Ibex of the rocks

Ibex on rock 29.5X39.5 cm
Ibex on rock 29.5X39.5 cm

 

This Ibex was from the beautiful park surrounding the grave of David Ben Gurion, in southern Israel. The park is full of these young sprightly animals. This particular one was looking out at us, making sure we weren’t any threat. He stood there on the rock with all the grace of a young prince, examining his new kingdom, and proud to be alive.

I started the painting by lightly putting in shades for the Ibex and its surrounding trees, like this:

Ibex 1

I added detail, layer after layer, putting the details of its face, some yellow washes…

Ibex 2

Working on more detail, and putting over it some more light washes to bring the image together, it turned this way:

Ibex on rock

Lost boat on Mediterranean beach

Lonely boat on Mediterranean beach
Lonely boat on Mediterranean beach. 18X24 cm

It was a beautiful day, as I tried to find my way to the Haifa institute of marine biology. I walked along the beach, and gulped in the invigorating sea air. This beach had about it a Mediterranean beauty, untarnished by much human presence. I came across a boat sank in the sands, as if forgotten. Who left it there?

Sunset clouds

sunset clout
sunset clouds 29.5X39.5 cm

I went out into the porch one evening to find the sky a glorious display. I whipped out my phone and tried to capture some of it in photo. The air was crispy clear, and I could feel the large expanse of the universe hovering over the world.

This painting contains a very small fraction of that original beauty. It was not an easy attempt, but I just had to try. I started by laying in light washes, like this:

sunset clouds 1

I continued laying darker colors, and tried to create soft clouds by wiping out some of the paint with tissue paper.

Waterlily

waterlily
waterlily

There is a pond in the Technion that is full of waterlilies. I took a photo of this one some years ago, and recently decided to paint it. Of course it evoked memories, and I was transported to that hour I spent by the pond, admiring the sunlight and nature spread around me.

For this painting I wanted to evoke a kind of softness, so I worked in very wet washes. Every shape of leaf or petal was wetted individually, so the paint would not go past the borders, and I could maintain a clarity of the forms.

waterlily 1

I applied some light washes of yellow to the flower, then concentrated on the surrounding leaves, putting layer after layer of wet wash. I let the edges of the painting run into watery dilution, to softly bring a circle of the image into focus.

waterlily

The trickiest part was getting the dark areas right. I realized that proper dark areas gives a sense of realism. Finally I went back to the flower and finished it off. I did not forget the little fly sitting on the left petal!

This is a 33X29 cm watercolor painting.

Alpaca farm

alpaca farm
alpaca farm

Alpaca is gentle animal, related to the camel, that originally comes from South America. Here I painted the alpaca farm in southern Israel. These animals adapt well to the Israeli desert. They eat hay, and their thick woolen coats are spun into soft and warm wool, out of which scarves and sweaters are made.

I tried to capture the serenity of a desert evening. The alpacas enjoying their evening hay, solemnly paying homage to the dying day. The wide expanse of desert, with its rolling hills fading out into distance, and the little farm bringing a sense of home and protection amidst the sweeping infinity.

This is an 18X24 cm watercolor painting.

Acacia trees in the desert

Acacia trees
Acacia trees

Acacia trees flourish in the desert climate of southern Israel.  They are mentioned multiple times in the bible, as the major building material for the tabernacle.  While traveling in the Negev (southern Israel), I came across four acacia trees on a hill, standing neatly in a row. They grew crookedly, probably because of the desert wind that kept blowing.

This painting is 14.5 X 21 cm , painted quickly from a photograph. I like the way it came out, without much working into and blending of colors. It maintains a simplicity and brilliance.

 

 

painting by candlelight

painting by candlelight
painting by candlelight

 

It was around midnight, the house was quiet, everyone asleep. I lit a small beeswax candle, put on Chopin piano nocturnos, and filled the jar with clean water. What should I paint? I looked at the jar, glimmering in the candle light. I dipped my brush into the water, and paused. There was great beauty here, in this simplicity – fire and water, light and shadow.

It was quite dark, and I dared not turn on the electric light, not wanting to ruin the effect. I worked in thin grey washes, layer after layer. Eventually I turned on the electric light and put in the darker accents, and the little bit of color in the flame.

Spirit of Nature

Spirit of Nature
Spirit of Nature

I started by wetting the paper, then randomly adding splashes of washes. I sketched in the nymph, outlining her with pen.  I added some more splashes of color. When it was dry I added a little detail, turning the blobs into a landscape.

I mixed my colors so they would be dull and soft. This gives the painting a dreamy look which I rather like.

 

 

Wisdom

Wisdom
Wisdom

This was inspired by one of the photos in Mihaela Noroc’s atlas of beauty. I was scrolling through the photos, when suddenly I reached this young girl, and couldn’t move on.   She was so young and beautiful, but seemed to have the wisdom of a very old woman. Long did I look into her hypnotic stare,  unable to move on.

The room about me was dark, with only a small lamp to light the scrap of paper I began working on. She continued staring at me from the computer as I gradually applied layer after layer of thin wash.

I have lost the beauty and tenderness of the original, but seemed to have captured instead that deep wisdom, that mystery that attracted me in the first place.