Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"View From the Point" pastel painting

11 x 14 pastel on board

I finished this painting today.  This one was challenging for me.  Not only was it complicated, but I had to portray a sense of distance.  In the artsy world, this is called "atmospheric perspective".  As I painted, I would remember  the words of my instructors on how to do this.  In a nutshell, the farther away the objects, the less intense the colors are and they appear bluer and also less detail and contrast.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Travel stories, paintings, and meeting other artists while on a trip

When we travel, sometimes there is great subject matter to paint every where you turn.  There isn't enough time to paint everything you see, so we take many digital pictures that we can use for information in our studio paintings.  Here is one I am working on right now (about half done) - from a trip through Southern Utah last summer:

But sometimes in your travels, you are in a city or rural area with fences, or a resort surrounded by golf courses, and you don't know where to go to paint or take pictures.  I recently found myself in that situation and I contacted another artist blogger, Becky Joy, in Phoenix, Arizona before our trip there.  Becky is an accomplished and talented plein air oil painter, who I have followed for a year.  See her website at and take a look at her beautiful paintings. 

Becky was gracious and friendly when I contacted her.  We got together to paint in a scenic natural desert area on the outskirts of town that I would never have found.  I appreciated her taking the time to paint with me....and I couldn't resist purchasing a couple of her small oil paintings.

Now, we have another trip coming up.  We will be going to Oahu, Hawaii for a week.  Thank goodness for internet!  Almost all art organizations have websites.  I contacted the Hawaii Pastel Society, asking if there were any paint-outs during our stay.  The president/artist wrote back and invited me to paint with her group.  So, it will be another great trip, with comraderie of fellow artists!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A new painting almost will be called "Among the Rocks"

14 x 11 pastel on board

I started this painting with a watercolor underpainting.  I've been working on this for the last several days.  Trying to go slow and thoughtful.  I also do a few strokes of pastel and then step back about 10 feet frequently.  I am going to think about it and view it for a few days before putting on the final touches.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Show Results from the Sierra Pastel Society!!!!

"Koi Ripples" won Best of Show
 I have an announcement!  Two of my paintings won awards in the Sierra Pastel Society's Winter Show!  The judge was Craig Mitchell, a very distinguished and accomplished artist, whose work I admire.  I am sooooo flattered and humbled at the same time!

"Winter Meditation" won Award of Excellence in the Signature Status division
 Since I live quite a ways from the show location (Placerville, California), my friend, Kathy, sent me a clipping from the local paper in which some of the paintings (Koi Ripples included) were printed in color.  This is the first time I've had a painting printed in a newspaper!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the members of Sierra Pastel Society who do all the work putting on their shows.  It is because of these hard-working, "can-do" folks that make these shows happen for us all.  I only wish I lived close enough to help.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"The Gift" a pastel painting

This painting is not just another poinsetta painting for the holidays.  It is a reminder to me that life is a gift.  We must live life to the fullest, love to the deepest, and not take this time on earth for granted ... because it can be gone in an instant.

This painting is dedicated to a wonderful artist by the name of Reiko.  I did not know her well, but her watercolors were incredibly beautiful and her cheerful personality warmed the hearts of those in her presence, myself included.  She was a giving artist and shared her knowledge with her students.  I only wish I had gotten around to taking one of her classes.  She will be deeply missed  by many in the art community.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Re-working a painting - "Quiet Finale" pastel painting

The new re-worked version
 I painted this almost a year ago.  I posted it on (an on-line artist's community).  This is where you can ask for critiques and comments of other artists.  One artist gave a very good comment that I agreed with after she pointed it out.  So for months, I didn't know how I wanted to go about correcting it.

Today, I wanted to frame it to take it to the show, but I wanted to re-work the weak area pointed out to me.  It came to me how to accomplish it.  There are several methods of removing pastel, but the one that works for me is canned air with a tube in the nozzle.  I blew off the error (outside of the house!) and then re-applied pastel in a way that changed the foreground by eliminating too many rocks in a row with equadistance between them (very repetitious and boring).

So, here is the re-worked version, and I think the composition works much better.  So, I'll frame it now....