Although I developed an interest for art at a young age, it lay dormant for way too many years. About twelve years ago I decided there was no time like the present to nuture a latent interest. Mainly self taught, I plunged into classes, workshops, books and anything I could get my hands on to learn as much as I could about my favorite medium, watercolor.
It's been work but the rewards and pleasure of creation have been worth it. Those first few paintings do not even come close to what I am proud of today. My genre style developed into close up, sometimes semi-abstractions of flowers. Through my Mother's love of flowers, I've found these wonderous beauties of nature calling me. But it's the drama created when the sun kisses their petals that I become entranced and feel the urge to create.
I've written a book, "Artist's Projects You Can Paint - 10 Floral Watercolors", been published in several art books and now have the privilege of teaching workshops in such wonderful places as Palm Springs, CA; The Dordogne Region in Southwest France and in Canyon de Chelly, AZ.
Visit my web at www.kathydunham.com
Tucked in a distant corner of Butchart Gardens is a delightful Japanese garden. Complete with a red bridge over running water and this weathered stone lantern. The purple hydrangea adds a spark of color to this otherwise drab scene.
Finding a flock of sheep busily munching on the local flora was a sight I wasn't expecting to find. I was headed for the California Poppy Preserve outside Lancaster last year when I happened upon these woolly creatures.
I spent the morning in Andreas Canyon painting with my fellow plein air (outdoor) painters. Located in the Indian Canyons at the south end of Palm Springs, hiking up this canyon is like being in a different world. Lush native palms and a babbling stream loaded with water from the snow melt off the San Jacinto Mountains makes it hard to believe you're in the desert.
The unusual color of the jade vine flowers is easily visible at dusk. The color attracts bats that drink its nectar and spread its pollen. A member of the pea family this plant is native to the Philippines.
Water droplets are fascinating to paint and add a unique interest to piece of art. I think what intrigues viewers the most is how the artist actually accomplishes this feat. It's all in the physics of light.
Just outside Redlands, CA, on the way up the mountains in a little berg called Running Springs, is a dedicated lady who has planted thousands of daffodil bulbs over the years. In addition to a wide variety of daffodils, there are also tubs of tulips and hyacinths, displays of cut flowers, meandering pathways and benches to sit on and reflect. What a way to welcome in Spring!
It's tourist season here in the desert and one activity the snowbirds enjoy is taking hot air balloon rides at sunrise. That's the best time out here as it's usually calm early in the morning. We can get some pretty heavy winds as the day warms up so they like to get an early start. I'm not an early riser but was fortunate to catch this shot one morning.
Art takes many forms and this beautiful carved totem in Ketchikan, Alaska, is a wonderful example of Native craftsmanship. Tales are told in these tall sculptures and their stylized shapes and forms are unique to this part of North America.
Palm Springs has a wonderful Air Museum. Lovingly restored and cared for, these WWII planes serve as a reminder of the price we've paid for our freedom. This B-17 was being moved today while I was at the museum painting with our local plein air group of artists.
On my agenda today was a "Plein air" class in watercolor for 7 students. Teaching outdoors is challenging at best but we'd had some rain Thursday night with sprinkles predicted through Saturday. Since Friday was pretty nice, sunny with clouds, and with stars showing when I went to bed, I had plenty of confidence for a decent day. Well, at 5 a.m. I was rudely awakened by pouring rain. Being the optimist that I am, I told myself, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. By the time I left home it was barely misting. But I live 25 miles from our painting location. Everyone showed up, we found some cover, we had a little sun and some rain, a great lunch, more painting and a thoroughly great experience. By the time I returned home, I was rewarded with this beautiful scene of the clouds across the valley at sunset.
My photographer friend Randy Bernardi and his wife Pat invited me to attend an artist's reception for the work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. I've heard about his beautiful black and white images but have never seen them in person. Some of his pieces were so dramatic and overpowering. One in particular was a single, striped, parrot tulip. I remember I had a similar image so decided to see what I could do. What do you think?
I made a run to Costco tonight to pick up a few things and get gas. When I left, the weather was dry and blustery, and when I came out 45 minutes later the ground was soaked. It felt good and we sure need the moisture. But I was reminded of a rainy day we spent in Sarlat, France last May. Wandering a Medieval town in the rain has a totally different feel than a sunny day. The colors are muted, the well worn streets take on a patina with the moisture and people scurrying under umbrellas gives it a whole different atmosphere.
Today I took my drawing class to the local park and it was so refreshing to see it being used by this mother and daughter. In this day and age of rush, rush, rush, families don't take the time to smell the roses and enjoy nature.
Today our plein air watercolor group painted at Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs. This unique, former residence, was built entirely by one man, of handmade adobe and other materials. The collection of "stuff" on the grounds makes it great fodder for painters.
Light makes all the difference in the way I perceive a subject for a painting. Although I won't paint this bronze sculpture, the light and shadow patterns certainly intrigued me enough to capture the striking contrasts.