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Friday, April 29, 2011

Checking In...

I made the deadline - totally moved out last week.  Then I literally collapsed!  I stayed in bed for 2 days!  At the end, items were odd shaped and didn't fit in my boxes with lids, so they were "unstackable".  So, these items ended up in our living room!  Ugh!  Yesterday I took these items up into the attic space in the garage (bumped my head about 5 times), so it looks more like a living room, and I have space to do yoga. 

I've been resting a lot all week, but reading art books and art magazines.  It is helping me get in the mood and excited about painting again.  Tomorrow's visit to the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California, to attend the awards reception for the Pastel USA show should REALLY get me excited to paint!  I am so looking forward to seeing the show and the fantastic works by outstanding artists!  (I still can't believe my little painting will be there with them!).

On Sunday we will start looking for another home - a middle-size home - with a room for me to paint!  Hurray!  A "studio"!!!   Then we will sell our little, cramped townhouse.  This time, the moving can be more gradual - without a big rush - especially since we need to have a few repairs done on the townhouse before we put it on the market.

The weather here has been a windy April month.  At times, gusts up to 50 mph.  This weekend it is supposed to warm up to 70 degrees.  My garden is starting to grow.  The dormant roses are starting to leaf out.  I fear two are dead - it was a harsh winter this year.  The hollyhocks are already taking off, showing promise of a good year of flowers.  So, by the time we put this townhouse up for sale, we should have a pretty backyard.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Upcoming Show! Pastels USA 25th Annual International Open Exhibition

As I meantioned in a previous post, my painting "Tawny Gold" was accepted in the Pastel Society of the West Coast's annual show.  In between packing and moving, I dropped my painting off for this show in Stockton, California.  What great timing - I saw my teacher and friend, Kim Lordier (, and my Hope Valley plein air workshop buddy Kathy Hall (  Kim and Kathy were headed up to Placerville where Kim was giving a demonstration at the Sierra Pastel Society's meeting.  I was sorry to not be able to attend because my hubby was waiting for me to come back and help him pack.

I am going to go to the reception.  I hope to take pictures and share them here on my blog.  What an experience!  I feel like a happy little fish in the big, big pond!

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Time Out" but "I'll be baaack!"

Just to let you know that I am taking some time out from art - for a very demanding reason!  We got an offer on our Truckee house!!!!  And they want to close in 14 DAYS!  Being that my husband has a JOB, that leaves me to be the one to run up there and pack, coordinate movers, packers and storage, professional cleaners, canceling all services, etc. etc. etc.  Whew!  Got lots to do here! 

See ya later....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Desert Lavender" - today's pastel

9 x 12 pastel on grey Canson
You may recognize this.  I did it in watercolor pencil not long ago.  I had a few hours today to paint and just grabbed the photo and a piece of paper....(my un-favorite paper) and figured I'd just practise.  Well, I'm pretty happy with it!  Maybe I'm finally making friends with this paper!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Damage control ... a disastrous start ...

"Mohawk Vista Meadow"  9 x 12 pastel on sanded paper
I began this painting on white Kitty Wallis.  This is about the 5th version of this painting.  Each painting I changed the scene a little to make it better, and I also painted on different kinds of papers.  So, after I penciled in my composition, I thought I would fix it with a workable fixative.  My can was getting low, but must have dried in the nozzle, and it only came out of the base of the nozzle.  So, I got a new can I have had about a year.  First, I forgot to shake it up.  Second, I forgot to test it out.  I just started spraying and OMG!  It too was clogged, but practically exploded from the base in a 360 degree fan of grey splatter!  All over my white kitty wallis paper!  I could not get the grey off my hands, so I knew water would not clean it off. 

What the heck, I let it dry and then proceeded to do a watercolor underpainting.  Here it is:

After that dried, I went on with pastel over, and especially went over the grey spots. 

All is well.  I still salvaged it! I guess I won't buy that brand of fixative again... 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Today's Drawing - "Granite Niche"

12 x 9 watercolor, watercolor pencils, wax colored pencils

On my babysitting days, I work on two things - drawings like the one above, and pencil studies of fairytale characters.  The latter is because I want to illustrate a book for little baby Whit.  I figure I have 3 years to do it!  I have never drawn fairies, elves, giants, princesses and the like.  In my research, I found books illustrated by Brian Froud.  His work is fantastic and so immaginative!  He has several books.  I bought one called The Goblins of Labyrinth.  I also checked out some books from the library and am teaching myself by copying other artist's work as best as I can.  Because of copyright infringement, I will not post these drawings.  Once I am comfortable with drawing these characters, I will create my own for my own book, which I will use a self-publishing software for printing books for yourself, not for sale.  I have to admit, I am having FUN drawing these things!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Working from a higher vantage point

I saw a picture of a plein air artist at work on the top of his car.  Yes, on top of his car.  He had built a special platform on the top of his car, climbs up there (he is young!), sets up his easle, and paints away!

I went to Washoe Lake with Casey today.  But the view from my chair is the same - sage brush all around.  So I put my chair in the bed of the truck and the view was much better!  You can see the lake and the sand dunes better.

Anyway, it was a great ride up in the mountains and a lovely, warm day!