Tag Archives: online art gallery

Butterflies in a Variety of Colors

This week I am sharing a series of new prints I created of butterflies. The process for these prints started a couple of weeks ago when out of the blue I remembered a couple of photos I took of butterflies over a year ago. Not sure where that came from, but I dug out the photos. They really weren’t much to work with as I only took them to remind me to pursue butterflies as a possible subject. It only took that long for that particular process to work for me…duh!! Anyway, I took the subject matter and started drawing butterflies. Still not sure what I was going to do, I kept after the drawings and finally was able to complete a look I liked. To pop the color, I used a photoshop technique to make the butterflies colors take on a texture. After trying to recreate more butterflies, I simply copied the one drawing I liked the best…resized it as needed and pivoted them in different directions. I then started playing with colors as I wasn’t sure what the final color was going to be. This led to more experimentation and various colors. To finish the look I was after, I chose a soft background in similar shades to the butterflies. In Photoshop one of the brushes paints in leaf shapes, so I used that in the various colors and sizes. I then lowered the opacity to soften it as a back drop. The final result was five different colored butterflies on five different prints and then one print combining all five.

Yellow Butterflies
Red Butterflies
Purple Butterflies
Blue Butterflies
Green Butterflies
Colorful Butterflies

Thoughts?

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West Coast Lighthouses

I love the architecture of lighthouses and have done a number of prints from both the east and west coasts of the United States. As a wrap-up from the coastal theme over the last few weeks, I have attached some of my recent work from the west coast. Some of these lighthouses have been featured on past blogs, but these are all new prints of five of them. So, going south to north along the Oregon Coastline into Washington

The first one is the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located on the southwestern coastline of Oregon. The lighthouse was built over a three year period and was opened in 1871. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Cape Blanco Lighthouse Watercolor

Moving north up the Oregon coastline, we encounter Umpqua Lighthouse. The first print is the top portion of Unpqua (I wanted to capture the red light light used as the beacon) and the second print is the lighthouse itself. The first Umpqua lighthouse was built in 1855 and was lit in 1857. It had to be replaced due to seasonal flooding with the current one, which was started in 1892 and first lit in 1894. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Umpqua Lighthouse Watercolor
Umpqua River Lighthouse Sketched

Still moving north along the Oregon coastline, we encounter Yaquina Head LIghthouse which is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon at 93 feet (28 m). It started operation in 1863. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Watercolor

Going further north along the Oregon coastline, we encounter Cape Mears. Cape Meares was built in 1890 to serve Tillamook Bay. In 1963 the original was demolished and replaced with the current tower. (For more info: Wikipedia)

Cape Meares Lighthouse in Watercolor

And last but not least on this little tour, we just cross the Columbia River into the state of Washington and find North Head Lighthouse. The North Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1897 to replace a prior lighthouse that couldn’t be seen by ships coming from the north. (For more info: Wikipedia)

North Head Lighthouse

Thoughts?

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The Bluffs and Surf in San Diego County

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 Bluffs And The Beach

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.

Ocean Surf In Carlsbad

Thoughts?

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Bougainvillea – Bold and Subtle in Watercolor

Last summer I shared a couple of captures I took of our Bougainvillea blooms from our backyard. It took me until November to take those shots and create watercolor art prints of them. I also took them into two different directions, dark & bold and light & subtle. The original shots were taken to highlight the back lighting of the “colored bracts” surrounding the actual flower. That’s the technical and actual description, but most of us see the bracts as petals creating the bloom. The actual flower is a very small insignificant light colored center piece in the center of the bracts. Ok, so much for our botanical class lesson and let’s move on to what I did with them.

I wanted to present the look in a watercolor format as that lends itself to a soft warm presentation. What also caught me eye was the subtle difference in lighting and color saturation between the two. I decided to accent those differences which resulted in the attached art prints! I think the name I gave each says it all in what I saw as differences between the two.

Bougainvillea Dark And Bold
Bougainvillea Light And Subtle

Thoughts?

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Mayan Ruins Sketched

In sticking with black and white art prints, this week I’m sharing black and white sketches. The subject matter is Mayan Ruins and this series of sketches is of the ruins at Chichen Itza, Mexico (Wikipedia). I should have been an archeologist as I love exploring the architecture of ruins from a variety of prior civilizations. In the case of Chichen Itza, I have visited this site a couple of times and find the structures fascinating. Black and white works well with this subject matter as it highlights the details of the architecture.

The central focal point of the city is the pyramid (Temple of Kukulcan). I have had the pleasure of hiking up to the top during my first visit and the second time we went down there, it had been closed off to people walking up the stairs.

