Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ellie WC

This is a watercolor portrait of Ellie the year she graduated from Syracuse University. Ellie used to work in the coffee shop in Hendrick's Chapel. Ellie knew everyone's name, knew how they preferred their coffee, and met everyone with enthusiasm and a great smile. She was also delightfully "crazy" and yet had a "no nonsense" side to her as well. She would make a wonderful teacher and eventually entered a graduate program leading to teacher certification. Just before Ellie graduated, she posed for me in the great light of the Hendrick's Chapel. I've turned two of the over 100 photos of Ellie into paintings. My first painting was done with pastel and the second (shown here) was painted with watercolor. Both paintings show Ellie in a serious or contemplative mood. I'm not quite sure why I was drawn to the more somber mood, but it surely wasn't her typical demeanor. The more technical goals of this painting were: to loosen up, cut back on detail, leave white paper, and reveal some of the defining properties of watercolor. I made some progress toward meeting those goals, but I still have a long way to go.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Watermelon Party 1903

This is a watercolor painting from a picture that was published in a book entitled "The Way We Were." The book was published by the newspaper company (The Pilot) in our town of Southport, NC. Wanda Cornelius, a member of our watercolor painting group, arranged with the Associated Artists of Southport and two local galleries to show paintings based on images in the book. My entry shown here leaves out some of the people in the photograph and takes liberty with color and some of the buildings in the background. Around the turn of the century a Quarantine Station was located just off shore from the village of Southport. When the station was no longer used for its intended purposes, the station became a place to visit for recreation. The painting is of the watermelon party on the dock of the Quarantine Station.