Wedding photographer in Raleigh, NC

Last month I shot my brother’s wedding in Denver, CO…

…the most stressful event I have shot in years, not due to number of guests, crazy bridal consultants (or bride’s mothers), but because it was my brother’s wedding.  No pressure, right?

Denver is sunny 360 days of the year (so the saying goes).

Well, it was not sunny the three days I was in Denver.

Instead, it rained.  And snowed.  And was overcast.  Yuck.

Kim, my brother’s fiancee, wanted to shoot the wedding photographs at a nearby park.  And I did too.   But it is hard to smile when you are really, really cold.

We did take a few photographs outside,

(notice the rain/snow against my brother’s tux?)

but, it was not comfortable.  And Kim’s dress wasn’t long enough to keep her warm for long.

So, we ended up shooting the majority of the photographs indoors, in the hallway of the apartment complex where they were married, with all the mixed lighting sources (photographers love places with multiple lighting sources- it makes color correcting a breeze 🙁 ).

Rob and Kim’s ceremony was beautiful and intimate.  The reception was great and I enjoyed meeting their friends.  (Our mother watching the ceremony)

Congratulations Kim and Rob.

As a side note- our parents were in the same room and behaved well.



(919) 645-8345


John Salminen workshop- Watercolor Society of North Carolina

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a workshop taught by John Salminen– one of the best watercolorists in the world.  His solo exhibitions and awards speak for the impact and popularity of his watercolor paintings

The workshop was in conjunction with  WSNC (Watercolor Society of North Carolina). John was the juror for the 67th Annual Exhibition at the Arts of the Albemarle in beautiful Elizabeth City, NC.

A slideshow of the exhibition can be viewed here.

I luckily, had a painting accepted into the watercolor show.  This year,  two of my favorite watercolor artists accepted my work into national shows- John Salminen, and Paul Jackson.

That should make me feel accomplished, right?

Well, after watching John demo a watercolor painting, I felt the opposite.

I was schooled.

It was great.

John Salminen watercolor workshop


John Salminen watercolor demonstration


As you can see above, John created a painting based on a value sketch in his sketchbook.

Unlike many watecolor artists, John creates a hi-contrast painting with a broad range of darks and lights.   Just look at his website for further examples.

His watercolors, when viewed from a distance, look like acrylic or oil paintings.  Watercolor is a medium known for it’s, unfortunately, sketching capabilities.   While oil and acrylic command higher prices in galleries, watercolor lags behind.

Intriguing, since watercolor is one of the most difficult painting mediums to master.

Detail of John Salminen giclee close-up

Internet photographs of John’s work do not do his paintings justice.  This is a detail shot of a giclee fine art proof showing how John creates representational shapes out of abstracted shapes.

Detail of John Salminen giclee close-up 2


John Salminen giclee close-up 3


John composes his pieces with a strong sense of values, color, and off-the-wall painting instruments such as the mouth atomizer, & Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  It’s not my place to tell you how he uses them- but they work.

John’s wife, Kathy,  so graciously captured this photo of John and I on the last day of the workshop.

John’s work can be viewed on his website and he offers instructional videos at ccp://

Additionally, another great NC painter Eng Pua added a link to the workshop via his blog.  Eng was kind enough to take photographs of the attendees’ paintings during the final critique.  Those images can be viewed here.

I’m still working on my painting- should be done next year 🙂


(919) 645-8345







Complementary color scheme in watercolours

Recently, I have been working on a series of watercolour paintings of the Moai heads on Easter Island, Chile.  my wife and I visited the island on our honeymoon (I know, not the most romantic place- but we continued onward to tropical Tahiti).

We stayed on Easter Island for five days, and loved it.  We visited the ruins at sunrise, sunset, saw a white scorpion, ate at a restaurant run by the Easter Island version of Pauly Shore, and (potentially) saw a UFO.

As an artist, and an artist who has been painting a short time, my goat is to create fresh, and different looking paintings every time I touch my brushes.  Monochromatic color schemes, hi-key, low-key, poured paint, mouth atomizers- the possibilities are endless.  I often look through books and magazines, facebook, or flickr to get ideas for color schemes and styles too.

