It’s interesting what we come to love in life. In 2013, I came to love the Illinois River Watershed for all the reasons love grows: it’s beautiful, it needs help, it gives back. Illinois River Watershed Partnership is doing so much to foster this appreciation, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be the Artist in Residence for 2013/14, and all it means to my life and career as an oil painter.

"Illinois River" by John P. Lasater IV

“Illinois River”

John P. Lasater IV

Please bear with me as I take a minute to illuminate the many terrains of the Watershed: from the pristine waters of Lake Tenkiller to the blue hills surrounding Prairie Grove; from the big sky on the plateaus of Gentry to the deep ravines leading to the Illinois; from the crystal clear Flint Creek in Springtown to the expansive waters of the Illinois River North of Tahlequah. Names like Barren Fork Creek, Spring Creek, Flint Creek, and even the nameless creek in Palmer Hollow now mean something.

As you can surmise, I’ve become something of a Watershed geek.

"Lake Tenkiller" by John P. Lasater IV

“Lake Tenkiller”

John P. Lasater IV


And now, the heart of the matter! Through 2013 I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the Watershed, painting outdoor landscapes, and I can’t wait to share the paintings of the 2013 Watershed Artist Series with you.

 You are invited to a Public Reception at John Brown University in their Windgate Visual Arts East “Student Gallery”, Sunday, January 19, 2pm-4pm. Additionally the show will be open to the public Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm, January 15 – February 7.


"Illinois River at Fall" by John P. Lasater IV

“Illinois River at Fall”

John P. Lasater IV

I also want to share with you a new program for the Artist in Residency in 2014. We are expanding to include the “Watershed Art Mentorship Program” for promising art students in area high schools. The students will be exposed to the beauty of the Watershed as they are being nurtured in their artistry through a variety of opportunities.

We will also be repeating the well-received kids art and nature camps in the Summer, the adult outdoor painting workshops in the Spring and Fall, and the Illinois River Salon Art Exhibition in the Fall.


I hope you are encouraged to get out and enjoy the Watershed more. It’s a gift to be a part of it and to learn to love it more!



Mark your calendars for upcoming events:

Adult Outdoor Painting Workshop  (Spring)

Art and Nature Camp  June 9-13

Art and Nature Camp  July 7-11

Adult Outdoor Painting Workshop  (Fall)

Illinois River Salon Art Exhibition  October 8-10


Related Posts:

And the Winners Are…

Seeing the Beauty Around Us


Related Links:

Google Map of Plein Air Painting Locations

Heart of America Artists Association

Lasater Art