top of page


Joel in East Studio.jpg

Joel Popadics AWS, ASMA

Joel Popadics has been a professional artist for over 30 years. His watercolors have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums across the United States including the National Academy of Art and Design in New York; the Place St. Charles Gallery in New Orleans and the San Francisco Academy of Art in San Francisco. He is an annual exhibitor in the "International Marine Art Exhibition" at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut.


His paintings are in public and private collections most notably, the Art for Healing Program at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, NJ; the Hamilton House Museum in Clifton, NJ; The Ridgewood Art Institute Permanent Collection and the United Methodist Church in Ridgewood, NJ. His artwork has raised money for charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Table-to-Table Food Bank Network and the LAM Foundation. 


Mr. Popadics is the recipient of numerous national awards.  He has received the Edgar A. Whitney Memorial Award from the Hudson Valley Art Association; the Grumbacher Gold Medal from the California Watercolor Association and the Silver Medal of Honor (twice) from the New Jersey Watercolor Society (NJWCS). He has been featured many times in AMERICAN ARTIST, THE ARTIST'S MAGAZINE, WATERCOLOR ARTIST, and WATERCOLOR MAGIC MAGAZINES. 


Popadics is an advocate of watercolor and has dedicated his career to the advancement and appreciation of the medium. He is Vice President/Treasurer of the prestigious American Watercolor Society in New York City and a Past-President of the New Jersey Water Color Society. He has also served on the board of the Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, NJ, where he currently teaches watercolor and drawing to adults and children. 


During the summer, he leads outdoor painting workshops to various locations in the United States and Europe. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont and continues to teach an annual summer workshop with the Shelburne Craft School. He has been a lecturer at Parsons School of Design and at The King's College in NYC.


Joel Popadics was born in Passaic County, NJ in 1961. He received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is represented in some of the finest galleries in the Northeast. He resides in Wayne, NJ with his wife Patricia and their two sons.

Artist Statement

Warm Palette Colors.jpg

My formal art training was in oil painting and while I appreciate all that I learned about oils, I love the look and essence of watercolor. When I work with watercolor, I am reminded how unpredictable life is and to always expect the unexpected. I like the feel of a handmade sheet of paper; the cotton fiber surface is slightly irregular and it is surprisingly heavy. Before I start a picture, I know a small spot somewhere on it will be left untouched, unpainted and reserved for my highest value. When I look at a blank sheet, I often ponder where that preserved white will occur.


Many special moments in my life have involved the outdoors and I've spent countless hours in front of my easel witnessing nature's temperamental moods. Observing rapidly shifting shadow patterns and changing skies evoke so many feelings within me, including a desire to capture what I see in paint. My pictures are first and foremost about light; whether it is the reddish glow of a morning sunrise; the bright, golden sunshine of afternoon; or the subtle cool blue radiance of an overcast day. When people view my work, I'd like them to have an emotional reaction. I want them to say, "I've seen that sky before or I can feel the chill in the winter air." 


I am a self-confessed follower of fog. I love to paint haze, mist and all sorts of atmospheric effects. Many landscape painters load detail into their art, thinking that somehow it will make their paintings more realistic. For me, less is more, and nothing obscures detail better than fog. It is very satisfying for me to get the feeling of air into a picture with an economy of brushstroke.


Solo Shows

2016 "Watercolors at Latour"

Latour French American Grill, Ridgewood, NJ

2016 "Moody Watercolors"

The Ridgewood Stable, Ridgewood, NJ

2014 "Plein Air Watercolors"

The Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, NJ

2013 "Watercolors Filled with Light, Atmosphere & Weather" 

North Tahoe Art Center, Tahoe City, CA 

2012 "A Celebration of Light, an Exhibition of Original Watercolors" 

Art for Healing Gallery at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, Plainsboro, NJ

2006 "Parloff Home Benefit Concerts"

Ridgewood, NJ

2003 "Coastal New England, the Watercolors of Joel Popadics" 

Art of the Sea Galleries, Rockland, ME

2003 "Plein Air" 

