50 in 50

Wahine

Wahine

Aloha!

Wahine means woman or girl in the Hawaiian language.

Sorry, but that’s about all I got right now.

This painting was a chance for me to get back into portraiture and it took all day!  My eyes are extremely bloodshot and I’m exhausted.  Maybe after some sleep, I can write more.

Thanks for all of the positive feedback!

Mahalo!

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Coolangatta

Coolangatta

Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia was a magical place to visit.  The weather was perfect; a warm breeze with the bright sun bouncing along the glassy ocean waves.

Mike and I stayed in a hostel right on the beach and a few steps from the main strip.  We rented boards, suited up, and went out for a surf.  As we paddled out, we could see Surfer’s Paradise in the far distance and to our left and right, were miles of golden coastline.  For my first wave, I thought for sure I would eat it, but I managed to stand up and stay on the board.  The water was chilly and moved fast beneath us.  It was scary and thrilling at the same time.  We both caught a few fun waves and decided to paddle in as the sun was setting.

I can’t describe the feeling of being in another country and sharing that experience with your best friend, it was awesome!

This painting is from a photo that I took that evening at sunset.

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Spring Fever

Spring Fever

With all this talk about the “Snowmageddon” up north and the frigid cold temps this week in the south, I was craving the warm sunshine and smell of fresh spring flowers.

For this painting, I used a sponge to add texture to the background and I forced myself to use colors other than blue, turquoise, and purple, which seem to be my constants lately.  Nature is made up of lots of organic shapes, which means less pressure to paint everything “perfectly”.

Painting subjects that don’t require fine lines and proportions is freeing.

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Free Bird

Free Bird

“Free Bird” – Admit it, we are all tempted to yell it out when anyone is playing live music.  The musicians don’t even have to be playing rock music for you to make the request, in fact it’s probably funnier if they aren’t.  I guess I could be alone in this, but the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic will always represent a good time; an anthem for the average Joe, looking to cut loose.

Why I’m stuck on birds…

Since getting serious about art, I’ve gravitated toward birds, mainly because I’ve always wanted to fly, I’m jealous of animals/things that can fly, and I have perpetual dreams of flapping my arms and ending up in the sky.  I once had a caricaturist paint my face on a bird body and yes, I know that’s weird, but at the time it sounded like a good idea.

Anyway, birds seem carefree, they soar through the sky with their buddies and get to see the world from a different perspective than we do, here on the ground.

So, yes, I like birds and what they represent, but would never want one as a pet, because a caged bird is forbidden to do what it was made to do…fly.

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Bells Beach / Wave

Bells Beach / Wave

Ok, so back in college I was lucky enough to study abroad in Australia and my time down under will always hold some of my favorite memories.  I’ve tried multiple times to convince my family to drop everything here and move back with me, but it has yet to work.  Anyway, before my trip I tried to surf almost every day to get ready for the killer waves that I would encounter.  I thought I could prepare myself, but the waves were bigger, faster, and more powerful than I could have imagined.  While I was there I had a few spots that I had to hit up.  Bells Beach, Victoria was one of them.  Some of the biggest surf contests and best surfers come from Bells.  I wanted to check out the surfing, but wasn’t quite confident enough to “give it a go”.  This painting is from a photo I took there.

Down the road from Bells is a town called Torquay, the birthplace of Ripcurl.  While we were visiting the town we stayed in a little hostel right around the corner from Ripcurl headquarters, where I was asked to do a Ripcurl Girl radio commercial in an “American” accent.  For our payment we were able to pick whatever we wanted from their store.  That night I introduced Mike to pizza with egg and ham, an Australian tradition.

Overall, the natural beauty and experiences I had in Oz are incomparable.  The people have an extreme respect for their environment and thoroughly enjoy the outdoors.  They also have adventurous spirits, which makes life unpredictable!

As for painting, I was really in the mood, so I decided to paint a wave too.  They are harder to do than they look, I think I still need some practice, but I had fun throwing some other colors in there.

Random bit – Mike came home while I was still painting and was like “that is too weird” and just stood there.  He told me he was going to ask that morning for me to paint a wave, but didn’t.  It’s kinda weird how everything is connected and sometimes you don’t know why you are doing something but feel compelled to do it anyway.

Shout out to my surfer friends – I know we all still have the passion for it and I can’t wait until we can get back in the water together!

 

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