animals, flora and fauna, Illustrations, thoughts behind the work

Red Deer Illustration

red-deer th

This illustration with extra color and a few symbolic waves of grain is an older drawing that I have completely redrawn and repainted with watercolor pencils.  I love the flourishes and references to plant and animal life.  I have digitally removed the background so the image can be printed on different color textiles.  There is another red deer in this series which will appear soon.

flora and fauna, Plein Aire Painting, step by step, how to

Coto pool and painting outside plein aire style

W-N-travel-paletteLovely sunny day. Quiet here and wanting to be outside, coto-pool-webmy friend and I set out to spend an hour with our mini palettes and brushes and small watercolor pads. This is the wading pool in my (coto) community. It is complete with great healthy palm trees and singing birds.
It is important and joyful to paint outside. It is a liberating experience. Tiny brush, tiny palette, tiny view of a huge scene. Plein aire paintings are super honest. Perhaps because you have to be quick before the moving sun changes your view.
  To purchase prints or textiles, click here

Uncategorized

Bus Stop in a Little Town in Mexico

This is a scene from a sweet little town in Mexico and is  my newest watercolor.  The little plaza is a familiar and welcome place for these ladies who take the bus on most of their working days.  The huge trees provide shade and it’s a good place to start the day. 

As they sit and chat and compare notes, a young girl walks by with a youthful stride.  She revels in her youthful clothes of blue jeans and backpack.  Time changes everything as the days and years go by.

Click to purchase a print http://www.redbubble.com/people/naquaiya/works/35249693-bus-stop-in-mexico-watercolor
flora and fauna

Finding White Lilies

white-lilies-cameoWalking in downtown Ajijic, along a small crowded street, a shock of white caught my eye.  It was coming from a dark doorway.  I couldn’t make out what it was exactly so I stepped closer to get a better look.  There were art objects in the doorway as well; a big earthenware bare brown jug with a minimum of decoration, as well as tables with sculptures and displayed paintings.

Then I saw the white of the lilies.  I snapped some shots and felt privileged.  I just loved them. They were dropping red pollen from their stamens onto the lower gigantic petals.  They were on their last leg as cut flowers.  I knew them as stargazer lilies.  I had grown them in Washington.  Mine were many colors of pinks, but I had never seen white ones like these.  I looked up and saw a woman staring at me and smiling.  Apparently I thought I was walking into an art gallery when in reality, I walked right into someone’s studio.  I was embarrassed and apologized and stepped back quickly.  She did not seem to mind.

I felt both silly and lucky at the same time.

Even though I have been in Mexico almost a year, I have not seen one calla lily yet.  I have seen only a few backyard versions while walking in my neighborhood.  They were shades of red and I noticed that they seemed happy in shady gardens.

Diego Rivera painted many works using the calla lily.  Even though we see these images over and over just about everywhere, I don’t get tired of them.  He also painted them so well that he transformed from the well known flower into abstract shapes molded around his figures as perfect adornments. He found a perfect prop for his figures and faces.

Read about this iconic Mexican artist here:

diego-rivera-calas

So lilies of all kinds have been on my painting list for a while.  Here is what I painted today from my photo.  The red grains are pollen.   Click the picture to purchase a print.

white-lilies-full.web

If you would like to grow some of your own calla lilies, this is a good site for information.

To learn more about stargazer lillies…

Here’s a lovely little video of a bee collecting pollen.  It’s relaxing and I’ve watched it a few times. Nature is amazing.

ice cream, people, Places

Selling ice cream (helado) by the Lake

P1080813 copy-web

This wonderful happy man can be seen in the villlage of Chapala Mexico in the state of Jalisco.  On weekends you can pretty much always find him pushing his tomato red cart.  He sells ice cream, called helado in Spanish.   He has lots of flavors to make you happy.  The atmosphere is pleasant and the malecon (tiled walkway along the water’s edge) and the plaza are just lovely.  The lake is beautiful and cools the air. Right now there has been so much rain that the lake is the highest its been in 50 years.

You can stroll and eat and take in all the sights and sounds.  Very often you can find people dancing in the plaza to the music of local musicians.  Some of the bands will be a collection of guitars, drums, and various brasses including tubas.  Chapala is a great town.  Some may call it a city.  If it sounds like I am selling the place, I’m not really.  I just enjoy it.

In Mexico they churn the ice cream by hand, in huge metal canisters called garrafas. The canisters are filled with the ice cream base and placed inside of wooden barrels full of ice and salt, and then it’s someone’s job to stir the ice cream with a large wooden paddle as it slowly freezes.

This technique gives the ice cream a unique texture. “Mexican ice cream is closer to gelato, as it has less fat and air than American style,”

When I saw this guy, I was immediately attracted to the cart and his infectious smile.  I just had to paint him.  happy   happy   happy.

P1080813 copy-web

If you are interested, click the picture to purchase a print or a textile of this watercolor.

Read more about making Ice Cream in Mexico here:
http://www.tastecooking.com/mexicanicecream

flora and fauna, step by step, how to

A red amaryllis

amarillus-full-webI saw this stunning flower growing out of a very small border garden.  I snapped a quick pic with my phone and I found it interesting–mostly because I was amazed that such a beauty came from a meager space.  It had just rained and there were some raindrops still on the petals.

When I got half way through the work, I realized my values were so much alike, I was headed for trouble.

I was using a few different reds…from Sennellier Red (the main red) to Alizarin Crimson and a little glazing with Opera.  I needed to change something, but I could not figure out what to do.

There was a point where I was very ready to gesso over the whole thing.  Instead, I slept on it.  Two days later, it came to me what I should do.

I glazed the background petals with scarlet red by winsor and newton.  It was so intense and gave me the depth I needed.  Problem solved.

The problems we face are only as difficult as those we are up to solving.  If we can’t figure them out, it’s perfectly ok to continue and keep moving forward.  don’t quit. Take a break.   That’s a good reason to blog.  I may be talking to myself, but I don’t mind. It’s better than watching t.v.

If you  would like a print on paper, metal, canvas or textile, click the image.

 

Love this hanging chair, in the garden…or anywhere  https://www.reformasthlm.se/sv/artiklar/hangfatolj-svart-vit.html

 

step by step, how to

Liz’ Pink Flower challenge

 

My friend Liz Ozselcuk does beautiful digital photography.  She challenged me to play with one of her photos.  So this is the watercolor I came up with.  This was so much fun.  Here’s the step by step of how we are playing with this image.

Liz’ digital photo which was originally as the white flower looked with no changes, then she turned it into this.   

Here’s the original white flowers before digital  (changes) copy to your browser:   https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210656261553030&set=a.1062893142888.2009193.1542778282&type=3

So here’s an explanation of how I did my little painting from her digital change….https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210650477208425&set=a.3348657045557.2120032.1542778282&type=3&theater