Fred Williams, a retired builder and developer, met Sargent 40 years ago when they began a long professional collaboration.

"Warren is strictly design," said Williams, 86, "and he has a good knack for New England flair. He's very, very intelligent and very intuitive. When he focuses on a project, no matter what it is, he does it. He never backs off."

Jack Savage, who met Sargent 20 years ago at a meeting of the Frederick chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, said he's a remarkable man who's full of determination.

"When I saw all of his artwork I was astounded," said Savage, a Westminster resident who lauded Sargent's building of a Bushby Midget Mustang II from blueprints instead of a kit, like most airplane aficionados. "I had no idea what an accomplished artist he is."

The more challenging the project, the better, Sargent said.

"Watercolor painting is pure discipline and every brushstroke means something," he said. His father had "painted like mad during the Depression" and sold portraits in oil from a roadside gallery, but Sargent never cared much for oil painting.

"You don't dabble in watercolors, you figure out what you're going to do and do it," he said. "Watercolor painting is utter concentration and you lose yourself in the process. You can't leave it that long since it's all wet at the same time."

Sargent said he gave up painting in 1997, as he began traveling less and the rugged waterfront vistas he cherished were overtaken by residential communities and so many boats that "you can walk across the river by stepping on them one-by-one."

He picked up his brushes again last spring, but wasn't satisfied with his initial results.

"The joie de vivre doesn't show up when you lose your spontaneity," he speculated, adding he plans to keep at it nonetheless.

"I've had a great life and I'm happy as I can be about it."

Sargent's watercolor paintings will be on display through Thanksgiving at the community center located at 2400 Route 97. For more information, call 410-313-4840.