"I love the luminosity of watercolor. It's the same reason I was attracted to glass," Harms said.
Harms works almost exclusively from her own original photos, taken at her home garden and during her travels. The fawns lived in her backyard, where Harms has helped nurture a few orphans before delivering them to an animal sanctuary in Hillsboro that has named her an agent so that she can legally care for and transport wild animals.
Foxglove grows in her garden. Hummingbirds gather there, too. Harms recently hatched monarch butterflies in an aquarium at home; until their wings dry, the butterflies can be held and used for a variety of photographs. Harms then released them into the wild.
"Sometimes I Photoshop several images together," Harms said. That's how she composed the image she used for a hummingbird feeding at a flower.
"It's difficult to shoot a photo of a hummingbird where both the hummingbird and the background are in focus," Harms explained.
A photograph of her daughter, Genny, now 20, playing in a bubble bath when she was young became the subject of another painting. Her dog. Blue, takes center stage in yet another.
Mourning doves resting at a birdbath came from a photo Harms shot through her kitchen window. "My camera happened to be nearby," she said. Pigs in a painting called "Hog Wild" were photographed at a livestock show in Peoria, Ill. Honey bees working their hive were photographed at an exhibit at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
The paintings are quite detailed and Harms said that's by design - and after careful experience with the paint.
"You have to know what the paint is going to do in varying states of wetness," she said. "I love detail. What I had to learn to do is loosen up."
Harms already is thinking ahead to her next paintings. She plans a series on old Charleston buildings and another on food.
"I have some gorgeous photos I took of produce at the Capitol Market," she said.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.