This week I wanted to continue the coastal theme of the last few weeks, but am switching sides of the North American Continent to the eastern coast. The attached three prints were inspired by the inter water coastal region surrounding Martha’s Vineyard. Martha’s Vineyard is just off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The area is interspersed with islands and is popular for boating and fishing. It’s not unusual to see large homes, as this is the summer playground for the wealthy. The setting is naturally beautiful and an artists dream to capture the look and feel of this unique New England paradise.
The first print is titled Lighthouse Point In watercolor:
The second print is titled Boat Moorings:
The third print is titled Sailboat in New England.
From the last two weeks of abstract coastal art prints, I thought I would keep with the same general subject (coastal and ironically same coastal area), but a completely different visual venue. This week I am featuring two of my newest prints I created using a soft watercolor style. The location is the same; the coastline of Carlsbad, California in northern San Diego County. The perspective is from the same general area but one print is looking south and the other print looking north. The San Diego coastline is beautiful all the way from the southern tip on the border to Mexico running north to Camp Pendleton and Orange County.
The perspective of the first one is looking south from Carlsbad down towards San Diego proper. The bluffs are stunning as they frame the beach and the surf.
The second print is almost liking turning around and looking north along the coastline. The bluffs are still there, but not as dramatic. The beach and the surf take your eyes up towards Oceanside and Camp Pendleton.
I’ve attached three art prints I created using a watercolor technique of hiking trails. The first one was created in 2011 and I just refreshed it as I created the other two this past week.
I love the peace and serenity of hiking specifically in the Pacific Northwest. The dense forest and pine trees create a sense of being one with nature. Because the forest is so dense, I don’t venture off the path as I know in these woods, we are not alone and crossing paths with a bear or whatever doesn’t appeal to me.
On each of these prints, I did an overlay using a thought of mine as it relates to each of our journeys through life. We are each on our own path so to speak and it is our choice as to whether or not we stay on that path or choose to venture off knowingly or unknowingly.
I liken it to being a parent and trying to keep your kids on a path as we raise them. At some point their free will may take them off the chosen path, but we are always there to guide them back if they seek it. As each of us travels our own individual paths, He is always there to guide us back when we venture off the chosen path.
From my post last week, I had a client request some of the other Oregon Coast Lighthouses done in the same ink and watercolor technique. The look is very simplistic, but follows the basic architecture of each of the lighthouses. That being said, I have attached the Coquille River, Heceda Head, Yaquina Head and North Head Lighthouses.
One of my favorite lighthouses along the Oregon Coastline is the Heceda Head Lighthouse. From this perspective, you see the lighthouse out on the edge of a bluff and the caretakers house snuggled above a small beach. The caretakers house is closer to the Pacific Coast Highway, which follows this rugged coastline and presents this perfect view of the complex as you approach from the south.
In creating this print, I used a sketching technique with soft watercolors to present this as a casual look across a small harbor towards the complex.
Heceda Head Lighthouse Complex
This second print focuses on the lighthouse itself. Again, I used the same sketching technique creating this casual look.
Heceda Head Lighthouse Sketched
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This week I am featuring two art prints I created representing some of the palm trees surrounding a small lake in Papago Park which is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Papago Park has a very unique history starting with being named a reservation for local Maricopa and Pima aboriginal Americans in 1879. In 1914 it was designated a National Monument and that designation was later rescinded in 1930. During the Great Depression, the state established a fish hatchery on the land (thus the lakes that are still here today) and during WWII it housed a POW camp. Ultimately the land was sold to the city of Phoenix in 1959 and currently is home to the Desert Botanical Garden, The Phoenix Zoo and the park itself with hiking trails and unique red rock geological features.
Walking around one of the lakes I was mesmerized by the palm trees lining one of the lakes and chose to recreate the scene using a digital painting technique that was true to the colors and shapes I was seeing.
I’m featuring four art prints this week that I created from a photo shoot I did a couple of years ago from a visit my wife and I took to San Antonio. I hadn’t been to the River Walk since I was a young adult and my wife had never been. We had business in Austin and since the two cities are only about an hour and a half apart, we took a day for me to introduce her to the infamous River Walk. From that shoot, I used a two different watercolor techniques to soften up the images.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting the River Walk, it is along the San Antonio River in downtown San Antonio. It sits about one story below street level and winds throughout the downtown area. When you descend onto the River Walk, it feels like you have just entered another world. The hustle and bustle of street traffic disappears to the quiet of a peaceful river walk lined with restaurants and shops.
The first two pictures I created using a slightly abstract watercolor technique that creates small abstract shapes to “paint” the picture. They give you a better perspective of the walkway as it winds along both sides of the river. Love the trees as they shade all of the outdoor cafes.
With the post from last week, I used a desert sunset with saguaro cacti that I created using the same technique that I used originally with these two art prints. Using a few of the filters on Photoshop, I originally created a background where the top half of the picture was sky and the bottom half of the picture was ocean. I used the gradient filter to take the sky and the ocean from light to dark at the horizon line. I then drew the lighthouse and sailboat and filled them with black to look like a silhouette against the background. The look is very abstract and the simplicity with the colors creates a unique look.
We bid adieu to our friends the Saguaro cactus as we have moved back to Southern California. This time not San Diego, but Los Angeles. We have had a hard time saying goodbye to the many friends we have made in our 5 years here in the desert, but are excited for the next chapter in our life being near our granddaughter and her brother when he is born early next year.
Five years ago, my wife and I created a 5 year plan. We are very family oriented and didn’t want to be too far away from any of our three daughters and future grandchildren. At that time, since none of our girls were staying in San Diego, we wanted to give it 5 years to see where they would land. Knowing all three, we knew they would stay somewhere in the western part of the US. Denver had been mentioned, Seattle and Los Angeles, so moving to Phoenix wasn’t that far off the map. Fast forward to today, all three are married (terrific son-in-laws). We have one daughter and her husband in Los Angeles and the other two and their husbands in Seattle area. Our Los Angeles family has our first grandchild with one on the way. At some point in the not too distant future we expect to see some grandchildren in Seattle, so time will tell where we ultimately end up.
I used this picture I created of the Saguaro Cactus as the poor thing has been the brunt of family jokes with my wife. They spook her out…she says they look like large people in the desert and at night it just creeps her out. I find them very unique and of course symbolic of the “Old West”. Knowing we have all given her a hard time about the large people in the desert, just couldn’t resist adding some eyes and mouth as they say “goodbye” to us!
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This week, in keeping with the theme from last week (a behind the scenes peek of how I digitally create these art prints), I wanted to share a technique I used with these three examples of covered bridges in Oregon. As I stated last week, I have been using Adobe Photoshop forever. I love the variety of features and flexibility it gives me not only with my photography, but also in creating digitally painted art.
The three prints I have attached came from a photo shoot I did a number of years ago in Oregon. All three look like three photographs of covered bridges and in reality they are. If you look closer, you will see that the edges and detail are softened slightly…ever so slightly to just give the prints a subtle softness. It’s a minor change I created by using one of Adobe’s filters. I started with the photographs in Adobe and eliminated any background “noise” such as electrical wires. In these shots that was about the only doctoring I did to the actual photograph. The next step was to soften them slightly, so I used their watercolor filter. In that filter you can control numerous elements such as pixel size of softness..type of softness and intensity. With numerous trial and error attempts, I settled on a level I liked. A subtle watercolor effect that you see more easily in the trees, but it also soften the edges of the bridges…again very subtle, but an overall softening.