Cape May Surf (detail),1986, Oil on panel  24” x  30”  

About the Paintings


Laddie Waters is primarily a painter of landscapes and figures. His most frequent inspiration is his own Baltimore neighborhood of Sowebo. However, a few of his landscapes depict scenes that exist only in the artist’s mind.

Waters’ figures fall into two categories. First, there are genre paintings of people engaging in everyday activities: a woman hanging out laundry, or a street scene from Poppelton.


But every so often, the figures become delightfully surreal: a lady shows her panties to a clown, a circus performs in front of the city skyline.


Waters is a devotee of the Schuler movement, which places emphasis on the methods and techniques of the European Old Masters. His work has been exhibited in at the Katzenstein Galley and Minas Gallery in Baltimore, Bartholet Gallery in New York, and Veerhoff Gallery in Washington, DC.


About the Artist

Laddie Waters was born in 1933 in Washington, DC.


When he was in second grade, he had a really mean teacher. One day, when the teacher asked him, “What is 2 + 3?”, he decided not to cooperate. He remained stubbornly silent, even though he knew the answer. He kept silent for so long that he was removed from his class and placed in “Special Ed.” It turned out that this was not the worst thing that could happen, because in Special Ed, you got to paint. A lot. When his IQ was finally tested, it was 146. The independent and quirky artist was eventually mainstreamed again, much to the benefit of the so-called mainstream.


In 1945, Waters moved to Baltimore with his family, where he attended Baltimore City College and then MICA, where he studied under Ann Schuler and Jacques Maroger. His association with Ann Schuler continued throughout her life, and he calls her his greatest mentor. He has been an active member of the Baltimore Charcoal Club since 1967. He lives in Sowebo and maintains a studio there as well.