Steve Baird


Steve Baird Artist

My paintings are representations of places and experiences. They are not photographic, although I work from photographs and sketches.
Working from memory and images to complete a painting is a process of simplifying reality. What to include is essential. During the process of doing preliminary sketches, I modify, eliminate, or invent elements that where not there originally.
The application of watercolor to paper occurs after a pencil drawing on 300-lb cold pressed paper. I use Winsor & Newton watercolor and Sennelier pigments.
I make adjustments as I move forward depending on what the watercolor does on the paper. The accidental nature of watercolor painting includes random brush strokes and pouring or dripping the paint on the surface. This creates further opportunities for changes depending on the color combinations that occur. The central driving thought for me is that the colors need to be harmonious and the look should be fresh.
Over the years I’ve found myself being drawn to places that are by water. Water can unify a composition, reflect the passage of time, and tell a story.


Steve Baird was born in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1946. He was educated in Illinois and Iowa, graduating from Drake University in 1968. Early life experiences cultivated an appreciation for the natural environment of northern Wisconsin and the boundary waters of Minnesota. He brought those formative memories and connection to nature with him when he came West to attend graduate school at Eastern Washington University. It was the memory of art class in elementary school that sparked the desire to paint. Serious interest in watercolor began after attending a workshop by Stan Miller in Montana in the late 70’s.

The growth of his work has been a result of painting the natural world and studying the work of other artists. Over the years Homer and J.M.W.Turner have been influential. He notes a connection with his work and Homer’s content. Homer appeared to have spent time fly fishing. Steve Baird shares that interest which incorporates the landscape, water, and the stories that are created.

A 2017 trip to the island of Iona, Scotland provided inspiration for current work. He uses St. Armand 300-lb cold press paper. This handmade random texture paper provides the ideal surface for the controlled accidents of watercolor. Baird’s painting, “Edge of the Sea”, was included in the 79th Annual International Open Exhibition, April 29 – July 11, 2019, Northwest
Watercolor Society in Shoreline WA. His work will be on display at the Whitefish Arts Festival, July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 2021, Whitefish, MT. Steve lives in Cheney, WA.