Contact me by email: or telephone 520-682-2837

'In any land what is there more glorious than sunlight! Even here in the desert where it falls fierce and hot like a rain of meteors, it is the one supreme beauty to which all things pay allegiance ... The chief glory of the desert is its broad blaze of omnipresent light.'
-John Van Dyke

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dragon and Damsel Flies in Watercolors

A little series of pretty insects that most people love. Dragon flies and their smaller relatives, the damsel flies. They turned out to be a rather challenging subject.

Great Spreadwing
Several challenges came up: One was to make the insects the main subject of even a small painting, I had to paint them larger than life. That means depicting a lot of intricate detail without getting fussy. The viewer needs suggestions, but as much detail as in a scientific illustration. Detail should be suggested, but eye and brain need the freedom to fill in the rest.

Flame Skimmer
If the main character forms only one big shape, the composition demands that the  background should add elements of interest, but should not overwhelm.  Be supportive and yet interesting enough.

Widow Skimmer
 Dragonfly wings need to read as transparent, yet structurally stiff and strong. Dragonflies are extremely fast, muscular fliers . The wings  often make rustling noises like hard, thin foil and have nothing in common with the softer wings of birds or bats. They are more like technical structures fit for an air plane. 
All that has to be expressed with a little pigment suspended in water and spread over paper. 

 I painted these three images with the idea of making them into tiles. The new sublimation technique allows to have radiant true colors on the shiny glazed surface of ceramic tiles. I tried it out with my cactus flower images and the success at the Phippen show was overwhelming. I think the subject matter of water and dragonflies gives itself even better to the technique. I am also considering prints on metal.  

Friday, June 1, 2018

A little Bug Painting

The Phippen Western Art Show and Sale is over, was a great sales success, and now I have no shows any more for the summer! I can finally switch from frantically building up print inventory to some more leisurely paintings (I hope). And get out and watch bugs.

As a warm up a little insect painting, one of the many Widow Skimmers of Patagonia Lake