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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.

WiresEverywhere-7x10-210709.jpg Watercolor: Wires Everywhere - 7" x 10"
In 2015 I was struck by the wonderful shapes on the pole above me -- a transformer to step down the high voltage to household voltage, and wires everywhere! I had to paint it. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210709. Watercolor, 7" 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"

TreeofLifePsalm1-10x14-200919.jpg Watercolor: Tree of Life (Psalm 1) - 10" x 14"
This was a fanciful painting. I was trying to depict a Tree of Life, perhaps in the Garden of Eden, perhaps in Psalm 1, perhaps by the river flowing out of the throne in Revelation 22, whose leaves were "for the healing of the nations." 200919. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

TomatoVines-14x10-201007.jpg Watercolor: Tomato Vines - 14" x 10"
I was struck by the cool, zig-zaggy vines contrasting with the brilliant saturated scarlet globes of the tomatoes. 201007. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

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.
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StrawberriesinJapaneseBowl-10x7-190719.jpg Watercolor: Strawberries in Japanese Bowl - 10" x 7"
This was a fun still-life, but not to subtle colors. The bowl I found in a Goodwill Store. 190719. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

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".

SnowyCedar-14x10-bluetint-200213.jpg Watercolor: Snowy Cedar - 14" x 10"
An Incense Cedar tree at the Community of the Great Commission camp outside of Forest Hill, CA. It snowed on Thanksgiving Day 2019 and produced a wonderful pattern of limbs. At the end, I spattered with white. Painted on blue tinted paper. 200213. In a private collection. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

RustyLock-7x8-200305.jpg Watercolor: Rusty Padlock (7" x 8")
I was trying for a rusty look of this old padlock. Lots of colors -- cerulean blue, Indian red, Quin burnt orange, etc., with a touch of cadmium yellow applied with a sponge at the end. I selected Verditer Blue for the door as a contrast. 200305. Watercolor. 7" x 8"

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. In a private collection: A. Roberts.

Pineapple-7x10-200713.jpg Watercolor: Pineapple - 7" x 10"
I like this because of the intricacy of the pen and ink work. It's fun because it's challenging! 200713. Watercolor and ink. 7" x 10".

PerilousPilgrimVoyage-20x14-221205.jpg Watercolor: Perilous Pilgrim Voyage - 20" x 14"

At Thanksgiving time I think of the Pilgrims -- Puritans escaping persecution in England. They England too late in the season, so the Mayflower suffered a grueling 10-week voyage across the Atlantic. After their companion ship the Speedwell was deemed unseaworthy, they sailed from Plymouth, England, on 16 September 1620, and finally set anchor on Cape Cod November 21, 1620.

Some of my wife's and my ancestors were aboard -- Stephen, Constance, and Giles Hopkins. Oceanus was born during the voyage. Also present were John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. Half the pilgrims -- and most of the women -- died the first winter.

My painting is patterned after the Mayflower II, a replica built in 1957 that now resides in Boston harbor. The angry sky reminds me of the courage and struggle of those early American settlers who preceded us in this land. 221205. Watercolor and ink, 14" x 20".

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".

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".
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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".

NeverOneQuiteAlike-10x7-210716.jpg Watercolor: Never One Quite Alike - 10" x 7"
As Jean and I were walking in Auburn one afternoon I saw this row of distinctive mailboxes and knew I had to paint them. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210716. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

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"
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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

HolySpiritFlame-2894x3429x300.jpg Watercolor: Holy Spirit Flame Logo - 10" x 12"

I designed and painted this Holy Spirit flame for use as a logo in my e-mail Bible study The Early Church: Acts 1-12 (JesusWalk Publications, 2021). I used a Sharpie permanent marker (fine and regular points) to outline the panes of "stained glass." Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210723. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 12".

DrivingWheels-14x14-201024.jpg Watercolor: Hard Driving Wheels - 14" x 14"

What impressed me about this steam locomotive was the power of its driving wheels, which I tried to express in this watercolor. I first used a masking-pouring technique, but then needed to come back with a brush to get the values right across the painting. Awarded Honorable Mention in the Architecture and Machinery category of the WASH Painting of the Year 2020 competition. Exhibited in the in the juried "Go with the Flow" WASH Open Show, August 29-Sept 25, 2021. 201024. Watercolor, 14" x 14".

