Monday, May 30, 2016

Sunflower wall mural

The finished wall, for now.  Eventually I can see adding other flowers or creatures (my family is full of ideas), but for now these sunflowers are done.  It's a very sunny, hot spot of the yard, so it's nice to see something green.  The cassia bush will grow on one side and the trees will fill in the other.  I think it's an improvement over the blank wall that was there before.  Around the other side of the house there is a shady spot that's already full of greenery.  I painted that spot years ago, mostly to see something interesting out the window.  I like to think the air conditioner repairman is amused by it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sunflowers - in progress

Beginning a "sunflowers on the wall" project.  I got tired of seeing that huge stretch of wall and thought it might be fun to paint some sunflowers on it, since I wasn't successful at growing any this year.  I started with a chalk outline to test the placement, because chalk is easy to change.  In the past this wall has featured a horse and even a map of the United States.  
On a trip to Michigan last year, the fields of sunflowers left a fantastic impression on me, and I thought this would be a great way to bring some home.

 Once the chalk flowers were approved by everyone in the family it was time to start adding paint.  We were in Home Depot twice in the last few days, but both times did not stop by the paint department for colors.  Fortunately, after digging through the hall closet I found some old sample jars of acrylic and one of them had never been opened!  So I ripped that plastic seal off and started dabbing something called Maize onto the wall.  Perfect.  It's a start!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Smoke" for Illustration Friday

"Smoke" for Illustration Friday is watercolor on Bristol paper.  I really like the way the smoke turned out on such a smooth surface.  The water and paint floated around and creating its own pattern.   I used to like hot press watercolor paper, but more recently I prefer the rougher texture of cold press.  So this felt somewhat experimental, and I'm pretty happy with it!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Walk in the Light watercolor

I've added a few new watercolors to my Etsy shop, including this one entitled "Walk in the Light".

I created it after a short hike with my family at Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg, AZ.  It's such an amazing place and one of my favorite getaways.  A place to reconnect with nature, do a little birdwatching, and take a deep breath in a peaceful place.  They have wonderful trails through trees, sandy riverbeds, across tiny bridges, benches beside a lake, and tall, tall palm trees.  Glorious.

"For most of its 100-mile course through the desert, the Hassayampa River flows only underground. But within thepreserve its crystal clear waters emerge, flowing above ground throughout the year. This lush streamside habitat is home to some of the desert’s most spectacular wildlife. Yet many of them have become dangerously imperiled as riparian areas have disappeared from the Arizona landscape...

In the Sonoran Desert, riparian areas nourish cottonwood-willow forests, one of the rarest and most threatened forest types in North America. An estimated 90% of these critical wet landscapes have been lost, damaged or degraded in the last century. This loss threatens at least 80% of Arizona wildlife, which depend upon riparian habitats for survival. "