Rita Argen Auerbach b. 1933, Washington & Mohawk in the Path of CEB, 2012; watercolor on paper

Rita Argen Auerbach b. 1933, Washington & Mohawk in the Path of CEB, 2012; watercolor on paper

Architectural Perpetuation Through Watercolor by Daniel Tarnowski

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rita Argen Auerbach preserves her watercolor paintings just as she is preserving Buffalo architecture. Auerbach is a watercolor artist that paints landscapes and architecture from the Western New York area as well as other places inspired by her widespread travel throughout the country and abroad. She has an extensive history as an educator, has been represented in numerous museums and collections, and has several honors acclaiming her body of work.

I took a particular interest in Rita’s Buffalo architecture inspiration. There is a unique connection between watercolor and architecture. As a student just learning the basics of watercolor, I have quickly realized that it can be a devious and challenging medium to use, but the connection lies in the preservation of a finished painting. It seems that watercolor paintings need to be taken care of like a small child; the careful application of paint, the delicate handling, and the monitoring of light exposure prove to be captivating challenges to artists. There is a strong emphasis on preservation and perpetuation, and in a sense Auerbachs’ works can be said to be preserving Buffalo architecture through painting.

I am sure a connection can be found throughout the anthology of watercolor, and I am curious to see if others view watercolor in the same light. What other artists, collections, or paintings in watercolor would you characterize as highlighting a theme of preservation?


Daniel Tarnowski is a graduate student at Buffalo State College in Technology Education.  His undergraduate degree is from the University at Buffalo in Environmental Design with a minor in Architecture.