Morning Light Winter Watercolor

Art, hiking, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

On a recent woods walk, I took a photo of this slope. The gnarly old tree or snag probably caught my attention. But, when it came time to paint it the scene changed completely.

slope

First, I decided to put a stream through the middle of the painting. I felt the lighting needed a little jazzing up. The gray background in the photo might have been a bit bland for the painting. Never fear – the gnarly old tree made it into the scene!

Laying out the scene

We end up with a somewhat moody little scene, depicting early morning, perhaps. I like the way the rocks on the top left came out. Rocks of Harriman State Park are typically that shade (from what I recall, anyway).  It has a calming quality to it. Hope it calms you, the viewer too.

Thanks for looking.

-Kirill

Morning Light Winter Stream Painting

Maine Coast Painting Timelapse – Part 1

Art, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

​This past September we had the good fortune of visiting Acadia National Park in Maine. Acadia is a wonderland of forests, granite peaks shaped by glacial events, and as depicted in this painting – rocky beaches. During our time on this rugged Atlantic coast, most days were very foggy and overcast, but rapidly changing, so I was inspired to paint a moody sky in transition. Toward the end of the timelapse, I also start to show some the kelp sprawled along the beach, which becomes a very prominent feature in the bay during low tide.

I hope you enjoy part 1… I will post updates as the painting progresses!

 

Watercolor Time-lapse – Precambrian Rock and Eastern White Pine

Art, hiking, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

For many of us, the real sauce in a watercolor painting, any kind of painting, is direct experience. As I walk, the light bulb goes off, multiple times if I’m lucky. But, walk and be there I must in order to set the mind ablaze with ideas for a painting. It is a wonderful thing to suddenly be struck with excitement about re-creating, and maybe even embellishing the thing being experienced in real-time. It is one of the few things in life that doesn’t feel like pounding a square peg into a round hole; it happens with ease.

I’m still playing around with these watercolor time-lapse ideas. This is the 2nd one I’ve done since the “Winter River Scene” from a trip to Connecticut early this year. I’m fortunate to live close to Harriman State Park; a 47, 527 acre mixed deciduous forest, containing some of the oldest rocks in the world. The idea of showing the sun hitting this exposure of presumably Precambrian (1+ billion year old basement rock) is what sparked the inspiration for this painting.

There were also two gnarly Eastern White Pine growing in this spot. Evidently, this type of pine is iconic of the type of ecosystem found in this region before European settlers began exploiting these giants for economic purposes, such as ship building, and it quickly became a major export. In this painting, I wanted to show the gnarly bark of a White Pine that is allowed to reach a certain maturity; reminiscent of a time when it reached old age regularly. To cap it off, there is autumn color to celebrate the season!

A Painting in Memory of the 600-Year-Old Great White Oak

Art, New Jersey, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

It was the tree that the town of Basking Ridge, NJ grew and developed around. Further back, the story goes that George Washington talked strategy underneath this tree. And now a few months ago, with great sorrow, we said goodbye to the 600-year-old giant. The tree was taken down at the site of the old church and cemetery. But, the oak’s lineage lives on! One of its acorns has now grown into a 25 foot tall descendant and it was planted at the site of the old tree. Below is a painting to remember this giant oak and all the joy it has brought to locals and visitors alike.

Watercolor on Arches Rough Paper

Original 14″ x 20″

Great White Oak, Basking Ridge, NJ

Original paintings and prints available on our Etsy Shop!

 

Emmerich Greenhouse Painting

Art, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

On a drizzly, humid summer morning, Brandy and I set out to paint in Warwick, NY. We drove around looking for something interesting to paint. Finding parking was not easy, especially near interesting enough places. Then, we zoomed past an old farm building – Emmerich Greenhouses. The parking worked out and the folks working the greenhouses were very friendly. I haven’t lived near Warwick very long and I am always excited to discover places of heritage (especially, places that are not heavily advertised). These greenhouses were started by Chris Emmerich in 1982 and still going strong!

 

Watercolor on Arches Rough Paper

Original 14″ x 20″

emmerich-greenhouses.jpg

Original paintings and prints available on our Etsy Shop!

What To Paint? – Creative Process

Art, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

Dear fellow artists and wanderers,

I’m going to let you into my world.

I put together a short video that outlines my typical creative process for painting nature scenes in watercolor. It is quite simple: wander around someplace, find something that you think is interesting, take a picture, and put it down on paper. You might be thinking: yeah, easier said than done, but I hope you might draw some inspiration or ideas from my process. Please enjoy!

I rarely paint in plein air, but I would like to get into that habit. I don’t mind the cold or the occasional curious observer.  It’s just that I am spoiled by the ease of working from a photograph, indoors where I don’t have to worry about the light changing rapidly or the wind blowing away my art supplies. Still, I plan on sacrificing these creature comforts for a different experience and greater challenge…maybe.

What does your creative process look like?