Watrous was born in San Francisco in 1977 and was raised on the San Francisco peninsula surrounded by ocean, the bay, mountains, and urban sprawl. Images from this part of the country are imprinted in his mind and continue to inform his artwork and aesthetic interests. His work explores our relationship to the past, in particular the state of longing that exists for what has been made unreachable through times passage.
He received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2002 and his MFA from Kent State University, Kent Ohio in 2013. He currently resides in Western Pennsylvania and is the Associate Preparator at The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.