Category

Landscape

Watercolor, pen and ink architecture painting of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Chapel of the Holy Cross

By Architecture, Landscape, Pen and Ink, Realism, Watercolor
Watercolor, pen and ink painting of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Chapel of the Holy Cross
Watercolor, pen and ink
14″x20″

A few weeks back our family made a last minute trip up to Flagstaff, Arizona and took a detour into Sedona on the way up. We had hoped to take the kids hiking in the beautiful, rocky landscape, but the winding roads and increased elevation was too much for some of their sensitive stomachs. Being flexible is key with four kids so we changed our plans and instead we enjoyed getting some fresh air while visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

This piece of architecture is striking in particular because it is built right into the red rocks of Sedona. Most people believe it to have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, or his son, but they actually turned down the project. Instead it was designed by the San Francisco firm of Anshen and Allen. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to come home and paint it and once I started the drawing it was hard to stop! It’s strong geometric lines contrast beautifully with the organic shapes of the surrounding landscape. Below are a few progress shots – enjoy!

Chapel of the Holy Cross, WIP 1 Chapel of the Holy Cross WIP 2 Chapel of the Holy Cross WIP 3

You can find out more about Chapel of the Holy Cross at http://www.gatewaytosedona.com/the-chapel-of-the-holy-cross-sedona-architectural-landmark.

I’ve had a few requests for prints. If interested, please private message me (esther@estherbeler.com). Subscribe to the blog to receive updates delivered directly to your inbox (found in the footer menu). 

Pelicans at Cabo San Lucas is a watercolor painting of the ocean and the famous arch at Cabo San Lucas with pelicans by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Pelicans at Cabo San Lucas and Back to School

By Landscape, Watercolor

I’m calling this one a #throwbackthursday since it’s taken me nearly 8 weeks to get this posted. I’m still figuring out this new all-the-kids-in-school-all-day routine along with the whole balancing-a-lot-of-design-work thing.

img_5216So, today, I’ll #throwback to the first day of school. To say I was a little excited for ALL 4 of my kids to be attending school for the first time in nearly 12 years is a bit of an understatement. I maybe posted something on Facebook along the lines of crying tears of joy and I may have actually had mom-friends cheering me on in the parking lot as I returned to my car…alone.

img_5218After a grueling summer of selling our home, moving twice, and frankly just having 4 kids in my personal space 24/7, I decided to spend the first day back to school doing exactly nothing. No work, no phone calls, nothing. I dropped the kids off, went to the gym and came home ready to do . . . well, I wasn’t sure. I literally had made NO plans for the day.

After a few minutes of thought, I made myself a cup of coffee, turned on an audiobook and headed into my studio. Hours of uninterrupted painting?! YESSSSS!!!

And so it was that a few hours later I had Pelicans at Cabo San Lucas.

Watercolor of the ocean at Cabo San Lucas with the arch and pelicans by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Pelicans at Cabo San Lucas
Watercolor
9″x12″

Santa Croce is watercolor, pen and ink architecture painting of San Simeone Piccolo and part of Santa Croce in Venice, Italy by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Santa Croce

By Architecture, Landscape, Pen and Ink, Realism, Watercolor

This morning I completed “Santa Croce”, a watercolor, pen and ink painting of an area of Venice, Italy that includes the church of San Simeone Piccolo. The interesting thing about using a 17 year old reference photo is to see how things have changed through the years. I referenced some photos on the web to discern some architectural details that I couldn’t see in my old photo, and not surprisingly, some of the building colors have changed. I chose to paint the buildings true to my 17 year old photo.

Santa Croce watercolor, pen and ink painting in Venice, Italy by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Santa Croce
Watercolor, pen and ink
8″x14″

Venice is very special to me, though I have spent barely more than 24 hours there. My husband and I had our first – unanticipated – date in Venice. That’s a long, wonderful fairy tale story for another time. For now I have the privilege to paint and remember that special day that has brought us to where we are now.

Oia is a watercolor, pen and ink architecture painting of the village of Oia in Santorini, Greece by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Oia

By Architecture, Landscape, Pen and Ink, Watercolor

“Oia” – what’s not to love about a village with only vowels in it’s name?! My husband and I honeymooned in Greece several *cough cough* years ago.  It was a fantastic experience that was made even better by the fact that some of my extended family lives in Athens and were able to guide us, giving us an experience not every “tourist” gets to experience. Needless to say, my reference photo for the village of Oia on the volcanic island of Santorini is from this same visit that pre-dates digital cameras and the ability to take as many pictures as you need to get the right shot. So, I found the old [reference] photo in a box filled with other old photos. Lucky for me I got to use the gift of “artistic license” to remove parts of the foreground that I either couldn’t discern or didn’t want to include. More on that another time.

Oia Watercolor, pen and ink 8" x 12.5"

Oia
Watercolor, pen and ink
8″ x 12.5″

San Francisco Bay is a watercolor, pen and ink architecture painting of the Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

San Francisco Bay

By Architecture, Landscape, Pen and Ink, Watercolor

My husband and I took our last “pre-kid” trip in the winter of 2004, choosing destination San Francisco. We did typical touristy things such as eat ice cream at Ghirardelli, pretend we’re jailed in Alcatraz, and hike around the city. It’s picturesque city, and with my love of architecture, naturally comes a love of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a different trip we drove on the bridge, which I painted a while back, aptly titled “Golden Gate Bridge“. I love the slim lines of this bridge in profile nearly as much as I love the view from being on it.

Watercolor, pen and ink of the Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

San Francisco Bay
Watercolor, pen and ink
8″x16″

Visiting ArtPrize 2013 in watercolor, pen and ink is an architecture painting of part of downtown Grand Rapids by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

ArtPrize

By #The100DayProject, Architecture, Landscape, Pen and Ink, Realism, Watercolor

ArtPrize 7 opens September 23rd!

I’m pleased to once again be hosted at West Coast Coffee for ArtPrize 7 in 2015. If you’re in the Grand Rapids area, please stop by to visit, pick up a Giclée print of the artwork and vote for the painting with code 61217. Enjoy this timelapse of daily progress in “Visiting ArtPrize 2013”, or click here to see the completed work.

*The original pencil drawings were nearly too light to see, so with a little help from Photoshop you can see the pencil drawing portion in the first part of the timelapse.

“Visiting ArtPrize 2013″ – a 24″x30” painting in watercolor, pen and ink of downtown Grand Rapids from my visit to my first ArtPrize in 2013.

ArtPrize Entries:

Visiting ArtPrize 2013 in watercolor, pen and ink by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Visiting ArtPrize 2013, ArtPrize 7

"Swinging" - a graphite drawing of a girl hanging on a swing.

Swinging, ArtPrize 6

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge, ArtPrize 5