On the hill overlooking the port of San Juan is this old gate, next to Parque de las Palomas (which, as the name suggests, was teaming with hundreds of pigeons). I was there too early in the day to catch the lunch crowd. Had I been an hour later, this street would have been as bustling as the park.
Up the river from the pontoon bridge in Willemstad is a floating market where boats dock to sell their wares. Many of the vendors are Venezuelans who sail the 18 miles to Curaçao.
I love Willemstad. I think that its prominent Dutch influences and its Caribbean situation make it an ideal place to paint. The pontoon bridge swings open to allow ships up the river — I've never seen another bridge like this. My sketch was a bit tricky because of the extreme value contrasts — the dark reflections on the water contrasted with the bright colors of the gabled houses and sky.
My first time to Antigua I saw an island still recovering from the hurricanes. My favorite spot was the cathedral and its graveyard where headstones dated to the 1700s. There was a lot of construction going on — renovations/improvements to the church — and I found it impossible to find something I wanted to paint there. But this area near the docks was colorful, shady and lively.
St Thomas had incredibly clear blue water. Everything there was blue or shades of blue and green. I loved the pops of orange here.
At the time I did this sketch in Key West, this side street was screaming to be painted. But when I was nearly finished, I realized that there were no people to be seen — something strange in a place as lively as Key West.
Over the holidays we went on a two-week cruise in the eastern and southern Caribbean. While the cruise was fantastic, the best part about it was having time to do some painting. This sketch was from the upper deck of our ship as we sailed through St. Lucia's Soufrière Bay. The sun was setting, warmly illuminating the island and casting deep, cool shadows on the folks leaning over the railing.
I love doing illustrations for Cricket Magazine! Thanks, Anna, for offering me this month's cover!
The wrap-around completes the image. You'll have to pick up your own copy to see how the narrative continues on the inside! Here's the black and white pencil sketch I submitted before doing the final art:
What a boon to be able to do sketches like these here in my own stomping ground!
As flat as Münsterland is, the area around Nottuln is wonderfully hilly. The Stevern flows through this area and provided power for this gristmill.
This piece was a challenge to do because of the perspective. While the buildings themselves were properly square (as in square and plumb), the channelized river was anything but square, making the linear perspective fun! The subtle value shifts on the mill, especially with the planes of the roof, contrasted to those of the walls, were difficult to deal with in a fifteen minute sketch like this.
Berlin has become an even more incredible city since the wall came down and the capitol was relocated there from Bonn. I love the cultural layers of Berlin, its various quarters, the sights, the restaurants.
This quick sketch was on the Spree River looking toward the cathedral. It was interesting to me how its domes mimicked the tops of the trees, the broad arc of the bridge and even the shape of the boat in the lower right.
There was something about this ramshackle outbuilding in Apalachicola that spoke to me. It was still in use, though nothing about it was squared up. The bare trees and electrical wires provided spindly contrasts to the skewed planes of the building.