Home | New | Animals | Flowers | Landscapes | Cityscapes | Portraits & Figures | Miscellaneous | Plein Air | About the Artist

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.

NoyoHeadlandsFortBraggCA-20x14-220818.jpg Watercolor: Noyo Headlands, Fort Bragg, CA - 20" x 14"
I visited the Mendocino coast on a beautiful mid-July day. This is the rugged Noyo Headland as it juts out into the mighty Pacific. The Noyo Headland is also the site of an airstrip developed by the Union Lumber Company and in service from 1949 to 2002 when the mill shut down. 220818. Watercolor. 20" x 14". In a private collection, DJ Wilson.

SeasideCreekBeachMendocinoCoast-20x14-221114.jpg Watercolor: Seaside Creek Beach, Mendocino Coast - 20" x 14"
On a June 2022 trip to Fort Bragg, I was fascinated by the many shapes as various headlands and points of land thrust into the Pacific, along with the splash and foam of the restless sea. This is Seaside Creek Beach, north of Fort Bragg. If you look closely, you can see a lone family enjoying the day. Watercolor. 20" x 14".

RussianGulchCoveatFloodTide-21x14-221208.jpg Watercolor: Russian Gulch Cove at Flood Tide - 14" x 21"

Russian Gulch State Park is just a mile or two north of the town of Mendocino along the North California coast. I was fascinated by the outcropping that becomes a small island at high tide. At its crest are a few leggy examples of Mendocino Shore Pine. The forested slopes that rise from the shore have a mixture of Coast Redwood, Douglas-fir, and others. When I photographed it in July 2022, the tide was out, but using artistic license, a brought in a flood tide which pushes the beach under the bridge and makes the outcropping an island. 221208. Watercolor, 21" x 14".

RockyCoastnearPointArena-14x10-221208.jpg Watercolor: Rocky Coast near Point Arena - 14" x 10"
On July 20, 2022 I enjoyed a spectacular drive on Highway 1 from Fort Bragg south to Bodega Bay, stopping for photos along the way. This is a point of land and beach just a few miles south of Point Arena, Mendocino County, California. 221208. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

JohnAldenandPriscillaMullins-2-6x6.5-221224jpg.jpg Watercolor: John Alden and Priscilla Mullins - 2 - 6 x 6.5"
My children and I are related to two "Mayflower" passengers through my mother's side of the family -- John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. This pair of paintings is after C.W. Georges, an otherwise unknown artist. They were published in 1906 by a lithograph company in New York, Ullman Manufacturing Co., as both prints and post cards. 221224. Watercolor, 2 paintings, each 6.0 x 6.5 inches.

OldWharfonTomalesBay-14x10-230114.jpg Watercolor: Dilapidated Wharf on Tomales Bay - 14" x 10"
In mid-December 2022 my son Dan and I took a photo day at Point Reyes National Park. This dilapidated wharf at the south end of Tomales Bay no longer reaches open water, but is surrounded reeds. The flying Great Egrets are common along the Bay. 230115. Watercolor on rough paper, 14" x 10".

KeysCreekandTomalesBay-14x10-230128.jpg Watercolor: Mouth of Keys Creek at Tomales Bay - 14" x 10"
Keys Creek empties into the north end of Tomales Bay. This is a view looking east across the narrow bay from the north end of the Point Reyes Peninsula. 230128. Watercolor on rough Arches paper. 14" x 10".

TheSowerafterMillet1850-10x14-230124.jpg Watercolor: The Sower (after Millet) - 10" x 14"

'The Sower' (1850) by Jean-Francois Millet has inspired artists like van Gogh and Tissot. Here's my attempt at a possible bookcover for my study Parables of Jesus for Disciples (2023). 230124. Watercolor and ink on hot press paper, 10" x 14".

MontereyCypressonNorthCoast-14x21-230123.jpg Watercolor: Monterey Cypress on California's North Coast - 14" x 21"

Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) is native to the area around Pacific Grove. But a century or more ago people began to plant it along the north coast in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. These tall trees was a theme of Bay Area artist Arthur Mathews (1860-1945). This is my attempt at the genre. The background is the north coast beyond the Westport Headlands (north of Fort Bragg). 230123. Watercolor, 14" x 21".

RocksatNoyoHeadlands-10x10-230106.jpg Watercolor: Rocks at Noyo Headlands, Fort Bragg - 10" x 10"
Last weekend Jean and I were in Placerville for our anniversary. There I visited the Volution Gallery and saw some of the beautiful work of Rebecca Roehr. That inspired me to abstract this view of the rocks using bold colors and bold lines. It's a scene looking WSW along the Noyo Headlands near Fort Bragg, California. I kind of like it. :-) 230106. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 10".

