July 26, 2021 – Where I Left Off Before Our Trip, New #Watercolor on Canvas Completed : Barton Springs Greenbelt Indian Summer

I just took another look at my newly completed painting (above) to try for some settled sentiment I can include for my post, and I do have that – some settled sentiment.

I’m still digesting and assimilating what this new work means to me. Though I know it’s full meaning is still incomplete, because I also know this work is more a conscious marker of where I want to head, and feel compelled to head toward, I do have a grasp enough to point out some things that are making themselves more known to me.

I’ve included figures in my work since I began my painting in earnest, in the early 80s back in Galveston, shortly after my now wife Sheila and I had merged our two families and started a new on the island city ❤️

But my figure work was, like my work as a whole back, a massive thrust of intuition, grasping, and feeling I was touching something good within me with my work. A good example is Butterfly and Hand Surreal Abstract, where the figure in the acrylic painting wasn’t even in the title, lol!

The 2 figures, one reclining, one embryonic, both abstracted, are part and parcel, like my hand, fully integrated into the whole work. But without thought or consideration. Just exploring. Just having fun. Just seeing it all come together!

This new watercolor work, Barton Springs Greenbelt Indian Summer, is not that.

It’s a conscious movement back toward combining landscape (real or abstract or in-between) and human figure where both matter, much as I see with Renoir and Berthe Morisot, and more contemporaneously with our own time, folks like Steve Henderson on FAA.

I did do several full figure 30×40 paintings of Sheila herself, often placing items around her, like a lamppost or reflections on the glass inside a diner we liked, but these were of her, not what I’m aiming for now – to include figures in my landscapes of (for now) the greenbelt near us, esp, when/if possible, with dappled light.

This current work, comparing the before (right) and after (left) impact of inserting (vs including from the beginning) a figure, does offer I think some of what’ll happen more organically next time – syncing the figure and landscape in colors and tone.

As it is, disregarding the generally cooler cast of the finished work (due to lighting and the camera), you can kinda see I’ve added more areas of rose, warming the area around the girl/woman wading across Barton Creek. It actually does kinda look like this after a good rain, lol! 😊

But I had to add the rose tones throughout, in lesser and larger spots and intensities, to make the figure fit into the millieu of the scene.

This is much more apparent in a detail closeup crop like below —

Detail, Barton Springs Greenbelt Indian Summer Watercolor ©Felipe Adan Lerma https://felipeadan-lerma.pixels.com/featured/barton-springs-greenbelt-indian-summer-watercolor-felipe-adan-lerma.html
Detail, Barton Springs Greenbelt Indian Summer Watercolor ©Felipe Adan Lerma

It’s not perfect, or I should say, doesn’t perfectly match my intentions, since two distinct intentions decided they wanted to do a mashup, inside me 😊

I’m hoping next rendition, same basic image but in acrylic, will work out much better.

Definitely planning on starting with the size figure I want, lol!

We’ll see 🤞

Meanwhile, as I wrote for this newly finished piece on FAA —

Though I photo-captured the original image for this work this summer here in Austin, and it is summer, there is still a feeling of something lingering, ala the way Indian Summer days in fall might feel, including the spirit or presence of people who once also depended on the livability of this area. The woman wading through the water in the distance can feel that ancient presence watching over her from the surrounding rocks and woods.



Take care everyone!

Hopefully have my most viewed image from last week on Fine Art America up soon ♥️


Direct link to blog post & image above –

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My Amazon search for “painting figures in watercolor” –

Direct link to above watercolor book on Amazon 😊

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Thanks again, everyone! 😊


Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

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  1. […] as some times.I will say that the Light Molding Paste from Golden I used in two recent paintings (one a watercolor and one – this one – acrylic) indicate this’ll be on of my favored over-gesso […]

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