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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Detail Work on the Rogue Lion

Today was watercolor day with my friend, and I was so glad to get back to Mr. Lion. I removed the resist on the highlighted areas and then softened the edges. I then got into detail-mania! Mr. Lion just seemed to call for it. So I did subtle textures, shadows, scrapes on his face from fights, and the most difficult for me thus! Good Grief, this is tedius work. Kinda love-hate work. I love how it is coming out, but wow, do I need a break.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My first big art competition

"Down Into the Hoodoos" is done. Once you copy it to CD, mail it off to a competition, there is no changing it! So, this is done, and this is my final answer! I'm happy with it, and proud enough of it to enter it in my first major pastel competition. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Down Into the Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon

Well, here I am, down to the wire, four days to go...and, wait! It looks like I may have something to enter the Pastel Society of the West Coast's annual show. I picked a different view of the Hoodoos to paint. I'm painting for the first time ever on an Ampersand Pastel Bord (more expensive than papers). I started by enlarging the picture freehand on a sketchpad. Then transferring the linear design to the board. Next, I experimented with the local colors on my sketchbook design. The next step was to block in the underpainting with pastel. I now like to have different hues of colors in my underpainting - not monochromatic. Then, a brushed-on wash of turpenoid to dilute and spread around the pastel (like watercolor). Lately, I've been adding one more layer of darks, and a second turp wash. This is because my first attempt just doesn't get enough dark in the most important places. Lastly, I go at it with pastel. In this painting I'm working from top to bottom. I took a lot of pictures at each step. Now, again, I am at that point where I could get excited, rush, and MESS UP. So I forced myself to do something else. I'm going to put this aside until tomorrow to do the finishing touches, save it to disk, and send it on with my entry!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Lion and the Gazebo

I worked on two paintings today. Some finishing touches on the Gazebo, and some more work on the Rogue Lion. When I finish the lion, I will tell you about the real lion, the story behind this picture.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wish I could take a break in this Gazebo!

This painting is almost done. Usually when something is almost done, I start to hurry. Big mistake! I get sloppy, lose focus, etc. Time to take a break. I don't have this nice gazebo to sit and relax in, so I think I'll go shopping. No, I'm not into shoes. Something practical. Like a puppy pen fence to put outside for a play area for my bunnies while I paint outside (when it get warm again - last night it snowed a little!) When I come back, I'm going to work again on this painting. I'm afraid I'm going to have to clean up the gazebo structures. I'm terrible at freehand drawing when it comes to straight edges. You can't rest your hand on the work to steady your stroke! Pastel all over the hand and smudged work. There is a tool the old masters used - a stick with a leather ball at the end. But I think I'll resort to putting the work down on a table, using a ruler and a pastel pencil! Seems like a good idea to me anyway.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting Business-like

These last couple of days - I've done some business-related art stuff. I worked on making my business cards. Not that I have a business, yet...but I can give it to friends who forgot my blogsite. Also, while in the computer-creating-mode, I made another type of business card - to give to new horsemen/horsewomen I meet on the trails. I met a great couple a few weeks ago - and no one had a pen or paper. Out in the bright sunlight, I can't see the cellphone display to save a phone number....and I keep forgetting my number! Yeah, I know. My husband gets exasperated about it, too. Anyway, here are my new cards - minus the info I don't wish to share here...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Class Paint-Out

Margot's class this week was held at someone's home and garden - outside. What fun! What a wonderful garden. She could easily hold weddings and special events there, it was so pretty. I have one-hour's worth - an underpainting and just got started with the pastel overlay, and, time ran out. We enjoyed having a friendly critique on the porch of the lovely victorian house. Here are some pictures of the garden and my painting thus far.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Boulders Path

I painted for the first time outside under my "canopy". Being that its is green in color, I wondered how that would affect my color and value choices. Here is what I did. The paper is not salmon like I first thought. It is terra cotta. Here are the underpainting, showing the paper, and the "I guess it's done" painting. I consider this a learning experience!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My New Summer Studio

I got one of those pop-up canopies for our back patio this year. It is 10x10 and so much easier to have space for an easle and move around than a market umbrella, and tripping over the base. With a homeowners' association and rules, I think I can get away with this because it is basically a square umbrella and not attached to anything. So today I'm trying it out. I worked on my Boulders pastel yesterday afternoon, but I was unhappy with it. Maybe it was the light green paper. So I will try again with this salmon colored paper.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In Honor of My Tulips That Didn't Do Anything This Year!

Hey - I haven't painted since Thursday! What is going on? Well, I'll tell you...Spring has come to the high desert. I went riding on Saturday with a fellow horseman, to Washoe Lake. Today the garden called me to tend to it. My tulips are petering out. I think I'll move them to a sunnier spot. This watercolor was done in class a few years ago. Jan Foss of Incline Village (Lake Tahoe) teaches how to do lots of fun and beautiful flowers.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Boulders in Arizona - almost done

I didn't have time today to paint. So, I'm posting my almost-done work from yesterday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two Paintings Started

This is the underpainting for a pastel of the Boulders - similar to the watercolor painting I did while on vacation. I actually almost finished it today, but I could not photo it because I took our new little bunny to the vet for a well visit, but also to find out why she protects one back leg. It turns out she has a dislocated hip - perhaps an old injury - and she has learned how to compensate for it, but at times it must be painful. That's probably why she doesn't run around and do happy hops in the air.
This is a watercolor I started this morning with my watercolor painting buddy. Just blocking in shadows and contours and shapes in the background.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Orchard Valley

I tweeked, I brushed off some, I put more back on...I must have spent as much time adjusting today as I did painting the whole thing yesterday! But, when I sign it, I really am done. Well, almost. I did tweek it again after signing. But now I'm REALLY done!

Thank goodness for bunny breaks. When I think I'm getting carried away, overdoing one area, I go upstairs and pet bunnies. We adopted a lost bunny the other day, from someone at my husband's office who found the little Netherland Dwarf in her front yard a few days ago. Cuddly bunny! So calm and quiet, likes to be petted. That makes 3 bunnies now. But I think this one is going to be Stan's!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Progression of a Painting

I worked on my Orchard Valley painting today in pastel.

Here is a picture of the underpainting, and then the pastel over it. It might need some value or color adjustment, maybe some finishing touches, but I'm done for today! Last night the phone rang all night (my husband's turn for night-call) and I began to fade while doing this painting.

This painting was a different challenge for me - with no photographic reference, no on-location viewing - just mostly from my head. This leaves me with many decisions to make.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sketches and Studies

We are home now from our family vacation. It was fun, a little chaotic, but mostly a successful trip. Even the weather was better than the forecast, which we were delighted and grateful, so the toddlers could enjoy the pool and the beach a few days before it cooled down. All the way home (it is a long, long drive) I thought about what my next painting projects would be. I finally started to put my thoughts into action today, but, not as much as I wanted to. Getting home still means unpacking, laundry, watering plants, shopping....but I got started!!!! Tomorrow will be a more productive day.

Here is a watercolor sketch (study) and a value sketch of a valley full of blooming orchards. Since this is mostly from my head, I need to work out some things on paper. I am soooo affected by what is going on around me! Trees are starting to pop into bloom around here. And you have to look at them, because tomorrow the desert winds may blow the petals all off!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Eastertime always brings back memories of pretty dresses my mom would sew for me to go to church, pictures of us kids in our Easter dress-ups in the backyard, holding our easter baskets, and standing in front of the wisteria vine. How I loved that twisting vine with the long clusters of delicate lavender flowers, the soft hum of the honey bees visiting each bloom, the faint-sweet fragrance. I did this painting two years ago, but bring it out to share with you today!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Farmers Market Bouquet

Today I had a little time to paint, so I did one from a photo I took of a zinnia and sunflower bouquet I bought at the Farmers Market. Hope it brightens your day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Painting from a Kawaii Vacation

