FARMINGTON — For some 30 years, Preston Steed has been traveling the country showing his art, accompanied by his wife, Kristin.

On Friday, the couple attended a reception at San Juan College where his watercolors will be displayed through March 27.

Steed's art collection features watercolor painting of natural and everyday landscapes.

One of his professors when he was attending college inspired Steed to pursue watercolors, he said.

Steed said he tries to choose subjects that will appeal to other people. While he used to paint a lot of house scenes, he said he has recently been painting more landscapes.

No matter where he goes, Steed said he takes a camera with him. He said he works from photographs he takes.

Nita Engle, a former watercolor artist for Reader's Digest, is one of the artists Steed said influenced his work. He said he first saw her illustrations while he was in high school and has recently purchased a few of her books, which he thinks may have changed some of his work.

One technique he copied from Engle was stretching the watercolor paper before starting to paint. He said stretching paper allows him to uses a lighter weight paper.

Although his primary choice of medium is watercolor, Steed said he has also worked with oils and has showed oils as well.

Kristin Steed said they were once showing his paintings in Omaha, Neb., when a storm hit. The oil paintings slipped under the tent and floated away.


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She said when they found them, they were undamaged.

Steed added that if the paintings had been watercolor, they would have been ruined.

The couple has faced many different weather challenges while showing. A showing in a tent in Breckenridge, Colo., featured snow and extreme cold. When they took the tent down, there were walls of ice separating them from the other tents.

Kristin Steed said the couple has "a gypsy life."

Steed said she doesn't encounter many wives who travel with their husbands to art shows.

Steed added that she tries to travel everywhere with him and wouldn't give up the life. She said she works as a principal at an elementary school, so it sometimes gets hard. They will leave on a Friday and return on a Sunday so that she can get to school on Monday morning.

For more information, contact the Henderson Fine Arts Center at 505-566-3464.

Hannah Grover may be reached at hgrover@daily-times.com; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover