'Flower Spirit 04/2005' was my first painting using watercolor clayboard.
The way clayboard handles and takes the paint is very different than using watercolor paper. The clay is not very absorbent and shifts wet areas of paint to the yellow, but shifts back when dry. This means you have to have a good handle on blending your palette. What you see on the board is not what you will get. This takes a little getting used to but just paint the colors you would normally expect and when the painting is dry everything should look all right.
'Flower Spirit - 04/2005' is inspired by the Texas, Indian Paintbrush. In this case one that came up in my own lawn. Indian Paintbrushes accompany the Texas Bluebonnets as wild flowers burst forth in a wave that moves from south to north in the spring. In a good year you will see nothing but patches of blue and orange as far as the eye can see. Its quite a sight.
I had applied masking fluid before working on the background, then Chinese ink to create a value painting of the flower after removing the mask. Regular watercolor was used to build a color road map on the value painting skeleton. Paint was applied in limited washes or wet on dry with less water than usual. Next I top layered the flower with gouache paint. Gouache is a translucent to opaque form of watercolor with a distinctly higher brightness.
The aura and spirit petals were pretty much an afterthought, but this painting has turned out to be one of my more popular ones. So popular in fact that my wife asked for the original and framed it for her own use.
Daniel comes from a line of craftsman artists and as a child he was exposed to a different kind of life. He lived in a rural area in upstate New York. With his father being a well known, and sought after, gunsmith specific to the making of muzzle loading barrels they attended a lot of rendezvous. As such, Daniel was exposed to and participated in blacksmithing, knife throwing, target shooting, the art of scrimshaw, and more.
While in college majoring in geological engineering, Daniel began sketching and drawing, building on the scrimshaw work he had done as a child. He also began to make copper jewelry for the local renaissance recreation group using some of his understanding of metal work from his blacksmithing. These would prove useful in his post-college years when he would later transition into lapidary. Eventually Dan found he still had an interest to paint, the experience being quite cathartic and enjoyable, and picked up water colors as a re-starting point.
All the many disparate skills Dan acquired over the years found their way into his paintings. Never willing to settle, Daniel pushed the limits of his technique using different paints, inks, stains, papers, and a variety of painting styles. One of the things he is known for is the nearly three dimensional quality of some of his paintings.
Today, Daniel teaches watercolor painting. In addition, his watercolor prints are available in both physical and virtual galleries.