I want to start this post with clarifying that everyone sees “art” differently and we all have certain preferences when it comes to visual appreciation. I say this as it does not offend me when someone doesn’t like what I have done and can be honest about it. No offense taken for the reasons stated above. Todays post compares the same subject mater presented two different ways. I have attached a photograph I took on the grounds of a resort in Hawaii (2005). I have also attached a digital art rendition of that photograph that was created earlier this month. I wanted to change the original by eliminating the background building and creating some watercolor texture.
In my opinion there is nothing particularly wrong with the original capture. However I wanted to eliminate the resort itself from the background and add some texture and drawing detail to pull the details forward on the entire capture (gazebo architecture and details of the landscaping).
Periodically I go back through some of my old photo shoots to see if anything grabs my attention that I haven’t already worked with. The attached art print was actually from a photo shoot I did in 2009. We were living in San Diego as new empty nesters because our youngest had gone off to college the prior fall to the University of Washington. My wife and I decided to do a coastal drive up to Seattle to spend some time with her before the 2009 school year started. Along the way I was doing photo shoots of lighthouses and other coastal scenes. I had a number of captures that ended up in my gallery (many of them still there) and as I was looking through those shots, this one popped out at me. I remember the setting and the look and feel of this area. A marine layer (low coastal clouds) had come in as the sun was going down. The beach was empty with the exception of what looked to me like a father and son walking and talking. I capture a few shots of them playing with the way I framed them. I migrated to this one with them in the bottom right of the shot as it highlighted the desolation and peacefulness of the beach setting. For me using a digital watercolor technique seemed to be a perfect fit for this scene as the color pallet was pretty consistent from the sky to the ocean to the beach. The tranquility aspect of it was not only the empty beach, but the marine layer also softens sounds and the father and son looked like they were relaxed and enjoying each others company.
This week I’m featuring two different lighthouses. One from the Oregon coast and one from Massachusetts (or one from the US west coast and one from the US east coast). I just recently completed the three attached prints using a softer watercolor technique.
The first lighthouse is Heceda Head on the Oregon coastline. This lighthouse sits remotely on a bluff overlooking the ocean to the immediate west. The Pacific Coast Highway that follows the coastline is the access point for this site which does include a caretakers house.
The next two prints are of the West Chop Lighthouse located in Tisbury, Massachusetts (close to Marthas Vineyard).
All three prints are actually “re-do’s” of my original work softening the prints and adding some subtle artistic elements.
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.