Ambassador of the Week: Evelyn Dunphy

Meet Evelyn Dunphy, this week’s top American Watercolor Weekly Ambassador!

“Color of Sky and Stone” (watercolor, 36 x 42 in.) This painting resulted from an early morning walk on the coast; the massive boulders on the shore were highlighted by the rising sun. My goal was to create a path of light throughout the painting; to do so, I added a smaller light stones, and broken shells, no doubt dropped by gulls! This painting is presently being exhibited at the Guild of Boston Artists, in the New England Watercolor Society’s Signature Members show.

Evelyn Dunphy lives in mid-coast Maine and has become known for her poetic landscapes and dramatic still life watercolors. Evelyn considered herself an artist from childhood and made art of many kinds during the years when she and her husband were raising their children. After designing and sewing intricate hand-appliquéd wall hangings that were exhibited in galleries in New York and Connecticut, including a commission for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Dunphy moved to Maine with her husband. After several years restoring their old farmhouse and working full-time, Dunphy realized a life dream and began painting.

“Feast From the Sea” (watercolor, 24 x 26 in.) I have always thought that oysters are beautiful, with their lustrous texture. Our neighbor, who raises oysters, brought some to me so that I could use them in a still life set up for my students. I knew immediately that I wanted to do a painting of them. I put them on a very special plate that belonged to my mother. Each oyster was painted as a small portrait. I used Daniel Smith’s iridescent pigments for the inner flesh. It helped give them a sensuous, lustrous texture. This painting was given the Edgar Whitney award at the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club’s 121st Exhibition, and was included in SPLASH.

In 2000, she resigned from her job with a biomedical research firm to become a full-time artist. Dunphy has traveled widely and her interests are reflected in a broad range of subjects, from Africa to Japan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and, dearest to her heart: Maine, from the coast to Mount Katahdin. Dunphy’s paintings have been featured in International Artist magazine, where a painting made when she climbed Mt. Fuji was chosen for the “Master Painters of the U.S.” section. Another was a finalist in the “Flowers and Gardens” competition. A series of paintings was included in a feature “The Pursuit of Excellence” in WATERCOLOR magazine. A story in Art Collector magazine titled “Leading Ladies” featured two of her Katahdin paintings. Her paintings have also been finalists in the Artist’s Magazine competition and Plein Air Salon.

“The Mended Bowl” (watercolor, 20 x 28 in.) One morning, I happened to go upstairs and saw a beam of morning sun streaming in a small window onto the floor. I quickly got a chair, a linen tablecloth out of the closet, and an old Chinese bowl that has a mended crack in the side.
I took several photos, from every angle. I liked this one because of the very strong light and shadow pattern. You can see that I added paper white bulbs to the bowl. I had considered black plums. That seemed to add to the “Chinese” subject. But then while passing through our sunroom in the house, I noticed that the paper whites were just starting to sprout – and eureka! The perfect thing. So I took the bowl out to the studio and drew them in. This painting was requested by “Pratique des Artes”, France, as part of a story on American watercolor artists.

Her work has been featured in The Art of Watercolour, France/UK, Pratique des Artes, France, and North Light Publishing 2015 “Splash”. Two of her still life paintings were among 275 out of 3980 to reach the third level of judging in the World Watercolour Competition, sponsored by “The Art of Watercolour” magazine, published in France.

Dunphy was recognized by the Trust for Public Lands for her contribution to the successful campaign to raise $14 million dollars in private funds to purchase Katahdin Lake and the surrounding 6000 acres and add it to Baxter State Park, thus saving it from development. She was the first Resident Artist in the history of the 200,000+ acre wilderness park.

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.


  1. So nice to see Evelyn’s paintings here. I’m always impressed by the level of development in her works. What could be better than a watercolor workshop in Maine!


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