10MileBeachandPointReyes-21x9-230209.jpg Watercolor: 10 Mile Beach and Point Reyes - 21" x 9"
In mid-December 2022, my son Dan and I took the Pierce Point Road to the north end of Point Reyes Peninsula. Near the summit is a wonderful panoramic view of the lonely 10 Mile Beach stretching out into the mists toward the tip of Point Reyes. Exhibited in the WASH ‘Awash with Color’ Member Exhibition at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, March 28-April 15, 2023. 230209. Watercolor, 21" x 9".

MontereyCypressatDusk-20x14-230315.jpg Watercolor - Dusk over the Pacific - 20" x 14"

I love the leggy, wonky shapes of these Monterey Cypress trees (Cupressus macrocarpa}. Native to the Monterey-Carmel area of California, in the early 1900s they were planted along the North Coast from San Francisco to Fort Bragg and north. This painting reflects a row of trees at the edge of a golf course. Won Honorable Mention in the WASH ‘Awash with Color’ Member Exhibition at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, March 28-April 15, 2023. 230315. Watercolor on 300 lb. cold press paper, 20" x 14". In the artist's personal collection.

BluedicksandaPoppy-10x14-230326.jpg Watercolor: Blue Dicks and a Poppy - 10" x 14"

On Friday, Jean and I went walking along the Miners' Ravine Trail in Roseville, enjoying the bubbling creek and fields of wildflowers. I was especially struck by a couple of solitary California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) in a robust field of Blue Dicks (Dipterostemon capitatus) or Wild Hyacinth. I couldn't resist the opportunity to celebrate spring's coming with my interpretation of the color and variety. 230326. Watercolor on hot press paper, 10" x 14".

GrapeHyacinth-10x14-230412jpg.jpg Watercolor: Grape Hyacinth - 10" x 14"

In early April, tiny Grape Hyacinth (Muscari sp.) was growing along the walkway to Annie's house. In my painting they are much larger than life -- and beautiful! I am experiment with painting plants against a white background. 230412. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 14".

BleedingHeart-20x14-230508.jpg Watercolor: Bleeding Heart - 20 x 14 in

While Jean and I were walking at Green Acres Nursery this spring, I saw such wonderful curves and color in Bleeding Heart (Dicentra sp.). It has long been a favorite garden perennial. It was exhibited in the juried WASH Open Show "Go with the Flow" (August 15-September 10, 2023). 230508. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

StColumba-14x20-230517.jpg Watercolor: St. Columba, Apostle to Scotland, 14" x 20"
I've been lately about how much I owe to St. Columba (521-597 AD), an Irish abbot who became the apostle to Scotland, winning the wild Picts to Christ -- my ancestors. Columba brought 12 monks with him to Scotland about 563 AD, founding a monastery at Iona, from which missions went all over northern Scotland. 230517. Watercolor and ink, 14" x 20".

Purple-WhiteIris-10x14-230518.jpg Watercolor: Purple and White Iris, 10" x 14"
The record winter and spring rains resulted in the largest number of iris blossoms in our yard in memory. This purple and off-white blossom was particular beautiful. 230518. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

FFAHoopHolder-20x14-230525.jpg Watercolor: FFA Hoop Holder, 20" x 14"
In late April we took our granddaughters to Future Farmers of America (FFA) day at Del Oro High School. One of the activities was imagining that a hula hoop was a lariat to be thrown over (fake) steer horns. The young woman here had brought animals to be displayed. I added the horse and fence in the background to add ambience. 230525. Watercolor, 14" x 20".

7Poppies-14x10-230517.jpg Watercolor: Seven Poppies, 14" x 10"
The record winter and spring rains this year brought and abundance of poppies. These seven blossoms seemed to fit nicely together. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

HalfBucketofTulips-10x14-230523.jpg Watercolor: Half Bucket of Tulips, 10" x 14"
I was looking for something colorful to paint to express my Springtime spirit and came across a bucket of colorful tulips. I cut it in half for the sake of composition enjoyed modeling each of the blossoms. 230523. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

WinterBareOak-14x10-230602.jpg Watercolor: Winter Bare Oak - 14" x 10"
This past winter I've admired a grand Valley Oak at the curve on Horseshoe Bar Road, near where it intersects with Laird Road. In the summer, all leafed out, it is wonderful. But in the winter without a leaf in sight, you can see all the contorted structure of great branches, smaller branches, branchlets, and twigs. That's what I tried to capture here. 230602. Ink and watercolor on hot press #140 paper.

parables-frontcover-648x800.jpg Watercolor: Jesus' Parables for Disciples bookcover

This week I receive the first copies from the printer of my new book Jesus' Parables for Disciples (JesusWalk Publications, 2023), 321 pages. I painted the cover after Jean-François Millet's 'The Sower' (1850). Vincent Van Gogh also used this painting for inspiration for his "Sower'. 230620. Book cover size: 7.5" x 9.25" paperback.

