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Monday, June 27, 2011

New Beginnings - the first things in my studio

I meant to post this several days ago, but my camera card reader died.  Here is the bare bones of my new studio!  Already I am filling the desk cabinet with art supplies and my favorite music CDs to listen to.  I'll post an update soon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moving and setting up house and art studio

Just to let you know that we are busy with moving into our new home.  I am excited to have a room for my art studio!  So far, I have an easel, chair, antique desk with hutch, and drafting table in the studio.  I'm cleaning up a taboret that I will fill with watercolor tubes and paints.  Pastels supplies will go in the antique desk. 

Will post a picture soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"The Peak" pastel painting at Crested Butte, Colorado

8 x 10 pastel on blue Strathmore pastel paper
 We drove out to Crested Butte today where we have another friend with a cabin.  I did this from the dining table in the cabin, since the wind was strong (and chilly) on the deck.  So, technically it is not a "en plein air" painting, but I would like to call it "en cabin air" painting!  Heck - it still was done live without photo!

If this looks like we are high up - we are!  I think the house is somewhere around 9,000 feet.  There are actually cabins and houses on the foreground and closest right and left hillsides, but I decided not to put them in.  This picture looks more blue than it really is - maybe the light was fading and it is on blue paper.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Telluride Spring" pastel painting

We drove about 3 hours from Moab, Utah, to Telluride, Colorado.  There we were invited into the beautiful home of friends of my husband.  Today they drove us to various lookout points and short hikes.  I must say, the snow capped peaks that surround the little village of Telluride are the most spectacular I've ever seen. 

Before going out to dinner tonight, I practised my "one-hour" painting and did this from the deck off of our guest room - this was the view!  I am giving this painting to them as a thank you for our stay and their wonderful hospitality.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Through the Arch" pastel painting

approx 8 x 10 pastel on peach LaCarte
We went to Canyonlands National Park in Utah.  This was my favorite spot - the Mesa Arch.  It is an arch on the edge of a cliff. 

Canyonlands is a huge area.  We only had time to drive out along the rim and view the canyon from various locations.  After a while, I got a little scared of heights, so my husband did most of the picture taking that day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dead Horse Point - State Park - Utah

Sorry, no paintings today - but here are some photos of Dead Horse Point - first, during the day, then, at sunset time.

Story has it that cowboys herded wild horses up here at the point and placed a wall of dead trees to keep them coralled.  They took the best horses first and left the rest, and they unfortunately died because they had no access to water.  Thus, the name.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Across the Plateau" pastel painting

3 1/2 x 10 pastel on peach LaCarte
After a lovely breakfast at our B&B, sitting outside in the garden, listening to the cooing of the doves, we went for a drive to see a state park called "Dead Horse Canyon".  More on that later....

We came back to our lovely B&B called the Sunflower Inn, and sat outside in the shady garden and had a picnic lunch.  After that Stan went to play golf and I went for a dip in the pool, and then did this little painting from the photo I took yesterday as we approached the "Windows" area of Arches National Park.  Can you see the little arch in the background?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I want to paint rocks!!!! Arches National Park

We saw so many amazing sights today.  Here is just one picture of a beautiful arch of stone.  For my friends from foreign countries - this is Arches National Park in the State of Utah.  This is an ancient area of sandstone that was sculpted by wind over the eons.

I will be painting - maybe from a photo displayed on my laptop - maybe I can do it tonight in our room after dinner.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"The Loneliest Highway" pastel sketch

5 x 7 sketch pastel on tan paper
Driving across the State of Nevada was not all that boring, in fact, it was really quite lovely.  You can travel at the speed of 70mph, wind up and down mountain ranges, and then cut across wide expanses of desert valleys where the road stretches out in front of you as straight as an arrow as far as the eye can see.  There is hardly any cars going each way.  You are out in the middle of nowhere and you have to have a full tank of gas because there are very few towns, and not even those will have a gas station.  It is nicknamed "the loneliest highway in America" because of it. 

Because of all the rain, snow, sleet, and cool weather we had in May, the scenery was very green for a desert.  I even saw Indian Paintbrush wildflowers and patches of purple flowering ground covering plants.  The grasses in some of the valleys brought out bands of wild horses we could see from our car - even little foals at the mares' sides.  I also saw wild antelope with their calves and one had twin calves at her side. 

Although this picture doesn't show it, many of the higher range peaks still had a frosting of snow on top.  One thing that is hard to paint well is the juniper trees that cover the hills and slopes.  Many are the size of large bushes, but some get as large as an oak tree.  Because the rainfall is limited, they are naturally spaced apart so as to not compete.  Thus, the hills are "dotted" with trees.  That is hard to paint well. 

While we were driving, all I could do is a 3 x 5 sketch with a pencil.  Then when we got to our destination I did this little pastel sketch from my drawing, using my memory to paint the color scheme.