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.

2018 Exhibitions and Awards
-Salmagundi Club’s Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, New York NY
-Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 40th International Exhibition -Third Place Winner with Bronze Medal
-Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s 117th Exhibition of Works on Paper
-Plein Air Easton, MD -Awarded Best Watercolor
-Paint It! Ellicott City -First Place Award
-Mountain Maryland Plein Air, juried artist
-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 -Awarded 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
-Art Renewal Center (ARC). Selected as a finalist in the Annual International Salon
-FabrianoInAcquarello, International Exhibition & Watercolor Conference in Fabriano, Italy
-Crystal Moll Gallery, Baltimore MD, Summer Plein Air Show
-South Street Art Gallery, Easton MD, group show
2017 Exhibitions and Awards
-American Watercolor Society’s 150th Annual International Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, NYC
-Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolor -Winner of the Dr. Donald & Helen Budd Burness Memorial Award
-Salmagundi Club’s Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition -Winner of the Thomas Mann Memorial Award
-Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 39th International Exhibition -Awarded an Honorable Mention
-Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s 117th Exhibition of Works on Paper -Winner of the 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 –Winner of the People’s Choice Award and an Honorable Mention
-Paint It! Ellicott City MD, Quick Draw Competition– Awarded 2nd Place (non-juried artist)
2016 Exhibitions and Awards
-Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s Annual Juried Show
-Salmagundi Club’s Annual Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, NYC
-Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 38th International Exhibition -Winner of The 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
Oher Exhibitions, Festivals & Awards
-Leesburg Fine Arts Festival, Leesburg VA 2015-2017
-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
-Central Pennsylvania Festival of Art, State College PA 2010
-Gallery 50, Rehoboth DE, Small Works Show, 2009-2010
-Contemporary Art Center of Virginia’s Annual Boardwalk Show -Best in Printmaking, 2009
-Rittenhouse Square Art Festival, Philadelphia PA 2009
-DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Project, Emerge Art Walk Graphic Mural, Washington DC 2008
-Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Signature Member
-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
Castle Hill Inn, Providence, RI
Marriott Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington DC
Jefferson Hotel, Richmond VA
Old Post Office, Washington DC
M.A. Architecture, 1990, University of Maryland
B.A. Graphic Design, 1981, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania