Artist of the Month: Thomas Schaller

Thomas Schaller’s watercolor technique is highly influenced by his architectural background. You can see this in not only the many classical architectural elements he paints, but also by the technical control he has over the medium itself.

Using a fairly limited pallette, he is able to bring out a unique atmosphere in his work. You can see he seems to have an interest in the soft, almost water-filled air which surrounds the architectural elements he paints.


Manhattan Beach Pier, California


I am sure if you love the technical skills of the traditional watercolorist, you are going to fall in love with Thomas Shaller’s work. He brings to us an invitation to travel with him to Europe and North America to experience familiar and not so familiar places through his eyes. We know you will enjoy his paintings.



How long have you been an artist?

I like to think I have always been an artist. I did not choose to be an artist – It chose me. But I have been a full time professional fine artist for 5 years and a commercial architectural artist for 25 years prior to that.


Daphne and Apollo - Rome


Path to the Parthenon - Athens


Is your art your full-time career? 



Anderson Street in Black and Blue – Los Angeles


Banks of the Tiber - Rome


Where do you work? How long have you been there?

I have an artist’s loft in Venice, California. I live upstairs and have my art studio and own gallery on the ground floor. But I conduct workshops all over the world… So I work everywhere!


Royal Crescent – Bath


Old Boat - Wisconsin


Do you have favorite places you like to create?

Not sure how to answer this. As a visual person, I feel I’m always painting – even when not at the easel. I see potential paintings everywhere – even in my dream.


Cathedral of Girona - Spain


Brooklyn in Blue


Chambers Street – NYC


What does a typical day look like? Is there a typical day? 

When home - I paint every day if at all possible.  I start in the morning and paint as long as I’m inspired to do so – sometimes quite late into the night. I do take some time for my family, friends, and of course my dog (who is always with me), yoga, and my bike. But I’m happiest when painting.


Chesneys Bridge – Northern Ireland


Winter Bridge – Ohio


Cleft Ridge Span – Brooklyn


What materials do you prefer? Are there particular brands you like? 

I use Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors primarily. Saunders Waterford , Fabriano, and hand-made Twin Rocker watercolor papers are my favorite surfaces. And I could not imagine painting without Escoda brushes.


Dreams of Winter - Ohio


The Falconer – Central Park, NYC


Fishing in the Tiber – Rome


Where/How are you inspired?

No answer to this. But I suppose that light – is the single thing that most informs the root of my inspiration. But inspiration can come from a million different ways – and with a million different faces. The key is to be open to any possibility. As the Leonard Cohen song says, “There is a crack in everything – That’s how the light gets in.”


Fog on the Tiber - Rome


Grand Central light – NYC


How do you know when your piece is done?

Usually about 10 minutes before I stop. My advice? When you hear that voice in your head saying, “Maybe I should do just this one more thing…” don’t do it!


Granville Island Bridge – Vancouver


Irish sketch


Kiyomizu in Snow – Kyoto, Japan


Do you work on one or more pieces at a time?

Very rarely. I like to work my paintings up and finish them all in one go.


Manhattan Nocturne - NYC


Moonlight in the Campo – Rome


If you were not a painter/sculptor/photographer, etc., what would you do?

I’d find some other way to be a painter.


Painters on the Capilano – Vancouver


Our Stars


How can our readers find and purchase your art?

Best to contact me directly through my website ( or reach out to me via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram


Towers of Rocamadour - France




Kim Rodeffer Funk is the Art Editor for Wandering Educators. She notes, "I am an abstract painter and have enjoyed living a creative life for many years. In 2012, I co-founded Atelier 325 with Andrea Hupke de Palacio, and today show my art in Europe and the United States."

You can find her at



All photos courtesy and copyright Thomas Schaller