The next two sketches are of the Observatory…..

These last two sketches are of the Temple of a Thousand Warriors.

The Rock, Lighthouse and a Rose in Black and White

For those of you that have been following me, this post won’t be a surprise. I periodically post different captures from my black and white photography gallery with the reasons I think they stand out more using the black and white motif.

We’ll start with “The Rock”. I love this shot and showing it this way allows the detail of the rock itself to be highlighted.  The scene is unique unto itself with this huge rock structure, but it also emphasizes the white surf of the waves coming ashore.

Next is “Admiralty Head Lighthouse 2” which is located north of Seattle, Washington. By showing this in black and white, the architectural details stand out as the center of focus. The subtle lines along the lower level of the first and second floor become more obvious along with the same type of lines along the top of the tower and second floor. The window framing actually pops because it contrasts with the white stucco of the building itself, as does the roof and top of the lighthouse itself.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse 2

“The Unfolding Of Petals” is a perfect example of detail that “pops” out with the absence of color. The color photograph of this rose is stunning and no getting away from the brilliance of the color. Having said that,  I did this in black and white because the amount of detail that pops with the petals is intense,  from the actual shaping of the petals to the veining that shows on each petal.

Thoughts?

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Old Fashion Hay Wagon

From the bright colored abstract prints of last week to a very subtle look at a very old subject matter. I came across this hay wagon while doing a photoshoot of barns in the Amana Colonies area of Eastern Iowa. I almost drove by this, but caught it out of the corner of my eye at the last minute. I revisited the shoot recently and decided to take this hay wagon and create an art print of the hay wagon using a soft watercolor technique.

Thoughts?

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Frank Lloyd Wright In Abstract

This week, I’m really mixing it up and pulling two prints out from my Abstract work. In both cases, I created the art prints using an ink sketching technique and then a watercolor air brush to color it “outside the lines”. In both cases, I chose bright and somewhat surreal colors making a bold statement.

Well that’s nice Kirt, but what is the subject matter based on?? Both prints are based on a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was built in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The house is called the Meyer May House (wikipedia here). It is located in the Heritage Hills area close to downtown. The area houses a number of Victorian Mansions that are in stark contrast to this Frank Lloyd Wright design. Having said that, it is definitely not a “sore thumb” to the neighborhood, but continues a very classic and beautiful look to augment the other mansions.

This particular print focuses on a pedestal that is part of the exterior design. Using the same process, it creates a very abstract art print of one of the elements of the house.

Thoughts?

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Do Not Worry

From downtown Denver, we are popping over to the west coast for a sunset I took in Carlsbad, California located in the northern part of San Diego County. I added the quote from the bible as it seems an important reminder for all of us. I try really hard (and trust me it is hard), to take each day as it comes on its own merit. It doesn’t do any of us any good to worry about tomorrow as all that does is pull your attention away from the current moment. And the current moment is the only reality we truly live in.

Thoughts?

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Sketches of The 16th Street Mall In Downtown Denver

This week I am featuring a series of sketches I created from a photoshoot I did last year of the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, Colorado. I liked the concept of using a sketching technique to present these scenes in a more artistic form than just photography.

As I mentioned in the post from last August, my wife and I worked in downtown Denver for a number of years prior to our move to San Diego. We were there during the “oil boom” of the 80’s. The downtown quadrant was a mass of cranes building many of the high-rise buildings you see today and it also saw the opening of the 16th Street Mall in 1982. We found it to be a very vibrant downtown and loved working there. The changes we saw in our time there was incredible, but I must say in the 30 years since then, what has been created and added makes it a very appealing urban center mixing large corporate headquarters with urban residential neighborhoods. Add to that, the inclusion of the major sports arenas (Broncos at Mile High Stadium, Coors Field and Pepsi Center), the Colorado Convention Center, the Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park pulling the downtown experience out to the bike paths/park along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.

The outdoor pedestrian mall spans about 15 to 16 blocks through the center of downtown connecting Union Station on one end to the State Capital on the other end. There are free shuttle buses continuously going up and down the mall augmenting the pedestrian experience.

The tower was constructed in 1910 as part of the Daniels and Fisher department store. At that time it was the tallest structure between the Mississippi River and California.

The tree lined mall connects numerous restaurants and stores along its length serving the large influx of workers during the day inhabiting the many corporate high-rises along with the numerous residential high-rises that populate the area below Union Station.

Historic Union Station has been completely refurbished and remodeled and now hosts a boutique hotel along with numerous restaurants. The station is a travel hub serving commuter rail and bus service along with Amtrak cross country train service.

Thoughts?

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