Vermont artist showcases work in NYC exhibit

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) A Vermont watercolor artist will have a chance to showcase his work alongside some of the best in the world. His paintings originate from photos and his skills with a brush come naturally.

Although this is a scene from a central Pennsylvania farm, it's one familiar to Vermonters. "The muddy driveway to a barn with the tractor and the way tractor tries would make ruts in the snow," says Mike Ridge.

Ridge grew up right around the corner from this farm. He's been a watercolor artist ever since being introduced to it in high school.

Ridge says, "I love the transparency of the colors on the page, the way the paint flows and interacts with itself on the paper."

His painting, "Tracks," was recently selected for an international watercolor exhibit in New York City that's taken place every year for over 150 years.

"I almost couldn't believe it," Ridge says, "to be in a show with these other people that I admire is really exciting and it is quite an honor."

Sue Higby says, "He's a very skilled artist."

If you need a taste of Ridge's work locally, his Chile pepper is part of the Botanical Blitz exhibit at Studio Place Arts in Barre.

"A lot of people have come in and they've commented that you can almost smell those peppers and you know they are just very impressed with his handling of the media," says Higby.

Ridge explains, "It's possible to approach realism with the medium, but still try to keep some kind of fluidity and some painterly qualities in it as well." [Duration:0'10"]

A local artist changing the landscape of watercolor.

The 153rd annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society opens on April 6. Mike Ridge and his family plan to be in New York City for the reception.