Esteemed watercolorist John Salminen, author of the newly released John Salminen—Master of the Urban Landscape: From Realism to Abstractions in Watercolor, shares the stories behind the travel paintings from a few of his most recent adventures in the December 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist. Below are some additional breathtaking pieces of his that didn’t make it into the printed edition.
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No glimpse of life in Amsterdam would be complete without the ambiance of the sidewalk cafe in the morning sun, captured here in Amsterdam Cafe (watercolor on paper, 25×25).
I’m often drawn to the unusual drama created when subjects
are lit from beneath, as in Golden Mile (watercolor on paper, 30×22). It reminds me of the look children create when they hold flashlights under their chins and tell scary stories around the campfire.
Paris Moods (watercolor on paper, 25×25) is a painting of a specific location in Paris, rendered accurately. The lighting and atmosphere, however, are a studio invention and speak more to the experience than the architectural facts.
I usually structure my paintings around value; color is of secondary interest. In Hong Kong Central (watercolor on paper, 24½x37), however, the intensity of the color is crucial.
Bangkok is alive with the color and scent of flowers, and the flower market is where it begins. Huge quantities of flowers are transformed into every imaginable configuration within the dim interior. My challenge in Flower Market (watercolor on paper, 24×36) was to re-create the light quality I saw as I wandered through the immense space.
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