Michael Jacques

Michael Jacques


Early in my relationship with my wife (of 33 years and counting), she asked me what I hoped to accomplish with my painting. I replied that "I want to make exquisitely beautiful things." That reply, of course, begged more questions than it answered.

After going to art school years later, I was better prepared, telling her that--for my own art, anyway--I'm not so interested in expressing any particular philosophical position on why I paint, that I was more interested in the craft of painting than in pursuing whatever "art" value can be found in making watercolors on paper.

I had by then also a better explanation of what I meant by "exquisitely beautiful things." My goal was then--and remains--to make well-crafted paintings that demonstrate a continually increasing apprehension of the elements of most drawing and painting: composition and the use of line, shape, color, texture, and value. I strive to make paintings that will last a very long time.

My paintings are far from "exquisitely beautiful things," but I'm still learning and--I hope--getting better. I hope you enjoy them.



Watercolor on rough 300lb paper



I've been painting in watercolor since the mid-1970s; at first, because watercolor painting was cheaper and more portable than painting in oils. In art school, in the mid-1980s, though, I began to appreciate the medium for its strengths: its freshness and usefulness for painting in many styles, as well as for the ease of plein-airpainting.

Mostly, I paint from life. I might use an occasional photograph for reference, but I prefer to paint landscapes and city-scapes outside and still-lifes in my studio. I make sketches and use those--rather than photographs--for reference.

I've had a number of "day-jobs" and even "day-careers" to offset the costs of painting. Before I finished my BFA in Drawing and Painting (University of Washington, 1987), I worked ten years in the construction industry, during which time I learned lots of mechanical skills that have come in handy for the many technical parts of making and displaying my paintings. For the nearly 30 years since I graduated law school (Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, 1992), I've taught English as a Second/Foreign Language, in New York City, in Taiwan (17 years), and here in Pittsburgh (I'm an adjunct lecturer at Chatham University).

I don't paint every day, but I do answer questions about what I "do" with "I'm a watercolor painter." I became a member of Pittsburgh Watercolor Society in 2013, shortly after relocating here, and have become more diligent about painting. I'm fortunate to live in a big old "four-square" house--with my wife, our son, and two troublesome Labs--that affords me plenty of studio space, to paint watercolors and explore other media.

Blawnox Spring Clouds

Watercolor on cold-pressed paper


Blawnox Summer

Watercolor on cold-pressed paper


Blawnox Fall

Watercolor on hot-pressed paper


Development Opportunity

Watercolor on cold-pressed paper

$400 •SOLD

We Know Where You Live

Watercolor on hot-pressed paper

$800 (sold)


Watercolor on cold-pressed paper


Dad's Coat

Watercolor on hot-pressed paper



Compressed Charcoal and Charcoal on Illustration Board


Self Portrait as a Shirt


on Arches Watercolor Board


Stop back for more info and updates.