Remembering Spencer Meagher

Spencer Meagher (1961 – 2024) was laid to rest this past weekend. After a hard-fought battle with cancer, he passed away on March 15, 2024.

Spencer Meagher

A professional artist who specialized in plein air painting, Spencer was remembered by his family and friends for his ability to “capture the unseen beauty in common places.”

Spencer’s work has taken top awards in art competitions around the country, and has been exhibited in many notable galleries. He was a member of Heartland Art Club, Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society, American Impressionist Society, Outdoor Painters Society, and Saint Louis Watercolor Society. 

Often accompanied on his adventures by his wife and Poco, his furry best friend, Spencer leaves behind a legacy of “love, faith, and creativity. He will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his contributions to the art community, and the joy he found in every brushstroke.”

A Focus on Drawing

Spencer started drawing at age 8, and spent 16 years as a draftsman at a manufacturing company, designing fuel pumps and water pumps. Drawing was in his blood.

“Bluford Grain Co” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.)

“My mom encouraged me when I was young, and got me whatever supplies I needed,” he said. “I started with watercolor in high school, and stuck with that for several years. But you find a gal, get married, have children, and it gets hard to find the time to do it and pay the bills. I did take a few watercolor workshops, and each one escalated my painting ability greatly. I’m a big believer in the idea that if you watch someone painting, you pick it up much faster.”

“Contemplation” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.)

Spencer had the ability to draw really fast, spending no more than 10 or 15 minutes laying out the composition. Once his underdrawing was done, he proceeded in watercolor. More likely than not, the artist was tackling a sunlit subject. He liked strong contrasts, so he said sunny scenes were always better for him. “On cloudy days I struggle a little more to get what I want,” he said. “Bright sunlight makes for low-hanging fruit for me. I’m drawn to strong contrasts and to bright colors. I try not to get too caught up in details. I want the lights and darks — the values — to tell the story.”

“Keyesville Morning Atmosphere” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.)

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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.


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