My latest watercolor painting was inspired by an arctic wolf whom I photographed at Lakota Wolf Sanctuary many years ago. While the arctic wolf is not “on the brink,” as are many wolves in the US, they are still threatened by humans. Climate change and industrialization both affect their habitat, and hunters pursue them for their beautiful coats…which personally, I think look much better on the wolf!
Remember, wolves are essential to the environment. They help maintain the balance by keeping grazing herd populations under control, which in turn allows vegetation to grow, helping to minimize erosion, and on and on.
And, they are spectacular!
I grew up reading stories about the big bad wolf terrorizing sweet little pigs and eating grandma, and yet, I never developed a fear of them. The fact is, I also grew up with large, fuzzy dogs who gave me a love for all things canine…includng the big bad wolf. I wonder, though, where the hatred so many people have for wolves comes from. Why is the bad wolf a central figure in so many tales? Why do we hunt them to near extinction? We love our dogs, but hate their closest relative…why? I am always inspired by their grace, their love, their beauty. They need to be cherished…they need to be saved!
“Shadow Dancer” Watercolor on paper, 9″ x 11″ 2014
Every year in May, the Blue Bells at Lockridge Park bloom. The park literally becomes a field of purple. All of us “locals” visit the park during this time of year to photograph our children among the blooms. My daughter and I go every year. I have taken quite a few amazing (not to be too humble) photos of my daughter over the years. Last year, I shot some of my all time favorites. She was wearing a dress that matched the flowers exactly and she borrowed my big straw hat and sunglasses. I already painted a few portraits of her from that shoot. One, that I named “Dress Up,” is on my list to repaint, as it sold last month. While looking through the shoot photos for the original photo that inspired that painting, I came across another one that I love, so decided to paint that one first. Here it is:
“Little Girl in the Bluebells” watercolor on paper, 9″ x 12″ 2014
I declared this one done yesterday. Then I worked on it again last night. Then I tossed and turned all night thinking about how I was going to repaint it. This morning I got up early and with just a few final touches, really finished it. Somehow the picture I had of it in my head was very skewed. It didn’t require a complete repaint, just a few well positioned highlights and a clear head. I think I need a nap now!
“Personal Best 3″ Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″, 2014, $700
I took a break from my “Personal Best” series painting today to work on a new watercolor. I had taken a great photo of a cow at one of our local farms last year and had been meaning to use for inspiration one of these days. Well, that day was today!
“I Never Saw a Purple Cow” Watercolor on paper, 9″ x 11″, 2014
It’s missing the energy! I’m hoping one more session at the easel will put thi sone to bed. Right now, I still feel like the intensity isn’t there. I don’t feel the energy yet. I think it needs a bit more contrast….some big hits with white and black. I think the flatness of the color is what is keeping the energy level down.
I’m at about the midpoint of my latest athlete painting. I thought it would be interesting to document the process a bit as they tend to change dramatically over the life of the painting process.
Following are steps 1, 2, and 3: