Category Archives: About Me

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to wish all of you a Happy and prosperous new year! You won’t find ‘ greeting card’ style paintings posted on here or anywhere else. Not my style. Instead I’ll show a bit of new stuff I am working on right now, like this:

In the zone, web The passionate man, web

Stay tuned, everyone. I am just getting started

Some of my new year’s resolutions: Become a better painter, paint more than 200 paintings next year. Set the bar high! All the best to you; over and out!

Feature in International Artist’s magazine

Very happy to have this small feature of my work in this month’s issue. International Artist is one of the better magazines out there, in my opinion. This was a competition with the category rivers, seascapes etc. and they picked my work as one of the finalists.

Also happy to report that my painting ‘Dordogne River valley view’  is featured in an article about this year’s travel show of the American Watercolor Society in the magazine ‘The Art of watercolour’ . The English version of this excellent french magazine is available at all Barnes and Nobles stores here in the US.  The Traveling Exhibit of the American Watercolor Society is currently hosted by the Steamboat Art Museum at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Adventures in plein air painting Part III

Jacobsplatz, 2012 by frankeber       painting in Avignon

Last post dealt with comments from passers-by when painting on location. It seemed well received as I got a lot of hits and very nice comments. Thank you, Everyone!

This time around, I’d like to share a bit of the process i.e. equipment, set-up, etc. I use while painting outside. I have changed things over the years and I am still not completely happy with it, but it works well and is very light-weight. It is absolutely imperative to keep the weight down! At the same time, it is the hardest thing to do!

We do need water, we have to bring the whole palette, the paper, the brushes and the painting surface. I built a portfolio out of two pieces of coroplast I bought at the home depot (total price: $10). Not only is it a portfolio to store the paper, it also serves as the painting surface at the same time. No need to bring a third piece, like a gater board or foam board (it’s all bulk you have to lug around) I just duct taped them together and attached a sling for easy carrying. Very light!
Once I am ready to paint, I tape the paper right on top, clip the whole portfolio to the easel and, voilá, it is now a painting surface!


My biggest gripe is that you cannot find an easel with a drawer that pulls out on the side as oppose to the front where it prevents you from getting close to your work. I am currently having an easel built to solve this problem once and for all! There is one out there, it’s called the Joe Miller field easel which comes close. But I have heard there are problems with the legs and it still does not completely resolve the second thing that really bugs me about all the field easels out there:

There is no way you can put your water and palette on the side drawers without having access issues once you pull up your painting surface at an angle. I don’t know if I am explaining this well but you basically have to look around ( the corner)/ your work everytime you pick up pigment or water with your brush. The only way to solve this is to have a drawer that not only pulls out to the side (first) but also to the front (second). Kind of like a drawer with a pull-out flat surface at an angle. That way it’s basically next to you as oppose to hidden behind the painting surface!

Like I said, the biggest issue is weight so it has to have aluminum legs! Most prochade painting boxes are way too heavy and cumbersome!


While painting in Europe the entire last month, I discovered that the duffel bag has to go as well! After a few kilometers of Euro streets,walking here and there, up and down and around, it started hurting my shoulder quite a bit. And I thought my set-up is light… well, it is but not light enough! I’d say it has to be less than 20 lbs total – meaning paint tubes, water, brushes, everything!
15 lbs would be ideal and like a backpack on your back. That way you have your hands free to snap pictures while looking around.

Painting size for plein air is usually 1/4 sheet or less. Half sheet works, but is tricky since light condition change quickly and drying time can create a lot of problems when working larger sizes. My goal is to finish in an hour, or hour and a half the most. The light won’t change too much during that timeframe and it is possible to capture the atmosphere of the place.

I’ll let you know once my easel is done

90th Annual Exhibition of the National Watercolor Society

On Saturday, October 30, the National Watercolor Society held its 90th Annual Exhibition and Awards Ceremony.

I am proud and honored to say that my painting, St. Mark’s Plaza, Venice (2010) was included in this year’s show. Additionally, I attained Signature status with one of the most prestigious watercolor societies in the country! Wow. As I have learned during the last two days, speaking with many artists during the ceremony and reception, it is by no means an easy feat to accomplish! To think that I was accepted on my first try should really give me confidence in my art, talent and career. As Mike Bailey, current president of the NWS said in his introductory speech, becoming a member of the NWS is a significant point in a watercolor artist’s career. It still has to sink in.

Frank Eber at the 2010 NWS Exhibit Incoming 2010 NWS Signature members
Saturday was also the official opening and ribbon cutting of the new NWS building, which is located in San Pedro, California. I had the pleasure of meeting the aforementioned Mike Bailey, as well as Exhibitions Director Nancy Shiershke and Membership/Communications Director Loa Sprung. I also met the great John Salminen and was able to attend a five-hour demonstration of his magic!

This year’s exhibition is truly amazing and if you have a chance, go see it. There are so many great works of art to admire: watercolor at its finest! All in one room you encounter a wide range of styles, concepts, and subject matter. Sizes ranging from 10″ x 14″ to well over 48″. What a truly wonderful exhibit.

I must mention the people I met there. One of the most memorable experiences was meeting the amazing Roland Lee and his wife Nellie from Utah. His rendering of water in his submitted piece is simply breathtaking. I’m proud to say that Angela Chang, whom I shared a table with at lunch, is now my friend! She was featured on the Artists Network as one of 2010’s watercolor one’s to watch. A truly magnificent, generous artist, and we both agreed to stay in touch and paint sometime soon. I also finally met the great Keiko Tanabe whom I am friends with on the Facebook network. Not only was she awarded Signature status, her submission won a prestigious award, deservedly so.

Roland Lee and Frank Eber, 2010 NWS Exhibition

Last but not least, I met Pam Hudson, the most pleasant, wittiest, and outgoing person you’ll ever meet. She represents Daniel Smith art supplies, and Canson and Arches papers. She thought it was the greatest thing that I had lived and painted close to the original Arches mill in the south of France, and to have one of my plein air works of Avignon on my business card.

All in all, it was a very memorable experience which hopefully will help me find good representation for my art in the near future. Also it was a very humbling, but at the same time, an inspiring experience, to see all the great art works in the show and to be part of this great organization. I consider myself a lucky man!

Me at the NWS Awards Exhibit NWS Awards Luncheon, 2010

Here’s to watercolor, the greatest medium!

Frank Eber, NWS

About the Artist

Frank Eber is an artist. He currently lives in the beautiful Provence in France.

He has 20+ years of experience painting with all kinds of media, but is currently focusing on watercolor. His background is in illustration and commercial art.

Frank loves to rock climb. He prefers green over blue, wine over beer (shocking for a German), and Judas Priest over Metallica.

See my work.
Become a fan on Facebook.