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Flower Watercolors - Ralph F. Wilson

One of my favorite subjects is flowers. Every spring, I look for the blossoms to appear. Their subtle shapes and colors are fascinating. Here are some of my paintings.

Click on the thumbnail picture or title to see a larger image. To inquire about purchasing a painting, please contact the artist.

lavender-bluebells-14x20-150220.jpg Watercolor: Lavender Bluebells - 14" x 20"
I found these blue-bells growing alongside the San Lorenzo River in Felton, CA several years ago. This painting uses very few brush strokes, but was done by masking and pouring primary colors. Watercolor, 14" x 20". Exhibited at the 2015 "Awash with Color" WASH members show, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, March 31 to April 18, 2015, where it won "Honorable Mention."

soft-dogwood.jpg Watercolor: Soft Dogwood (14" x 20")
This picture was made by masking the lightest colors and pouring primary colors (red, blue, yellow) in various parts of the painting, allowing it to mix, then pouring it off. This process as repeated four additional times, then the centers and veins in the flowers were touched up by brush. Watercolor, 14" x 20". Exhibited at the 2015 "Awash with Color" WASH members show, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, March 31 to April 18, 2015. Exhibited at the Placer County Fair, June 25-28, 2015, where it won first place in the watercolor category.

autumn-backlit.jpg Watercolor: Autumn Backlit (10.5" x 10.5")
This was inspired by backlit Big Leaf Maple leaves I saw in Guerneville, along the Russian River in early June 2013. But they seemed much more interesting in fall colors than the light green of early summer. Watercolor, 140 lb rough Arches paper. 10.5" x 10.5". Shown at the Rocklin Fine Arts 2014 Snowflake Exhibition, Feb 8-9, 2014. Exhibited at the Placer County Fair, June 25-28, 2015. In a private collection: J. Wilson.

chinese-hanging-tiger-lilies.jpg Watercolor: Chinese Hanging Tiger Lilies (14.5" x 10.5")
When we were at England's Hidcote Gardens in August 2009 we saw these fantastic lilies. They are Henry's Lily (Lilium henryi), sometimes called a Tiger Lily. They are found in the mountains of central China. Exhibited at the Chocolate Shoppe as part of the Auburn Art Walk on April 10, 2014. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5"

purple-leaf-plum-blossoms.jpg Watercolor: Purple-Leaf Plum Blossoms (14" x 20")
There's noting more beautiful than the delicacy of back-lit fruit tree blossoms in the early spring. This is from a Purple-Leaf Plum Blossom growing on Gold Trail near our home. The sheaves of red are the leaf buds just ready to start opening. 14" x 20". Watercolor.

yellow-iris.jpg Watercolor: Yellow Iris (20" x 14.5")
Inspired by an iris in our front yard, April 2013. Won "First Award" at Sonja Hamilton's class final day, April 30, 2013, Placer Adult School. 14x20" Exhibited at the Placer County Fair, June 20-23, 2013 where it won 1st place in watercolor and Best of Division for the 2-dimensional art division. Accepted for exhibition in the juried 2013 WASH Open Show at the Sacramento Fine Art Center, September 3-28, 2013. Exhibited at the juried Placer Art League Open Show at the Lincoln Art Center, July 2 thru Aug 2, 2014.

yellow-rose.jpg Watercolor: Yellow Rose (20" x 14")
The beauty of a back-lit open yellow rose growing outside our dining room window. 20" x 14". Watercolor.

pink-rose.jpg Watercolor: Pink Rose (20" x 14")
This rose is from Jean's garden. Watercolor. 20x14.

purple-iris.jpg Watercolor: Purple Iris (10.5" x 11")
"Purple Iris." The beautiful irises of spring bloomed early this year, but their memory is not forgotten on this first day of June at 95 degrees. I found this striking purple iris at a local nursery. Watercolor, 10.5" x 11"

pink-rose-2.jpg Watercolor: Pink Rose 2
I love backlit roses. This one was a delicate pink in Jean's garden. I experimented painting on #140 cold press Moulin de Roi watercolor paper. It worked fine. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5"

red-orange-calla-lilies.jpg Watercolor: Red-Orange Calla Lilies (10.5"x14.5")
When I found these Calla Lilies at a local nursery, I was struck by both their colors and shapes. Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5".

