Tony Armendariz

TONY ARMENDARIZ is an award-winning American artist living and painting in Palatine, Illinois. Born and raised in Chicago to a graphic arts family, he learned to create with textile, photography, drawing and painting. Graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, he studied under renowned watercolor instructor Irving Shapiro. While still attending the Academy, he began his employment in the corporate world for over 20 years as a graphic artist, illustrator and web designer.

Tony’s work has been published, most notably in Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art Collector and Watercolor Artist magazines. Venues where he has exhibited include The Butler Institute of American Art, RJD Gallery, The Salmagundi Club and Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art.

Some of Tony’s awards include the Frank Webb Award of Merit at the 2024 Transparent Watercolor Society of America 48th Annual International Exhibition, the Mary Bryan Memorial Award and Medal at the 2023 Allied Artists of America 110th Annual Juried Exhibition, Best of Show/Purchase/People’s Choice Awards at the 2021 VMRC 18th National Juried Art Exhibition, and First Place Award at the 2019 40th International Juried Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.

Tony is a signature member of many national artistic societies including the American Watercolor Society, the Allied Artists of America and the Illinois Watercolor Society where he also served as director. He is represented by Hilliard Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri. Tony currently teaches watercolor painting at the Oak Park Art League in Oak Park, IL.

Artist’s Statement

My paintings concentrate on portraits and figurative work sometimes combined with architectural elements. With my subjects displayed the classic realist tradition, either as portraits or scenes of life, it is my intent to display their soul/authentic self which at times, may not reveal itself to me immediately. Many times, the “window” opens and shows itself not only through the eyes but also through the many other features which are used to emote the ranges of expression including the mouth, hands and body language. Sometimes it may also include other props such as clothing and items of domestic life and work. The range of the subjects’ stories can be quiet and simple, and yet some are dramatic and profound.


  • Allied Artists of America – Elected Artist
  • American Artists Professional League – Signature
  • American Watercolor Society – Signature
  • Illinois Watercolor Society – Signature, Executive Director (2007 – 2017)
  • Northeast Watercolor Society – Signature
  • Pennsylvania Watercolor Society – Signature-sgg (Sylvan Grouse Guild)
  • Portrait Society of America
  • Transparent Watercolor Society of America – Signature
  • Watercolor West – Signature

Examples of My Work:

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