HandTools-14x14-200305.jpg Watercolor: Hand Tools (14" x 14")
I had the hare-brained idea of laying out some of my carpenter hand tools and painting them. Once I got into the project I found it was way too ambitious, but I was committed. 200305. Watercolor. 14" x 14".

Gunn Clan Ancient Tartan and Badge - 10 Watercolor: Gunn Clan Ancient Tartan and Badge - 10" x 14"
I am reputedly of the Gunn Clan through its Wilson sept. I painted this for my son -- the Gunn Clan ancient tartan (as opposed to the less colorful, darker modern tartan) and badge. 190911. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 14". In a private collection: D. Wilson.

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"

FoodGroup-14x18-201104.jpg Watercolor: Food Group (18" x 14")
I was trying to paint 'containers' and got kind of carried away. I was thinking how familiar are some of the shapes and brand images of products we use everyday. 201111. Watercolor and ink, 18" x 14".

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"

FirstMove-14x10-230728.jpg Watercolor: First Move, 14" x 10"
Lately, I've been resumed my life-long interest in chess. My father taught me when I was a boy, and I can't forget how exulted I felt the first time I beat him. I also played on the Sunset High School chess team with Mr. Kilgore of the wide ties. This is a chess set and chess board given me by my daughter Annie. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230728. Watercolor on Cold Press #300 paper, 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.

DarkHangingEggplant-10.5x10.5-211023.jpg Watercolor: Dark Hanging Eggplant - 10.5" x 10.5"
Loomis has its annual Eggplant Festival every September. Why eggplants? They aren't really grown here. But the town fathers and mothers decided that they were they only vegetable that wasn't taken, hence, the Eggplant Festival. The eggplants in real life aren't this purple, but I like the color, in this case Winsor-Newton Dioxazine Purple. I photoshopped a third eggplant into the composition, but if you look at the way it is hung from the vine you'll know it is fake. :-) 211023. Watercolor on cold press, 10.5" x 10.5".

CuteDollinRedDress-210707-10x14.jpg Watercolor: Cute Doll in Red Dress - 10" x 14"
This is a wind-up music box doll that Jean has had. I think she's cute! So there! :-) Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 210707. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

CoventryCathedralGargoyle-8x8-201020.jpg Watercolor: Coventry Cathedral Grotesque - 8" x 8"
When Jean and I were viewing old Coventry Cathedral in 2009, I saw this grotesque, that matched another on the opposite side of the 'roof' of a peak decoration. I learned that it's called a gargoyle only when it is a water spout; otherwise it is called a grotesque or chimera. 201020. Watercolor, 8" x 8".

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"

ColorfulNautalis-14x10-200920.jpg Watercolor: Colorful Nautilus - 14" x 10"
I decided to construct a paint mixing exercise in an interesting shape -- the nautilus. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

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: D & C Wilson.
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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".

BetsyRossHands-14x10-220713.jpg Watercolor: Betsy Ross Hands - 14" x 10"
In 1870 a grandson of Betsy Ross told the story of Washington's visit to her in Philadelphia in 1776 and her creation of the first official flag of the United States of America, the one with 13-stars on a field of blue. Though there's no documentation for the story, I like to believe it. In my painting, Betsy is just finishing up her first flag. Part of my 31 Paintings in July series. 220713. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

BethlehemStar-12x18-210924.jpg Watercolor: Bethlehem Star - 12" x 18"
I painted this as a book cover for my 28 Advent Scriptures (JesusWalk Publiications, 2021). It's a pretty simple design, with lots of space for the title in large type. The final cover is cropped to 7.5" x 9.25". 210924. Watercolor and ink, 12" x 18".

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".

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".

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". In a private collection: K. Huggett.

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"

Ralph F. Wilson Watercolors
P.O. Box 565, Loomis, California 95650
phone (916) 652-4659
All art works are copyright by Ralph F. Wilson. All rights reserved.