bouquet-tureen.jpg Watercolor: Bouquet in a Gravy Tureen (9"x6")
We have such lovely roses. Here are a few I cut and then put in a white gravy tureen. Completed on the plane from Amsterdam to Nairobi. Watercolor, 9" x 6".

sunflower-6x9.jpg Watercolor: Sunflower (6"x9")
This is from a photograph taken in Jean's garden several years ago. Completed on the plane from Los Angeles to Amsterdam. Watercolor, 6" x 9".

pink-crysanthemum-141127.jpg Watercolor: Golden Center - Pink Chrysanthemum, 20" x 14"
I spent part of Thanksgiving Day at our family get-together in Forest Hill, CA working on this beautiful pink chrysanthemum with a yellow center. Watercolor, 20"x 14". 'Golden Center - Pink Chrysanthemum' was juried onto Magnum Opus XXVII, Sacramento Fine Arts Center's Annual Open Show, July 19-August 13, 2016.

glowing-easter-tulips.jpg Watercolor: Glowing Easter Tulips (10.5" x 10.5")
I saw these backlit tulips at a nursery, and found them perfect for an Easter painting. Watercolor. 10.5" x 10.5"

alstromeria-peruvian-lily.jpg Watercolor: Alstromeria - Peruvian Lilies (10.5" x 14.5")
I found these bright crimson flowers at a local nursery, and enjoyed their loud trumpeting of spring. Watercolor. 10.5" x 14.5"

year-of-the-poppy-2014.jpg Watercolor: Year of the Poppy - 2014, 20" x 14"
The spring of 2014 was certainly the most robust California Poppy exhibition I have seen in my memory. We saw fields of poppies! This painting is to commemorate that year. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

Watercolor: Prickly Milk Thistle - 20"x14"
Prickly beauty up close. I started by masking the whites, then painting the colorful background rather wet, with the brushstrokes simulating the surrounding grasses. Fun. Watercolor, 20" x 14". Exhibited in the Placer Artists League Open Juried Show, Auburn, June 2-20, 2015.

sunflower2.jpg Watercolor: Sunflower 2 - 14.5" x 14.5"
Jean planted a few sunflowers in her garden this summer. These were smaller than some, but a warmer, orange yellow color. Watercolor, 14.5" x 14.5"

queen-annes-lace.jpg Watercolor: Queen Anne's Lace - 14.5" x 9.5"
These delicate flowers were growing in our left-to-die lawn this summer in the drought. It's hard to capture the fine delicacy of the flowers in this umbel. The flower is also known as Daucus carota, wild carrot, bird's nest, and bishop's lace. Watercolor, 14.5" x 9.5".

peach-pink-rose.jpg Watercolor: Peach-Pink Rose - 20" x 14"
Jean has lots of roses blossoming all summer. The delicacy of this rose's peachy color was too much to pass up. Besides, after painting a series of bluegrass musicians, this was a whole lot easier. :-) Watercolor, 20" x 14."

pink-yellow-rose.jpg Watercolor: Glory in Delicate Petals - 14" x 14"
Summer at our house is flush with beautiful roses. This delicate pink rose with a yellow center captured my attention with its radiance. Watercolor, 14" x 14".

parrot-tulips-delft.jpg Watercolor: Parrot Tulips, Delft, Holland - 14.5" x 14.5"
When I was visiting Delft, Netherlands, in September 2014, I saw these beautiful Parrot Tulips along the street. They are (apparently) Estella Rijnveld variety of parrot tulips. Parrot tulips are known for their showy fringed and scalloped plumage and striations. Watercolor, 14.5" x 14.5".

abelia.jpg Watercolor: Delicate Abelia - 14.5" x 10.5"
One of Jean's flowering shrubs is this delicate Abelia. Its trumpet-shaped blossoms are only about 1/2" to 3/4" long. In the spring, I admire it every time I walk the path to our back door. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5"

pink-orange-rosebud.jpg Watercolor: Pink-Orange Rosebud 10.5" x 10.5"
Here's an early spring rose from our garden just opening up. Watercolor, 10.5" x 10.5".

