Another Word For Rainbow

Did you know that the word iris means rainbow? What a perfect analogy. The iris displays in Denver Botanic gardens are spectacular in the spring and they have always been one of my favorite subjects. First I did a small version of this painting on location in the gardens and then used it for a reference to complete this large painting in my studio. It is part of my large floral series and it measures 40X60 inches. When a plein air painting leads to a larger studio painting it is truly a rewarding experience. Here I used different shades and temperatures in the green leaves to off set the richer colors in the flowers. Showing the iris in different stages of life is interesting and th

Loosen Up!

Painting on location in Botanic Gardens is a time to have fun, loosen up, and compose with rich and dramatic colors. This is a painting I did as a demonstration last year at one of my Summer Weekend Workshops in Botanic Gardens. I deliberately choose a different way of starting a painting from time to time so that my paintings don't look like formula paintings. This time I started with the large orange flower, placed it where I wanted in the composition then painted it with different shades of orange. Next I surrounded it with rich darks of blue and blue green so that it would stand out even more. As I moved beyond the main flower I painted looser and looser with dripping paint, visible

Excitement With Color

I am in Phoenix attending a business workshop and seeing this painting has me wishing I was painting in Denver Botanic Gardens where the beauty is breathtaking and the subject matter is endless. My first summer weekend watercolor workshop is coming up fast and the dates are May 3, 4, & 5 and we will be painting in Botanic Gardens. If you are interested or have any questions send me an email to I actually did this painting as a demonstration in an earlier class in the gardens and I still remember what a beautiful day it was. The yellow hollyhocks were right in front of where I set up to paint and I used them to create depth by positioning them to overlap the for

Excitement With Flowers

I am in Steamboat Springs Colorado teaching a watercolor workshop on painting flowers. I used to live in Steamboat and it has been like old home week. The students are fabulous and we are having a ball. This painting was actually done in Botanic Gardens in Denver but it is very much like what we are working on and the workshop continues through today. We have been studying how all the parts of the painting relate to each other and how flowers are a good excuse to use lots of rich colors. Watercolor is the perfect medium for flower painting because you can let the water, paint, and paper do some of the work as the colors mix on the paper. In this painting I created my own borders with a

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