PleinAir Magazine


First introduced to watercolor by a friend in college, Tim Oliver fell in love with the transparency and color-blending qualities of the medium. A landscape architect by trade, he also has a reputation as a top-notch plein air watercolor painter, describing his style as “sloppy representationalism.”

Based in Lubbock, Texas, Oliver recently took some time out of his busy workday (a storm had hit near one of his landscape jobs in Amarillo, and he was on his way to check on his team and the project) to talk to me about the sketchy quality of his work, what draws him to a subject, and how watercolor helps him tell the stories of the landscapes he cherishes.

Kelly Kane: I know you dabbled in watercolors while at university, but can you talk about how you got started with them in earnest?

It was quite a while later, and I figured out pretty early on that I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out on my own.

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