fiddleneck.jpg Watercolor: Fiddleneck (6.5" x 14.5")
Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii, Rancher's Fireweed) is one of the first wildflowers our on our property each spring. It's called Fiddleneck because the flower head looks like the neck of a fiddle, flowering first at the end and gradually unwinding. My challenge was to paint this rather plain, leggy plant with an interesting composition. Watercolor, 6.5" x 14.5"

yellow-mustard.jpg Watercolor: Yellow Mustard (10.5" x 14.5")
In April the fields of Central California are bright with Yellow Mustard (Field Mustard, Brassica campestris, or B. rapa Jepson). In some parts of the wrold, the condiment mustard is made from grinding the seeds with oil. I used lots of masking fluid to get the background as even as I could. Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5."

red-rose-fullon.jpg Watercolor: Full-on Red Rose - 14.5" x 14.5"
I'm fascinated by the internal folds and shadows in this red rose. This painting was exhibited in the "Awash with Color: WASH Member Show," at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 4-23, 2017. Watercolor, 14.5" x 14.5".

purple-white-iris.jpg Watercolor: Purple-White Iris - 12" x 9"
This beauty is painted with transparent watercolor paints directly on 8 oz artist's canvas as an experiment. Brilliant colors, but since the water beads up, little subtlety is possible. Watercolor on canvas, 12" x 9".

yellow-white-iris.jpg Watercolor: Yellow-White Iris - 9" x 12"
Painted with transparent watercolor paints directly on 8 oz artist's canvas as an experiment. Watercolor on canvas, 9" x 12".

feverfew.jpg Watercolor: Feverfew - 14.5" x 10.5"
We have thousands of Feverfew flowers in Jean's garden during May and June. Tanacetum parthenium has many tiny, delicate, daisy-type flowers, but here I captured a few and enlarged them. Feverfew makes great daisy-chain circlets for your hair. Or 'might' keep your migraines from being as severe or reduce fevers. This painting was exhibited in the juried "Go with the Flow" WASH Open Show at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, September 6 to October 1, 2016. Watercolor 14.5" x 10.5".

foxglove.jpg Watercolor: Foxglove - 14" x 20"
I love the bold colors and spots of the foxglove. This one was tipped at an angle for effect. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

waterlily.jpg Watercolor: Water Lily - 20" x 14"
When we went to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco to celebrate my cousins' 50th Wedding Anniversary, I spotted this gorgeous water lily in one of the ponds. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

yellow-day-lilies.jpg Watercolor: Yellow Day Lilies - 10.5" x 14.5"
I've focused on two flowers, but the masses of yellow day lilies you see in landscaping is powerful. Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5"

magenta-lily.jpg Watercolor: Magenta Lily - 14.5" x 14.5"
While I was laid up with a broken ankle, Jean took some stunning photos of a magenta lily that I couldn't resist painting. Watercolor, 14.5" x 14.5"

sunflower-hummingbird.jpg Watercolor: Sunflower Hummingbird - 10.5" x 10.5"
This painting is from a photo I took at least five years ago of one of Jean's huge sunflowers. And I was able to catch a Black-Chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) in the photo and in the painting. Watercolor, 10.5" x 10.5"

coast-rhododendron-adalea.jpg Watercolor: Coast Rhododendron Azalea - 14.5" x 10.5"
Several years ago I took photos of Azaleas or Coast Rhododendron () among the redwoods at Mt. Hermon Conference Center, near Felton, Califonia. They have such graceful stamens and pistil. I painted this on very rough, very absorbent, heavy handmade paper. I don't think I'll use this paper again, because it's so unforgiving. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5".

tiger-lily.jpg Watercolor: Tiger Lily in the Sun - 14.5" x 14.5"
This brilliant tiger lily is from a photo I took with the flower in full sun. I purposely used a purple background that is a near complement to the yellow and orange of the flower. Watercolor, 14.5" x 14.5".

mothers-day-tulips.jpg Watercolor: Mother's Day Tulips - 14.5" x 10.5"
This year Jean received a bouquet of pink tulips for Mother's Day. I couldn't resist painting them. And now, though they've faded and have been discarded, their beauty lives on. I tried a new color -- Daniel Smith Bordeaux -- and really like it. There's also a touch of Holbein Opera to brighten it up. Happy Spring! Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5".

Yucca Spikes 20x20 Watercolor: Yucca Spikes - 20" x 20"
This May, a neighbor had three yucca plants in full flower that I just had to paint. For this I used a pouring technique with three primary colors: thalo blue (green shade), new gamboge, and quinacridone red. This painting is exhibited in the juried 2017 WASH "Go with the Flow" Open Show, Sep 6-Oct 1, 2017 at Sacramento Fine Arts Center. Watercolor, 20" x 20".

