Category Archives: portrait

Horse before the cart

If you asked me what I liked best about Bulgaria, besides the fresh fruits and vegetables, it would have to be the fact that people there still use horses as a means to get from one place to another. The best part about these horses was that they were obviously well loved and well cared for. Every horse I saw was in optimum condition, well fed, with glossy coats. These two young men were bringing some fresh hay home in their cart. I bet it was itchy. In the distance, you can see a cell tower. I included it so that there was no mistaking that this is a modern scene. This is a quarter sheet painted on fine Arches watercolor paper. It is for sale.

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A little wooden boat

Ok, I said I wasn’t going to paint any boats. But a friend suggested we go to the Center for Wooden Boats, so I did. At first I struggled with horizons and greenery, but then I discovered this boat. It was glowing in the sun. The reflection was glowing in the water. The dock was even glowing. It was a beautiful day to be outside in the fresh air.

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Sunflowers

I spent two weeks in Bulgaria with Stella Canfield. Every day we drove, we passed by fields of green; they were sunflowers. Sunflowers are one of the biggest cash crops in Bulgaria, they are used to make sunflower oil. But the flowers weren’t open. As our two weeks flew to a close, I feared they would not open before we left. Finally, the day before we left Provadia, we witnessed the most incredible sight. Sunflowers, open, all facing the east. The fields were so big, they reached the horizon. Fields of yellow stretching towards the sky. Truly a beautiful sight.

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Grass is green…

And so are trees, and bushes, and weeds and vines. This is a painting of the glorious display that we saw every morning when we got out of our beds and walked outside of the cottage while we were in Barzitsa, Bulgaria. Green has always been a bit of a problem for me. Probably going all the way back to when we were kids and were given a set a crayons, and one said “green.” Well, then, what do you see in this painting? Except for the patio and the chairs, it’s all green! Time to use that color picker in the brain and find a lot more color in “green.” This was my attempt to do that.

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A cottage in Barzitsa, Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a lot in common with other parts of Europe. The homes mostly have the terracotta roof tiles that can be found in Italy, Spain, and France. Their homes are built with either brick or mortar. I really loved the humble cottages the best, and as we set up our easels and painted every day in touristy places, I was not able to focus on one of them. The last day to paint, when everyone else was finishing their other paintings, I was on a mission. I went 1000 feet from Villa Charlotte and set up shop under a mulberry tree. Yes, there were lots of sticky fruit and flies. Confident after a thorough inspection that there were, however, no nettles, I sat down and painted the neighbor’s house. She was pleased to see me there and was happy that I was painting her house. Her yard was filled with wonders; lots of dill weed, corn, tomatoes, and other herbs. Her house was mostly bare brick, with a bit of cement patching here and there. The road was unpaved, and if you got up early enough, you’d see sheep with their shepherd, trimming the road’s edges. This is the Bulgaria that I loved the best.

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