Turtle Prints and Watercolors

by Brian Gordy

An artist might rely on any number of stimuli to direct  his creative process.  In my case, the medium of transparent watercolor is that stimulus.  The fluidity of the suspended color and  its active attraction to the paper is a dynamic field of energy that pulls the work through the hand of the artist.  Attention to the inherent properties of these materials is a  key to allowing the medium to assist with the act of painting a watercolor.


Biographical Information

Brian Gordy, a resident of Muncie, Indiana, holds an art degree  from Ball State University.  He taught art in the public schools, the university level and privately for over 25 years.  He exhibits throughout the United States and has earned numerous awards for his watercolors, including Best Watercolor at Hoosier Salon Annual(2013), and Juror's Award of Distinction at Watercolor Society of Indiana Annual (2013) .  His works are included in the permanent collections of The Sheldon Swope Art Museum (Terre Haute, IN) The Richmond Art Museum (Richmond, IN) and Minnetrista Cultural Center (Muncie, IN) and many corporate and private collections.  Mr. Gordy’s work has been featured in The Best of Watercolor Volume 3, Rockport Publishers 1999, Arts Indiana, Snowy Egret, and Lake Superior Magazines.  He is a Signature Member of Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor Society of Indiana, and Red River Watercolor Society. Throughout his career, his paintings have depicted the landscapes of the Midwest  and the north woods of Michigan and Canada.  His exhibition, “White River Turtles: Watercolors by Brian Gordy” at Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie from October 2007– January 2008, introduced a series of 35 paintings of  freshwater  turtles in their natural habitat, a series that continues currently. Brian’s watercolors and hand gilded original frames have earned him the official designation of Indiana Artisan, by the State of Indiana.  His works may be seen at GFAF Gallery (Muncie, IN), Brown County Art Guild (Nashville, IN) The Venue Gallery (Bloomington, IN), Edenside Gallery (Louisville, KY). 


Artist Statement

My recent work concentrates on freshwater turtles.  The question is… why?  As an artist, I have discovered two things– watercolor is the medium that brings art from me, and you never know where the muse might be hiding.  As I paddled down a river in the middle of Indiana one morning, a few years back, I noticed the light glancing off the shell of a basking map turtle.  Against the murky water and the tangled bank, there it was… a glistening oval with organic knobs and serrated edges that reflected the rose colored morning light and illuminated the layers of hidden color within the shell ... a watercolorist’s dream!  The next instant, “plop” it was gone. At the time I was in the middle of a complicated painting commission that required ten more paintings to fulfill my contract.  I remember the torture of waiting through those ten paintings until I could  bring the turtles of our local river into my paintings.   Since then, I have spent countless hours in the brambles and briars of the river and creek banks of our region stalking these motion sensitive subjects.  The more I observed, the more interested I became.  The more I painted, the more information I received.  Today, I can say I understand more about the basking habits of  turtles than a lot of  people might.  I can also say that through these observations and the subsequent research, I have become aware of the environmental challenges that face the turtles of our rivers and streams.  As subject, the turtle is a  model of structure, function, and organic beauty.  As a being, it conjures up ancient legends and mythological references.  My intent is to bring to the viewer the classic beauty of the turtle as a form as well as their peculiar tendency to arrange themselves in dynamic compositions., while bringing awareness to the challenges that are inherent in surviving in the wild in our contemporary world.




All of the images you’ll find on this site were created in watercolor. All prints are giclees (jee-clays) printed on acid free, heavy weight “fine art” paper using permanent, light- fast inks. Each signed and numbered giclee is published in an edition of 100 images each per listed size. Prints are available unframed, or matted and framed with ebony stained wood frame and natural white mat (see "Framing Examples" below).

Recent Blog Posts

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