LiliesoftheField-IthurielsSpear-14.5x10.5-170710.jpg Watercolor: Lilies of the Fields - Ithuriel's Spear - 14.5" x 10.5"
One of my favorite spring wildflowers on our property is Itheriel's Spear or Wally Basket (Triteleia laxa), in the Amarilis family. The flowers appear in umbels, and are beautiful, their blue purple blossoms contrasting with the drying grasses around them. Photographing it is hard, since my camera doesn't like to focus on thin objects. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5".

RosesAreRed-10.5x10.5-170710.jpg Watercolor: Roses Are Red - 10.5" x 10.5"
By now I've painted many roses. Instead of precision with each petal, I tried to give a general feeling without a lot of interior hard edges. I'm not sure I like it, but it IS red! Watercolor, 10.5" x 10.5".

Yellow-WhiteIrisonBlue-5x7-170815.jpg Watercolor: Yellow-White Iris on Blue - 5" x 7"
Here's a small experiment in sketching and coloring a delicate iris fairly quickly. I started with a dark thalo blue background. Then added yellow and then delicate shadows. I was pleased with the result for the little time invested. Watercolor, 5" x 7".

DroopingSunflower-12x9-170815.jpg Watercolor: Drooping Sunflower - 12" x 9"
What I learned from this sketch was to get the darks dark enough. My two previous attempts at sunflowers look washed out by comparison. Watercolor, 12" x 9".

Canna-5x7-170820.jpg Watercolor: Canna Flowers - 5" x 7"
Jean had planted these rhizomes a few months ago, but in late August 2017 they are in full, intense flower. I painted small (5x7), but thoroughly enjoyed sketching the plant's typical flower appearance, then painting it within about an hour and a half. Fun! 170820. Watercolor, 5" x 7".

ProudSunflowers-8x8-180728.jpg Watercolor: Proud Sunflowers (8" x 8")
As I was driving by the Loomis Methodist Church community garden I was struck by the wonderful sunflowers reaching up to the sky. There's something in-your-face about sunflowers; that's why they're so much fun to paint. One of the 31 paintings in the 31 days of July challenge that I painted during the 2018 World Watercolor Month. 180728. Watercolor, 8" x 8".

UnfoldingRose-8x8-180731.jpg Watercolor: Unfolding Rose - 8" x 8"
I painted this same rose in April 2016, but here's another try, this time using a white background. I think I'll do another in the series as well. One of the 31 paintings in the 31 days of July challenge that I painted during the 2018 World Watercolor Month. 180731. Watercolor, 8" x 8".

PoinsettiaintheSun-14x10-190109.jpg Watercolor: Poinsettia in the Sun - 14" x 10"

On New Year's Day at 9 am, the Christmas Poinsettia in my mother-in-law's living room window was aglow with light, with the beautiful leaves back-lit. I couldn't help but try to paint it. I'm using a stained glass window motif, to see how that might work with this subject. The brilliant red-orange I used was W&N Scarlet Lake, along with reds Quinacridone Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, and some Daniel Smith Bordeaux. 190109. Watercolor and ink, 14" x 10". Great for cards during the Christmas season.

CherryBlossoms-10x14-190320.jpg Watercolor: Cherry Blossoms - 10" x 14"
Spring is springing and I couldn't resist finding a cherry blossom photo and painting it. 190321. 10" x 14".

BurstingCherryBlossom-20x14-190427.jpg Watercolor: Bursting Cherry Blossom - 20" x 14"

We usually don't look at cherry blossoms up close, but when you do, you find a flower bursting with stamens and a pistil, with all their attendant shadows. I had fun painting this one. This painting was accepted for the jurored WASH Open Show, "Go with the Flow," September 3-29, 2019 at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. 190427. Watercolor. 20" x 14". It would make an interesting card or print.

Yellow-RoseRose-14x10-190526.jpg Watercolor: Yellow-Rose Rose - 12" x 9"

I've been interested lately with combining pen-and-ink with watercolor. Here's a beautiful yellow-red rose from Jean's garden. 190526. Watercolor and ink. 12" x 9". Would make beautiful cards. Prints and cards available. In a private collection of collector, purchased at St. Andrews Episcopal church.

