BIO & Resumé

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.

I’ve chosen watercolor for its ability to quickly suggest form with loose washes and to conjure the illusion of detail with crisp brushwork. I also love the gestural quality, capriciousness, and spontaneity of a transparent medium. 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 paint 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.


2022 Exhibitions & Events

  • PleinAir Magazine Salon Competition, February, Best Watercolor Award
  • Salmagundi Club Annual Members Exhibition, NY, NY
  • PleinAir LIVE Faculty, Streamline Publishing
  • Olmsted Plein Air Invitational (Atlanta GA) Judges Award & Best Architectural Award
  • Plein Air Easton Podcast Interview
  • Plein Air New Bern (NC)
  • FabrianoInAcquarello, International Watercolor Exhibition in Bologna, ITALY
  • Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival (Nova Scotia)
  • Plein Air Easton (MD)
  • Sketch Class at Winslow Art Center, Bainbridge Island, WA

2021 Exhibitions & Events

  • Signature American International Watermedia Exhibition at the Fallbrook Art Center, CA
  • Plein Air Easton, Easton MD, Award for Best Architectural Subject
  • Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, Atlanta GA, Jurors Award of Merit
  • Plein Air New Bern, New Bern NC
  • Mountain Maryland Plein Air, Cumberland Maryland, First Place Award in Quick Draw
  • Salmagundi Club’s Annual Members Show, NYC, John N Lewis Memorial Award
  • Salmagundi Club’s Cityscapes Show, NYC
  • Breaking Glass Exhibition, The Painting Center, NYC, An exhibition of watercolors framed without glass, sponsored by Golden Artists Materials
  • Northwest Watercolor Society Annual Members Show, Seattle WA
  • FabrianoInAcquarello, International Exhibition & Watercolor Conference in Fabriano, ITALY
  • American Watercolor Society, Associate Members Exhibition

2020 Exhibitions, Events, & Awards

  • National Watercolor Society’s 100th International Open Exhibition
  • Transparent Watercolor Society of America’s Annual Exhibition, Kenosha WI, Edgar A Whitney Memorial Award of Excellence
  • Feature Article on my work in Feb/Mar 2020 Issue of Plein Air Magazine entitled “The City As Muse” by Bob Bahr
  • Plein Air Easton, Easton MD, Awarded Best of Show at Chesapeake Maritime Museum
  • Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, Atlanta GA
  • Salmagundi Club Spring Auction, NY NY, Tuttle Memorial Award for Cityscape
  • Northwest Watercolor Society Annual Open Show, Seattle WA, Award sponsored by the Strathmore Paper Co
  • Philadelphia Watercolor Society 120th Annual International Exhibition of Works on Paper, Newman & Saunders Gallery Award
  • FabrianoInAcquarello, International Exhibition & Watercolor Conference in Fabriano, ITALY
  • Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters, Featured Artist May 2020
  • Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival, Parrsboro Nova Scotia, Third Place Award
  • Taught a 6-week Sketchbook Class at Chesapeake Fine Arts Studios, online with ZOOM. “Sketchbook Studies: Using Sketches to Prepare for a Painting”
  • Pittsburgh Watercolor Society Annual Open Exhibition
  • “Sketchbook Studies,” Demonstration presented by the Philadelphia Watercolor Society
  • Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters, Waterworks Exhibition
  • Mountain Maryland Plein Air, Cumberland Maryland (Postponed till 2021)
  • Taught a 4-week Sketchbook Class at Chesapeake Fine Arts Studios, online with ZOOM. “Sketchbook Studies: Using Sketches to Prepare for a Painting,”
  • Louisiana Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition, New Orleans LA
  • Plein Air New Bern, New Bern NC (Postponed till 2021)
  • Northwest Watercolor Society Members Show, Seattle WA
  • Watercolor Demo at Annapolis Watercolor Club, Maryland Hall, Annapolis MD
  • Crystal Moll Gallery, 10th Anniversary Show, Baltimore MD
  • “Cocktails & Conversation,” a live onstage and webcast 3-person panel discussion on the experience of participating in Plein Air Easton. Avalon Theatre. Followed by a Reception and Exhibition at Trippe Gallery, Easton MD
  • Chadds Ford Paint Out, Chadds Ford Historical Society, Chadds Ford PA
  • Taught a 4-week Watercolor Class at Chesapeake Fine Arts Studios, Stevensville MD. “Gaining Confidence with Watercolor”

2019 Exhibitions, Events, & Awards

  • FabrianoInAcquarello, International Exhibition & Watercolor Conference in Fabriano, Italy, Painting Demonstrator & Work Selected for the Traveling Exhibition
  • Plein Air Easton Quick Draw, Alumni Award with Invitation to PAE 2020
  • Salmagundi Club Fall Auction, Mortimer E. Freehoff Award
  • Crystal Moll Gallery, Summer Plein Air Show, Baltimore MD
  • Crystal Moll Gallery, 4-Person Show, “Fab 4,” Baltimore MD
  • Finger Lakes Plein Air, Canandaigua NY, People’s Choice Award, Quick Draw
  • West Reading Plein Air, Reading PA, Honorable Mention
  • Parrsboro Plein Air, Parrsboro Nova Scotia, Best Nocturne
  • Paint It! Ellicott City, MD, Juror’s Award 5th Place
  • Chadds Ford Winter Paint-Out, Chadds Ford PA Historical Society
  • Pennsylvania Watercolor Society Online Member Show, Honorable Mention
  • Society of Watercolor Artists Juried International Exhibition, Fort Worth TX
  • Illinois Watercolor Society 35th National Exhibition, Outstanding Landscape Award and the Directors Choice Award
  • LPAPA Waterworks Exhibition, Ocean View Gallery, LA CA
  • Northwest Watercolor Society, Seattle WA –FASO Artist Websites & Jack Richeson Materials Award
  • Watercolor Art Society-Houston, 42nd International Watermedia Exhibition, Houston TX
  • Louisiana Watercolor Society, 49th Annual International Exhibition, New Orleans LA
  • Pikes Peak Watercolor Society International Watermedia Exhibition
  • Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors, View Arts
  • Hudson Valley Art Association, Old Lyme
  • Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s PWS 41th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Jack Richeson and Creative Catalyst Award
  • Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s 119th International Exhibit of Works on Paper

2018 Exhibitions, Events, & Awards

  • Plein Air Easton, MD, Awarded 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 and Induction to the Sylvan Grouse Guild
  • 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
  • Crystal Moll Gallery, Baltimore MD, Summer Plein Air Exhibition
  • South Street Art Gallery, Easton MD, Plein Air Group Show
  • 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, Events, & Awards

  • American Watercolor Society’s 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 Moran 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
  • 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, Events, & Awards

  • Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s Annual International Exhibition
  • 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

  • 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


  • Salmagundi Club of New York (SCNY), Artist Member
  • Pennsylvania Watercolor Society (PWS), Signature Member, Sylvan Grouse Guild Medal
  • Philadelphia Watercolor Society (PWCS), Signature Member
  • Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), Signature Member
  • National Watercolor Society (NWS), Associate Member
  • Transparent Watercolor Society of American (TWSA), Associate Member
  • Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association (MAPAPA)
  • Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA)
  • American Watercolor Society (AWS), Associate Member
  • American Impressionist Society (AIS), 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