Watercolor House Portrait: The House that Max Built

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The House that Max Built 14 x 14 Watercolor on Paper (Commission)
This house portrait was for some very dear friends of mine; a cherished home from a previous chapter in their lives, commissioned as a memento, and given as a surprise gift from one to the other. It was such a sweet project; all communication, photographs and feedback took place stealthily via email. And the stories about the house, the symbolism of the objects on the porch (family gifts) and the sweetness of pets who are no longer with us, perched or lolling about in the spots they frequented at the time, made me feel so familiar with the place. I would know this house in a second if I drove down the street.

Swim! Intaglio Etching with watercolor by James Lorigan
Jim Lorigan is a Master Printmaker and Painter extraordinaire. I wish I could send you to a web site or gallery to see his work, but there doesn’t seem to be anything up right now. If that changes, I’ll post something in the future. Jim is the proprietor of Watermark Printmaking Workshop in Santa Ana, and he’s an instructor at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA where he teaches Drawing, Watercolor & Printmaking. Jim taught me everything I know about making a monotype. The first time I made one under his tutelage, I hated the process. I just didn’t get it, but Jim has a mountain of tips and tricks and methods to share, and he was very encouraging that I stick with it, and just play till I got my bearings. (He’s been a printmaker since the early 70’s.) In addition to monotypes, he teaches collographs, viscosity prints, woodcut, intaglio, aquatint and just about any printmaking method you can think of. That’s why he’s a Printmaster. He’s very, very good. Jim did the etching above just after hurricane Katrina, when the news was loaded with stories of civilians flying to coastal cities to rescue stranded animals.

I’ve got a few more lovely prints from Jim, so I’ll post them later in this ongoing survey of my personal art collection (which started in March. Thanks for stopping by!

Art Quote
I must say I like bright colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and I am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject. But then I shall require a still gayer palette than I get here below. I expect orange and vermillion will be the darkest, dullest colors upon it, and beyond them, there will be a whole range of wonderful new colours which will delight the celestial eye. ~Winston Churchill

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5 thoughts on “Watercolor House Portrait: The House that Max Built”

  1. This is a beautiful watercolour and even more special due to the sentiments. I love it’s solidity, the light and the little details that make it look like a home rather than just a house – the animals, the objects, etc. These are the kinds of commissions that really lift an artist’s day 🙂

  2. Yay for you and for Churchill. I agree with him totally. You’ve painted this house with so much love, and I know what you mean about knowing it anywhere. When I paint people I feel there’s a deep connection — one that goes way beyond words, or what I know for sure.

    Super work!


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