Andrew Watel grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He received an undergraduate degree in Painting from San Francisco State University in 1977 and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Yale University in 1983. After graduating from Yale, he moved to New York City where he pursued painting and teaching. From 2006 to 2017 he taught as an Adjunct Professor of painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. He moved to Kansas City in 2018 to pursue painting full time.
I paint things. I choose these things not for what they are, but for their form; their shape, color, geometry. They are anonymous utilitarian objects; a fan, a valve, a jug. I place them in the center and light them from above.I begin by drawing what I see. At a certain point things change.The work becomes less about what I see, and more about the drawing. It is no longer about the object; it is about the work. It is about material and transformation; turning stuff into form.This is what matters to me. Turning charcoal into space, turning mud into light. The painting becomes about the painting itself.