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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Jeffrey R. Watts

Jeffrey R. Watts

Jeffrey R. Watts is a southern California native. Growing up in rural San Diego county with an artist father, Watts demonstrated an early aptitude for the visual arts. But it was competitive sports that held his interest as a teenager. After an injury cut short his budding career in professional cycling, Jeff turned his focus back to art, enrolling at the California Art Institute in Calabasas. Watts was soon asked to teach at the institute and began to work as an illustrator in the movie industry. However, Jeff's goal to become an easel painter would draw him back to San Diego where he started a small life drawing and painting studio known as Watts Atelier of the Arts. ( ) Jeff's aesthetic sensibilities have long drawn him to the figurative art of nineteenth century Europe and Russia. His Atelier allows him to work regularly from the live model, grounding his work in traditional principles. Recently, Jeff's work has been compared to that of Nicolai Fechin, an influence he is quick to acknowledge. "I never tire of looking at the work of Nicolai Fechin" Watts says, "his work is the perfect combination of control and chaos." In 2008 The Taos Art Museum and Fechin House honored Watts with a Solo Exhibition in the original Taos home and studio of Mr. Nicolai Fechin.

Jeff's oil paintings have won numerous awards including First Place Portrait category and Second Place Landscape category from the Artist's Magazine, two consecutive Second Place Awards at the Salon International Exhibition, an Honor Award and an Award of Exceptional Merit from the Portrait Society of America, 3 Awards of Excellence from Oil Painters of America and 3 Top 100 Awards from Arts for the Parks among others. Watts is a regualr participant in the prestigious Prix de West Invitational held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Watts's work has been featured in Southwest Art , American Artist, Art of the West, Western Art Collector, American Art Collector, Drawing and Workshop magazines. Jeffrey R. Watts is a Master Signature member of Oil Painters of America, a Signature Member of both the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and the California Art Club, and holds membership in the Portrait Society of America.


Born San Diego, March 17, 1970
Studied at the California Art Institute 1990-92
Freelance Illustrator; Los Angeles 1992-94
Freelance Illustrator; San Diego 1994-1999


California Art Institute, 1991-92
Started Watts Atelier of the Arts, San Diego Ca, 1992-present


Solo Exhibition, Taos Art Museum & Fechin House, September 2008
2007-9 Prix de West Invitational Exhibition, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Solo Exhibition, Greenhouse Gallery, San Antonio, November 2007
2007-2010 Settlers West American Miniatures Show, Settlers West Gallery
Finalist, Figurative Category, International 2007 ARC Salon Competition
2006-9 Small Works, Great Wonders Show, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
2006-9 International Masters of Fine Art Exhibit, Greenhouse Gallery
Finalist Award 2006, 2008 & 2009 Portrait Society of America International Portrait Competition
Third Place Award, Drawing Category, International 2006 ARC Salon Competition
Honorable Mention, Figurative Category, International 2006 ARC Salon Competition
Second Place Award, Salon International 2004 & 2005, Greenhouse Gallery
CAC 94th-98th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, PMCA, Pasadena
Award of Excellence, OPA West/Southwest Mountain Regional Juried Exhibition 2004
Award of Excellence, OPA National Juried Exhibition 2004
First Place Award, Portrait Category, Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition 2003
2003-2007 Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting (LPAPA) Invitational Museum Show
Award of Excellence, OPA West/Southwest Mountain Regional Juried Exhibition 2003
Second Place Award, Landscape Category, Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition 2002
Top 100 Award, Arts for the Parks National Juried Exhibition, 2002, 2001, 1997
Oil Painters of America (OPA) West/Southwest Mountain Regional Juried Exhibition, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003
Oil Painters of America (OPA) National Juried Exhibition, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2002
"Five Artists to Watch", Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, February 2002
"Beaux Arts Bash", Scottsdale Artist’s School, Scottsdale, AZ, 2001-2007
Two Man Show, Ottinger Gallery, Chicago, February, 2001
Solo Exhibition, Robson Gallery, San Diego, March, 1998

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