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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Rocky Cove" a new pastel

9 x 12 pastel "Rocky Coast"

Yep, I'm cranking them out lately!  Gotta meet deadlines to send in entries to juried shows coming up!  In case you are wondering what that purple is doing up there....that is the iceplant in bloom in Monterey, California.  If you don't believe me, here is a photo taken of an entire seacliff all in bloom!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Diver's Cove - a new pastel

11 x 14 pastel

I just finished this painting.  Now I want to swim over and investigate that cave!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Can't get enough of this scene!

Coastal Trail - pastel - 11 x 14

I just finished a pastel version of the watercolor painting I hung over the fireplace.  I just love this scene and the composition.  Sometimes you hit on something that you just love and you find other ways to paint the same subject.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Upcoming Show - International Association of Pastel Societies

Living on the Ledge
Desert Boulders

I am thrilled to announce that my two paintings, "Living on the Ledge" and "Desert Boulders" were accepted into the IAPS Twentieth Juried Exhibition.  The show will be hung at The City of Brea Art Gallery, 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, CA  92821.  714-990-7731.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Plein Air Painting at a Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Place

"Pond of Memories" 8 x 10 oil

I just got back from a fantastic plein air painting workshop with Randall Sexton at La Rusticana Vineyard in Los Gatos, California.  I tried my hand at oil painting and really enjoyed it!

I really appreciated that Randy noticed immediately one of my weaknesses - too much detail too soon - I need to squint more and get the whole value shape in first.  He showed me how to blend the shadowed areas with oil paint to tone down my nit-picky detail and have a more impressionistic style (which is what I really want anyway!)  I also learned some ways to start an oil painting and how to make changes in this wet medium.

"Morning at the Gate" 10 x 8 oil
Our host and hostess, the owners of the property, spent 20 years developing this fabulous Tuscan-style Vineyard and gardens in the hillsides.  Originally, there was nothing but a dirt road and a few old shacks.  They brought garden sculptures and fountains from Europe and have little gardens, ponds, rock pathways and arbors and flowers everywhere you turn.  You could paint there for years and not run out of subject matter.  Then, to top it off, they served gourmet luncheons made by Chef Franca Coletta, and samples of their wine every day for us!  There was not one up-tight or nervous painter there!!!  It was like dying and going to artist's heaven.

"Sculpture of a Hunting Dog" 10 x 8 oil
If anyone is interested, they still have some space available at the next 3 workshops coming up.  Last I heard, La Rusticana Vineyard's website server was down, but you can contact their assistant at

Monday, June 11, 2012

My painting above the fireplace

Well, here it is - my painting matted and framed and hanging above the fireplace in our living room.

My sister from New York just visited us for a few days and noticed!  And I said - yeah, remember last time you were here a poster was in that frame and was lying sideways on the mantel and you wondered why.....

I am my own worst critic, but I am very happy with this painting and enjoy looking at it every day!  Hubby does too!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A home-made wet painting carrier for plein air

I am getting ready to go to a plein air painting workshop.  I am going to paint in oil with the rest of them.  When painting in pastel, you don't have to worry about bringing home a wet painting, but now I do!  Especially when you do plein air and paint more than one painting in one day.

An art teacher and friend of mine, Marilyn Rose, showed me her home-made invention in the back of her car - she used many narrow stationery (writing paper) boxes and taped them together and opened the end so she could slide her painted panels in and they could lie flat and not touch anything.

Well, I just happened to shop at Costco (for my friends around the world, that is a big warehouse store) and got boxes of ziploc bags in large and small.  The box for these were PERFECT for my 8x10 and 9x12 panels!  I cut shelves out of strong cardboard and glued them in place.

So now, I'm ready for action!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oil painting - again - after thirty-something years!

I didn't find a pastel plein air workshop this summer that I could attend, so I thought I'd try something else this summer!  I am going to do an OIL PAINTING plein air workshop with Randall Sexton.  It is going to be in Los Gatos, California, at a winery that has a Tuscan style architecture.  We will get served a gourmet lunch by the winery chef each day!!!!  (...and maybe a little wine?...something to relax the artists so they can get in the "zone"?)

The workshop is open to all mediums, so I will bring my pastels.  But I thought - what the heck?  Randy is a fabulous oil painter and I admire his work.  When else will I get the chance to learn from him?  And, I used to LOVE painting in oil.  The only reason I stopped was that I was having babies.

So I ordered some paints and medium, went through my old brushes and my grandmother's brushes I inherited, and put together my old french easel.  Today I practiced mixing colors and I will bring this board with me to remind me how I got certain colors.

This will be FUN!  Added to that, I will be staying at my girlfriend's house and I haven't seen her in several years.

Here is Randy's link if you are interested:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A new plein air painting friend

I recently connected with another local artist who is interested as much as I am in plein air painting and getting better.  Here is a painting from our second outing.  Both of us feel a little rusty and the first painting from that outing was not something I wanted to post.  But I'll share this one.

It is of peonies, orange poppies, and a silver colored "Lambs Ears" plant in front.  We enjoyed the Arboretum and the plants that were in bloom and we will go there again to paint.  Lots of big, shady trees to paint under and keep cool from the sudden summer heat.