Liberty

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be on Liberty Island, and see our Lady Liberty.

She is beautiful, representing our American Spirit and the principle of Freedom that we are founded upon.

She stands, silently shouting the gift of America.

In these trying times, we pray to the One Who is the Author of Freedom, to Hope in Him for His continued Grace for our America’s existence.

Lately I have been feeling an immense gratitude and recognition of the gifts we have been blessed with in America. The gift of Freedom to live under our God, the abundance of so much, the air and freedom to govern ourselves. The opportunity to live free.

All were exiles, all wretched, all were poor, given a chance to live in Freedom. There stands this “mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning”… and even she who represents such strength, can only stand by the Grace of God alone.

“Liberty” – 13″ x 18″ – Watercolor ©2021

In God We Trust. We are a Nation who depends on God.

The Little Things

Some say that it’s the little things that count. I believe some big things do also, but those little things are quite vital.

At the time, I was walking in the morning, loving the quiet, the solitude, the abstract patterns of nature, when this little fellow crossed my path. One really cannot miss the brightness of the velvet ant or the velvet mites in a place where most things’ colors at the beginning of rainy season are so subtle. And, I pay close attention and look down often because of things like rattle snakes and rocky ground.

It’s fun to catch the smaller miracles.

“Velvet Ant” – 8″ x 7-1/2″ – Watercolor ©2021

Painting in watercolor begins as pastel color, and builds into the stronger color and form. This time I had a little fun flicking a toothbrush to get texture into the rocky ground.

Thinking of miracles, it is a good thing to acknowledge them. We do have an amazing God Who gives Life and Breath to all things, in Love.

Family Life

We have a raven family, Jack and Jill are the parents. Each year they raise young, usually two – although last year they had three. They raise them, they teach them, they feed them even if they are a little bigger than themselves before they are able to feed themselves.

The quality of their family life is delightful. They sit close together, they nuzzle each others neck feathers, they have a system of feeding. They watch for other birds that want their goodies, or could hurt their babies.

The raven family sticks together, until death do us part.

Once several years back we had another raven family, whom I named Dipper and Squawker. Dipper hurt his wing and could not fly yet. I saw him and his mate together on the ground, he working his wings, she beside him. I am hoping he got well, because after awhile I didn’t see them any more.

This year’s babies have just “flown the nest”. I think it’s grasshopper time over the hill, a suitable time for new ones to make their own way.

“Daddy Jack Feeding His Young One” – 12″ x 10″ – Watercolor – ©2021 Bohlender

I love watching them, they love our strawberries and occasionally an apple, but for the most part they are pretty self sufficient. What a gift to watch.

Watercolor Happiness

I’ve been working a little bit in watercolor again lately, getting used to the medium again. Some of my tubes dried out completely, so I cut off the tubes, placed the pigments in small jars in water, and like it well this way, seeing the color as it is, going from washes at the top to solids at the bottom of the jar.

What first inspired me was the poppies blooming this spring, that color of red was so wonderful. I was seeing that color in my thoughts, and on a Windsor and Newton color ad, and I had a tube of Daniel Smith organic vermillion that needed rejuvenation. And watching the Sennelier videos (Yves-Marie Salanson), got me going. Ouuu the poppies. I might do an oil next spring, when the poppies bloom again.

“Poppies” – Watercolor – ©2021

Poppies wilt quickly, and drop petals, I started from life, but took a photo to finish from.

Then after I was sent a photo taken at a carnival through the fences, with things covering the subject matter and all kinds of things going on, I loved the expressions on their faces. What daddy would not be so very proud and pleased with the earnest efforts of a brave, responsible young driver. I couldn’t see the front of the truck, so I made that part out of other images of antique cars, and wanted simplicity, so eventually, I only drew the people and the car, and added the balloons.

I think I shortened the car just a little, but proportionally it still works ok, maybe even added a little charm. Sometimes our shortcomings in art improve our work 🙂 .

“Joy Ride” – Watercolor – ©2021

I hope soon to be able to take a ride in this little fellow’s carnival truck. What a fine boy he is.

So, in my ongoing quest to use art supplies on hand, I have plenty of watercolor papers. I have always loved D’Arches 300# cold press (poppies), and the carnival ride is painted on a lighter weight, but I like it.

Mr. Bunny

This is my last painting of 2020, finished New Year’s Eve.

“Mr. Bunny in the Lavender” – 8″ x 16″ – Oil ©2020

There used to be many jackrabbits in the area, some were smaller and wiry, some were larger and relaxed, relatively tame. Several were my friends. Mr. Bunny loved the coolness around the dampened areas and shade around the lavender. He also liked to eat the echinacea leaves.

There were many rabbits that year, now there are hardly any. I loved and missed seeing him, so I painted this from my photo of him.

Here is the process:

Mr. Bunny has actually appeared in two other paintings that I have done, both in self portraits. In the first, the watercolor, he is laying at my feet. In the portrait, he is by Jeff’s feet.