Originally, I was not going to share this painting, but, my daughter and I went to Disneyland today, so I didn't paint anything. Over a year ago, we went to Kawaii. What made this trip unusual was that my husband was recovering from a total hip replacement. He is really doing great with his new hip now. I even forget he had it done until I see the scar. Anyway, back to my Disneyland story: my daughter is 29 years old and this was our first trip to Disneyland together. I always wanted to go with my kids, living in California then, it was a typical family vacation. But, being a single mom with barely enough money getting by, it was not in the cards for me. Their dad, however, must have taken them on three occasions while they were kids (Disneyland Dad). My daughter went later with girlfriends and college friends. She knows how to "do" Disneyland. So she was my tourguide. We got there when it opened, made a beeline for the most popular rides and got those fastpasses, and we did it all before 1:00. We had hardly any line waiting, and had lunch at 11:00 and missed crowds there. It was awsome. I figure it was over 30 years since I was there last. It was a very special mom/daughter day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Boulders, Arizona

I brought some photographic references with me on this family trip, so I could grab an unplanned moment and paint a little, most likely from our room or balcony. So this is the one I chose. This is the Boulders, which is near Scottsdale, AZ. A few years ago we were guests of friends who have a second home on the golf course. I just loved the rocks and boulders and how they seem to have been piled and balanced on top of each other by a magical power of some kind.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yellow Roses

I've had a few snippets of time to paint, and I'm almost done with a little watercolor, but I'd like to finalize it tomorrow before posting it. So, in the meantime, I'll share another little painting that was in my travel sketch book - these yellow roses, done about a year ago.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another Great Day at the Beach

As I said last post, I'm finding it hard to paint with family vacation chaos going on. I did bring my mini watercolor travel book and some paints. This painting was in there - I actually did it a few years ago when we were here in Newport Beach. So, I'm posting it! It is another fabulous day and we will probably go to the pool today with the family. Last night I was "cook" for the masses. I made a spaghetti feed (in two rounds). Something about spending the day at the beach makes you really hungry!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Exotic Flower - Proteus

We are on a family vacation in Southern California for a week. I do not expect to do any artwork. There are two little toddlers, and six adult (kid) couples - all trying to go to the beach or pool and do family meals with us! The weather today was gorgeous! We enjoyed the beach today. So, I will have to post an old painting on file. This is an older pastel painting, done in class in 2007. I was trying a gessoed illustration board. No grit except for the brush texture. I used pastel pensil almost entirely. I then went back with a scratch tool and scratched the little hairs on the petals and stamens. It was very tight work, but I was on a mission to go for detail.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Cottage

Last Wednesday, I did this in Margot's class. This is a funny little cottage I saw in Southern California. I'm not very experienced with architectural subject matter, but I do practice it now and then for a departure from natural landscapes. It certainly exposes your boo boos and inacuracies! But I had fun with it anyway - this was the first time I tried windows, blinds, and, not very succesfully, shingles. *?##!!! Back to the drawing board...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Addendum to Terri's Workshop

I previously told you that I started one more painting at the end of Terri's workshop. Since the underpainting is so different from the painting, I'm including it here. I just started putting pastel over the top third.

Now, here is the finished painting. This is the first time I took a picture of a painting and it came out quite different than the original, both in flash and in natural light. Oh, get the idea.

This lovely location is Bryce Canyon. In early morning or late afternoon lighting, the "hoodoos" (rocky spires) take on a lovely glow of reds, oranges and golds. I love that word "hoodoo". There are trails you can walk down into and among the hoodoos in the canyon. It is really impressive.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Terri Ford's Workshop - Day Two

On day two, I chose still water for my challenge. I got some helpful hints on this, as well as keeping a loose impressionistic style. This lovely little bridge and pond are at Big Springs Gardens, near Sierra City. I still had time to start another painting, but I haven't finished it, so I will post on it later. The whole three-day workshop event was fantastic and got my creative juices flowing. In fact, I couldn't sleep well because I kept thinking of what I wanted to paint next!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Terri's Workshop - Day One

The following day, Terri Ford gave a two-day pastel painting workshop. Her demo was of an ocean rocky beachscape, using a white sanded surface paper and underpainting in reds and purples and pinks. After you pastel paint over it in the real colors, the little bits of underpainting colors glow through and give an exciting punch to the painting.

We all brought our own photos to work from, and I chose some aspen trees in fall colors. Here is my painting. It was very exciting (and also a bit confusing at first) to paint over all the fuchsia and red and orange colors I underpainted with. Terri showed me a really neat trick how to do twigs without drawing them, and they come out very natural looking. I'll be using that trick from now on!