“I am a realist watercolorist and my goal is to capture what I see in as much detail as possible in watercolor. The famous Germany artist Albrecht Durer said “The more accurately your work represents life, the better it will appear.”
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, he attended Auburn University and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University. McCracken is an award-winning artist whose paintings have been exhibited in juried shows around the world including the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society and the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, California Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, Southern Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society. His paintings have been included in multiple shows in China; Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition 2010 & 2012, the Beijing International Art Biennale 2010, 2012, 2015,2017 and 2019 the Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial 2013 and 2015 and the Qingdao International Watercolour Salon, 2014. His paintings have been included in international watercolor juried exhibitions, such as The World Watermedia Exposition, Thailand, Malaysian Watercolour International Exhibition and the Eau en Colours, “Masters of Watercolor” exhibition St. Petersburg, Russia, International Watercolour Biennial, Belgium, International Watercolor in Fabriano Exhibition in Fabriano, Italy. His paintings are included in the permanent collections of the National Museum of China; the Asian Museum of Watercolor Art in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China, the Watercolor Museum of Fabriano, Italy and the Art Museum of the University of Mississippi. He is a signature member of more than a dozen watercolor societies including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Southern Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, and Watercolor USA Honor Society. He is an Elected Member of the Allied Artists of America in their Watermedia Category. His work has been published in many national and international magazines and books including: Watercolor, Watercolor Artist, Artist’s magazine, Drawing, American Artist, International Artist and Southwest Art. His work has been included in books such as Splash 9 thru 22 and in Strokes of Genius 2 & 3, Secrets of International Watercolor Masters, Volume #1 published in China and Masters of Realistic Imagery published in Germany. He is the Past President of the Watercolor USA Honor Society and the Country Leader for the USA with the Fabriano in Watercolor. Laurin is a registered architect and has practiced is several states in the USA. He has been the Principal in Charge of Marketing for a number of large architectural and engineering firms. Artist Statement I am a realist watercolorist whose work is largely influenced by the Dutch and Flemish Still Life painters of the 16th and 17th Centuries. My goal is to record the world around me with a high level of detail. This is not a painting style that is typically associated with the medium of watercolor. Look closely at one of my painting and you will not only see the objects in the paintings, but you will also see reflections of other objects within the very objects I paint. I use my ability to see things with a high level of acuity to transcribe what I see in the world around me into watercolor on paper. I use this historic influence to record the beautiful things in our lives: the flowers, ornate crystal and silverware, clouds, the glassware I grew up with, toys and anything that attracts my eye and spurs my imagination. When I look at the world and think about what I might paint I am reminded of the quote from Henry David Thoreau: “It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Then I ask myself, “Can I paint that in watercolor?” Not every painter can see things uniquely, but it is imperative that a painter see things differently and with a certain clarity that the average individual might not see. That is the value we bring to our craft. It is the combination of those abilities and a fundamental mastery of the craft that makes us artists.