New York City

Red Admiral Butterfly Watercolor

Red Admiral Butterfly on a Leaf, watercolor painting by Leora Wenger
Red Admiral Butterfly on a Leaf, watercolor painting by Leora Wenger, 2014

Last year I went in search of birds and I found red admiral butterflies. This year I’ve photographed plenty of birds as I’ve been good about filling the bird feeder, but it has been sparse on butterflies. One of the advantages of art is you can re-create what you like in a watercolor.

This watercolor is inspired by an exercise in the book One Watercolor a Day by Veronica Lawlor in which you are supposed to paint a design, such as a butterfly, using masking fluid. After drawing your design in pencil on watercolor paper, you paint the masking fluid on the white paper first, then let it draw. Once it is draw (takes about fifteen minutes), you can paint on top of it and around it. When your paint dries, you can then carefully peel off the masking fluid (I used an eraser). You will now see the bright white of the paper. That’s the best way to get white in a watercolor painting: let the paper show through. I used masking fluid where you see veins of the leaves, white dots on the butterfly, and also for the orange areas. I painted in the orange after I peeled off the masking fluid.

I may try this exercise again with a different sort of design. Maybe I’ll look one up in a book – a castle might kind of interesting for example, or a dragon. Someone did a simple paintbrush with a variety of colors and got beautiful results. I originally thought of painting a bird, but it didn’t seem to lend itself well to a masking fluid project. I want something with different parts and pieces that can be separated with the white lines I create with the masking fluid.

Thank you to Michelle of Rambling Woods who helped me identify those red admiral butterflies last May. If you want to see what else I’ve been inspired to paint from nature, here is a red cardinal watercolor painting.

On a completely different note than a red admiral butterfly watercolor painting, here is a photograph of my daughter and my husband at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (I’m posting this so she can use it for a project in school, where the teacher said they can only use photos from Google Images (?!x!?)):
evil paro
My favorite part of the Metropolitan Museum is the American Wing. If you have been there, what is your favorite part? Do you have a favorite in another art museum?

Summer Stock: City vs. Suburb

watermelon at picnic
My suburban example is watermelon at the annual Congregation Etz Ahaim picnic in Johnson Park, New Jersey.

New York woman in top hat and black dress
This woman in New York City was accompanied by two men also dressed in black, funny outfits. No idea what they were trying to sell. They did get a lot of people’s attention.

Bridge by Grand Central

Pershing Square bridge by Grand Central Station, New York City
Pershing Square bridge by Grand Central Station, New York City

This is the Pershing Square Bridge next to Grand Central Station on the East Side of New York City. I was in New York on Wednesday for the 140 Conference. Here’s a cool night photo of the same bridge that I found on Flickr.

Sculpture on top of Grand Central Station, New York City
Sculpture on top of Grand Central Station, New York City

This is the top of Grand Central Station in New York City. From here I took the Lexington Avenue subway uptown to the 92nd Street Y.

Girl Marcher – SOOC

marching girl in New York City
I enjoy the little smile on this girl’s face as she marched with her baton down Fifth Avenue in the Salute to Israel Parade in New York City in May.

Thursday Challenge: Urban

buildings in New York City
New York City is a great place for viewing contrasting architecture: here’s modern, paned glass with nineteenth century brick and mansard roofs. This is somewhere near 6th or 7th Avenues, in the forties or high thirties.

Thursday’s Challenge is “URBAN” (Buildings, Traffic, Graffiti, Signs, People,…). Next week’s challenge is METALLIC (Metal, Shiny, Mirror, Clothes, Cars, Jewelry,…).

Bridge in Central Park

bridge in Central Park
This shot was taken from Central Park South, looking into the park. Moments after I took the photo, a bird pooped on my face and on top of my long camera lens. Did I burst out singing “I love New York!” ? No, but my son said it was time to stop taking pictures.