Watercolor Week

Watercolors have mass appeal; it seems to me they are the most popular among mediums. I’ve never  been sure exactly why. It might be their unique softness and easily recognizable transparency.

Transparency can be an appealing quality, for sure.



The hunting dog’s pose caught my eye, as he is facing away; not the typical portrait. But the best part about this image was the grasses. I love the way grass shines in the light, and the variety and depth in its colors. This abundance of grass, with patterns repeated in the dog’s coat, gives a suggestion of movement.


I call this, “Two Cute Kids” and it features a little girl, Maddie, and her goat. I wanted to do this portrait in watercolor, because of the complimentary colors of the child’s hair and her coat, and the beautiful lighting. The patterns in the image really appealed to me; between the markings on the goat’s fur and the polka dotted jacket.



The “Crows with Keys” started because I was watching a “Game of Thrones” marathon and couldn’t get the colors and imagery out of my head!


I finished off this week with a painting of our newly former First Lady, Michelle Obama. She was a few days’ worth of work. I have always been drawn to her angular face and unique features. I haven’t painted a lot of humans in watercolor. Would love more practice.

I guess practice is what it’s all about! Very grateful to everyone who allowed me to use their images as inspiration, and to people who liked my watercolors.


“Firefox” is the continuation of my whimsical trend of animals with human-generated objects. This started with the “Crows with Keys” I did at the year’s end. I had a tremendous and unexpected note of encouragement about “Firefox.”

“I just wanted to tell you how gorgeous and delightful I find this painting of the fox and the fireflies!! A very special painting. It popped up on my phone this morning. What a nice start to the day.”

The message was written by a friend I’ve never met, Lee Rockwell. She added, “Things like this will have to sustain us through the next years. I usually wake up both during the night and in the am feeling so horrible with worry over the future of our country. Thanks again for lovely things!”

Of course a compliment is always a welcome gem! But this was a reminder of how significant the arts can be. This is the reason artists struggle and scrape, but keep on creating. Art speaks to the soul.

I encourage anyone who has a warm thought, to make the effort to express it. As Lee said, especially in these days of social turmoil, a compliment or word of encouragement carries great power. When we speak from the heart, we can change the world.

About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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