Monday, January 04, 2021

Entering The House Of My Heroes, American Watercolor Artist John Randall York

 22 x 30 inches,  Chopsticks, # 2 Pencil, 3 Brushes, Watercolor on Arches paper.

   Let me tell you a little about this blue horseman and his steed. He moves with confidence from left to right like American carousel animals do (I've read that British carousel horses moved from right to left). I imagine that he is the real thing, a new kind of creature, like in a fairy story. A man's body with a horse's head and some tiny bat wings. Though, he might be an imposter, a man in elaborate armor with a fancy horse head helmet and a beautiful, magic sword. His blue horse is almost tangled in a border of designs and from the warm yellow and pink background those  mysterious eye-leaf creatures hover and swirl!                                                                                                   


  I really enjoyed working on this painting, sort of, "making friends" with the characters in it. Do you ever read a book and feel sad when you finish because you have to say goodbye to the characters you've grown close to? That's how I felt about the painting "Entering The House Of My Heroes". I wrote a note to myself while working on the painting, "If you ever want to see a creature like this you have to create him".

             Copyright 2020 by John Randall York, All rights reserved by the artist

Friday, March 13, 2020

Happy Friday The 13th!

Friday The 13th! What a gift! It's a little reminder of the fun and scary things I do love so much. Halloween is still far away but today we can enjoy some of the creepy thrill derived from the rich heritage of monsters, vampires, ghosts and evil space creatures.

I hope you get the chance to watch a scary flick or read, at least, a short horror story today.
To add enjoyment to this numerically wonderful day I am posting some of favorite ""scary" artworks.
Best wishes for a "Horrible" Friday The 13th! JRY

All images copyright by John Randall York, all rights reserved

Monday, March 02, 2020

Painting The Alamo In Watercolor, Happy Texas Independence Day!

Painting The Alamo In Watercolor and "Happy Texas Independence Day"!

Almost every time we go to  San Antonio I visit The Alamo and make a painting on the spot. There is usually a group of school kids who who notice what I am up to and suddenly swarm about me like a flock of birds with the teachers catching up to rein them in. The children are encouraging, loading me up with positive comments, amazed by how quickly the painting is done.One group cheered for me as I finished a painting of the San Fernando Cathedral, what a rush!

Usually I sit on a low wall across from The Alamo in whatever bit of shade is available and paint on a quarter sheet of watercolor paper (140 lb) taped to a piece of Masonite.
It gets hot very quickly in San Antonio and I am anxious to finish and move on!

I try not to think about the work but to enjoy it. The paint is applied quickly using my bottled water from Walgreen's Pharmacy. Usually three brushes are used, a 1 inch Flat, a #8 Round and a #4 Round, all synthetic. The paint I use is an eclectic mix of Daniel Smith, M. Graham, Winsor Newton, QOR (I like their Cobalt Teal), whatever works and looks good. Almost always I will use some Lukas Opaque White for highlights,  a black watercolor pencil for some shadows and texture and a fine point Sharpie (or some black, permanent pen) for line work.

As I sit and paint my mind wanders and it is hard to not imagine the lives sacrificed on that piece of land in 1836.  Usually, when I finish, I stroll the area and read the plaques on the lawn and am always touched by the stories of bravery. I am very proud to be a Texan.

Wait! Here's the best part... if it's really hot, and if I think I did a good job, I visit the Haagen-Daz ice cream shop for something wonderful!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Further Adventures With Watercolors

Last summer I began making plein air paintings. I really did not want to get out of the house! I didn't want to get too hot or get rained on or explain myself to curious people.
Two main purposes drove me to get started. One, I wanted to see "what I was made of" what would I produce? How would my on-the-spot paintings come out? And two, my town was changing. Big trees and buildings that were personally significant were going away.
So, I headed out each day like a fisherman, downtown and through the neighborhoods, and I snagged some really nice paintings.
I can look at each painting now and feel the sun on my neck or remember digging for parking meter change or think about the great people I met and know that each day something was accomplished.
It's a great experience every time I go out. I now have paintings of familiar old trees that are no longer there and houses and buildings that are gone or changed.
I set up a Shopify store to sell my watercolors, it's
Thanks for sharing the trip with me!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Drawing Videos!

I hope you get a little Halloween fun from these sped up ghostly drawings! Happy Halloween 2016!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

An exciting journey in watercolor!

What an exciting journey! I was thrilled and pleased when I stacked all of these watercolor paintings I've been making of Tyler, Texas on the dining room table, about 70 so far. 
Each painting is a memory of people I've met as I painted, the hot weather, the beautiful sunrises, the little rain showers, all of it!
Thank you for enjoying them with me, I'll be making more!