Chris Wagner

I create my works with a few goals in mind; the paintings that are most exemplary of my work are those in which these highest objectives are achieved. First and foremost of my goals is to project atmosphere and personality. Whether the painting is a portrait or a landscape, I strive to show what I feel from the subject. It may be the warmth of a summer day or the tranquility of being inside a forest; it might be the joy or sorrow of being in a subject’s presence.
Dichotomy is a standard in my works and signature of how I paint. Watercolors by nature are a light medium, but I push my colors far deeper than many artists. I want to have the most extreme of light colors balanced by the darkest, that is how life is, and it’s a constant goal in my paintings. If I don’t see the balance before the painting, the subject matter does not interest me. The extremes of the contrast are what makes my paintings come to life.
Any painting I take on has to present challenges to me going in. This attitude defines my third goal. I want to tackle a work because it will be difficult. I can’t grow as an artist if I don’t take on subject matter that presents problems. These difficulties could be the presence of a multitude of small details, an atmosphere that is challenging to translate to paper or an abundance of unnatural colors. There is no point to spending time and creativity if I’m not working towards something better. What I learn in one painting will translate to the next, thus there is continuity to my works, even though the subjects might not be related.
For those paintings that don’t achieve my goals, the failings are evident, but they are not thrown away. I keep those as a learning experience for the next work, failure is as important as success. It is incredibly enjoyable to juxtapose a successful painting with an unsuccessful one, to compare what worked to what didn’t. Those paintings that do succeed, I get to share with everyone. And above all that is the most enjoyable reward. There is no purpose to creating anything if I don’t have the intention of sharing the results of my skills and creativity.




1992 Graduate of the Corcoran School of Art & Design – BFA


Gallery & Alternate Space Shows


1992 Food & Co. Washington, DC

1994 9th Street Coffee Durham, NC

1999 Main Street gallery Waynesville, NC

2003 Space Gallery , Waynesville, NC solo show

2008-2011 Arts & Things Gallery, Morehead City, NC

2009 Art From The Heart, juried show, Morehead City, NC

won excellence of art award

2009 Represented by Artisan Direct

2011 Represented at



I paint mostly in watercolors, but am varied with my subjects. I love portraiture, landscapes and abstracts. These are some of my portraits.