Category

Realism

"Brothers" is a watercolor painting of two boys enjoying snacks on a red bench by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Brothers

By Children, Realism, Watercolor

These little brothers are the bestest of buds. They are my two youngest, and at their current ages of almost 6 and 8 they remain the closest of friends.

"Brothers" is a watercolor painting of two boys enjoying snacks on a red bench by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Brothers
Watercolor
16″x18″

This watercolor painting was created from a reference photo that taken when the boys were about 5 and 3 while sitting outside a Target store enjoying a snack. Nothing exciting; just another day out running errands with mom.

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

Swinging

These are the moments I attempt to hold tight to. I don’t do a lot of portrait drawings or paintings, having shifted my focus primarily to architecture, but when I do, I want them to capture something outside of what you might typically photograph and put on your wall. Traditional portraits have their place and I know some fantastic photographers who I’d happily recommend if that’s something you’re looking for. However, when having an artwork commissioned of someone you love, why not capture those every day moments that make up your real life: a child playing on a swing, or sneaking up on treats in the kitchen, or a father and daughter sharing a thoughtful moment together? These are the days of real life; hold on to the moments of how we really live life together.

Watercolor of a small boy looking at muffins on the kitchen counter.

Scheming

Private commission graphite drawing of a father and daughter talking together

Thomson Father & Daughter

What were these boys laughing about? I didn’t know then, and I certainly don’t know now. That’s ok, because what I will always remember is the inexplicable joy and hilarity they shared together.

What a treasure.

 


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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). 

Cardinal's Stadium Front is a watercolor, pen and ink architecture painting of the Arizona Cardinal's, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Cardinal’s Stadium Front

By Architecture, Pen and Ink, Realism, Watercolor

In sticking with the plan to incorporate more local architecture into the recent Architecture Series, I completed the Cardinal’s Stadium Front in watercolor, pen and ink. Just in time for football season to begin!

And there was much rejoicing!

I may or may not have attempted snapshots while going up the on-ramp to the freeway. I may or may not have been barricaded from entering the stadium grounds. I may or may not have pulled over on the sides of several busy streets in attempts to catch a decent shot of the front. In the end, I may or may not have compiled ideas from several of these vantage points to get the drawing I wanted.

Who knew that being an artist could be so harrowing?!?!

In the end, I got it done! Now the *ahem* rear end of “University of Phoenix Stadium” has a front to match.  Enjoy!

Watercolor, pen and ink of the Arizona Cardinal's, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Cardinal’s Stadium Front
Watercolor, pen and ink
7.5″ x 17.5″

 

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.

La Tour Eiffel is a watercolor, pen and ink architecture painting of the Eiffel Tower in Paris France by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

La Tour Eiffel

By Architecture, Pen and Ink, Realism, Watercolor

Coincidentally, I completed this drawing of “La Tour Eiffel” on November 12 – the day before terror attacks rocked the city of Paris, bringing the world to mourn together for the people whose lives were senselessly lost. My heart is with you, Paris.

“We hope that beauty will succeed to make better human beings.” -Alfredo Paolangeli (@a_rch on Instagram)

Watercolor, pen and ink of the Eiffel Tower in Paris France by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

La Tour Eiffel
Watercolor, pen and ink
13″x7.5″

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