Carla O’Connor, AWS-DF/NWS
3619 47th Street Court NW, Gig Harbor WA 98335
(253) 851-8882


Carla O’Connor received her BFA in painting from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. She has done additional formal study at the University of the Americas, Mexico City; University of Dayton, Ohio and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Professional Affiliations

O’Connor is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and Northwest Watercolor Society and is an AWS Dolphin Fellow. She is an honorary member of the Jiangsu Watercolor Research Institute of Nanjing, China.

Juried Exhibitions and Awards

American Watercolor Society International Exhibition 1991 (Prize), 1996, 1997 (Silver Medal of Honor), 1998, 1999, 2002 (Prize), 2004 (Prize), 2009 (Prize), 2010 (Prize), 2011 (Prize), 2012, 2013 (Prize)

National Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition: 1996, 1997 (Prize and Traveling Exhibit), 1998 (Traveling Exhibit), 2004, 2008, 2011

NWWS National Exhibitions: 1992 (1st Place Award), 1993 (1st Place Award), 1994 (Prize), 1995, 1996 (Prize), 1997 (Prize), 1998 (1st Place Award) and 1999 (Prize),

NWWS 60th Year Exhibition, Frye Art Museum, Seattle – 2000, 2009 (Prize), 2010, 2013 (Prize), 2014 (Prize)

Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, 1998, 2008, 2012 (prize)

Peninsula Fine Art Center, Newport News, VA Exhibition “Watercolor! “ 2007

Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary International Watermedia Masters, Nanjing, China, 2007, 2009 and 2012

Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Exhibition, 2010 – Invited Exhibitor

Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial, China, 2013/2014

Workshops and Teaching

Carla has taught numerous watercolor workshops across the United States and Canada. In 2007 she taught in Prague, the Czech Republic and in 2010 in Lucca, Italy. “In The Process” is the title of Carla’s instructional DVD released in July 2008 by CCP Videos, Inc.

Juror Experience

O’Connor has been a juror for numerous national and regional groups including the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, the Arizona Watercolor Association; the Adirondacks International Exhibition of American Watercolors, the Federation of Canadian Artists Exhibition and, the California Watercolor Association, Watercolor Art Society – Houston and Rocky Mountain National Exhibition. She has been a juror for the Artist’s agazine, Experimental Category (December 2004 issue) and for Watercolor Magic Magazine, Portrait Category in the Fall of 2005. O’Connor served as Chairman for the 2008 AWS awards jury, as a juror of selection for the 2010 NWS National Exhibition and a juror of selection for the 144th AWS International Exhibition in January 2011.


Carla’s work appears in “Splash5 – The Glory of Color” published by Northlight Books and “Exploring Color” and “The New Creative Artist” (2006) by Nita Leland. Her article, “The Mark of Experience,” appeared in the August/September 2000 issue of International Artist Magazine and her work was included in “When Figures Emerge” in the Winter 2001 issue of Watercolor magazine. Carla also contributed to “Launching A Workshop-Teaching Career” by Beth Patterson in the Fall 2002 issue of Watercolor Magazine and to “From the Inside Out”, June, 2004 issue of Watercolor Magic Magazine.  She was a featured artist in The Artist’s Magazine’s Summer 2005 issue and wrote for Watercolor Magic’s Studio Staples feature in August 2006.  Her teaching was the focus of an article by Stephen Doherty in American Artist’s Watercolor Magazine Summer 2008 issue titled: Modern Masters: Profiles of Watercolorists Who Inspire and Inform. Her painting “The Courtesans” was included in Pratique Des Arts published in France in December 2009 and she was a featured artist in L’Art De L’Aquarelle in June, 2011. She one of nine artists included in “Inspirations & Technical Breakthroughs: Secrets from the Contemporary International Watercolor Masters, Volume 1 (Chinese language publication by Zhou Tianya & Ruan Hoe), 2012

O’Connor’s Gig Harbor studio is open by appointment. A selection of her paintings can also be seen on the Internet at

O'Connor Carla Headshot