RuthsRosebush-20x14-230621.jpg Watercolor: Ruth's Rose - 20" x 14"
On Memorial Day 2023 we were invited to a wonderful family gathering at Tina and Jackie's home in Nevada City. Outside the northwest corner of the patio was a 10 to 12-foot rosebush, crowned by a sunlit-shining rose that I sought to memorialize here. It was exhibited in the juried WASH Open Show "Go with the Flow" (August 15-September 10, 2023) and won the coveted Dorothy Steed Award. 230621. Watercolor, 20" x 14".

EyeofWisdom230626-10x10.jpg Watercolor: Eye of Wisdom, 10" x 10"
When I looked into the eyes of a friend recently, I was struck by how they looked aged and wise. They reminded me of the eyes of the 100-year-old fictional character Rose in the Titanic movie, who narrated the movie and looked at the camera with wise, wrinkled, 100-year-old eyes. 230626. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

DiscGolfTrio230703.jpg Watercolor: Disc Golf Trio - (3 paintings)
These three poses of disc golf throws were inspired by a video of young professional disc golfer Kat Mertsch at the Jonesboro Open 2020. Each painting is the same height, but different widths -- Wind-up - 10" x 7", Throw - 10" x 7", and Putting - 10" x 10". Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230703. Watercolor, 3 paintings.

Carolportrait-10x14-230703.jpg Watercolor: Carol Portrait - 10" x 14"
A leader among local artists has a strong visage, that drew me to paint her. I tried out a new color: Daniel Smith's Moonglow, that's made up of three different pigments that begin to show up as the paint dries -- ultramarine blue, viridian, and anthraquinoid red. Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230703. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

Freredom14x10-230704.jpg Watercolor: Lady Liberty, 14" x 10"
For Fourth of July I wanted to paint something patriotic, and came up with this combination. I think of the millions of people who have immigrated to America, passing Lady Liberty on their way to Ellis Island, longing for the freedom and rights to be found in our beloved America. We are truly blessed by God! Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230704. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

FFAGirlPortrait-10x10-230705.jpg Watercolor: FFA Girl Portrait - 10_ x 10"
In May 2023, we took the grandkids to the Future Farmers of America day at Del Oro High School. This is a casual portrait of one of the girls participating in the exhibition. I added the horses and white fence in the background to give an idea of a ranch. Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230705. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

TriceratopsatVanHowdStudios-10x7-230706.jpg Watercolor: Triceratops at Van Howd Studio, 10" x 7"
The Rocklin Fine Arts sketchcrawl went to the Van Howd Studio near the Auburn Airport for June. Van Howd is the creator of some wonderful bronze sculptures! This is a quick plein air sketch of a life-sized Triceratops behind the building. Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230706. 10" x 7".

Seep-SpringMonkeyFlower-10x7-230708.jpg Watercolor: Seep-Spring Monkey Flower - 10" x 7"

This Spring I observed a lone Seep-Spring Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus) plant growing along the ditch next to the road. It's a beautiful, delicate flower! Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230708. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

PandaEatingBamboo-14x10-230710.jpg Watercolor: Panda Eating Bamboo - 14" x 10"
My granddaughter Connie has moved from unicorns to pandas as her animal of choice. At her request, I painted this for a spot high on the wall adjacent to her upper bunk. Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230710. Watercolor, 14" x 7".

Paddle-BoardingonUpperClementineLake-10x7-230714jpg.jpg Watercolor: Paddle-Boarding on Upper Clementine Lake - 10" x 7"
On my birthday we went to Upper Clementine Lake on the North Fork of the American River. Here a couple of people were paddle-boarding, which I take to be a mother and daughter. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230714. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

ScarlettJohannsonatGriet-10x10-230713jpg.jpg Watercolor: Scarlett Johansson as Griet - 10" x 10"
Jean and I recently rewatched "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" (2003) starring Scarlett Johansson. This portrait comes from a frame of one of the final scenes after Griet has arrived at her boyfriend's family home. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230713. Watercolor. 10" x 10".

GreatHornedOwl-10x10-230711.jpg Watercolor: Great Horned Owl, 10" x 10"

In May 2023 I saw a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) perched on the lamppost outside my study at dusk during a Zoom meeting. I also made a 4" x 4" version for the Library's Mini-Masterpiece challenge. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230711. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

HouseFinch-10x7-230714.jpg Watercolor: House Finch, 10" x 7"

One of the most common birds to visit the bird-feeder outside my study is the House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). 230714. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

PurpleMorningGlory-7x7-230730.jpg Watercolor: Purple Morning Glory - 7" x 7"

On my way to the edge of Lake Natomas, I saw at a residence this beautiful Purple Morning Glory vine (Ipomoea indica). The blossom just begged to be painted. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230730. Watercolor, 7" x 7".

