Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reconnecting With Home and Easel

Zion National Park

Recently my husband and I returned from a ten day vacation road trip to Zion National Park. I vaguely remembered the place from when we took our children there some 40 years ago. It was beautiful and inspiring. I was not a professional artist at the time. I noticed that I was seeing it now with a different pair of eyes, the artist's eyes. I was awestruck with the colors , light, shapes and patterns. I was consumed with its beauty and while still fresh in my mind, I wanted to start a large format painting which I did . It seems to me that the older I get, the harder it gets adjusting back to home life routine after being away and I came down with a bladder infection to boot, but nevertheless I did start the work.  I'm looking forward to its completion. Doesn't look like much now. Here it is.

Zion, Work in Progress

The support for this painting is a BFK Reeves white paper. I applied Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels which I tinted with orange acrylic paint. At this stage (first layer) I'm applying mostly Dick Blick pastels. Here is the reference photo for the scene.

It's good and comforting to be home again. I'm enjoying the beauty of where I live and it feels good to reconnect with the easel and home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Smells of Nature and A Piece of Sand Paper.

"Summer Morning Tahoe Basin", 12 x 16, Pastel on Canson Paper

I love the wilderness. I love lands unencumbered by man made structures. I get a feeling of connectedness to my spirit within. I am at peace, I am joyful, I am exhilarated.  I love being there, the smells, the sounds of nature abound. I am at home. 
I try to paint these feelings into work ( if you call it work). In the creative process of this painting it came to me to try a technique I enjoy doing from time to time. In this case I took a small piece of sand paper and selected a pastel of a color I wanted to gently integrate into part of the painting. I stroked the pastel stick on the sand paper to get the loose fragments. Then I laid the painting on a table, took a watercolor brush and the sand paper and gently brushed these fragments onto the painting.

In this case I chose a warm peach/pink pastel to integrate into the piece. To fix it in place so the fragments wouldn't fall off when I lifted the painting, I very gently sprayed the fixative down onto it holding the spray can about a foot above it. I allowed it to dry for some minutes before putting the work back on the easel to continue on with the painting.