Somehow, I decided my next painting would be a limited palette piece of complementary colors.  I am partial to blue, so orange would be my complement.

Unfortunately, I suck at making orange!  Not sure why.  Probably because it is a color I do not use much.

To plan my colors, I created a color chart of different Winsor Newton blues in my collection.  A few of these colors are standards on my palette:  Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean, and Cobalt Blue.  Winsor Blue (Green shade) and Indranthrene Blue are colors I rarely use, but I included them anyways.

For my orange selection, I decided to use Naples Yellow, a paint I NEVER use- too opaque for my tastes.  Naples Yellow, when used in light washes, appears yellowish, but when applied thickly has more of a yellow-orange appearance.

Naples Yellow is a color that looks different fresh out-of-the-tube in contrast to dry on a painting.  When squeezed from a tube, it is a pale yellow.  On a painting, it takes a yellow-orange cast.

The chart at the top shows my blues surrounded by a field of Naples Yellow.  Based on the outcome, I selected indanthrene blue to be it’s complement.

Where the silhouette of the Moai appeared in the sky, I decided to use swatches of Indian Yellow in the preliminary sketch at the bottom.

Below is the (mostly) finished 14×20″ piece, based on my watercolor studies:

This is a quick photograph I shot this evening-there is a hot spot from the overhead light.  Otherwise, the blue sky remains the same value throughout.

I am happy with this watercolor painting.  I have never worked in a style this graphic, and am now reminded of works by Jonathan Frank.

My travel photography collection can be viewed online at:

My paintings can be found on facebook,  and my website.

Lately, I have been experimenting with YUPO.  And I love it.  I’ll post those pieces soon.

Happy painting


Ryan Fox

(919) 645-8345






Illinois Watercolor Society exhibition- Small Waters 2012

A few months ago I entered a small watercolor in the Small Waters Exhibition sponsored by the Illinois Watercolor Society.   As luck would have it, my piece was accepted by juror Suzanne Hetzel, PWS, IWS, LWS.

The painting I entered is an architectural study of the Nyatapola Temple in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bhaktapur.  Bhaktapur is a gorgeous town near the city of Kathmandu, and the Nyatapola temple is the largest temple in the Kathmandu valley.

(Painting of temple in the Kathmandu Valley city of Bhaktapur)


In this painting, I used several photographs and combined elements to create the background and foreground buildings.  My palette consisted of raw sienna, ultramarine blue, and touches of additional yellows.  Salt was added in various areas for a weathered look.

The  other paintings in the show can be viewed online too (currently unavailable) .  I was really happy to see the work online since I will be unable to attend the reception.  For some reason (United cancelling flight, brother getting married on short notice, etc.)  I have not been able to attend any of the receptions where my work has been hung.

Perhaps next year.



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2012 WSNC Annual Exhibition Events and Workshop

The 67th Annual exhibition of WSNC (Watercolor Society of North Carolina-for those who can’t read the big postcard pictured above) will take place in early October in Elizabeth City.  I joined the organization last year to meet local watercolor artists and network.  I wanted to get into the yearly exhibition too!

As luck would have it, my piece was accepted. I am not going to show you the painting because I want you to drive to the exhibition with your wallet.  legally, you have to do this anyways.   I might know a beautiful lighthouse painting once purchased would look great on your walls….

Juried by the incredibly talented John Salminen,  I was honored he chose my work.  John’s style is the opposite of mine- controlled, planned, and detailed.  That’s why I am so excited to be attending his workshop the following week too.  Fellow NC painter Dick Wayne told me John is a great teacher.

However, I guess John likes to paint full sheet, and have his students do the same.  I’m terrified- I have never had the time to paint full-sheet (two young children limit my nightly painting sessions).

The watercolor show runs from October 7th- November 26th.  Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the reception due to a family wedding in Denver, but will get a chance to view the paintings on the 8th.

Hope you can make the show!


Ryan Fox

(919) 645-8345