Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pears on Sateen - Finished


Pears on Sateen 12" x 18"

Close up of strokes


This was a hard one to photograph..in person the colors are warm and rich. I might be having trouble with the photograph because it is bigger than most pieces I photo..
I'm on to my next project and having a great time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two finished, critiqued, tweaked and photo'd

"With a Twist" 8 x 10 Pastel on Sanded Board

" Sunny Wall in Mexico" 11 x 14 Pastel on sanded board

Done, fini, moving on.......they will be my entries for our largest Arts Council's "Artist's Choice" Exhibit. If the pieces are accepted they will be hung at the beautiful Lakewood Cultural Center.
The jurying is on May 16th.

Two years ago I won Best in Show, last year had all 4 of my pieces accepted. What will happen this year? (I forgot to mention my first year of entering, my entries were rejected ;-)

Monday, April 27, 2009


I just was notified yesterday that my colored pencil painting, "Pepper, Pot & Red Onions" won a Merit Award at the LAC Containers Exhibit. I was very pleased as it's been a long time since I have exhibited anything or won an award. Maybe things are looking up?
Maybe I'm not being fair to myself...I really haven't been focusing on exhibits for awhile. I have been focused on learning about Light and Shadow painting from my pastel instructor, Deb Bays.
This piece was the first one that I tried applying the concepts to colored pencil painting. The juror said she loved the darks and the rich color. So I must be learning something!!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pastel Class Project - Still a Project!

As I unpacked my still life objects yesterday, I was greeted with a sprouting onion. I guess it liked the dark box of plastic peanuts in which it was being stored inbetween classes.

So I had to break off the sprouting parts and paint it yesterday. My plan was to finish the vase, but the onion had other plans! Now I will have to find one of the same color so I can substitute it in the set-up and see how the orange light from it will "inform" the other objects in the painting.

Next class I will still have to finish the pattern of the vase and fix the symmetry of the two sides. I haven't done anything with the blue cobalt perfume bottle as yet.

What I'm finding is I'm solving problems with this painting. I am able to paint at home now using the information I have been gathering and practicing.





Pears on Sateen
Here is another piece I am working on at home. It's 12" x 18" which is really large for me. All my colored pencil pieces are quite small in comparison. It's a simple composition. As you can see there are only two pears, not the traditional three.

I did feel that the turquoise sateen is really the third element or object and therefore provides some balance for the "two" pears. I'm still experimenting with my "stroke-y" texture, and am starting to feel some ease and joy in painting this way. As Deb says, "Follow this path and see where it takes you."

I will take some close-ups of the strokes when I finish this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

With a Twist - Work in Progress

This piece started as a colored pencil piece but I soon got bored with it and put it away. So it has now become a pastel piece. It is 8" x 10" on Ampersand Pastelbord, with Nu Pastels.

The board has been completely covered except for the glass which will mostly be just reflections. Once the glass is finished, I will tweak the values on the orange and work some edges, softening some and clarifying others.

And yes, the glass stem has a twist in it!

With a Twist 8" x 10" Pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunny Wall in Mexico - Update


I worked on this today and I just have a little bit more work to do. The palm plant on the left still needs to be finished and then just some fine tuning.
The chair was a problem and it finally has taken it's proper place.....not the focal point, which allows the main flowering bush to be the center of interest.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Digging out the unfinished work!

I started this in August '08 and lost interest because I couldn't quite figure out the lights and shadows and what to do with them. But I'm back working on it today and feel confident that I will be able to finish it in a couple more days.

I've posted the two most recent pics of the work in progress so you can see what I have done.

One of the things I have learned in my pastel class is when the light source is warm the shadow areas are a cooler temperature (blues, purples, and some greens). So I have added purple, some cool dark grey, and black to the shadow areas.

I also wanted to push the left side of the foliage back behind the bush on the right....so to do that I need to cool them down and soften the edges. Then when I work on the bush I can brighten it up and tighten the edges and it should just pop off the page....well, we hope ;-)

The pots were a big source of frustration for me before but I now understand shadows and light a bit better, and was able to get them pretty close to completion.

The chair is also roughed in and probably will not be detailed much more as it's only purpose to be in the painting is to explain the shadow on the floor.

The above pic is from August 08


This is from today.... stay tuned and I promise I will finish it within the week.

From my pastel class here is the update on my "Cobalt Blue Perfume Bottle". Working on the blue hues and the ellipses of the vase.....I HATE ellipses.


And lastly, here are two new fiber art ACEO's. My lovely sister-in-law bought two from last week's post! Thanks!!


"Crimson" Fiber Art ACEO

"Spirits" Fiber Art ACEO - uses a vintage silver and turqouise earring.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Putting it Together....bit by bit...

The title of this post is a song from Barbra Streisand's Broadway album....I had this years ago and absolutely loved this song.

Yesterday was a wonderful pastel class. Deb did a demo on painting clusters of things without painting each individual thing.....she used a cluster of grapes, but it could be lilacs or other such florals that would send one off in a straight jacket if you had to paint each individual flower. It was so informative to see her work.

My head is always spinning when I get home.....there is a basket of chocolate at the studio and I take a couple of pieces to eat on the way home so I pay attention to the road ;-) Otherwise, I'd have one of those out-of-body drive home experiences...you know, where you can't remember any of the landmarks...you're just home and you don't know how you got there.

I started working on the vase yesterday and making some adjustments to the background. The blue on the vase is not quite "blue" enough yet...I will need to get some purple in it as it should be the same color as the cobalt blue bottle.

A few more weeks on the vase and then moving on to the onion and the cobalt blue bottle. I'm going to have to really get in gear as there is a chance we will be doing a student show this summer. I'd like to have more than one painting to show.

Cobalt Blue Bottle 12 x 16" pastel on Wallis paper

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Off to pastel class in about an hour...thought we were going to have a big snowstorm, but it didn't materialize...at least not yet.

I'm working on finding some studio space for the summer...and sounds like I have found it. I will be painting in the Lakewood Arts Council classroom space. Woohoo! I just don't have room for painting in my house with all the dust that pastel generates. Not to mention it would have to compete for fiber art and colored pencil drawing space. There are some advantages to having a small house, studio space is not one of them.

This week I have been concentrating on putting some new smaller (i.e. more affordable) items in my markets.


Sea Foam 2.5" x 3.5"

Detail on "Dancing" 2.5" x 3.5"

Detail on "Meadow" 2.5" x 3.5"

These are so fun to make, using bits of yarn, some funky buttons, decorative threads, beads (I love beads!), coins, and wire mounted on acid-free foam core board.
You can find these at my Littleton Studio shops at 1000Markets and Etsy.