SantaClausSamatBluegrassFestival-10x10-230731.jpg Watercolor: Santa Claus Sam at Bluegrass Festival - 10" x 10"
At the California Bluegrass Festival, June 16, 2023, I found myself sitting next to Sam, who I learned was a professional Santa Claus each Christmas. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230731. Watercolor, 10" x 10"

Black-HeadedNuthatch-7x10-230725jpg.jpg Watercolor: White-Breasted Nuthatch - 7" x 10"

The White-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) is a common visitor to my bird feeder. It has the interesting characteristic of walking DOWN branches and chains. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230725. Watercolor, 7" x 10"

HenandChickens7x10-230730.jpg Watercolor: Hen and Chickens, 7" x 10"

I always admire succulents, especially Hen and Chickens (or House Leek, Sempervivum tectorum) for its beauty and hardiness. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230730. Watercolor, 7" x 10".

TulipCenter-7x7-230727.jpg Watercolor: Tulip Center, 7" x 7"
This is a striking top-down view of a tulip. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230727. Watercolor, 7" x 7".

MarketaVondrousova-14x10-230717.jpg Watercolor: Marketa Vondrousova Backhand - 14" x 10"
Marketa Vondrousova won the Wimbledon Women's Championship in July 2023, without even been a seeded player! Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230717. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

Black-HeadedGrosbeak-10x7-230717jpg.jpg Watercolor: Black-Headed Grosbeak - 10" x 7"
This bird is an occasional visitor to my birdfeeder. Beautiful coloring. Part of my 31 paintings in July challenge. 230717. Watercolor. 7" x 10"

BluegrassFestivalListener-10x7-230720.jpg Watercolor: Bluegrass Festival Listener, 10" x 7"
While I was listening to a concert at the Pioneer Stage, this listener sat on the ground for a while. Interesting pose. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230720. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

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".

Tulips-10x14-230724.jpg Watercolor - Tulips, 10" x 14"
I love painting tulips because of their brilliant color. Part of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge. 230724. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

TigerLily-10x7-230730.jpg Watercolor: Orange Day Lily - 10" x 7"

Jean summoned me urgently to see an orange day lily outside the house. "They only last for a day," she said, and it was nearly dusk. There I found a beautiful single blossom of a Tiger Lily (Hemerocallis fulva), also known as the orange day-lily, tawny daylily, corn lily, fulvous daylily, ditch lily or Fourth of July lily. The last of my 31 Paintings in July Challenge for 2023. I couldn't resist. 230730. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

QuakingAspenSprig-10x10-230825.jpg Watercolor: Quaking Aspen Sprig - 10" x 10"
Lily Lake in the south Tahoe area is a beautiful, peaceful spot, surrounded by Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides). This sun-drenched sprig had such a beautiful curve that I had to paint it. As I walked along the trail, I could see that the beavers had felled a few Aspens. 230825. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

LodgepolePineSprig-14x10-230824.jpg Watercolor: Lodgepole Pine Sprig - 14" x 10"

I enjoyed moseying along the nature trail at Donner State Park that winds along both sides of Donner Creek as exits the lake. In the forest alongside the creek was this beautiful sprig of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), the only two-needle pine in the Sierra. I masked some of the sunlit needles, then did the background quite wet. After it dried, I removed the mask and painted the twigs and needles. Lots of fun! 230824. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

AnnieamongtheBlackberries-10x10-230822.jpg Watercolor: Annie among the Blackberries - 10" x 10"
In early July, Annie and her girls came to pick blackberries. This painting is from a photo I shot of Annie amidst the blackberry bushes. 230822. Watercolor, 10" x 10".

BouldersandBurbles-14x10-230904.jpg Watercolor: Burbling Boulders - 14" x 10"
On an overnight trip to Lake Tahoe in August 2023, I found these rocks and rivulets in Ward Creek as the stream tumbles down the east side of Ward Peak and the Sherwood/Alpine Meadows backside of Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort on its way to the lake. 230904. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

CactusFlower-7x10-230904.jpg Watercolor: Cactus Flowers - 7" x 10"
The brilliant yellow of this Wheel Cactus (Opuntia robusta) caught my eye when we visited the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden on August 13, 2023, where my high school friend Lewis Feldman is the director. 230904. Watercolor, 7" x 10".

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.