Building Blocks

Red is the predominant color in this study. Green and bluish striations connect the top and bottom layers. Blocks of yellow and red are gathered on the bottom and top (respectively) of the composition.

Watercolor: Abstract - Building Blocks 102117

Building Blocks
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

This is an abstract construction, but I have my own idea about what it represents. What do you think?

Put it Back

Why can’t people leave things the way they found them?  It seems to be common courtesy if nothing else. My photo today is a case in point. Whoever painted the lines for this parking space, by necessity, had to overlay the manhole cover. It appears that a workman required access to the space underneath said cover. Is it so difficult to line up the manhole cover’s lines with those on the pavement?

This irked me so much that I had to readjust it myself. I have a bad back, so I fixed it with my photo editor.

Photography: Interceptor Manhole Cover 102117

Interceptor, Re-aligned

Could this have been a prank?

Rest in the Clouds

I’m always thinking about how to portray abstract figures that tell stories. I continually think of Paul Klee’s work and try to imagine placing rounded heads with geometric features; angular, querying block heads among tweeting birds; or stick figures in some kind of Rube Goldberg invention, in a variegated, muted, textured background.

Of course I wish to include my own iconography in this visual narrative. My study below is an example of one of my thoughts in this vein.

Watercolor: Abstract - Rest in the Clouds 101917

Rest in the Clouds
12″x9″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

The two converging lines covering the yellow tint represent the reclining head of my brother Mike*. The lines that bound the red area depict his hand. He likes to keep his hand there for some reason.

Here is a photograph of Mike showing this gesture.

Picture of Mike with teary eyes

*Mike is my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. I have never been able to communicate with him. See my earlier (2013) posts for abundant details about him.

Light Cover

I saw this metal plate on the sidewalk the other day. The oblong cut-out covered a light bulb. I didn’t look closely, but there must have been a reflector or a lens to focus or direct the light to its intended target.

Photography: Light Cover - Design 101917

Light Cover

I must make a point to go back at night, when it is lit.

Parking Lot Lines at Night

Light at night is not natural. Photographing incandescent, fluorescent, mercury vapor, neon and other kinds of lamps at night, leave a multitude of different colors on film. The subject of today’s photo is illuminated by artificial lights of the night. The night lighting reflected off the subject result in a flat, dull uniformly lit pattern. The difference between this and others photographs in this series is its overall muted and gray look (see Parking Lot Impasto, Parking Lot Square, Derelict Parking Lot).

Photography: Street Photography -Parking Lot Lines at Night 101717

Parking Lot Lines at Night

Design – After ‘Flag of an Unknown Country’

I remembered one of my sidewalk pictures (Flag of an Unknown Country), and composed a watercolor study based on that memory.  I used yellows and yellow-reds in rectangles surrounding a purple triangle. I used the crutch of masking tape to create clean crisp edges of these shapes. I could have anchored my watercolor paper to a drawing board and used a T-square to create a mechanically precise rendering of the stripes but I painted the yellow and purple striations by hand.

I like the gradual deterioration and thinning of the stria as they rise from the wider, more precise belts of color.

Watercolor: Abstract - Pavement-Like Design 101817

Purple Yellow Design
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


Today’s free form began as a pencil sketch. The colors are muted and variable because there are layers of pigments. At first, the colors were bold, some of them less so, depending the properties of the pigments themselves. For example, the earth tone pigments (warm sepia in particular) are subdued and absorb more light than they reflect. Conversely, the sap green that I used needed to be toned down. I used terra verte as an overlay to achieve this.

Certain colors are ideal for glazing. They are transparent and not grainy at all. I use lemon yellow and phthalo blue to build up thin films through which the light must pass before it gets to viewers’ eyes.

Glazing layers can either change the color of the field onto which it is applied (i.e., yellow applied over blue yields green – for the most part) or other qualities of the original field such as luminosity (i.e., phthalo blue over manganese blue).

Watercolor: Abstract - S-Car 101717

9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

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