Seattle Spring 2021

(As a follow up to last weeks post Tombstone, Arizona in Sepia, I asked for feedback on which sepia print was favored to help me narrow down to one or two. Ironically 1, 3 &4 got identical likes. Thanks!)

My wife and I just got back from a couple of weeks in Seattle. Two of our daughters and their husbands live there and this trip was great as we were able to spend time with all of them. One of the things I enjoy doing when we are up there is walking their dogs as needed. On one of my walks I was blown away by all of the spring blooms. On this particular walk the area is well established and the trees and bushes are very mature and large. I wanted to share some of the blooms I came across.

Seattle Spring 2021 - 1

And to complete the captures, I had to share the following due to the shear size and look of this tree trunk…incredible.

Thoughts?

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Tombstone, Arizona in Sepia

I was working on a photo shoot I did from a trip to Tombstone, Arizona a few years back. With the “Old West” history being kept alive in Tombstone, it just leads me to do some of the shots in an old sepia format. That being said, I would like feedback on the top four candidates from that shoot. I want to narrow it down to one or two for my gallery and would appreciate getting your thoughts. Thanks!!

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Mountain Drive Between Vancouver and Whistler

In keeping with my post last week where I had been reviewing older photo shoots, I am attaching some of the shots I took from the same batch I shared last week. This week it’s from the drive between Vancouver and Whistler. I couldn’t help stopping the car and pulling over with the beauty of the mountains we were seeing (my family is so used to me doing this).

We have been living in Southern California for so many years (Colorado before that) and I miss the sheer beauty of lush green forests on mountains.

I have attached the last shot as I couldn’t do anything but pull over for this one. This log cabin structure caught my eye and I couldn’t help myself!!

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Zip Lining Near Whistler, BC

I was going through some older photo shoots this week and came across a series of them I did in and around Whistler, British Columbia. From those captures I have attached a series of them around a zip line we did with our youngest daughter. I love zip lining and have done it a few times around the country. In this case it felt like we were in an old Star Wars movie getting to the zip line. The reference is these walkways we had to take to the launching “tree houses” (if you get the reference after seeing the pictures, great …if not, sorry). The shots don’t do justice to just how far off the forest floor you are walking. You get a slightly better perspective of how far up you are with the last two shots of the actual zip line. The zip line was strung over a mountain river and went back and forth zig zagging down stream. We would zip line from one “tree house”… cross the river, get off the line and zig zag further downstream on the next zip line.

The next set of pictures gives you a better idea of what the lines looked like as they zig zagged downstream back and forth across the rover.

This shows my wife on one of the runs to the next “tree house”.

This one shows our daughter and gives you a better adea how far up in the trees the “tree houses” are. The scenery was stunning and the experience was exhilarating.

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Hot Air Balloons – The Inspiration of the Envelope

Most of us appreciate the beauty of a hot air balloon sailing gracefully through the air, rising and descending. What draws our attention is the balloon itself which is called the envelope. Today the colors are typically vibrant with bright shapes and colors. This week I’m featuring three hot air balloon art prints I created using a soft, somewhat abstract watercolor approach.

This first print focuses on the envelope being heated up, which I thought was a unique look to feature with the bright flame shooting upward. I used strong bold lines to create the overall shape and then filled in the areas with bright colors using a soft air brush look.

Evening Glow Red and Yellow Watercolor

This next one is still on the ground, but getting ready to rise. Same technique with the bold lines, but I wanted the contrast between the colorful envelope and the sky (ground at the bottom of the print) to be highlighted.

Peach Hot Air Balloon Night Glow Watercolor

This last one highlights the many colors of this particular balloon and keeps that the focal point.

The Yellow and Blue Balloon

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Black and White Sketching: New Orleans Architecture

There are two visual aspects in what I am posting this week. The first aspect being black and white presentations and the second aspect being architectural elements. Black and white, whether it be a photograph or a sketching changes the visual experience of a subject matter. Black and white allows more detail to surface as the visual experience isn’t bombarded with a multitude of colors, while keeping an overall subtle look.

I have always thought the architectural elements in New Orleans were appealing in their uniqueness and I think the black and white sketching technique highlights a lot of the detail that makes the area interesting (as a disclosure I created these drawings in 2010, so anything that has changed at any of these locations since then is not represented).

The first and second art prints are of the St Charles Line street car. The first print is a street scene of the street car line and the second print pulls in on a stop after a passenger gets off. The first one gives you a very detailed look of the tracks the street car runs on while the second one gives you more detail of the street car itself including remaining passengers.

Streetcar
St Charles Line

The third print is a balcony restaurant looking out over the French Quarters. You not only see the detail of the restaurant seating, but the buildings in the French Quarter.