Berlex Corporate Galleries, Wayne, NJ

Curated by Mariana Maldonaldo

2001 "Recent Traditional Watercolors" 

The Montgomery Cultural Center  - 1860 House, Skillman, NJ

1998 "Landscapes" 

The Bergen Museum of Art & Science, Paramus, NJ


Selected Exhibitions

2013 "Living Color - The Watercolorists" 

Bryan Memorial Gallery, Jeffersonville, VT

2013 "A Gathering of Marine Masters"

Art of the Sea Galleries, South Thomaston, ME

2008 "Summer Invitational Show" 

Peter McPhee Fine Art Galleries, Stone Harbor, NJ

2004 "An Artful Evening of Wishes 2004"

Benefit for the Make a Wish Foundation

Wachovia Corporation, Short Hills, NJ

2001 "Lighthouse Impressions"

Hamilton House Museum, Clifton, NJ

Curated by Gen Generilli

2000 "Best of the Best"

Visual Arts Museum at the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

1999 "Joel Popadics & His Students" 

The Ridgewood Art Institute Galleries, Ridgewood, NJ

1999 "More Artistic License"

Nabisco Galleries, East Hanover, NJ

Curated by Nancy Chandor and Lea Angell


Awards and Honors
2017 "The Kashiwa Legacy Award" 

Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors

2017 "The Rudolph Schaeffer III Emerging Artist Award"

39th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery

2016 "The Howard Slater Memorial Award" 

Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors

2013 "Silver Medal of Honor"

Annual Open Juried Exhibition of the New Jersey Watercolor Society

2007 "Edgar A. Whitney Memorial Award" 

Annual Exhibition, Hudson Valley Art Association

2002 "Best-in Show - The Mary S. Lawrence Founders Award" 

Annual Open Juried Exhibition of the New Jersey Watercolor Society

2001 "The Grumbacher Gold Medal" 

California Watercolor Association National Exhibition


The University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, Plainsboro, NJ
The Ridgewood Art Institute Permanent Collection, Ridgewood NJ
The Hamilton House Museum, Clifton, NJ

United Methodist Church, Ridgewood, NJ

Henry Anitole Grunwald (Private Collection), former Editor-In-Chief, Time, Inc.



John Parks, "Restraint and Simplicity" 

Watercolor Artist Magazine, October 2019

Joel Popadics, "Create Your Own Solutions to Painting Challenges" 

The Complete Painter's Handbook, July 2012

Joel Popadics, "Making a Warming Palette to Paint Watercolors in the Winter"

American Artist Magazine, February 2009

Debra Anderson, "Art in the Everyday"

Ridgewood Magazine, December 2005

Louise Hafesh, "Splashes of Color, The Spontaneous Splendor of Watercolor

Painting" (201) Magazine, July 2005

Marie Maber, "A Watercolor Wonderland at the Monmouth Museum"

Asbury Park Press, October, 2004

M. Stephen Doherty, "A Prismatic Palette"

American Artist Magazine, July 2004

Joel Popadics, "Mood Lighting"

The Artist's Magazine, June 2004

Joel Popadics, "Summer, the Season of Light"

The Artist's Magazine, March 2003 

Joel Popadics, "In Search of the Perfect Scene"

The Artist's Magazine, June 2000

Joel Popadics, "Getting the Greens Right"

The Artist's Magazine, July 1998


Teaching & Professional Experience

July 1991 - Present

Watercolor Instructor, Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, NJ

September 1995 - Present

Watercolor Instructor, Ridgewood Adult Community School, Ridgewood, NJ

July 1996 - Present

Watercolor Workshop Instructor - On location in Ireland and various locations in New England, New York and New Jersey

January 1987 - Present

Fine Artist, Traditional landscape, portrait and still life 

August 1984 - 1995 

Freelance Illustrator, Numerous clients in publishing, graphic design and advertising

September 1983 - March 1988

Assistant to Watercolorist, James McMullan



1983 - BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

bottom of page