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Miscellaneous Watercolors - Ralph F. Wilson

Of course, there are always things I paint that don't fit in my neat categories.

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

Woodpecker-Bookmark-14x4-180404.jpg Watercolor: Woodpecker Bookmark - 13" x 3.5"
This is the basis of a bookmark of Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) that appeared at my bird feeder in December 2017. It has striking marking. The bookmark was designed to have lettering in the lower portion, as yet to be determined. 180404. 13" x 3.5"

EasternPaintedTurtle-181220-14x10.jpg Watercolor: Western Painted Turtle - 14" x 10"

I got interested in turtles when reading a book on turtles to Evangeline a couple of weeks before Christmas. The Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) is the most widespread native turtle in North America. Of the four subspecies, the Western Painted Turtle (C. p. bellili) is the most colorful, with a bright yellow and red pattern on its bottom shell or plastron. Its upper shell or carapace, on the other hand, is pretty dull. The Western Painted Turtle occurs primarily from Kansas and Missouri north to southern Canada, west of the Mississippi, and across Montana and Idaho into Washington and Oregon.

This painting depicts the turtle, a cold-blooded animal, emerging from a lake to bask in the sun to warm its body for several hours before foraging. It may repeat this behavior two or three more times in the day. 181220. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

UndertheMontereyWharf-20x14-180412.jpg Watercolor: Under the Monterey Wharf - 20" x 14"
I was fascinated by the patterns of light under the Monterey Wharf during an anniversary trip in February. This painting uses a pouring technique. This painting had 6 pourings and 5 maskings. 180412. Watercolor, 20" x 14"

HarrowingofHellLincolnCathedral18092510x9.5.jpg Watercolor: The Harrowing of Hell (Frieze from Lincoln Cathedral), 10" x 9.5"

My monocolor watercolor rendition of one panel of a medieval Romanesque frieze (c. 1140 AD) on the West Front of Lincoln Cathedral in Lincolnshire, England. It depicts Christ with John the Baptist, pulling people out of jaws of Hell. Sometimes this scene is called "The Harrowing of Hell." (To "harrow" means "to pillage or plunder.") Below the feet of Christ and John is Satan, bound hand and foot.

Monocolor, made up of sedimentary pigments: ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, viridian, and burnt umber. 180925. Watercolor, 9.5" x 10".

TeddyDogsandaCow-14x10-181216jpg.jpg Watercolor: Teddy, Dogs, and a Cow - 14" x 10"
This was a still life on fabric. I used a red plaid blanket, but changed the colors to blue-green which is less jarring than red. The teddy bear and dog are Connie's favorite hug toys when she comes in my study. 181216 Watercolor, 14" x 10".

teddy-time.jpg Watercolor: Teddy Time (20" x 14")
Find the three teddy bears in this picture. The scene includes some of Jean's teddy bears and a doll, plus a Fisher-Price Teaching Clock and blocks from when our children were small. Exhibited with other paintings from Sonja Hamilton's class at the Chocolate Shoppe, Lincoln Way, Auburn, Nov-Dec 2013. Watercolor, 20x14 inches.

st-columba-bookmark.jpg Watercolor: St. Columba Bookmark - 4" x 13.25"
In March 2017, Jean and I went on a Leadership Retreat from our church to St. Columba Retreat Center in Inverness, a beautiful, large, rambling Redwood house overlooking Tomales Bay. A century after St. Patrick, St. Columba (521-597 AD) was an Irish missionary who founded the Iona Monestary in northern Scotland, and sought to win the Picts (my people) to Christ. He was highly educated, but got into a couple controversies that resulted in a battle that killed 500+ people. His goal in Scotland was to win as many men to Christ as the deaths he had been responsible for back in Ireland. Watercolor, 4" x 13.25", designed to be reduced to fit on a 2.0" x 4.75" bookmark.

StPatrick4x6card180312sized.jpg Watercolor: St Patrick - Church Planter - 4x6 card (13.9" x 9.1")
I've always admired St. Patrick, church planter and apostle to Ireland. In this stained glass window like portrait, I've depicted him in emerald green robe and miter, though I doubt that he wore those colors and that hat during his lifetime. The original size of the watercolor was 13.9" x 9.1", designed to be reduced for a 4" x 6" postcard size. I depicted him as a young man with an orange beard, which works nicely as a triad with orange, green, and violet. 180312. Watercolor, 11.9" x 9.1".

