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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Port of Call" 12.5" X 28.5" watercolor

Port of Call by April M. Rimpo
Port of Call
12.5" X 28.5" image
19" X 35" brushed silver frame

Port of Call depicts the hustle and bustle of New York, but this time at the port.  Like my painting Morning in NYC this painting was derived from a photograph I had taken from the Empire State Building. It’s amazing all you can see from the Empire State Building.  The port of call in NYC is across Manhattan Island, but the ships are so large they stand out from the rest of the view.  The bright red ship and the white ship made a natural composition.  All I needed to do was eliminate some of the smaller ships and boats and reduce some of the clutter on the docks to make the scene easier to understand.  After a recent trip to NYC I noticed a train yard with a large number of shipping crates.  I had photographed the crates, so the shipping crate photo was a color reference for crates that are stacked on the dock.

Since the red ship is the star of this painting I wanted most of the scene to be neutral in color to help emphasize the ship, but it was important to have a few additional spots of red to make the ship fit in with the rest of the painting.  There is an adage you hear when you study art that it is important to repeat colors, shapes and line 3 times but to have the repetition be different sizes to make it interesting.  It is often referred to as the Momma, Poppa, Baby Bear rule.   I think I first heard it in a workshop with Chen-khee Chee nearly 15 years ago.  If you look around the painting you will find different spots of red in different sizes where the ship is the Poppa-sized  red.  I think you'll find the Momma red easily, but you may have to work a little more to identify the Baby Bear shapes.

When you read my bio you hear me talk about how I love watercolor because I can work more loosely and freely, letting the paint run and reacting to what is happening.  Even though that is true I also find occasionally doing a painting like this one is very relaxing for me.  Instead of being constantly on my toes deciding what to do based on what is happening with the paint, I work in a very controlled manner allowing me to get the lines in the city correct.  The challenge, however, is to make sure the focal point stands out and is not lost.  My decisions when designing and painting are which details to make clear and which to subdue so they don't detract from the star.

To see other city-scape paintings by April see these other blog posts:
I have limited edition archival prints available of many of these paintings.
Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Poinsettia Tree, 40" X 37" watercolor and fluid acrylic

Poinsettia Tree by April M. Rimpo

The inspiration for Poinsettia Tree started during a trip to Guatemala where the Poinsettia was a tree with blooms larger than I had ever seen towering way above my head.  I took several photographs trying to capture their magnificence just to discover that the photographs did not come close.  I felt I needed to paint them as they were in my minds eye to make them come to life.

I decided I wanted to capture the size of the tree by working in a much larger format than I normally paint, the image size is 40” X 37”, which meant starting from a roll of elephant size Arches Hot Press.  I selected Hot Press since I wanted to create an organic feel in the background by using an acrylic “batik” approach I had learned from Nicholas Simmons, applying sections of paint and then washing it off before it was fully dry.  This approach creates interesting edges and irregular patches of color.  However, instead of letting the batik dry before applying more paint I immediately applied several other acrylic colors to allow them to blend on the very wet paper. Phthalo Blue and  Dioxazine Purple were used in shadow areas of the foliage while Green Gold and other warmer greens were used in the green areas in the sun. I had applied a film mask over the flowers before I started to paint so the petals were protected from the flowing acrylic paint allowing me to work the background and leaves loosely. Since I feel watercolor is slightly more transparent than fluid acrylic I used watercolor to paint the blossoms of the poinsettia.

Recently I had limited edition archival prints made of this painting. A maximum of 50 prints will be created in each size and substrate listed below. 
Poinsettia Tree
40" x 37" image
48" x 45" bronze tone frame

Available through HorseSpirit Arts Gallery

Interested in a print, contact April.

To see other paintings where I used a combination of fluid acrylic and watercolor look here.

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

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