Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tioga Pass, Late Spring Storm

Lest you think I've given up oil painting, here is the first oil painting of 2009, titled "Tioga Pass, Late Spring Storm".

This is from a photo that my husband Tony shot on a trip to Yosemite. We crossed Tioga pass on Memorial Day weekend, when the pass was newly opened for the summer. We stopped at a small turnout next to a brook and Tony decided to take the shot. He set up his camera, but a storm was brewing and there was no sunlight to pop the brights in the view. So he waited, and waited....when I woke up an hour later Tony was still waiting for the light. The temp had fallen toward freezing, and he was wearing shorts! I was greeted by the view of the photographer doing jumping jacks to keep from freezing solid. Finally Tony took his shot and we raced down the pass to Lee Vining on the east side. That night it snowed and the pass closed for 3 days.


Another watercolor, this one working to paint the flowers loosely, and also working on the reflections/refractions of the glass vase. As always, I like to push the color saturation!

Trunk Show

This is a "quickie" from my watercolor class. We were practicing painting loosely, "like a child". Well, I'm never loose, but I did think this was fun. You are not crazy, one tusk is much longer than the other. This old boy had a broken tusk.

Feral Chicken

This is better than those humans! Meet the Feral Chicken. These chickens wander the roadsides of Hawaii and are completely wild. I love the gaudy plumage and iridescent tail feathers. I met one of these chickens recently at the Burbank Animal Shelter. I have no idea how he made it to the mainland. Despite the color saturation, this is a watercolor.

Dancehall Lady

Another attempt to paint a person, this one not so succesful. The figure had very strange perspective, and I later realized the proportions of arm and leg size to torso were way off. My teacher, Vivi Oldknow, recommends cropping to save the best detail in a case like this. So here is what is left of my painting!

Apres Lautrec

This is a difficult image all the way around. This is a watercolor homage of a Toulouse Lautrec oil painting of Lautrec's friend, Jane Avril. The original oil painting had a textured background, difficult to capture in a watercolor. This background is "combed" or "feathered" and actually turned out quite well. The fabric and hat were fashion-challenged choices for Jane, who had flaming henna-colored hair. And then there is the green complexion from being painted under gas-light, which makes her look 2 days dead... Given that I don't paint people much, this was a very interesting exercise!


Watercolor of islands in the Bahamas. I was pleased with the quality of transparency in the water in this painting. Also the abstract quality of the light and dark in the palm tree.