Nine Favorite Watercolors and The Stories Behind Them

Nine Favorite Watercolors and The Stories Behind Them post image

Everything has a story and anything can be a subject for art. The nine paintings in this post are a highlight of watercolors I’ve made during  this year soon past, all of which were shared on Instagram.  Each of these watercolors represents my response to various painting challenges named by a fellow Instagramer; or is the personal expression of my own memories and life experience.

As I ‘ve painted each watercolor, accompanied by the inherent joy that comes with  creating, I’ve also realized  how each piece becomes a vehicle for friendship with other artists, and those whose joy is in the appreciation of art. So, here then I share with you my favorites of 2016; each accompanied by a short and relevant story.

Vixen and Kit -Watercolor

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The prompt for this was “Fox”. Part of the meaningfulness for me when I paint is the portrayal of feeling. In this case the feeling I worked with was ‘maternal pride’ in contrast to the shyness and curiosity of early childhood. This was made following a Christmas set of prompts by some lovely artists at The Portfolio Project

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Pineapple -Watercolor

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I’ve always marveled at the miracle of fruit: a little ball packed with sweetness and sunshine. I think the pineapple is the queen of fruits, and the reason why she wears such a lovely crown. As a six-year-old girl-child, in my native Colombia, I was so surprised when I first saw a pineapple growing on a low plant of  long and pointy leaves. I had always imagined pineapples hanging from a tree branch, but that was certainly not how it is. Of course! Being a queen, it’s only proper that the pineapple come into the world bejeweled in such a festive crown.

Painted following a prompt by Jennifer  Orking Lewis, an inspiring artist and illustrator known for her daily sketchbook and charming painting style. 

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Polar Bear -Watercolor

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This polar bear watercolor was based on the prompt: “Christmas Sweets”by the artists at The Portfolio Project.

Can you imagine such a sweet bear? What I wanted to convey here was how all the sweet foods which surround at Christmas, are also metaphors for feelings of tenderness, filling our heart with the sweetness of love for those whom we cherish. Mama Bear and baby bear –Ursa Major and Lollipop.

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Robin with Cherry -Watercolor

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I was inspired by my friend Chris Miller IG @alto1mezzo, and the lovely robin she painted nestled at the center of a wreath of berries, t0 join this Christmas themed painting challenge, too. My robin has a berry in his beak and I told Chris that he took the berry from her lovely wreath. 😉

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Shelves of Plants -Watercolor

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The prompt for this little bundle of inspiration was “house plants”. I’ve always loved caring for plants in my home, but I really don’t have that many. So I thought I’d do something about that  and painted shelves and shelves full of potted plants!

Following a prompt by the energetic and creative Jessica Amorós @JessieAmo

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Origami Crane -Watercolor 

06-watercolor-crane-500In addition to painting, my other artistic and creative interest is origami. For several years I have maintained an origami website, Origami Spirit, where I teach origami. I have also explored paper folding as a subject for visual art.

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Hippopotamus and Oxpecker -Watercolor

07-watercolor-hippopotamus-500Topic: “endangered animals” These two charming characters were named Belinda and Picot -Names chosen by my dear John Sutton -if you haven’t done so already you really should check out his photography website!
• The hippopotamus is threatened by habitat loss and poaching both for meat and their ivory canine teeth. Hippos enjoy resting in cool water and can let themselves float or sink through breath control and body position. Once they’ve settled to the bottom of a watery environment, hippos don’t swim back up to the surface: they walk along the bottom till they reach shallow water.
• The Oxpecker (not endangered) is an African bird. Its name arises from their habit of perching on large mammals, such as hippopotamuses, to feed on ticks and even blood from the mammal’s open wounds!

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Fruit Smoothie -Watercolor

08-watercolor-smoothie-500My favorite summer drink! Soooo yummy,  especially after a bike ride! I love a ripe mango or a frozen banana mixed with strawberries and kiwi. Mix in a lot of kale and spinach with that and we have a whole meal in a glass. This is my idea of “fast and easy food”.

The prompt was “Your favorite drink” by Lilla Rogers.

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Black cat on a red Chair -Watercolor

09-watercolor-cat-500On the day of hurricane Sandy, my aunt and uncle’s house in Queens, New York burned to the ground. It was a terribly sad loss that over fifty years worth of family photos, videos and other memorabilia were consumed in the flames. Fortunately, there was no loss of life, and nobody injured. My Tia Emmi  amd Tio Gonzalo were able to rebuild, with lots of help from their daughter. In the living room of their new house there is a vintage red chair, and they have now rescued several homeless black cats.

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