Tougher Than the Rest

Watercolor – 17″ x 23″
Price: $800

Aren’t female cardinals pretty? Their coloring is so much more complicated than that of male cardinals, and I loved this cardinal’s stalwart expression. Our yard is home to a robust cardinal population, and I enjoy feeding and watching them all year. But they are superstars in the winter. How do such delicate creatures survive our state’s extreme weather? Why don’t they migrate along with most of the other birds? I can only conclude that they’re tougher, and that’s how I came up with this painting’s title (it’s also the title of a Bruce Springsteen song). I spent a solid week creating the branches here, saving the bird for last, and painting the bright red eyebrow was so great after dealing with all those grays.

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Yeah Yeah Yeah

Watercolor – 18″ x 24″
Price: $700

This is a collection of Beatles pins/buttons/badges. I had a great time painting the band again and again and admired their timeless, colorful imagery. The pins are viewed at a slight angle, and this forced me to distort these familiar faces just a bit to make sense in the space. Challenging!

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Queen Marilyn

Watercolor – 18″ x 24″
Price: $700

I have a collection of Andy Warhol pins (I’ve been a fan of his work since I was a girl), and I thought they made a colorful, fun still life. I added some variety-logo pins to add some different colors to the mix. The Marilyn pin was painted with iridescent gold and has a subtle glittery texture.

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Dogwood

Watercolor – 10.5″ x 13.5″
Price: $500

I’ve wanted to paint these dogwood blossoms since earlier this spring. For a day or two the dogwood tree by our garage was a riot of red and hot pink. The colors here are not exaggerated at all. This one took more time than I thought. The complex network of branches and small plants on the ground really slowed me down, but I’m so pleased with the finished product.

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Before You

Watercolor Painting by Kelly Eddington

Watercolor – 18″ x 24″
Price: $700

This is a close-up of a small selection of my jewelry. I like the diagonal movement that separates the cool side from the warm side. My favorite parts of this painting are the fancy golden spheres that connect the orange glass beads. You can only see one of those whole (next to the giant pink bead); the rest are cropped along the left side and top edge. I titled this painting “Before You” because I wore all of this jewelry before I met my husband Jeff. I purchased most of it during my mid-to-late thirties when I was lonely and required frivolous costume jewelry pick-me-ups every once in a while. The fact that all of these things are in a chaotic jumble definitely reflects that time in my life as well. While I don’t particularly enjoy thinking about those years, I’m a stronger person for having endured them, and they make me value my happiness all the more now.

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Honorable Mention

Watercolor – 10.5″ x 13.5″
Price: $600

This is a portrait of a very blond little girl named Madeline. She is completely unimpressed with Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful is erupting in the background while an airplane contrail cuts across the sky. That reminded me of a Steve Martin arrow-through-the-head. Her fine hair is blowing all over the place, and she is wearing a white t-shirt and one of those plastic gold medals you give kids. The bright sunlight is casting rather harsh shadows on her tired little face. My husband helped me come up with the title: there’s something good but kind of not good about an honorable mention. I think Madeline’s face really illustrates that feeling.

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The Graduates

Watercolor – 19″ x 29″

This painting is available through UGallery.
Click here to purchase The Graduates.

These two girls are former students of mine, and over the past several years we’ve gotten together to talk about art and anything else that comes to mind. They were about to graduate from high school when I painted this. The girls are very smart and talented. Annabelle reminds me of Natalie Portman here (Emily’s more like Nicole Kidman), but this painting is actually a tribute to my favorite movie about teenage alienation, Ghost World. The two are gazing out a window in the coffee shop. Annabelle has a sort of dreamy expression, and Emily seems a little skeptical, maybe.

I told Annabelle and Emily to wear something that would be challenging for me to paint, and they did not disappoint! Plaid and floral patterns are no joke but are so worth the time. The cafe has red doorways that were…delicious to paint. Cadmium red light is a miracle color. A blurry man who reminds me of Paul Gauguin sits outside at a table beneath an awning decorated with colored lights.

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Walt & Jesse

Watercolor – 10.5″ x 13.5″
Price: $200

I thought it might be fun to paint Walter and Jesse from Breaking Bad, my favorite show. This is black watercolor and white acrylic paint on a piece of watercolor paper I painted acid green, one of the colors I associate with Breaking Bad. The reference photo was from AMC’s official press photos for season 5.

