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Profile of the Artist

About my work, and about me

I am an artist, teacher, and life practitioner—exploring the power of fire, water, and yoga.

As I hike through the woods, everything I see, the natural environment and every living thing is powered by energy from the sun, and the water.  But it is ephemeral.  A beach is there one day, then no more.  The rocks and the streambed are carved, broken, and reformed.  Everything changes with the seasons. The sunlight warms me.  It all makes me feel very alive, here, now.  

This is what I mean by the power of fire, water, and yoga.

My paintings are semi-realistic, with a certain abstract quality.  It’s about shapes and color and light.  Sometimes the composition is a little ambiguous, leaving you with a sense that you need to stare for awhile to unwrap what you are really looking at.  My paintings often include strong contrasts, maybe stronger that what you might expect with watercolor.  I like to build up colors with layers of washes for depth.  And I love to experiment with mixes to see

how different pigments play together. 

My current work is focused on the figure, usually in a natural setting.  But I don’t follow a logical path.  And to be honest I don’t really paint for other people.  I paint what inspires me at the moment.  The freshness and immediacy of watercolor seems especially well suited to this.  I am immersed in it, and of course to some extent the paints do what they want.  For me, painting is a way to combine problem-solving with serendipity and more intuitive, creative expression. 

It is my “yoga.” 

I have been painting seriously since 2014, and have exhibited in several juried shows.  My art has been influenced by so many other artists … maybe especially Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth.  You can also see my work on instagram @firewateryoga.

When I’m not painting, you might find me out hiking in the woods.


~ Rick Kowalewski

Rick is a signature artist/member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society (BWS), 

the Philadelphia Water Color Society (PWCS), and the South Carolina Watermedia Society (SCWS), and he is currently serving as vice president of the PWCS.  He is also an associate member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society (PWS).  His paintings have been selected for many juried exhibitions, winning multiple awards, and have been exhibited at many museums, galleries, and art centers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern U.S., including:

  • The Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD;

  • The Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock, MD;

  • The Yellow Barn in Glen Echo, MD;

  • City Art in Columbia, SC;

  • A traveling exhibition throughout the state of SC sponsored by the South Carolina State Museum;

  • University Place Gallery at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC;

  • The Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA;

  • The Community Art Center in Wallingford, PA;

  • The Spinning Plate Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA; 

  • The Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, PA;

  • The Pickens County Museum, in Pickens, SC;

  • Arts Monongahela in Morgantown, WV;

  • The Stifel Art Center in Wheeling, WV;

  • The McBride Gallery in Annapolis, MD; and 

  • The Carroll County Arts Center in Westminster, MD.


Rick also teaches yoga in Silver Spring, MD.  He often weaves art into his yoga practice, and yoga into his watercolors.  His paintings can be viewed on his website at firewateryoga.com and instagram: @firewateryoga.