Greensboro artist accepted into prestigious watercolorist competition

by Kashif Stone

What started as a hobby is now the life’s work of Laura Poss, a Greensboro native who is excited to announce her admission into the Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s 70th Annual Exhibition. This prestigious event recognizes and awards some of the best watercolorists in the state.

Poss enjoys all types of arts and crafts and believes her creativity derives from being an only child until the age of 10. Her solitary home life led her to find things that she could draw, paint, or simply put together, often impressing her mother with her artistic abilities. She turned to illustration during her teenage and early adult years, mainly copying characters from animated movies and books, which she says was her biggest inspiration at that point in her life. When Poss married and gave birth to her son, she naturally started creating art for her child by decorating his room with her original pieces.

Also, at that time, she became fond of craft acrylics and soon began painting all the furniture and other blank surfaces in her home.

Poss discovered watercolor painting around the time her son began middle school. She was living in Oriental, North Carolina, when she saw the works of a professional watercolor artist name Ernest Johnson. “The way he painted sailboats in the water was so fresh and beautiful and I couldn’t get over the transparent nature of his watercolor washes,” said Poss after explaining that Johnson’s work was what inspired her to try this medium of art.

The Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s Annual Exhibition is a competition that many statewide watercolorists strive to gain acceptance into. Poss learned about the competition following the work of other North Carolina artist she admired. Whenever an artist is accepted into three of the annual exhibitions that artist receives the honor of becoming a Signature Member, which is what Poss wishes to become. “I feel like setting goals for myself as an artist pushes me to try new things and to work harder to become a better artist” said Poss, who believes goal-setting keeps her from becoming complacent in her work.

For the competition, Poss will be showcasing what she described as one of the best paintings she’s ever created. The piece is called iTunes and is composed from photographs that she captured of her 16-year old son during their visit to Southport last summer. “I thought that the scene would make an excellent painting of him because of the way that he sits, listening to his iPod, looking out over the water. He’s still with us, his parents, but yet setting himself apart, choosing his music and finding somewhere to sit alone,” Poss said, adding that she was not sure if he was aware of being photographed. Poss was allowed to enter two paintings into the competition, and although she had a difficult time selecting her second painting, her iTunes piece was indisputably her first choice for submission.

Being accepted into the Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s Annual Exhibition is a big deal for Poss and as she indicated it is possibly the biggest accomplishment she achieved thus far as a watercolorist. In the past she has showcased her work at many juried arts and crafts shows, as well as festivals throughout North Carolina, and has had the honor of selling over a hundred of her original watercolor paintings plus many more of her giclee’ reproductions. !


The Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s 70th Annual Exhibition will be on display at Mooresville Arts, located at W. Center St, Mooresville NC, October 11- November 29. The exhibit is open to the public and will be showcased Tuesday- Saturday from 12-5pm .