Iris-LupineBookmarks-4.75x14-190506copy.jpg Watercolor: Iris-Lupine Bookmarks - 4.75" x 14"
I've been playing around with pen-and-ink. Here are some flowers that grow on or property and flower in the spring. We have lots of irises. And three varieties of lupine flower also. These are designed as bookmarks, each 4.75" x 14" to be reduced in size for copies. 190506. Watercolor and ink. 4.75" x 14".

BlueBeardedIris-20x14-190427.jpg Watercolor: Blue Bearded Iris - 20" x 14"
My challenge here was to look deeply into a flower to find an interesting, almost abstract shape. The maroon (Bordeaux) background was chosen to go with the flower colors, and is a lot more interesting than green. 190427. Watercolor. 20" x 14".

Brodeia-14x10-190526.jpg Watercolor: Brodeia - 12" x 9"

Here's another pen-and-ink with watercolor. I spotted this wildflower on Oak Knoll Lane near Cramer Rd. outside of Auburn and just had to paint it. I love the intricacy of the umbel of blue to blue-violet flowers. A slightly different variety flowers on our property in June. 190526. Watercolor and ink. 12" x 9". Great for cards and prints.

Gaillardia-12x9-190530.jpg Watercolor: Gaillardia - 12" x 9"
This flower was shining brightly after the sun broke through the rain clouds at our local nursery. 190530. Watercolor and ink, 12" x 9".

ApricotBranchBookmark-4.75x14-190706.jpg Watercolor: Apricot Branch Bookmark - 4.75" x 14"
At the end of June, Jean's apricots were ripe. This branch that was hanging down was rich with fruit. I thought it might make an interesting bookmark. 190706. Watercolor and ink on Arches hot press paper. 4.75" x 14".

Apricotinsitu-10x10-190705.jpg Watercolor: Apricot in situ - 10" x 10"

As Jean's apricots ripened, I thought his apricot, nestled among the leaves might be fun to paint. It's almost abstract. I love the dark patches and the orb of apricot-orange! This painting was accepted for the jurored WASH Open Show, "Go with the Flow," September 3-29, 2019 at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. 190706. Prints are available. Watercolor and ink. 8" x 8."

WaterLillyatShelburneMuseumPondNH-7x10-191203.jpg Watercolor: Water Lily - 7" x 10"
Here's a water lily in a pond at the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont. 191203. Watercolor, 7" x 10".

Pink Oleander Blossoms - 10 Watercolor: Pink Oleander Blossoms - 10" x 7"
Next to our driveway we have a large oleander bush with white blossoms. But I thought it would look better with some pink. So, with the license issued me as an artist I changed the color. This was one of the 31 paintings completed in July 2019. 190730. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 7"

Plumb Puzzle - 10 Watercolor: Plum Puzzle - 10" x 7"
This is one of a series of pen-and-ink watercolors of fruit on Jean's fruit trees. 190817. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 7".

RuthsGladiolas1-7x10-190720.jpg Watercolor: Ruth's Gladiolas, Day 1 - 7" x 10"
As part of my 31 paintings in July, I enjoyed sketching my mother-in-law's gladiolas with pen and ink, then adding watercolor. 190720. Watercolor and ink, 7" x 10".

RuthsGladiolas2-5.5x7.5-190721.jpg Watercolor: Ruth's Gladiolas, Day 2, 5.5" x 7.5"
As part of my 31 paintings in July, I enjoyed sketching my mother-in-law's gladiolas with pen and ink, then adding watercolor. Overnight, she trimmed off some older blossoms, so I sketched it again. 190721. Watercolor and ink, 5.5" x 7.5".

StillLife-CoffeeandPotGrapesandBouquet-7x10-190723.jpg Watercolor: Still Life - Coffee and Pot, Grapes and Bouquet - 7" x 10"
I found a wonderful coffee pot at Goodwill which appears in several still lifes. This and several others in my 31-paintings-in-July series were done with pen-and-ink and watercolor. 190723. Watercolor and ink, 7" x 10".

ConniesEasterTulips-10x7-200414.jpg Watercolor: Connie's Easter Tulips - 10" x 7"
I love Spring because of all the flowers. My sister-in-law Connie sent me a photo of her Easter tulips in her Lincolnshire garden, which inspired me to paint a small painting on Easter Saturday and Sunday. I love the way this painting makes me feel. 200414. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 7".

