Always be sure to do your own art too - it will change your life for the better!
Always be sure to do your own art too - it will change your life for the better!
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Nautical Ephemera

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Painting on old paper, on ‘ephemera’, is something I’ve been doing for a few years now. From envelopes and old cheques to yellowed old letterhead, postcards, and’s all fodder for my watercolour brushes.


This new series grew out of this long standing interest in old paper and the fact a friend was tossing some old navigation charts that were out of date. He knew I painted on ephemera and asked if I’d like to have them....I said ‘yes’. And the rest is history.


The series here follows my penchant for all things ephemera - and it takes those sentiments and wraps the actual paintings in a more clear thematic approach. All of these works have this nautical subject matter, and I think they work pretty well with the charts as background.


I do have to say that picking the subjects for each piece was a bit of a random process. Some, like the fishing plugs, is a topic I’ve explored before......and the big purple starfish is an ‘el grande’ version of a small piece I painted for one of my granddaughters a few months ago. I remember those bright purple starfish from coastal beach walks as a kid, and they have an enduring place in my memory. (There were orang-ish ones too as I recall)


To be honest, other subjects came from a lazy Google search of ‘nautical themes’, and from that mélange of photos and other imagery I pulled the ones that struck my fancy so to speak. That visual barrage inspired what I have painted in this series.


The lion fish, for example, is a kind of Frankenstein assemblage of old scientific illustrations, photos, and related artwork. By contrast, the lighthouses follow a more caricature approach than any actual photos or related artwork or even my vague childhood memories of BC coastal lighthouses.


This was a fun series to paint - and that always seems like a good place to start when I’m working on a collection like this. Maybe it’s the hippie in me to seek happiness, and this nautical series has brought me that. I hope, when you scroll through this work, you’ll see that joy come through.


Bon voyage!


All three of my Winter 2020-21 Collections (Nautical Ephemera; Feathers; and Story Paintings) will go live at 6:00am (PST) on Saturday, April 17, 2021 on my website at  

I hope you’ll stop by for a comfortable stroll through this new work.


Wayne Wilson, Kelowna, BC

April 2021

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