RaggedyAndyDollSeated-10x14-171130.jpg Watercolor: Raggedy Andy Doll Seated - 10" x 14"
Jean made this Raggedy Andy doll for my son David's third birthday back in the 70s. Our granddaughters play with it at our house, so I painted this to hang on the wall in their room in their new house. 171130. 10" x 14". Watercolor.

pathway-of-the-celtic-cross.jpg Watercolor: Pathway of the Celtic Cross - 14" x 20"
This cross is my own synthesis, not patterned after an actual cross. Behind the cross, with the top highlighted, is a path leading to a broken down church building. Even though the church fails, Christ shines through. Watercolor, 14" x 20".

palace-swans.jpg Watercolor: Palace Swans (20" x 14")
A pair of swans at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts lagoon. These are Mute Swans (Cygnus olor). Watercolor, 20"x14". Exhibited at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, "Awash with Color" WASH 2014 Members Show, April 1-19, 2014.

pac-man-breakfast.jpg Watercolor: Pac-Man Breakfast 20" x 14"
This painting is all about shapes and textures. I don't do pop-art -- but I woke up in the morning with the crazy idea, and couldn't leave it alone until the picture was done. Watercolor with traces of watercolor crayon. 20" x 14". Exhibited at the 2015 "Awash with Color" WASH members show, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, March 31 to April 18, 2015.

vegetable-scales.jpg Watercolor: Old Vegetable Scales (20.5" x 9")
A collection of vegetables, mainly from Jean's garden, and an old antique balance scale from the farm near Bloomington, IL where Jean grew up. Left to right: Zucchini, red peppers, squash, persimmons, pomegranates, cucumber, pumpkin variety, and quince. Watercolor, 20.5" x 9".

odd-egg.jpg Watercolor: Odd Egg - 20" x 14"
Here's an exercise in repetitive patterns. I threw in the brown egg just for the fun of it. This painting won an Award of Merit in the "Awash with Color: WASH Member Show," at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 4-23, 2017. The show's judges (Rebecca Ryland and Stacey Vetter) commented, "It is always challenging to paint a subject that is white, because we all know that there is really no such thing. “Odd Egg” by Ralph Wilson, a winner of one of the merit awards, makes it look easy." Watercolor, 20" x 14".

model-t-brass.jpg Watercolor: Model T Brass (20" x 14")
Watercolor of a 1914 Model T. Displayed in the "Classic Chrome and Rust" exhibit for the students of Sonja Hamilton, The Chocolate Shoppe and Gift Emporium, Auburn Art Walk, April 11, 2013. Transparent watercolor, 20"x14"

man-on-the-muiredach-high-cross.jpg Watercolor: Man on the Muiredach High Cross - 20" x 14"
The sandstone Muiredach High Cross at Monasterboice, County Louth, Ireland, dates from the 10th century (or perhaps the 9th) and stands 19 feet high (including the base). Wikipedia says that it is, "the most impressive surviving example of early medieval Irish stonework ... the crosses at Monasterboice have been said to be Ireland's greatest contribution to European sculpture." I've painted the west face, which includes a striking figure of the crucified Christ with arms outstretched. I like to think of his arms as at the same time offering himself for our sins, blessing us, and welcoming all to come to him. I painted this with an underpainting of thalo blue, new gamboge yellow, and rose quinacridone. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

lollipops.jpg Watercolor: Lollipops - 16.5" x 12.5"
This whimsical picture was painted on Yupo (a plastic surface) with a heavy dose of normal watercolor paints. Watercolor, 16.5" x 12.5".

LockedUp-10x14-180413.jpg Watercolor: Locked Up - 10" x 14"
I was looking for a way to paint something rusty. This lock and chain come from a couple of reference photos. 180412. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

little-pumpkins.jpg Watercolor: Little Pumpkins - 14.5" x 10.5"
I found these in a bushel basket outside of Safeway at the end of September. I tried to play orange against its opposite purple in this painting. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5"

Kayak Konvocation Watercolor: Kayak Konvocation - 20x14
When I was at Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe in August 2017, I was struck by the rental kayaks tied up on the beach. Here's my interpretation. I've left out the detail of the boats and concentrated on the shapes and colors. Exhibited in the in the "Awash with Color" WASH Members Show at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 3-22, 2018. 171015. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

Holy-Spirit-Window-10x14-180719.jpg Watercolor: Holy Spirit Window - 10.5" x 14.5"
When I was looking for a book cover for my recent study, Disciple's Guide to the Holy Spirit (JesusWalk Publications, 2018), I was struck by the beautiful Holy Spirit window in the sanctuary of St. Stephen's Catholic Church, Tinley Park, Illinois. It is gorgeous! But it wouldn't fit the dimensions of my cover. So I painted something inspired by the window. One of the 31 paintings in the 31 days of July challenge that I painted during the 2018 World Watercolor Month. I painted on Arches hot press paper to get a stain-glassy effect with puddling paint. Watercolor, 180719. 10.5" x 14.5". Prints are available

3-gulls-jacksonville-beach.jpg Watercolor: Gulls at Close of Day (10.5" x 14.5")
In April 2008 I saw these three Franklin's Gulls late in the afternoon at Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Their interesting shadows and reflections made me want to paint them. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5". Exhibited at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, "Awash with Color" WASH 2014 Members Show, April 1-19, 2014.

