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  • Writer's pictureJoel Popadics

Watercolor Trivia

Did you know?...

George Washington once gifted a watercolor paint box to his niece, Nelly Custis, it sold at auction in 2004 for $175,500

George Washington once gifted an inlaid mahogany watercolor paint box to his niece, Nelly Custis, on the occasion of her fifteenth birthday. A label on the box read, "Given by General George Washington to Nelly Custis, on her 15th birthday, March 31st, 1793." The box sold at a Christie's auction in 2004 for $175,500. Odd that he would refer to himself as General, because in 1793 he was ending his first term as President.

Many writers, actors and celebrities have painted in watercolor; among them, Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited and singer Tony Bennett, who signs his paintings using his real name Antonio Benedetto. Victor Hugo, the great French playwright, poet and politician who wrote Les Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, also painted in watercolor. In addition to all he accomplished in his life, he created over 1400 watercolor paintings! Actress Jane Seymour, best known for her role in the television series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," works in the medium as well. Marilyn Monroe dabbled in watercolor, in fact, one of her paintings sold at auction in 2005 for $78,000. Perhaps the inscription under the image helped achieve the high price. It read, "Happy Birthday Pres. Kennedy from Marilyn Monroe."

Several British Royals, including Prince Charles and Queen Victoria, took up watercolor. She preferred painting with a number 7 round brush. In 1886, Victoria ordered the British art supply company, Winsor & Newton, to manufacture the highest quality brush in her favorite size. It's called the "Winsor & Newton Series 7 Brush" and is still available today.

Sirius XM Satellite Radio has a station called "Watercolors," which plays smooth jazz.

WaterColor® is a resort community on a 220 acre coastal lake in Florida. I guess it's the place where watercolorists retire?

I'm always scouring the Internet looking for articles with good watercolor trivia - I'd love to hear some of yours!

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