Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Winter Meditation" pastel painting

I've been busy in the studio lately!

11 x 14 pastel on board
I just finished this painting today and it will go to a Sierra Pastel Society Show next week.  I may not have time to paint a second painting, but will try.  In the meantime, I have selected 2 other paintings I did in the last 2 years and will frame them to go. 

I have an announcement!  My painting "Watching the Stream" won Award of Excellence in last month's Sierra Pastel Society's Signature Show!  I am so astonished, as this was my first signature show and the competition is strong.  

"Watching the Stream"

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Melons and Silver" is done! Woo-hoo!

11 x 14 watercolor on 400lb Arches coldpress
 It feels so good to finally finish a project that had to be set aside for a long time...
Thank you Anne Abgott for a wonderful workshop and sharing your techniques.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Picking up where I left off...

It has been a year since I took the watercolor workshop from Anne Abgott.  It was a wonderful workshop.  The last day we had only half-day to start this painting.  We were all given color and black and white photographs to work from, and Anne gave a demonstration on painting the melons and the silver and cup.  None of us got much done, and I really wanted to finish this.  I re-read my notes from the workshop, and re-studied her book "Daring Color" to refresh my memory on her technique.  It is fun to do watercolor again!  And I'm enjoying working in my studio at my drafting table that was in storage for 4 years.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I can see colors on a cloudy day!

8 x 10 pastel on peach LaCarte plein air
 Today it was cloudy and overcast all day.  At first I thought it would make for boring scenery and lower my inspiration to paint - the sky casting a grey muted light over the landscape - making it seem grayer than it would be in bright sunlight and turquoise sky.  But once I set up and picked my scene, I was happy I could gaze at it longer than on a sunny day.  It was not blinding me.  No bright light was bouncing off the rocks, plants, leaves, soil - which obliterates the colors of these things.  The longer I gazed, the more richer the colors became.  It was one of those ah-ha moments.  I won't be discouraged by grey skies again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Inventing the sky

There were more "assignments" our teacher, Richard McKinley, gave us at a workshop a few years ago.  One was to paint the same painting with different lighting and atmosphere.  So, I did that here.  I looked at my field study from the other day of the desert buttes and invented a southwestern sunset sky.  This was fun.  I got to use colors from my pallette that are different from what I'm used to. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Painting from a plein air field study

8 x 10 pastel on pale olive green LaCarte
 The other day I painted out in the field, but wasn't happy with what I did.  I'm painting plants I am unfamiliar with, and experimenting with the pastels how to paint a "whispy" tree.  So today I did a new painting, using the other painting and my photo displayed on my laptop for reference.  Teachers have said this is a good thing to do - to paint from your sketches or field studies.  It really frees you up to experiment - I changed the format from portrait to landscape, I moved trees, rocks and the path.  I got the wispy tree better this time.  I think this painting is a little bit better, but I still see things here I could improve on.  I can see the benefit of this type of work.  I should do this more often.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hiking and painting in the desert

8 x 10 pastel on tan LaCarte
 This is a quick plein air of really neat desert park - Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ

Monday, November 7, 2011

A small and quick study of clouds in pastel

This little painting is 5 x 7 inches - about the size of a postcard.  I love the way clouds hang over the top of mountains.  Pastel is fun to work with while doing clouds.  You can get your fingers in it and smear it around, or tap it or push it into the paper.  I used peach colored LaCarte paper.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Plein Air field study - "Sonoran Fall" pastel painting

10 x 8 pastel on brown LaCarte
OK, I've spent way too much time on the house.  Now, back to painting with a capital "P"!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Per your is the decor I have been designing and making

Since you asked, Kira, here are some pictures:  I hope the painters out there following aren't thinking I have given up painting for home decor!  It is just a thing you do once in 10 or 20 years!

The professional drapes were the starting point

I made 3 small pillows with left-over fabric from the drapes

I made a cover for the comforter with discount fabric

I bought gold fabric for the back of this euro sham so I can turn it over when I want just gold
I got a wooden screen at an import store, painted it brown, then stapled fabric on the back
Now, the only thing missing in our room is a painting (or two) over the bed!!!!  Yes, that is on my agenda now!