GiraffesatMountTanzanaia-20x14-181201.jpg Watercolor: Giraffes at Mount Kilimanjaro - 20" x 14"

What interested me originally was the Umbrella Thorn Acacia trees seen in the distance. I saw some of their acacia cousins in Kenya, and consider this tree the iconic tree shape of the savannas of Africa. My resource materials combined a couple of photos. Pictured is a family of the Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) which populates central and southern Kenya as well as Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,452 ft., looms in the distance. It is an extinct volcano. 181201. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

fractured-instruments.jpg Watercolor: Fractured Instruments - 14.5" x 10.5"
A rather difficult class exercise in composition was to fracture a view, creating more shapes. I'm not too excited about the result, but, Oh well. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5"

foam-trails.jpg Watercolor: Foam Trails in the Sand - 14.5" x 10.5"
At Drake's Bay during a 2015 anniversary trip to Pt. Reyes, Jean photographed lots of rocks and the patterns made as the waves receded. I made this by masking the white, then pouring successively with thalo blue, burnt umber, alizarin crimson, and cerulean blue -- each mixed with Winsor Newton "granulation medium" to simulate the sand. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5".

FishCartsMontereyWharf-10x14-180318.jpg Watercolor: Fish Carts, Monterey Wharf, 14" x 10"

For our 50th anniversary, Jean and I visited Pacific Grove and nearby Monterey, California. At the end of Wharf #2 are perhaps 30 fish carts, used during the week to transfer fish from the local fleet to the processing shed on the wharf. I was fascinated by the repetitive patterns of the sunlit portions, the rusty wheel rims, and the variety of cart handles. Won Best of Show and the Winsor & Newton Painting Award in the "Awash with Color" WASH Members Show at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 3-22, 2018, jurored by Jeannie Vodden. 180322. Watercolor, 14" x 10"

Celtic Cross Bookmarks Watercolor: Fanciful Celtic Cross Bookmarks
I wanted to play with layering objects over the Celtic cross shape to see what I could come up with. I think I like the leaves better than the flames. 170920. Watercolor.

Family--PapaMamaand19Goslings-20x13-180506.jpg Watercolor: Family - Goose, Gander, and 19 Goslings - 20" x 13"

I saw these geese at the small lake at Auburn Regional Park in late April, where half a dozen goose families sat on the grass to the side of the lake. Most couples had perhaps 5 or 6 goslings. But then a family with 19 goslings entered the water, shepherded by the goose and gander, out into the lake together. I don't think this goose laid all 19 eggs, since a typical clutch is two to eight offspring. Perhaps some goslings from other mothers imprinted on them when they hatched. But this family stirs in me feelings of danger, of vulnerability, and especially hope for each of these youngin's. They're family, with parents watching out for them, perhaps in the way God watches out for us and teaches us to swim in deep waters. This painting won an Award of Merit in the WASH Open "Go with the Flow" watercolor show at Sacramento Fine Arts, September 4-30, 2018. It was also exhibited at the Placer Arts Council's "New Beginnings" show at the Hacker Lab, Rocklin, from 26 January to 23 May, 2019. 180505. Watercolor, 20" x 13".

duckbilled-stork.jpg Watercolor: Duckbill Stork - 10.5" x 10.5"
Here is a pair of Duckbilled Storks that Pastor Charles and I saw in the Nairobi National Park in 2014. This stork is named for a yellow bill that protrudes at the top of its own bill. Native to Africa. Watercolor, 10.5" x 10.5".

ContainerShipvs.Sailboat-14x10-180307.jpg Watercolor: Container Ship vs. Sailboat - 14" x 10"
On a trip with Jean, Ann, and Darrick to San Francisco, we spotted this container ship from the Cliff House, headed towards the Golden Gate, and observed at close range by a seemingly tiny sailboat. 180308. Watercolor, 14" x 11"

colorful-zebra.jpg Watercolor: Colorful Zebra - 10.5" x 14.5"
On our way home from Eldoret, Kenya in 2012, Pastor Charles Brown and I took a two-hour tour in 2012 of Nairobi National Park, just a mile or two south of the city, we saw herds of zebras. This one caught my attention. But I didn't want to paint him with boring black stripes, rather set him apart as a special zebra! Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5". This painting was exhibited in the WASH Member Show, "Awash with Color" at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 26-May 14, 2016.

ColorfulGiraffe-7x13-181201.jpg Watercolor: Colorful Giraffe - 7" x 13"
While painting Giraffes with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance, I wondered what it might look like to have different colors in the characteristic spots that camouflage them. Here's what I came up with. 181201. Watercolor, 7" x 13".

