Ballerinas

 

Iris and her Pupil

Iris and her Pupil

 

Ballerina Waiting

Ballerina Waiting

Here are a couple of small, quick studies I took from some old photographs. I’m planning a full sized painting based on the first one… eventually.

The Fiddler

The Fiddler

The Fiddler

 

This isn’t one of my favorites. The background went a little muddier than I intended, and the figure feels  isolated from it. I don’t hate it, but I might give it another go at some point.

Man with Dogs

Man with Dogs

Man with Dogs

This photo is a little on the dark side, but it’ll have to do for today. It’s raining this week, and I stumbled across this old photograph of a brick of a man and his dogs by a cabin somewhere in the American wilds, so I went for it. His face was very dark, but you could still tell he had this rough expression full of attitude, even though you couldn’t really make out the features.

Snowy Cabin with a Girl

Snowy Cabin with a Girl

Snowy Cabin with a Girl

Hong Kong is very warm, and Japan hasn’t had any snow yet this season either in my area. I go through this every year. There’s just something about the snow I love, and when I don’t have it for a year or two, I really miss it.

Happy Holidays! Be Back Next Year!

 

Restaurant Boats on Uji River, Kyoto

Restaurant Boats on Uji River, Kyoto

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope you’re able to spend time in peace with friends and loved ones, enjoying each other’s company and the sweet experiences life gives us when we remember the meaning and the love of this holiday season.

I went to a restaurant yesterday that advertises they hire special needs employees, and it really touched my heart to see how happy they were working, but also saddened me because it must be so difficult for those that aren’t fortunate to have a company like this. I spent my entire meal thinking about what I could do to help my community. So often we (or I, at least) spend too much time in selfish bliss that we don’t think about our fellow man, whether they’re family, friends coworkers, or most often, strangers.  I really want to do something to help and am looking for suggestions. And I hope that during this season especially, but also as the holidays fade, that you will think about what you can do as well. I believe it was Ben Franklin that said service is the most important thing in life. I need to look at the world with more empathy. And I need to give more. Not only money, but charity, whether it’s time or love or whatever.

I was able to take a trip to the beautiful Uji River a little while ago. Moored along the concrete bank was a long line of red-tarped restaurant boats. It made for an interesting image, and I hope some day I’ll be able to return and have the opportunity to dine while taking the river cruise.

It’s been a wild ride of a month and I haven’t had a chance to post much, but that could really be said for the entire year. So much has happened. 2014 will open with a trip to Hong Kong. I’m not sure how long I’ll be there, but I hope I can do some painting during my stay. I’m excited and a little nervous, but I’m sure it will be a great experience. I imagine I’ll have internet access during my time there, but if not, see you next year!

 

Japanese Bride

 

Japanese Bride - Watercolor - 14" x 20"

Japanese Bride – Watercolor – 14″ x 20″

I did this painting recently from a photograph I snapped off at a wedding a few years ago. I’m thinking about doing a whole series on Japanese traditional dress for both men and women. I’m very happy with the way the luminous and high-key tones of the flesh and background contrasts with the dark shapes of the hair and kimono. I also like and want to consider this kind of composition for future designs.

Happy Halloween Post

 

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Watercolor Sketch

Nathaniel Hawthorne says whaaaaaaaaaa?

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

I love this time of year, but it always makes me more than a little homesick for my great country of America. Where I live now has similar weather to Pennsylvania, where I was raised, and the fall has the beautiful colors, but without the holidays and the familiar sounds and the scent of smoke filling the air from the first fires being lit, it’s just not the same. Anyway, Happy Halloween to everyone. Be safe and have fun.

I had intended to do a series of watercolor sketches of my favorite scary authors for Halloween, but because of my workload and other projects, I just managed to get to the one and not until today. While it was difficult to pick a favorite, there is already a great deal of artwork on the internet for Poe or King. Nathaniel Hawthorne, while I wouldn’t consider him a horror writer as such, really wrote some creepy stuff about a fairly creepy period in American history. I used a few different photos for this piece, but what really grabbed my attention was the crazy look in his eyes in one in particular. I tried to capture that here while merging different aspects of the photographs together. I might try it again sometime when I can spend a few days instead of just one on it.

I don’t remember when I was originally introduced to Mr. Hawthorne (probably in college), but I do remember the assigned story. Young Goodman Brown is a story that is timeless in its ideas and has really stuck with me. I go back to it from time to time. If you haven’t read it, you can do so for free by clicking HERE.

I haven’t updated my blog in a while, but I have a few days vacation next week and lots of new work, so I’ll try to make a few posts then.

 

Behind the Pool and Naruto

Behind the Pool - Watercolor 10x14

Behind the Pool – Watercolor 10×14

Behind the public pool in my town is a small service building with a brilliant red door. As I was walking yesterday, I noticed the wonderful shadows and colors cast on the off-white surface, and the strong contrast of the red door. I had a couple of hours before I had to be at the office so I rushed home and grabbed my set. It needs a little more detail and texture work. I may go back into it, or just leave it as the intended sketch and do a larger piece when I have more time.

And in other pool-related news, two weeks ago I had a chance to visit Naruto. I was lucky enough to stay in a beautiful hotel high on a mountain overlooking the sea. The most amazing part was the pool. Relaxing along the edge there was a perfect view down the sharp cliff to the small coastal town and the ocean where fishermen in small boats dropped their nets or their cages. I did a quick sketch from the balcony of our room.

Sketch from the balcony at the XIV Hotel - Naruto

Sketch from the balcony at the XIV Hotel – Naruto