A colleague recently noted that an architectural professor had once told him that his watercolors were not art, but illustration- a subtle but barbed comment. It is true that, in the past, watercolors have been used as professional tools to illustrate, not only architecture, but science, products, even news stories–but what of watercolor as art? New England School Up to the mid-nineteenth Century, despite the fact that watercolors were a favored populist medium in America, only oil painting was considered a fine art. It was about this time that the rising popularity of English art critic, John Ruskin, that watercolor was beginning to be noticed. In 1855 The New York Watercolor Society was formed after a popular exhibit of works in New York. After…