ChocolateChipCookies-5x7-180731.jpg Watercolor: Chocolate Chip Stack (5" x 7")
I love chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. My challenge here was to try to make this stack of cookies look as real as possible. Painted on the fairly smooth surface of 140# cold press Canson Montval postcards. I had so much fun, I can hardly wait to carry the theme of stacked food or objects further in a larger painting. 180731. Watercolor, 5" x 7".

chalice-and-bread.jpg Watercolor: Chalice and Bread (10.5"x 14.5")
Chalice and broken bread on table, in front of Bernini's alabaster Holy Spirit window (1666, part of the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, in the Vatican). The chalice pictured is from Sierra Christian Church in Loomis, CA. Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5". In a private collection. Not for sale.

celtic-cross-leaning.jpg Watercolor: Celtic Cross Leaning - 10.5" x 14.5"
This is the first in a series of three Celtic Crosses. The context is my own, but the cross is patterned after the cross of King Meredeudd ap Edwin at Carew Castle, Dyfed, Wales. It dates from the 11th century and is 4 meters high -- hopefully not leaning as I have shown it in my painting. Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5"

CelticCrossStainedGlass-10x14-181216.jpg Watercolor: Celtic Cross in Stained Glass - 10" x 14"
In January 2016 I painted a similar Celtic cross with a stain-glassy feel, which I use on my business cards. But that format is tall and thin, not useful for many applications. So I painted a similar cross in a 10" x 14" format, using hot press Arches paper to get the paint-puddling effect of the smooth surface. Since then I have used this as a logo on my Joyful Heart Newsletter, as well as for a plastic nametag. I love the powerful color effect! 181216. Watercolor, 10" x 14". Prints are available.

celtic-bookmarks.jpg Watercolor: Celtic Bookmarks, orig each 3.5" x 14"
Bookmarks of the stone standing cross at Iona and my own idea of St. Patrick, done in faux stained glass. Watercolor. Each is 3.5" x 10" to be reduced to 2.125" x 5.5".

BrownLeghornRooster-8x8-190704.jpg Watercolor: Brown Leghorn Rooster - 8" x 8"
I wanted to paint something for my 31 paintings in July challenge, and a rooster came to mind. Here's a wonderfully colorful, strutting bird. Watercolor. 8" x 8".

BassSwimmingAimlessly-7x5-170703.jpg Watercolor: Bass Swimming Aimlessly - 7" x 5"
Bigmouth Bass swimming in the large aquarium at Bass Pro Shop in Rocklin inspired this small paining -- one of my 31 watercolors in July series. This is on L'Aquarelle Canson Heritage hot press paper, which I got at Hobby Lobby. Watercolor, 7" x 5".

barn-owl-hunting.jpg Watercolor: Barn Owl Hunting - 20" x 9"
Barn owls are fast and silent at dusk. All you hear is the rush of air over wings. I feel sorry for rodents foolish enough to be out after dark. Watercolor, 20" x 9".

BareTreeinCrystallineWinter-5x7-170730.jpg Watercolor: Bare Tree in Crystalline Winter - 5" x 7"
A huge bare oak tree, standing alone near Sherry's Pond in Rocklin inspired this fun picture. Lots of salt to create the crystalline effect. Watercolor, 5" x 7".

baa-more-goat.jpg Watercolor: Baa! More! (10.5" x 14.5")
The goat is bleating, calling rather impolitely for more feed! This is an old nanny goat belonging to my friends Keith and Allyson on their six acre farm in Loomis. Watercolor, 10.5" x 14.5" It was exhibited in the "Animal House" show at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, February 7 to March 8, 2015. The painting is now in a private collection.

apple-lemon-ice-tea-still-life.jpg Watercolor: Apple, Lemon, Ice Tea Still Life - 20" x 14"
I don't usually do still lifes, but this one was fun -- especially with the skier on the table cloth run. :-). Watercolor, 20" x 14".

american-eagle-eye.jpg Watercolor: American Eagle Eye - 14.5" x 10.5"
I was fascinated by the glaring intensity of the eagle's eye. Maybe it helps represent America's determination to be free and help others live free. Watercolor, 14.5" x 10.5" In a private collection.

aging-eyes-and-roses.jpg Watercolor: Aging Eyes and Roses - 29" x 21"
This was for an assignment in my watercolor class -- a triptych. My interpretation is a bit weird -- eyes of different ages peering through leaves at roses of different stages with a sundial at the bottom. Interpret it any way you like. Watercolor, 29" x 21".

4thofJulyWatermelon-7x10-190704.jpg Watercolor: 4th of July Watermelon - 10" x 7"
I'm participating in the 31 paintings in 31 days of July challenge. So on 4th of July, patriotic watermelon came to mind. Watercolor. 10" x 7"

Disciple's Guide to the Holy Spirit

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