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New Watercolors - Ralph F. Wilson

Here are some of my more recent watercolors.

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


Holy-Spirit-Window-10x14-180719.jpg Watercolor: Holy Spirit Window - 10.5" x 14.5"
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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

WharfonFallenLeafLake-14x10-180718.jpg Watercolor: Wharf on Fallen Leaf Lake - 14" x 10"
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From a photo taken on Fallen Leaf Lake on my Tahoe painting trip in 2017. An empty wharf jutting out into a still lake seems to say summer relaxation and peace. One of the 31 paintings in the 31 days of July challenge that I painted during the 2018 World Watercolor Month. 180718. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

GlenAlpineCreek-14x10-180710.jpg Watercolor: Glenn Alpine Creek - 14" x 10"
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Glenn Alpine Creek feeds Lily Lake, and then rushes down the mountain into Fallen Leaf Lake, near the entrance to Stanford Sierra Camp. This is from a photo taken on my 2017 Tahoe painting trip. I tried to capture the energy and joy of the water as it tumbles over rocks. As Bob Ross might say, "It's a happy little creek." One of the 31 paintings in the 31 days of July challenge that I painted during the 2018 World Watercolor Month. 180710. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

PalisadesofLakeChamplain-18091911.5x8.5.jpg Watercolor: The Palisades of Lake Champlain - 11.5" x 8.5"
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In early September 2018, Jean and I spent a wonderful week at the Basin Harbor Club and Resort near Vergennes, Vermont, on the banks of Lake Champlain. This was part of a reunion of Girl Scouts that had attended one of the national encampments called Roundups. When Jean was 16 she was one of 10,000 girls encamped at Button Bay State Park, just a mile or two south of us. From our "honeymoon cottage" right at lake's edge we could see a rock formation on the New York side known as the Palisades, depicted here. Watercolor, 11.5" x 8.5".

DutchGirlCelticFair-14x10-181025.jpg Watercolor: Dutch Girl, Expressive Hands - 10" x 14"
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On 29 Sep 2018, at the KMVR Celtic Fair in Grass Valley, CA, the young girl pictured was part of an encampment behind the stage where children were being entertained. I was fascinated by the hand gesture. I changed the colors of her clothing, making her look like a Dutch girl, rather than a Celt. I also opted for a blue and pink color scheme, emphasizing Cobalt Blue and Winsor Newton Scarlet Lake, a wonderful color new to me. I followed the approach suggested by Michael Holter, whose workshop I attended a week or two later. Painted on Arches 300 lb. hot press paper. Exhibited in the "Awash with Color" WASH Member's Show at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 2-20, 2019. 181025. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

PalaceofFineArtsSF18111520x14.jpg Watercolor: Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco - 20x14
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In January 2014, Jean and I stopped by the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts in a trip to the city. It built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition and rebuilt in 1965. It has a gorgeous reflecting pool, to which I added a couple of swans that were swimming in another section. (They didn't mind.) I tried to make a photo taken on a dull day bright and full of color. But the colors seems to clash a bit. 181115. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

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



CelticCrossStainedGlass-10x14-181216.jpg Watercolor: Celtic Cross in Stained Glass - 10" x 14"
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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.

TeddyDogsandaCow-14x10-181216jpg.jpg Watercolor: Teddy, Dogs, and a Cow - 14" x 10"
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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".

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


apostle-paul-190102-10x13.jpg Watercolor: Apostle Paul - Passionate Discipleship - 10" x 13"
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I'm currently working on an e-mail Bible study entitled, "Apostle Paul -- Passionate Discipleship." This painting is for the cover of the book version, plus the study and website logo in a smaller version. For a model I began with a photo of Sacramento pastor Steve Curran. Then gave him a beard, made him bald (thanks, Ralph!), and roughed up his face a bit. Paul had been beaten many times and once stoned and left for dead. 190102. Watercolor, 10" x 13".

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



FiddleFestival-14x14-190321.jpg Watercolor: Musical Hands - 14" x 14"
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I was interested in the hands and angles of violin player Jack Kinney of "The Blue Js" band at the 2018 Father's Day Bluegrass Festival at the Grass Valley Fairgrounds. The irony was the band was dressed up in suits and vests playing bluegrass. I guess that's just great. The fine lines of the violin strings and pinstripe suit were masked two ways -- by diluting masking fluid and applying with a calligraphy tip, and by using the thin side of a small palette knife. Both methods worked well. Exhibited in the "Awash with Color" WASH Member's Show at Sacramento Fine Arts Center, April 2-20, 2019. Painted on Arches 140 lb. hot press paper. 190321. Watercolor, 14" x 14".

LastRaysofSunset-14x10-190321.jpg Watercolor: Last Rays of Sunset - 14" x 10"
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A fun exercise in spectacular skies. I wet the 140# Arches Cold Press on both sides, which kept it wet for nearly two hours. Then in about 20 minutes, lay down colors and let it blend on its own. 190321. Watercolor, 14" x 10"

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

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



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



Iris-LupineBookmarks-4.75x14-190506copy.jpg Watercolor: Iris-Lupine Bookmarks - 4.75" x 14"
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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"
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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".

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



Gaillardia-12x9-190530.jpg Watercolor: Gaillardia - 12" x 9"
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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"
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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"
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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."



4thofJulyWatermelon-7x10-190704.jpg Watercolor: 4th of July Watermelon - 10" x 7"
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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"

BrownLeghornRooster-8x8-190704.jpg Watercolor: Brown Leghorn Rooster - 8" x 8"
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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".

ClaudeOdom-10x14-190606.jpg Watercolor: Claude Odom Portrait - 10" x 14"
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One of the pastors in the monthly Omega Pastors Cluster that I attend is Claude Odom, now in his early 90s (I think). He has an interesting face! When I gave him the framed portrait he was overcome. "Is this really watercolor?" he asked. 190606. Watercolor. 10" x 14".



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