Bowman watercolor

On My Easel


Probably the most common question an artist gets is “What are you working on now?” It is inevitably several things, but for myself there is often one particular piece or project that consumes most of my time. And rarely is a verbal description a truly sufficient answer. I’ve decided to create a page here to illustrate what I have been up to. I will update this page to show more of the process and completed projects as they evolve.

Featured below is a work in the various stages of creation and execution. It eventually was called “Big Iris” but the preliminary working title was tentatively “7”. On the left top below was the simple beginning schematic of the overall piece, a rectangle with 7 circles. Each of the 7 circles represented an individual African coil basket, all of which I own. Anyone familiar with my work will know my fascination for circular objects and color and pattern in objects from other cultures. Each basket was to have a large flower in it and a butterfly or moth on the edge. Again, more of my favorite subjects. The painting originally began at dimensions of 40 x 64” .

However, mid-drawing I changed my mind and instead of one big painting with all 7 baskets, I decided to do 7 medium sized paintings with one basket each. Quite a switch really! Hence this painteing ended up as only one circle (one basket) with a scaled up iris and 9 butterflies and moths, all on a striped cloth. The lighting comes from the lower right.

It is on the original piece of paper but was cut down to 34 x 32.5”. The remainder of the paper will be used for another painting.

I wanted to show the painting in all its stages as it is typical of the way I work starting with a simple yet balanced design, a careful drawing and brilliant colors. As usual it is very personal with objects I own or have a particular fondness for.  And also, not atypically, it changed radically as the work progressed. I prefer to let the painting dictate to me what it needs rather than imposing a strict set of rules on it. The process is what every artist needs to love...

I am now working on the second basket in the series so stay tuned!