I love painting outdoors and some of my favorite times is Spring and Summer when I can paint anything boats, waterfronts, beach and sand. There is something majestic about ocean life to me and something soothing as well. I have a collection to share of some of my favorite paintings that are watercolors. Let me know if you have a favorite boat, beach house, or commercial building like hotels or boardwalks that you would like painted. I can be commissioned for those year round.
I love to draw. I always carry a sketchbook and do line drawings all the time. Lately, I have been enjoying mass drawings, mostly plein air. My favorite place is Durant Nature Park. But, I also draw when I am in Raleigh Downtown. I prefer graphite but also use charcoal. I will be posting pages from sketchbook sometime. Here are couple of finished studio drawings. I wanted to capture North Carolina winter landscape in monochrome. “Waiting for the Spring” was inspired by a spot with exciting texture. When I saw it, everything was dry. Bare tree, and dried vines everywhere. It took a while to figure out how I was going to capture all of that. “Roots” was inspired by tree roots along the Secret Creek. There are quite a few exposed tree roots along this creek.
Both the drawings are on Arches 140 lb HP paper. This is a lovely paper. I use Stonehenge paper for plein air graphite drawings and Strathmore paper for plein air charcoal drawings.
This year I will be working on few landscape oil paintings in my studio. My inspiration for landscape paintings is works of Thomas Moran. I admire his oils and watercolors. One of his beautiful paintings is in the North Carolina Museum of Art.
– Tesh Parekh
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My latest studio watercolor paintings of Raleigh. I have aimed to capture seasons and light in my paintings. I wanted to paint the “Mami Nora‘s” smoke against the early spring background. I also like Mami Nora’s delicious food and colorful building. “Railroad to Raleigh” is a view from the Boylan Bridge. From late Fall. “Capitol Morning” is from late winter morning. I liked the morning light and shadows. I used a new brand of paper- Moulin Du Roy. 140lb Rough surface. The surface is quite rough. Great for quick and impressionistic effects. “Snowbound” is a painting of my own street. February snow. I was walking home after taking Ian to his friend’s house. I liked those tire tracks in the snow.
I will be painting more cityscapes and seascapes this weekend in Kinston NC and Beaufort NC. Both are hosting plein air paint outs. I can’t wait….
– Tesh Parekh
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I was in Annapolis last year on my way back from Philadelphia. I am working on series of paintings of both Philadelphia and Annapolis. Annapolis is a beautiful coastal place. Many things to paint! I liked this evening view of the Main Street and St. Anne’s Parish. Annapolis downtown is always busy. Many shops, restaurants and beautiful waterfront. I hope to return there soon to paint en plein air. Meanwhile I am enjoying pleb air painting season back home. I just returned from painting in Southport NC and I am headed to Kinston and Beaufort this weekend. So many paintings to paint…
– Tesh Parekh
Please contact me to purchase originals, prints and licensing rights
This is late season portrait of the North Carolina winter. Ground covered with leaves and bare trees. I painted this at one my favorite spots at the Durant Nature Park. I will be doing more plein air painting in oils this year. My interest, as always, is in creating traditional art. I am not interested in broken color effects or masterful brushwork or brilliantly transparent passages. I do not use paint thinners, mediums or any other secret ingredients when I paint in oils. So, my goal is to cover the painting surface with paint layer without worrying about special effects. If the painting turns out to be good, it is simply by-product of focused observation followed by simple execution.
I used Charvin paints for this painting. It is painted on Winsor & Newton canvas panel. I had applied oil painting ground on this panel few months ago. This year is going to be busy for plein air painting. So, I will be certainly exploring more painting surfaces.
I have been exploring new paints, and papers. For the University UMC painting, I used new (to me) QoR paints. I need to paint more before I decide on using this range long term (I normally use Holbein and Winsor & Newton).
I painted the “Carolina Inn Evening” on Ampersand Aquabord. This is a unique surface! The paint handling was quite different from watercolor papers which I normally use. I have several reasons to explore this surface:
(1) Plein Air: I normally paint on un-stretched watercolor paper en plein air. This works fine for smaller sizes. However, at sizes bigger than quarter sheet, the paper does cockle. Most of the times, this is not an issue. However, it does make painting difficult under humid conditions. This should not be a problem for Aquabord.
(2) Framing: I frame all of my work. This does get expensive and time consuming. Framing becomes bigger challenge for plein air contests and wet-paint sales. Aquabord can be framed like Oil paintings- without the mat and glass.
(3) Contests: traditional watercolor paintings, by nature, are subtle. This subtlety is lost many times on folks judging plein air and other art contests. I often see badly painted oil paintings being awarded top prizes- just for being painted with oils! Not enough attention is paid to framed (or un-frmaed) works on paper. I do not wish to change my painting style just for the sake of art contests! I work in traditional manner, and do want my paintings to have a fair chance in contests. So, I am open to try surface other than the paper.