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Wilting Parrot Tulip

Watercolor – 10.5″ x 13.5″
Price: $400

Parrot tulips were new to our front garden in the spring of 2012, and I took lots of photos of this one. I thought that if I did another floral painting, this would be a prime contender. Its ruffled petals were bending back, and that created interesting shapes. Something about this flower reminds me of an eagle in flight, and I like the diagonal that’s moving from the bottom left to the top right. I love the saturated, cheerful colors, so welcome after an endless, dull winter.

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Passion Flower

Watercolor – 13.5″ x 10.5″
Price: $400

This is a passion flower I spotted at a friend’s home in Orlando. As soon as I saw this strange blue flower/mini-spaceship, I knew I would paint it. Passion flowers are complicated! I spent a lot of time dealing with the blue petals, if that’s what they are. Each petal involved something like eight different painting operations. I also enjoyed painting the pod and the little springy things, but I began to suffer green fatigue as I painted the leaves. Occupational hazard.

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Ruby Liberty Dragonfly

Watercolor Painting - Ruby Liberty Dragonfly

Watercolor – 21″ x 29″

This painting is available through UGallery.
Click here to purchase Ruby Liberty Dragonfly.

This painting received an honorable mention award at the Skip Watts Memorial Exhibition in Springfield in 2013.

This is a random-seeming-but-carefully-organized jumble of some of my favorite jewelry. It is incredibly complex and took almost two months to complete. The ruby ring belonged to my great grandmother. Near the center is a Navajo bracelet made of “walking Liberty” silver dollars–the rest of the bracelet is obscured by a blue Murano glass earring I found in Rome. I’ve had the mosaic necklace in the top left corner since I was in second grade, and when I was bored I’d look at it to amuse myself. My husband gave me the blue and gold glass bead necklace when we were in Italy a couple of years ago, and the dragonfly is a piece of costume jewelry I bought to cheer myself up during some retail therapy during my teaching days.

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Glass Gems 3

Watercolor Paintings - Glass Gems 3

Watercolor – 21″ x 29″

This painting is available through UGallery.
Click here to purchase Glass Gems 3.

More than any other painting I’ve made, this one looks like it would taste incredible if licked, like some kind of Willy Wonka fantasy candy. But I’ve got to think that saliva would do bad things to a watercolor. These are glass gems, a.k.a. the stuff you can put in floral arrangements and aquariums. I had fun with the crazy variety of colors in this one, from Opera to Permanent Green Light, which I almost never get to use. The white, eye-like ovals are my small table lamp. You can see my hands in the bottom gems and window reflections at 9 o’clock on a lot of them. Obviously (or not?) I have to use photographs for this kind of painting. I can’t imagine our cats seeing a pile of these things–which are hard to stack–poised on the edge of a table and not feel the need to knock them over.

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Abandoned Knowledge

Watercolor Painting - Abandoned Knowledge

Watercolor – 18″ x 24″
Price: $1200

 

“Abandoned Knowledge” won honorable mention at the 2011 Illinois Watercolor Society’s 27th Annual Open Juried Exhibition. Thanks again to Andy Ihnatko and Roger Ebert.

Roger Ebert, who was a sort of pen pal of mine starting in 2010, sent me a photo of a café in Boston in an email titled “This could be a watercolor.” Even though I knew it would be challenging, I immediately wanted to paint it. The palette is gorgeous: gold, silver, copper, and bronze. The preliminary drawing was difficult, a mixture of 98% man-made straight and curved lines and 2% apple, which I saved for last as a kind of treat.

I like to explain watercolor this way: it’s like you’re taking care of a playful child–a child capable of the most disarming, beautiful, and unpredictable ideas. The child is also hyperactive, messy, and occasionally infuriating, and sometimes you really need the child to sit down and be quiet. Some people can handle a kid like that, and but most people don’t have the patience and give up. I’m one of the people who didn’t give up. And with the number of hard edges in this painting, that kid was in the chair for quite a while, but we had some good playtime with (to name three) the red vinyl booth, the blue chair shadow, and the glowing apple.

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