Watercolor Online

Joel Popadics, AWS

"My pictures are about light above all else"

Joel Popadics is considered to be one of the nation’s top landscape artists and watercolor instructors. 

To view his paintings on-line, please visit his website at www.watercolorpop.com or click here.

For more information about his classes at the Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, New Jersey visit http://www.ridgewoodartinstitute.org/instructors/popadics.html or click here.

Joel Popadics
83 Clifford Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470
(973) 851-0366

Artist Statement

My formal art training was in oil painting and while I appreciate all that I learned about oils, I love the look and essence of watercolor. When I work with watercolor, I am reminded how unpredictable life is and to always expect the unexpected. I like the feel of a handmade sheet of paper; the cotton fiber surface is slightly irregular and it is surprisingly heavy. Before I start a picture, I know a small spot somewhere on it will be left untouched, unpainted and reserved for my highest value. When I look at a blank sheet, I often ponder where that preserved white will occur.
Many special moments in my life have involved the outdoors and I've spent countless hours in front of my easel witnessing nature's temperamental moods. Observing rapidly shifting shadow patterns and changing skies evoke so many feelings within me, including a desire to capture what I see in paint. My pictures are first and foremost about light; whether it is the reddish glow of a morning sunrise; the bright, golden sunshine of afternoon; or the subtle cool blue radiance of an overcast day. When people view my work, I'd like them to have an emotional reaction. I want them to say, "I've seen that sky before or I can feel the chill in the winter air."
I am a self-confessed follower of fog. I love to paint haze, mist and all sorts of atmospheric effects. Many landscape painters load detail into their art, thinking that somehow it will make their paintings more realistic. For me, less is more, and nothing obscures detail better than fog. It is very satisfying for me to get the feeling of air into a picture with an economy of brushstroke.


Joel Popadics' paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums across the United States, including The National Academy of Art and Design, NYC; The Bergen Museum of Art and Science in Paramus, NJ; The Place St. Charles Gallery in New Orleans; and The San Francisco Academy of Art in San Francisco.

In addition, his work is in public and private collections, including those of The Hamilton House Museum in Clifton, NJ, The Ridgewood Art Institute Permanent Collection and the United Methodist Church in Ridgewood, NJ. His artwork has raised money for charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Table-To-Table Food Bank Network and the LAM Foundation.

Mr. Popadics is the recipient of numerous national awards. He has received the Edgar A. Whitney Memorial Award from the Hudson Valley Art Association; the Silver Medal of Honor from the NJ Watercolor Society; and the Grumbacher Gold Medal from the California Watercolor Association. He is an elected member of six art organizations and a signature member of the American Watercolor Society. He has been featured many times in AMERICAN ARTIST and THE ARTIST'S MAGAZINES.

Mr. Popadics is a Past-President of the NJ Watercolor Society. He is the education director of the Ridgewood Art Institute where he also teaches painting and drawing to adults and children. During the summer, he leads outdoor painting workshops at various locations throughout the United States and Europe.

Joel Popadics was born in Passaic County, NJ in 1961. He received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He resides in Wayne, NJ with his wife Patricia and their two sons.


  • Feature Article, "Making a Warming Palette to Paint Watercolors in the Winter" by Joel Popadics, American Artist Magazine, February 2009
  • Feature Article, "Art in the Everyday" by Debra Anderson, Ridgewood Magazine, December 2005
  • Feature Article, "Splashes of Color, The Spontaneous Splendor of Watercolor Painting" by Louise Hafesh, (201) Magazine, July 2005
  • Feature Article, "A Prismatic Palette" by M. Stephen Doherty, American Artist Magazine, July 2004
  • Feature Article, "Mood Lighting" The Artist's Magazine, June 2004
  • Feature Article, "Summer, the Season of Light" by Joel Popadics, The Artist's Magazine, March 2003
  • Feature Article, "In Search of the Perfect Scene" by Joel Popadics, The Artist's Magazine, June 2000
  • Feature Article, "Getting the Greens Right" by Joel Popadics, The Artist's Magazine, July 1998

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