. The way that buildings and other man made elements collage together to make the fabric of a city or town appeals to me. I try to convey that in my paintings.

I went to art school to study painting and left with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design. I went on to earn a Masters of Architecture. After a few years working as an architect, I returned to my original plan, and started making paintings of the built environment.

Thomas BUCCI has been living in Washington DC and working full time as a professional artist since 1996.

Watercolor was my first love. The ability to quickly suggest form with loose washes and conjure the illusion of detail with crisp brushwork has always appealed to me. I’ve chosen watercolor for its gestural quality, capriciousness, and spontaneity. The way I approach watercolor requires me to work quickly and I’m willing to take the risks associated with that to fully realize its potential.

I am always actively looking for ideas for paintings. Sometimes the scene serves up a ready painting idea and I just have to put it down on paper. More often ideas come from something less complete; a glimpse of atmospheric effects, the way sunlight lands on a surface, or an element in a landscape. The most important part of painting for me is not actually painting, but the mental preparation that I’m doing all the time, but I do paint at every opportunity. Small pencil or watercolor sketches are also a key part of my process.

I often work in the studio but I prefer to work from life and on location, drawing inspiration directly from a subject. However, I treat what I see in front of me as a suggestion that can be manipulated as needed. A painting is not bound by existing light conditions, actual colors, or physical elements. I often move, eliminate, and add things to make a composition. This is the real joy of painting for me. I feel a painting is successful when I envision the result first and then make that happen. If a painting succeeds without a plan, it’s just luck.

Thomas BUCCI – Watercolor

2018 Exhibitions and Awards
Plein Air Easton, MD -Best Watercolor
Paint It! Ellicott City -1st Place
Mountain Maryland Plein Air -2nd Place
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 40th International Exhibition -Bronze Medal for Third Place
Salmagundi Club’s Annual Non-Member Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, New York NY
Art Renewal Center (ARC). Selected as a finalist in the Annual International Salon
Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s 117th Exhibition of Works on Paper
Mid Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition, Blackrock Arts Center, Gaithersburg, MD
Hudson Valley Art Association, Old Lyme CT
Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolor, View Arts, Old Forge NY -Gurdon & Mildred Evans Memorial Award
Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Watermedia Exhibition, Laguna Beach CA
Transparent Watercolor Society of America, 42nd Annual International Exhibition, Kenosha Public Museum, Kenosha WI
Red River Watercolor Society, 25th Annual National Juried Watermedia Exhibition, Hjemkomst Center, MN -Holbein Materials Award
FabrianoInAcquarello, International Exhibition & Watercolor Conference in Fabriano, Italy

2017 Exhibitions and Awards
American Watercolor Society, 150th Annual International Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, NYC
Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolor -Dr. Donald & Helen Budd Burness Memorial Award
Salmagundi Club’s Annual Non-Member Painting and Sculpture Exhibition -Thomas Mann Memorial Award
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 39th International Exhibition -Honorable Mention
Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s 117th Exhibition of Works on Paper -Bonnie & Harrison vonDuyke Award
Exhibition of Watercolors at Hill Center Galleries, Washington DC
Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition, August/September -Best Watercolor, Jefferson Market Gothic
Bucks County PA, Plein Air Festival, juried artist
Chestertown RiverArts Plein Air Quick Draw Competition –People’s Choice Award and an Honorable Mention
Paint It! Ellicott City MD, Quick Draw Competition -2nd Place (non-juried artist)

2016 Exhibitions and Awards
Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s Annual Juried Show
Salmagundi Club’s Annual Non-Member Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, NYC
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 38th International Exhibition -Mildred Sands Kratz Excellence in Realism Award
Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition, October/November -Best Watercolor, River Traffic Pittsburgh
Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition, August/September -Best Watercolor, City Hall Philadelphia

Other Exhibitions, Festivals & Awards
Crystal Moll Gallery, Baltimore MD, Summer Plein Air Exhibition 2018
South Street Art Gallery, Easton MD, Plein Air Group Show 2018
Manayunk Festival of Art, Philadelphia PA -Best of Show Award 2008, Best Painting Award 2014
McLean Project for the Arts, Strictly Painting Exhibition, McLean VA 2012
Contemporary Art Center of Virginia’s Annual Boardwalk Show -Best in Printmaking 2009
DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Project, Emerge Art Walk Graphic Mural, Washington DC 2008

Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Signature Member, Sylvan Grouse Medal
Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Signature Member
American Watercolor Society Associate Member

Corporate & Professional Collections
United States Embassy, Nicosia, Cyprus
Royal Embassy of Thailand, Washington DC
United States Embassy, Swaziland Africa
Ritz Carlton Hotel, San Francisco, CA
Marriott Hotel, Crystal City, VA
Louis Berger International, Washington DC
U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Washington DC
Capitol Hill Park Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC
Marriott Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington DC
Jefferson Hotel, Richmond VA

M.A. Architecture, 1990, University of Maryland
B.A. Graphic Design, 1981, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania