Community News

Painting Black & White, In Color

by: Allison Town
Posted: February 20, 2017

FULLERTON...On Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. National Watercolor Society artist Sean Barrett will demonstrate his method for recreating scenes in watercolor antique black and white photos. The thirty-six year old resident of Fullerton, CA is currently represented in the Muckenthaler's Portraits and Figures exhibition, along with over forty other water-colorist members of the NWS. His painting Day Sleeper captures the soft texture of a comfortable blanket, beneath which a woman slumbers, guarded by a shaggy dog, whose tan coat is illuminated by encroaching sunlight.

Mr. Barrett's "Black and White in Color" method involves searching out vintage, sometimes anonymous, black and white photographs as subject matter, and rendering them on a larger scale, augmented with "a full palette of color." The artist explains "I encourage myself to be creative when painting an originally black and white photograph. I aim to keep a sepia-like quality, while still infusing color into the painting. My ultimate desire is to breathe new life into an old and weathered photograph."

Sean Barrett


Sean Barrett is an accomplished water-colorist who exhibits his work nationwide. Current and past exhibitions include annual shows with the National Watercolor Society (San Pedro) and the American Watercolor Society (New York), and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, (Kenosha, Wisconsin). Watercolor Demonstration Thursday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. Admission is Free

The Muck commits to the mission of providing the community with experiences that stimulate creativity and imagination and conserving the heritage of the Muckenthaler Estate. Commissioned at an original cost of $35,000, the Muckenthaler home was built by Walter and Adella Muckenthaler in 1924 atop a hill in Fullerton. The 18-room, 8.5-acres mansion was donated to the city in 1965 by Harold Muckenthaler, who wished to see his childhood home used as a cultural center for the public.

In 1999, the Muckenthaler received designation by the National Register of Historic Places. In its 52nd year, the Muck produces more than 60 performances, gallery exhibits, festivals and special events; and more than 6,000 hours of arts education classes at the Muck and in 42 outreach sites serving more than 41,000 people every year.

We also host more than 75 weddings and corporate events. Our awards and accolades include the 2009 Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Quality of Life award for best non-profit organization in the city, the 2010 Arts Program of the Year award from Arts Orange County, and past reader's poll awards from OC Parenting for Best Historic Site. We are also an OC Register's finalist for Best Museum, the 2012 winner for Orange Coast Magazine's Most Eclectic Venue, the 2013 winner for Orange Coast Magazine's Best Arts Education, 2014 winner for OC Register's Best Art Gallery, and 2016 Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Museum Education for STEAM Programs.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center Foundation, the Muck, is located at 1201 West Malvern Avenue, Fullerton California 92833.

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