Of course, this was my first painting on Aquabord. So, I have a long way to go before I make my final decision about its long-term use. Here are my brief observations:
(1) Warping: the board did warp very slightly initially. Leaving it flat for couple of days seems to have fixed it. I guess I can also use 1.5″ or 2″ deep panels. Of douse, this also depends on how I want to frame my work.
(2) Framing: The big one! I am following instructions on the Amersand website. I have applied Krylon UV Archival Satin varnish. I am yet to apply Golden Polymer UVLS Satin varnish. Not sure how this process will work for plein air contests and wet-paint sales. I may contact Ampersand to get their tips.
(3) Storage: I store my watercolors flat (with or without mat). Paintings on Aqabord will require more storage space and better handling.
(4) Paint handling: I like to draw (sometimes in detail) before I start painting. The drawing was not easy on this surface. I used softer lead (4B)- most of the drawing came off during initial wash. I did not fix the drawing since I was unsure about the paint handling after applying the spray. Paint handling was very different from my favorite papers. I was not sure what the washes were doing! I had to apply the washes very carefully as underlying layers seem to come off. Lifting the paint was easy, when I needed to. The board seemed to stay wetter longer. However, I like how the finished painting looks. Initial varnish seems to have saturated the colors even more.
So, I will be certainly painting more on the Aquabord. I will be trying Gouache, and Drybrush techniques over next few days. And I also plan to use it en plein air.
I am also exploring another Ampersand product- Claybord. I am working on my first Egg Tempera painting on Claybord. More on that later….
More paintings of beautiful North Carolina fall! I love the colors of North Carolina Fall. Last year, I did many plein air paintings during the fall. Plein air pieces are normally quarter to half sheet in size. I wanted to capture autumn’s glory on larger scale. So I painted below pieces in my studio. All the paintings were painted on full sheet of Arches Cold Press 140 lb paper. Due to the scale of the paintings and the amount of water I used, I had to stretch the paper. I have tried different ways of stretching the paper. The only stretching technique that has worked for me is Nita Engle’s technique. Nita has shared this technique in her book. This technique keeps the paper flat during the painting process. Arches Cold Press paper, once stretched, is a joy to use. It takes the washes and lifting well.
I have been trying new paints, and papers. And although I have achieved good results on variety of surfaces, I have liked Saunders and Arches papers the best. For drawings, I have recently started using Stonehenge paper and love it. One of the new surface I have tried this year is Ampersand Aquabord, This is certainly a unique surface which I will be writing about later.
These are some of my favorite paintings of Raleigh. The larger paintings were done in the studio and others were either completely done en plain air or started plein air and finished in the studio. North Carolina autumn is simply magical. Crisp cool air and beautiful colors everywhere. And while autumn landscapes are perfect subjects at that time of the year, I also love painting cityscapes and streetscapes. Studio paintings were done from the references and the only challenge was may be the scale of the paintings. But, I was fascinated by the light outdoors and the experience of painting in freezing cold. As with my autumn landscapes, I used minimal painting supplies. Being prepared to deal with the weather was the key. After I had started painting “View from Blount Street”, it started to rain. So, I finished it sitting in my truck! One of the reasons I love watercolor medium. It allows me to adapt to changing conditions outdoors. While painting Christ Church, it rained on me and my painting and the final painting has rain drops mixed in! Each plein air painting brings back many memories of the experiences I had while being out there. The winter has slowed down my plein air adventures. But, I hope to be out soon to capture the winter light. Meanwhile, I am working in my studio and have done several large studio paintings that I will be posting soon…
2014 was a good year for plein air painting. I had continued painting en plein air, well into November. Of course, late in the year, weather can be a challenge. So, I had to prepare well to paint outdoors. Paintings posted here were painted mostly at the Durant Nature Park in Raleigh. I had to walk on trails around the park, so, I had also simplified my painting gear. I was surprised at what I could do on location with minimal gear. After months of enjoying nice weather, painting in 40+ degree weather for couple of hours was quite a change! But, I enjoyed it. I also did a painting or two in gouache. Most paintings were completed entirely on location. Others were mostly done on location and then finished in the studio. I have done many fall paintings in the studio. But, the plein air experience is quite different. Nothing compares to the cool autumn air and painting under falling leaves. A painting or two were even done sitting on the ground. It was like painting sitting on a magic carpet of colorful leaves…
Earlier this year, I was in Southport NC for the international paint out. Southport is one of my favorite places to paint. The town hosts plein air paint outs twice a year. This gives artists opportunity to paint this beautiful place. The paint out was followed by a wet paint sale.
I had arrived in Southport on Friday evening. The weather was beautiful so I was able to finish two paintings before it got too dark to paint. Next day I started early to capture the morning light. When I paint on location, I like to capture different times of the day. The light changes constantly, so, I like to work quickly. I finished three paintings on Saturday. This has been a busy year for painting en plein air. After the Southport event, I also went to Wrightsville beach and Galas VA for different plein air events.
And back home, I have been busy painting on location at the Durant Nature Park as well as Raleigh downtown. Meanwhile, the studio work continues as well. I am also working on several holiday commissions. More on those later this monght.