Thanksgiving watercolors: a 15-year family tradition! – jim leggitt / drawing shortcuts

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Annual family traditions are challenging establish and keep over a long period of time. My daughter Gretchen and I’ve got a 15-years old ritual of painting a watercolor every Thanksgiving day. We produced our first poultry watercolor in 1995 when she was 11 years of age which started our annual procedure for creative story-telling, illustration and pure working together painting watercolors depicting a wonderful story about turkeys within our modern world. This season marks our 15th watercolor and we’re very excited to start!

A short summary of our poultry saga: Turkeys on path to the slaughter house escape. Turkeys tour the planet. Turkeys experience trauma, love, family, travel, culture, politics and heart break.  The storyline is a lot more complex and can at some point create a great book!  Our process is straightforward – we envision an idea that could have to do with current world occasions or your own lives, sketch the big idea, illustrate the look on watercolor paper after which paint away!

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1995 Watercolor – our first within the series would be a straightforward picture of the poultry searching a little worried. This look gave us a concept to place a personality towards the bird and make up a sequence of occasions that people could paint later on Thanksgivings!

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1998 Watercolor – This painting shows the evil player (spot the yellow hat and red truck) taking youthful wild birds towards the slaughter house. Gretchen and that i already were built with a poultry escape prepared for any future watercolor.

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2000 Watercolor – here’s Gretchen using the beginnings from the great escape painting.

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2000 Watercolor – the player is helpless watching the turkeys make their method to a much better existence. Our watercolor the year after demonstrated them sun bathing on the Mexican beach consuming pina coladas!

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2002 Watercolor – turkeys summit Mount Everest. The long run is vibrant for the adventurous wild birds as well as their political cause! They picketed the White-colored House within the 2004 watercolor.

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2005 Watercolor – Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and our turkeys sprung into action saving others within the chaos. They can saved our player (within the yellow hat and red truck)! Over the image is really a photo of Gretchen painting turkeys in Florence, Italia taking art classes inside a studio overlooking the Duomo.

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2007 Watercolor – our interpretation of Norman Rockwell’s famous Thanksgiving dinner celebration. They’re eating a scrumptious platter of worms! Spot the picture on your wall from the player – now best buddies using the turkeys. (this is among many back tales)

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2009 Watercolor – the truly amazing world recession/depression of 2009 punched many of us within the gut, including our poultry buddies. The pencil sketch above taken the large idea so we made a decision to paint this watercolor in black and white-colored sepia tone to highlight the bleak conditions all of us faced in last years holiday.

What’s next? 2010 marks our 15th watercolor together so we proudly think back in a really good father/daughter tradition.  Gretchen now teaches art in a private grade school in Bellevue, Washington and that i operate my design and visualization business Leggitt Studio LLC. Existence is nice!

Search for other interesting articles on my small blog, visit this site and browse my new book Drawing Shortcuts Second Edition.


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