Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wine Country

Wine Time (Red Umbrellas), 11 1/2" x 15 1/8" 

While touring through the Sierra Nevada foothills a few years ago, we stopped at Young's Vineyard near Plymouth, California. Enjoying their wines and their beautiful gardens offered the inspiration for this piece. This shaded terrace overlooking the vineyards was especially inviting. Over the years, I've noticed Adirondack chairs seem to occasionally be the focus in artwork, probably because of their interesting shape and their traditional white or bright colors. What I found intriguing about these was that they were unfinished weathered  wood, which reflected the character of the old barrels and also seemed to mimic the color of the dappled shadows. The combined effect was a pleasant feeling of tranquility, which I tried to capture.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beautiful Boulders

Tahoe Shore 1, 11 1/2" x 15 1/8"

With this painting, I was trying to work more loosely and allow the medium to display it's fluidity - which is the true beauty of watercolor. This scene of granite boulders along the shore of Lake Tahoe was my first opportunity to experiment with gray hues. In reality the granite is a very even neutral gray value, but by mixing the grays using the primaries it created much more variety and interest in the way the colors interact. Dropping some color into the washes of the mountains created some subtle detail while still representing the imagery convincingly. To me, the ability to see the nuances of the medium itself is what makes watercolor truly distinctive and dynamic!