The Artist, Tony Foster

Tony has created 16 watercolor journeys since 1982. He travels to places many of us wish we could go, but never will. Tony brings the world to us.

1 artist | 1 paint box | 1 folding drawing board | 12 brushes | 35 years | 16 journeys | 532 paintings | 18 states | 15 countries | thousands of tea breaks | countless footsteps

Tony Foster (1946–  ) in his studio in Cornwall, UK, 2014. Photo by Chris Chapman

Tony Foster (1946–  ) in his studio in Cornwall, UK, 2014. Photo by Chris Chapman

“My hope is that when my work is exhibited, not only will people be struck by the extraordinary beauty of the places I find, but it will also strengthen their resolve to protect these places from depredation.”
— Tony Foster


Tony Foster was born in 1946 in Lincolnshire, England. He began painting in childhood and turned to it as a full-time occupation at age 35. After teaching and serving as an Arts Officer, he began a plein air practice that has consumed him to this day. His skill as a painter has enabled him to articulate the beauty and physical experience of being in wild places and led him to create thematically-related series of paintings, or journeys, of wilderness landscapes.

Foster has traveled to and painted in wild and extreme places around the world, including many locations in the American West. Diary notes and souvenirs are essential elements of Foster’s watercolors. To successfully complete his paintings the artist has had to contend with harrowing physical conditions, including high winds, extreme heat, rain, hail, snow, crumbling slopes, underwater currents and more. To date he has completed sixteen journeys and his works offer detailed and powerful insights about place.

Two complete journeys: Exploring Beauty: Watercolour Diaries from The Wild (2007–2016) and Sacred Places: Watercolour Diaries from the American Southwest (2010–2012) currently reside at The Foster in Palo Alto, CA. 

Foster lives in Tywardreath, Cornwall, England with his wife Ann. He is currently working on his 17th journey.

Tony Foster’s paintings and complete journeys have been shown throughout the world including at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT; Royal Watercolor Society, London; Frye Art Museum (Retrospective), Seattle, WA; the Royal Geographical Society, London; Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.; and the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ.

For an illustrated timeline of Tony’s work, click the Illustrated Timeline button below.

Tony at Home

Tony Foster lives in Tywardreath, a one-pub village in Cornwall, in the southwest of England, United Kingdom. From these roots, Tony finds the strength to travel the world and record his experiences through art that is simultaneously both personal and universal.

“My work is not simply concerned with describing the landscape, but is about travelling slowly, living in wild places, and about encounters with people, objects, flora and fauna.”
— Tony Foster