BlueandWhiteIrisBed-10x14-200427.jpg Watercolor: Blue and White Iris Bed - 10" x 14"
Our irises are blooming. Jean called me to come out and view one spectacular grouping of blue and white irises that stood out against the darker oak forest behind them. Here's my interpretation, which is getting framed and going up on my wall. 200427. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 14".

Purple-edgedIris-8x8-200428.jpg Watercolor: Purple-Edged Iris - 8" x 8"
Here's a spectacular Spring iris from Jean's garden -- white with finely-lined purple edges. 200428. Watercolor, 8" x 8".

BacklitTulips-10x10-200513.jpg Watercolor: Backlit Tulips - 10" x 10"
This is the second time these tulips have called me to paint them during my Spring 2020 flower painting jag. 200513. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

CaliforniaPoppies-7x10-200605.jpg Watercolor: California Poppies - 7" x 10"
Here's a pen-and-ink with watercolor study in preparation for the larger "Field of Poppies." 200605. Watercolor, 7" x 10".

FieldofPoppies-21x9-200630.jpg Watercolor: Field of Poppies - 21" x 9"

Some years in Northern California it seems that brilliant poppies are everywhere. In this painting I sought to capture the vibrancy of California Poppies growing exuberantly in the fields. The California Poppy is the State Flower of California (Eschscholzia californica). 200630. Watercolor, 21" x 9".

PinkRoseCenter-10x10-200601.jpg Watercolor: Pink Rose Center - 10" x 10"
With this pink rose, I got carried away with cropping. Now it becomes eerie, abstract, fun. 200601. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

SeaFigonSonomaCoast-14x10-200525.jpg Watercolor: Sea Fig on the Sonoma Coast - 14" x 10"

All up and down the coast of California you'll find brilliant red-pink and yellow flowers growing near the cliffs, characterized by fleshy leaves. They are called fig marigolds, pigface, ice plant, sour fig, and Hottentot fig. No, they're not native to California; they were imported from South Africa to help stabilize the sand dunes, but they've taken off and invaded the coast, and are now displacing native plants. Plant-huggers from the Bay Area take whole weekends to yank them up by the roots and dispose of them -- and feel good about saving the world. But I think they're beautiful. The one shown is Carpobrotus chilensis, "Sea Fig." Juried into the WASH “Go with the Flow” 2020 Open Show, August 25-Oct 25, 2020. 200525. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

Brodeia-10x10-200706.jpg Watercolor: Brodeia - 10" x 10"
It seems that many years a certain wildflower has only normal distribution where I live. But June 2010 was the year that Brodeia seemed to be found everywhere. I love the delicacy of the umbel form of the flower with its brilliant magenta and blue colors. 200706. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 10".

RoseBush-10x14-200806.jpg Watercolor - Rose Bush - 10" x 14"

I was hankering to paint a flower, so I went to two nurseries and a public rose garden looking for good candidates. I ended up with flowers from one of Jean's rosebushes, buds just opening up, arranged via PhotoShop. I think the paper-white makes them 'pop' more than if I tried for a careful gradation of color in the lightest areas. Won Award of Merit in the juried WASH “Go with the Flow” 2020 Open Show, August 25-Oct 25, 2020. 200806. Watercolor, 10" x 14". In a private collection: J. Wilson.

FourPoppies-8x8-201022.jpg Watercolor: Four Poppies - 8" x 8"
I love California poppies. Here's an attempt to capture these colorful flowers and their foliage. 201022. Watercolor, 8" x 8".

LemonYellowCenterpiece-10x10-201119a.jpg Watercolor: Lemon Yellow Centerpiece - 10" x 10"
I snapped a photo of this centerpiece at a WASH Second-Saturday reception a few years ago. I like the contrasts of the yellow and purple and the intricacy of the lace doily. Fun. 201119. 10" x 10".

TahoeLupine-14x14-210309.jpg Watercolor: Tahoe Lupine Spikes - 14" x 14"

On a trip to the South Tahoe area in late June 2018, I saw these beautiful proud clusters of purple flowered spikes. California has about 70 varieties of lupine. I think this is Lupinus polyphyllus, variously known as Blue Pod Lupine or Large Leaf Lupine. I left the most sunlit areas white to bring out the sparkle of the blossoms in full sun. 210309. Watercolor. 14" x 14".

