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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visit to Joan's Garden

A couple of weeks ago I bought peonies from a lady selling them from her front gate.  I noticed how beautiful her garden was and said I'd love to paint her garden.  She gave me an open invitation to visit and paint.  So, today, I had a few hours in the morning (before it gets in the 90's) and I went by.  No one was at home, so I set up across the street and painted the little gate.  I left my card asking if I could come by next week.  Here is the little painting I did today - "The Rose Trellis Gate".  It is almost done.  I will touch it up later.

Also, here is the "High Sierra Meadow" after I touched it up. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

High Sierra Meadow - pastel painting

This afternoon it was in the 90's, so I decided to paint at home in the backyard from photographs I had taken.  I need to keep practising alpine landscapes because that is where we will be and what we will be painting in September in the workshop.

This painting is almost done.  I ran out of light outside.  It was one of those wonderful summer nights where you can sit outside and listen to the sounds of night, in shorts and t-shirt, and feel comfortable.  Fortunately - no bugs and no mosquitos!!!!  Just a lovely night.

This is how I started the painting.  The paper is a light green La Carte.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Pink Peony" in pastel

On the way home from a local farmer's market, a lady was sitting outside her gate, selling her home-grown peonies.  I bought a bunch and took many photographs for future paintings.  Today, before they wilted, I painted one of them in their vase, in pastel, in my backyard.  Two of my bunnies were outside with me.  Now and then while I stood at my easle, I felt a tickle on my ankle.  Just bunny wiskers - saying "hello"!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rock Flowers - pastel done "en plein house"!!!!!

A couple of days ago my husband and I drove up to the Truckee house for a few hours.  It was cold!!!!  Coming from Reno desert heat - wearing shorts and flip-flops!  And I had packed and stored all my clothes.  All I had to keep warm in the cold house was a bathrobe to wear over my clothes!!!!  How silly is that?  I brought my mini pastel kit, and sat by the window and looked outside.  The mule's ears are in bloom.  So this is a painting done en plein air - but in the house!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Day at Lake Tahoe with my Mom and Sister and Niece

We took Mom on an outing to what we locals call "The Lake".  There is a lovely state park there with wheelchair access, sandy beach, picnic areas.  While we sat at the water's edge on the beach of "Sand Harbour" at Incline, Lake Tahoe, I did a little pastel painting.  It was a lovely day and Mom enjoyed it thoroughly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Fiddleheads and Ferns" pastel painting

I finished this today.  It sure looks different in the photo than in person.  I think it looks grainy here.  Oh, well. 

Now, I need to decide what to do next....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Continuing with the ferns

I am working on Canson paper, on the smooth side.  I'm also working with hard pastels and working on a table instead of an easle, doing light cross-hatching and other such strokes.  It is a slower method, but as long as I'm in no rush, and enjoying working outside on the patio, listening to the birds and seeing them visit the birdfeeder - who cares?

Summer!  So many things to do and enjoy:  yardwork, riding my horse, taking my Mom on outings, barbeques, eating meals outside, buying berries and peaches at the farmer's market....are you enjoying summer too?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ferns and Fiddleheads and then some Fiber

This is another painting I'm starting in greyscale.  Actually, the paper is grey, so I'm using black pastel (a color I never use!!!).  Tomorrow I will paint color over it.

I have exciting news - my daughter is expecting her first child (my first grandchild!).  So, now my art-time is divided between painting and fiber.  Time for show and tell:

I'm working on a baby blanket with little sheep on it.  The sheep yarn is my own handspun from sheep's wool, alpaca and Miss Lucky bunny yarn.

I also took some Miss Lucky yarn and dyed it in koolaide.

Then I made a baby hat!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Meadow

We have nice, summer weather now, but we have windy days.  Just too windy for me to paint outside.  I'm back to working in pastel exclusively now, so that I can be ready for a workshop in the mountains.  The instructor (Richard McKinley) has a Pastel Pointers Blog each week.  I printed many of them.  I thought I would practise what he preaches!  So today's work, I started with a grey scale painting first.  Then I matched the colors to the values and went over the painting in the matching values in color, and voila!  I retained the values while in color!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting back into pastel, but playing with it today

I'm still working on the watercolor, but made myself bring out my pastels.  I will be taking a workshop from Richard McKinley in September, so I better get back to work.

But this abstract thing I've been into lately is very relaxing and brings out my intuition.  So, for the first time with pastels, I did not have a photographic reference, I did not have a plan, I just started picking out attractive colors and putting them on white strathmore pastel paper.  You cannot put water on this paper, so I used a piece of foam to rub the first layer of color into the texture of the paper. 

After looking at it for a while, the closest thing it looked like was a flower garden.  So I started putting in cobblestone and rock and flower shapes.  Totally from my head, and using the shapes already on the paper.

I am certainly not an abstract painter, but this is fun attempting to do it.  What is that logo or saying?  "Just do it!"  Maybe Nike.