Award-winning, nationally acclaimed artist and member of the American Watercolor Society, Andrew Kusmin’s watercolors show a scalpel-like precision, and are as intense as oil paintings, as he merges the past with the present in composites of northeastern United States subjects.
He was 46 when an art class changed his life and he knew he was meant to master watercolors, promising himself to do it within five years. He’d always used his hands, when he was in the Navy buying legal whale teeth for two bucks a shot, scrimshandering them; restoring houses, making furniture. Paintings were portable creations he could take with him. He liked that.
Using the proceeds from his dentistry practice and sale of his house and a barn he’d rehabbed, he managed to send his children to college and keep enough to start over. “It was a whole new world,” he recalled. Teaching art at first, he began winning awards and gaining membership in prestigious organizations such as the American, National and New England Watercolor Societies, at last opening a gallery in Plymouth over two decades back. (He’s not crazy about dealing with galleries; his own gives him freedom to do his art his own way.) The Kusmin Art Gallery has been closed for the past three years as the world endured Covid, and he endured the passing of his twin sister, graphic designer Anne K. Martens.