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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.

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".

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.

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. In collection St. Columba's Inverness: Episcopal Church and Retreat House. 230517. Watercolor and ink, 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".

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".

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".

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".

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".

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"

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".

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 (on the backside of Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort) on its way to the lake. 230904. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

CanadaGooseComingOn-7x10-231118.jpg Watercolor: Canada Goose Coming On - 7" x 10"

On 29 June 2023, I was poking around Folsom looking for great scenes. I took photos of several waterbirds from the south shore of Lake Natoma near Young Wo Circle. The Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) were active. This is from a shot of a bird coming straight towards me. I played around with a lot of salt in the water portions to try to simulate reflections on the water. In a private collection, DJ Wilson. 291118. Watercolor and ink, 7" x 10".

ClintonDavisStringBandleader-10x14-231130.jpg Watercolor: Clinton Davis String Band Leader - 10" x 14"
Just before Father's Day 2023, I spent a day at the annual California Bluegrass Festival at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. This is a portrait of Clinton Davis, leader of the Clinton Davis String Band that played in one of the smaller venues. In this painting I was trying less blending from one value to another, and more sharp divisions. 231130. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

SeasonsEnd-14x20-231222.jpg Watercolor: Season's End - 14" x 20"

I saw these Red Maple (Acer rubrum) leaves on a photo trip I took with my son Dan in mid-December 2023. I found them near Penngrove, south of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California They represent the last vestige of color before winter's bleakness. 231222. Watercolor, 14" x 22".

PilgrimsonTheirWaytoChurch-10x10-240106.jpg Watercolor: Pilgrims Going to Church - 10" x 14"
This painting was after a painting by G. H. Broughton (1874), soon turned into an etching, and widely copied into the early twentieth century. It was part of a national fixation on John Alden and Priscilla Mullins following Longfellow's 1858 narrative poem of "The Courtship of Miles Standish." 240106. Watercolor, 10" x 14".

FreshlyPickedPersimmon-10x7-240106.jpg Freshly Plucked Persimmon - 10" x 7"
In early December 2023, I found a basket of freshly picked persimmons that a neighbor was giving away. This one was still attached to its stem, what made for an interesting composition. The cloth underneath is one from my mother from her days at a mission school in the Appalachians. 240106. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

PuffinChicksonSkyIsland-10x7-240108.jpg Watercolor: Puffin Chicks the Isle of Sky - 10" x 7"
These are some puffin chicks waiting for their mother to bring a fishy food for them. I saw the image on Rick Steves' travelogue of the Ilse of Sky, Scotland. 240108. Watercolor, 10" x 7".

MemChuArches-240116-14x20.jpg Watercolor: Mem Chu Arches, Stanford - 14" x 20"
During Jean's 50th Reunion at Stanford University in October 2023, I was photographing the iconic sandstone colonnade in the main quad. Here is a view through an arch to a stained glass window of Memorial Church (known as "Mem Chu" by the students.) It is a beautiful stained glass window of the Annunciation to Mary. 240116. Watercolor and ink, 14" x 20".

KingSolomontheWise-10x14-240122.jpg Watercolor: Solomon in All His Glory - 10" x 14"
Ancient Near Eastern King Solomon was, in his day, the richest and most powerful monarch in his region. But he was best known for his wisdom. In this portrait I have tried to portray him as the strong king he was, splendidly clothed, and confident. I've used a kind of stained-glassy style, rather than full realism. 240122. Watercolor and ink, 10" x 14".

HummingbirdandSage-10x7-240213.jpg Watercolor: Hummingbird and Sage - 10" x 7"

I often have Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) stop by my birdfeeder, but seldom have the light right to see the nearly phosphorescent head fathers. Here, it is feeding on a Woodland Sage (Salvia nemorosa), not native to California, but striking colors. 240213. Watercolor and ink on hot press paper., 10" x 7".

SonomaAutumnVines-14x10-240220.jpg Watercolor: Sonoma Vines in Autumn - 14" x 10"
On 15 December 2023, my son Dan and I took a road trip throughout Sonoma County looking for barns. Along the way we saw this beautiful vineyard set up against the surrounding hills. 240220. Watercolor, 14" x 10".

GlenEllenDairyBarn-14x10-240224.jpg Watercolor: Old Glen Ellen Dary Barn - 14" x 10"
In mid-December 2023, my son Dan and I scoured Sonoma County for old abandoned barns. We found this old dairy barn on Warm Springs Road in Glen Ellen, just north of Sonoma. It looks like the silo is a few degrees out of plumb, but what stands out to me is its steep roof. 240124. Watercolor, 14" 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.