Index Theoretics

Watercolors

After the first five embroideries I wanted to stretch my horizons artistically and chose watercolors as the medium. I ended up only painting ten of them in all and the last one is hardly recognizable as a watercolor because it is mostly about woodworking. Of the rest, one was destroyed, two disappeared into the ether and one needs a better photographer than I to capture an image because it is in a 3D frame behind Plexiglas. Here are the six to which I had access and was able to photograph. They had to evolve rapidly from a point of no skill whatever or my interest would have waned. One day someone looked at the technique I was developing and suggested that acrylic paints were more suited to my efforts. So I switched media. One note about the sizes of the works; I include the frames in all my dimensions because each was specifically created to be part of the artwork. Click or tap on the thumbnail images to see a larger image.

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Walk In The Desert

19" W x 17.25" H

My first watercolor was a design supposed to be scaled up for a wall painting in downtown Palo Alto, CA. That never happened but I still like the idea of an hourly slice of the view seen when walking through the desert for a day. I'd taken that walk many times.

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Untitled

19.5" Diameter

The third painting was too ambitious and ended up as a disappointment but the subject matter was too important to me to trash it. Although the painting is untitled it was my first attempt to express the life-changing experience recounted in the story, Portrait of Christ. I was trying to visually share the experience of the world being turned inside out to reveal the spirit. It took twenty-five years more before I tried again. My compulsion to share that experience via an image was the reason for my entry into the world of computer graphics where I discovered my inner nerd.

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Sky Grid

24" W x 29" H

In this fifth watercolor I added design into the painting to imply a greater skill than I actually had achieved. I was happy with the colorful result and began a focus on the sky that came to completion in my digital life with the cloud and sky rendering capacities of Vue Infinite.

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Turtle

23.75" W x 25.75" H

I think this is my favorite watercolor. It is number seven. The three central plates in the center of the turtle's shell are painted in metallic gouache rather than normal watercolors. I was particularly fond of the woods used in the frame. Ash and quarter-sawn sycamore was used for the sides and poplar was used in those corners. The sycamore and had a distinct snakeskin or amphibian look to it.

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Somewhere In Space

26" W x 22.75 H

My ninth and final 'normal' watercolor was a torture. I had conceived of painting two disparate scenes in concentric bands of an irregular shape and settled on a tropical view interspersed with space. The ridiculous aspect of this project was that I didn't know to paint the first image, mask my lines and then paint the second. As a result I painted both images between the lines as I went. Keeping the images visually cohesive was extremely difficult and I burned out on the tropical scene several weeks later, opting to fill in the remainder with gold and silver blobs. Just as I was finishing this piece an acquaintance who was a real painter suggested I look into acrylics.

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Play On Ply

48" W x 39" H

Before I left the world of watercolors for good I decided to use up some of my remaining paints. My fascination with the ring structure of wood, revealed in the surface veneer of plywood met that intent to dramatic effect. I obtained a piece of plywood with a clear side (knot free), floated watercolors on the summer rings (the lighter colored portions of the grain pattern) and sealed the result with urethane. I then spent some months making the frame by tracing a wood grain pattern from a piece of ash that I'd used in a table top. Again I used the wood grain structure and cut out alternating pieces of paduk (vermillion) and purple heart, matching opposite sides so the corners made sense.