EasterTulips-14x14-210401.jpg Watercolor: Easter Tulips - 14" x 14"
It's Spring and Easter is just around the corner. I wanted to paint something bold and colorful -- like tulips, all erect and perfect and proud. These particular tulips are painted almost entirely with Daniel Smith Quinacridone Coral. Hallelujah! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! 210401. Watercolor, 14" x 14".

Blue-PurpleIrisCluster-20x14-210427.jpg Watercolor: Dancing in the Fields - 20" x 14"
April 2021 was a great month for iris blossoms at our house. One of the most beautiful is a blue-purple iris that grows in abundance around our lawn. I tried to get the color correct with Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue Violet, charged here and there with Cobalt Blue. I love the colors! The background was achieved with Quin Burnt Orange and Indanthrone Blue, couple with lots of salt to make interesting patterns. These irises seem to dance in the sun! Watercolor. Won the coveted Nancy Haley Award in the juried "Go with the Flow" WASH Open Show, August 29-Sept 25, 2021. 210427. 20" x 14".

PoppiesamongtheLupines-20x14-210513.jpg Watercolor: Poppies among the Lupine - 20" x 14"
Spring of 2021 has been a great year for lupine -- large patches of it with here and there the color of a California Poppy. I've been fascinated by the kind of visual rhythm set up in my brain when I am viewing a mass of lupine. All the blues and whites vibrate. That's what I was trying to capture here with a meticulous, petal by petal approach. I hope this reminds you of Spring all over again. Exhibited in the in the juried "Go with the Flow" WASH Open Show, August 29-Sept 25, 2021. 210513. Watercolor, 20" x 14"

PinkRoseonBlueBkg-14x14-210523.jpg Watercolor: Pink Rose on Blue Background - 14" x 14"
I was inspired by this very pink rose to do a pink and blue interpretation. 210523. Watercolor, 14" x 14".

PurpleWhiteIrisonOrangeSquare-10x10-210523.jpg Watercolor: Purple-White Iris on Orange Square
I was looking for a new way to feature an iris "portrait." The square made a huge difference, with orange being the complement of purple. I wish I hadn't included the Quin Gold background, but -- O well! I do like the looseness of this iris. I'll try to pursue that. 210523. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

AfricanDasiesinSunlight-10x14-210704.jpg Watercolor: African Daisies in Sunlight - 10" x 14"
I was in Steve Clark's backyard in Carmichael on a sunny day in May for a watercolor critique group. I couldn't keep my eyes from these beautiful African Daisies ("Pink Sugar" cultivar) brilliant in the sun against the shade of the porch. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210704. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

GeraniumsattheChineseHerbalMedicineShop-10x10-210719.jpg Watercolor: Geraniums at the Herbal Medicine Shop - 10" x 10"
In August 2013 I spent part of a day in the old town of Locke, California on the delta, built in 1915 by Chinese immigrants. This is from a photo I took of some pots on the front porch of a Chinese Herbal Medicine Shop on Main Street. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210719. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 10".

RedColumbine-8x8-210721.jpg Watercolor: Red Columbine at Lily Lake - 8" x 8"

In June 2018 I spent part of a day around Lily Lake, above Fall Leaf Lake in the south Tahoe area. Beside the trail I found this beautiful Red Columbine (Aquilegia formosa). below the columbine is the grain head of a local grass. This painting brings back memories of that peaceful day. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210721. Watercolor, 8" x 8".

ScarletGiliaSkyrocket-10x10-210725.jpg Watercolor: Scarlet Gilia ('Skyrocket') - 10" x 10"

In June 2018 I spent part of a day around Lily Lake, above Fall Leaf Lake in the south Tahoe area. Beside the trail I found this beautiful Scarlet Gilia ("Skyrocket"; Ipomopsis aggregata), also known as Scarlet Trumpet. So beautiful! So dramatic! So colorful! Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210725. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

Newly-OpenedPinkRose-10x7-210727.jpg Watercolor: Newly Opened Pink Rose - 10" x 7"
In June I spotted this rose on one of Jean's rosebushes just opening up. I worked faster on this rose, giving it a whole wash of Quin Coral, then doing graded washes from each of the deep crevices. It worked quite well with little touch-up needed. I also experimented with using a sharp point to signify veins in the leaves. That technique requires catching it a just the right degree of moistness. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210727. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

Ralph F. Wilson Watercolors
P.O. Box 565, Loomis, California 95650
phone (916) 652-4659