French Quarter Balcony

The last one looks across the street in the French Quarters at another balcony restaurant. This print captures the detail of the customers and the street aspect.

Balcony Restaurant

Thoughts?

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Spring Flowers

I thought I would celebrate spring blooms this week, so I have attached four art prints I created using a watercolor technique. I included one agapanthus and three rose blooms. The agapanthus are blooming here in Southern California and the roses I have lining our front walkway are in full bloom!! Enjoy!!

The Blue Bloom
Rose Bloom In Watercolor
Red Rose Bud In Watercolor
Red Rose Bloom In Watercolor

Thoughts?

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Abstract Family

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing what happens when you present the same subject matter in two different artistic methods and how that can change the way an image impacts the viewer. This week I am going to dive a little deeper into that using a variety of abstract art methods. I used one of these examples in a post that I did in 2014, but this time around wanted to show how four different results came from one group of small statues.

OK, now that I have confused the issue, let me start with the process I went through using the original subject matter. That subject matter is two small statues that go together and represents a family; a mother holding a  child and a father with a child on his shoulders. Having been married for 47 years and raising three incredible daughters, my wife and I celebrate family.  

I started the process by taking those two statuettes and placing them in a light box snapping numerous pictures of the statues in slightly different positions settling ultimately on the three I have attached to this post. I was only using the photographs as a basis, so wasn’t concerned whether the shot was in perfect focus or not (which one isn’t). From that point I tried a variety of styles and methods creating numerous art prints and finally settling on the attached four.

Starting with the the first capture of the mother and child in the foreground and the father with child on his shoulders in the background:

With the resulting art prints being:

For the first print, I used an impasto technique (impasto done in acrylic or oil emphasizes strong and bold brush strokes).

The Family Unit in Soft Hues

On the second one I played with the colors using a fauvism style (fauvism: vivd expressionistic and non-naturalistic use of color).

The Family Unit in Gold

Next up is the picture I used for the third art print. In this case I positioned the mother and father figure more side by side.

From this inspiration I created this:

Again, using a fauvism approach I created this art print with a complete change in colors.

The Family in Green

My last example comes from the next picture.

This basis was just slightly different in positioning of the statues resulting in the following:

For this fourth art print I used an abstract watercolor technique and again bold color choices.

The Family in Purple

I had fun with this series and just wanted to share one of the ways I come up with my art prints.

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Log Cabin Homes From the Sharlot Hall Museum

In keeping with the theme from last week, I have attached six different art prints of three particular structures that are located on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. (Sharlot Hall Museum Info on Wikipedia)

I have used two different approaches for each of the three structures. The first one for each of them was created using a colored pencil sketching technique. On the second art print, I used an impasto style (a type of painting style that uses very thick paint, creating strong brush strokes). The two different styles create a very different look for each subject matter. There isn’t a right or wrong as it’s more of a visual preference of the viewer. The sketching style creates a more subtle, softer visual where the impasto style creates a bolder look with stronger colors.

The first structure is Fort Misery. It is the oldest log building associated with the territory of Arizona. Originally built in 1863-1864 along the banks of Granite Creek (two blocks south of the museum) by a trader as a home and store. It was disassembled and reassembled on the museum grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum in 1934.

Fort Misery Sketched
The Log Cabins

The inspiration behind the next two art prints is a reconstructed ranch house on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona. This reconstruction was done in the 1930’s to represent a typical ranch house in this area during the mid 1800’s.

The Ranch House Sketched
Log Cabin In The Woods

The inspiration behind the last two prints is the original governors mansion built in Prescott Arizona. The structure was built in 1864 to house the governor of the newly aligned Arizona Territory. The structure is now located on the grounds of the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Governors Mansion Arizona Sketched
Log Cabin Front Porch

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Train Station Door

I have attached two different approaches to a singular subject matter. The singular subject matter is the train station door in Glendale, California. The train station was built in 1924 by the Southern Pacific Railroad using a romantic Spanish Colonial Revival style. The elaborate architectural details immediately become a visual focal point. The station now serves for both Amtrak and the Los Angeles Metro Link Rail system and was purchased by the city of Glendale in 1989.

Having been through this station numerous times over the last 20+ years, I was usually too busy coming or going to stop and really absorb the architectural detail. Finally in 2017 I did a photoshoot of the entire station and settled on this perspective of the door as a true representation of the beauty of the building.

I chose two different sketching techniques to highlight the beauty of the architectural details. Both techniques created totally different visual experiences of the same subject. There isn’t a right or wrong in either technique, just a visual preference by the viewer, which varies from viewer to viewer.

Sketched Train Station Door
Pastel Train Station Door

Thoughts?

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