Category

Watercolor

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″

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″

 

Architecture artwork of University of Phoenix, Arizona Cardinals Stadium in watercolor, pen and ink by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

University of Phoenix Stadium

By Architecture, Pen and Ink, Watercolor

As 2015 came to an end, I took stock of the numerous artworks I’d created that year and realized my portfolio was greatly lacking work near my home. Having 4 kids makes it impossible  expensive insane challenging to travel, so I resolved to spend more time and effort in finding beautiful and interesting architecture that honors my home state of Arizona. I certainly don’t expect to find any 300 year old cathedrals in our 48th state but the desert architecture carries it’s own unique character that I’m looking forward to capturing.

The first local work this year is a watercolor, pen and ink of the north side of the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona – home to the Arizona Cardinals. I like the north side of the stadium because it reminds me of a coiled up snake, unlike the more commonly seen flat front of the stadium. Bonus, I didn’t have to stop on the freeway to get a decent shot!

University of Phoenix, Arizona Cardinals Stadium in watercolor, pen and ink by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

University of Phoenix Stadium
Watercolor, pen and ink
7.5″ x 17.5″

Red dome church is an architecture painting from a red church on Mykonos, Greece by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Red Domed Church

By Architecture, Pen and Ink, Watercolor

“It’s the Start that Stops most people” -Steve Werner

Red dome church on Mykonos, Greece by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Red Dome Church

I’ve been keeping super busy the last few months. I’ve been privileged to work on illustrations for a local Wizard of Oz ballet production, a small bistro, home commissions, designs for several new businesses, among several other things. I’m grateful for each of these opportunities but one consequence has been that I haven’t been able to put my usual time into personal artistic endeavors.

Then, a not-so-funny thing happened.  The longer I stayed away from the intricate architecture drawings I’ve enjoyed so much, the harder it was to start back up. Not even just that, but I found it harder to find potential in my photos, harder to motivate myself to try something new, overwhelmed to consider the time and patience it will take for the detail I knew I’d want to achieve.

After procrastinating for far too long, I decided to return to a picture I did nearly 10 years ago and try it again. The red-domed church residing on the island of Mykonos is a striking building but not overly complex. It turned out to be the perfect re-start.

Small watercolor drawing of a red roofed church in Mykonos, Greece

Red Roof Church, 2007

Red dome church on Mykonos, Greece by artist Esther BeLer Wodrich

Red Dome Church, 2016

 

 

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″

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″

King of Kings church commission watercolor

King of Kings Church – Construction Commission

By Architecture, Pen and Ink, Watercolor

I was blessed to be able to work on behalf of our church, King of Kings, in Goodyear, Arizona, to paint a picture of it’s new building currently under construction. The church has worshipped in various schools and other buildings in the city of Goodyear as well as surrounding cities within the west valley of Phoenix for the better part of 10 years and I’m excited to be a small part of seeing God’s plans come together for a permanent place to worship.

Keep an eye out for an artwork of the completed building in the near future!

King of Kings church commission watercolor

King of Kings Church During Construction
Watercolor, pen and ink
7″x10″