Full Sheet

cape-lighthouse

A colleague once asked me if I ever worked on a full sheet of watercolor paper. Here is one. Most of my work is done on quarter sheet or smaller, but this subject needed something big. It’s drawn from memory, and recounts  a moment spent looking up from the beach at the immense expanse of dune and sky near Truro, Cape Cod, just before sunset. Watercolors on Arches paper.

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Bastille Day

Le-Bastille

Score one for the common people. The Bastille was a medieval fortress in Paris, built to protect the eastern side of the city during the Hundred Years war. It later became a prison used by the monarchy to jail those who ran afoul of the ruling class, and so it also became a symbol of repression.

Some years after the American Revolution, with the upper classes controlling every part of society, the French economy lay in shambles. A crushing national debt made tax rates onerous. Unsympathetic leaders turned a deaf ear to the underprivileged. Food shortages added to the general misery, and by July 14th, 1789, the French citizenry had enough of the ruling elites.

In an attempt to gain weapons and free what was thought to be large numbers of political prisoners, a revolutionary-minded crowd successfully battered down the drawbridge. Inside, they found only a handful of convicts, but no matter. The storming of the Bastille began the French Revolution, an act that eventually resulted in the collapse of feudalism and monarchical rule all over Europe. Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!

Watercolors on rough paper, with some digital retouching, mainly to correct drawing mistakes.

Guest Artist

372

On the anniversary of the birth of the United States, I decided that a spot created by the immensely talented illustrator Amy Wummer captures the mood of John Adams’ directives to future Americans regarding this day: “It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade…”

This poor guy embodies the true, can-do spirit of America; he plows on even though he looks to be finished. Illustration is from the book titled Keesha’s Bright Idea, ©2008 Kane Press. Watercolors on bristol board.

For more of Amy’s work, see here:

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