I got a little painting in during our stay in Tepoztlan, Mexico. Beautiful classic Mexican town surrounded by rugged mountains and even an ancient pyramid.

This is a watercolor of the morning light looking from our balcony.

Bumpy cobble stone streets and amazing wall textures mixing adobe bricks, stones and stucco. I especially appreciate the little broken tiles inserted between the adobe bricks.

In the winter of 22-23, as we were getting out of the covid era, maybe, I painted over 200 small watercolor landscapes. Some “en plain air” some from shots I took on my phone. From those I picked 30 of the best to paint in a larger format on full sized sheets of good watercolor paper. We had scheduled a show at the Clymer Museum a year earlier and I thought we could fit about 30 paintings, matted and framed in their large room without being too crowded. I about 3 months I completed over 30 new paintings. After leaving out a few clunkers I had 28 new works for the show.

My wife Ren and Matthew Lennon, the curator of the Clymer helped arrange the show. It was so satisfying to see that many works up in such a beautiful space with good lighting. Thanks to the Clymer Museum for expanding what their show and supporting local artists. 28 Landscapes 2023 will hang through June 2nd 2023.

I have an interesting relationship with painting portraits. A loose, confident application of paint is required in watercolor to keep the paint fresh and clean while an accuracy in the positioning and drawing of the main features and structure of the forms is required to make it convincing. I’m after a balance between the cartoon and photo realism. This is the demo I did during a class I taught at our local gallery.

Watercolor portrait of guy

I’ve been teaching a Saturday afternoon oil painting class at GalleryOne in Ellensburg, WA. We started with a small still life of a lemon…. not so easy, but everybody did great. The second Saturday we got a good start on a landscape, learning to simplify and look for values. Next week we’ll dive into a portrait. It’s an interesting process to figure out where people are at and what they need. I hope I’m doing a good job.

Lemons

Sunny Kiss 10×8 watercolor

We’ve been socked in with winter fog for days. This morning the glorious sun hit the hills outside our kitchen window. I’m trying to narrow down my view in a few small watercolors trying to catch one fleeting effect. An enjoyable hour with morning coffee at the kitchen table.

Snow on the Hills 8×10 watercolor

After being completely focused on the straw bale building project for eight months, I’m feeling a bit burned out. So my watercolors and notebooks showed up and I started to play with some little landscapes again. It feels good to put the brush in the paint. The curves and shadows of nature are endlessly inspiring.

Notebook color sketches

I’ve been working out this idea for a while and finally got the under painting pretty close. Then it started peeling off between the gesso and primer. I had to just take the whole thing off.

Peeling off between gesso and primer!

Redid the whole thing in about 2-3 days. Now to let it dry and start the next layers.

The redo of the underpaint

 

I’ve been at Mille and Bill’s amazing land on Maui for the last two weeks, painting everyday. The plants have such different colors than our eastern Washington plants. Here I’m trying to get the subtle pastels on the tops of these leaves. Watercolor is so fleeting and dynamic, such a challenge of spontaneity. 30 sketches … some aren’t too bad.