Monday, January 30, 2012

Goings On In My Studio Today

Quick study that turns into the beginning of a painting

Right side up

In my class today we worked upside down standing on our heads. Oh did I said that that? I meant the canvas stood on its head. Thought I would pass along to you what we did. I like quick studies. They loosen me up, get me to paint with more creative strokes, and I don't get hung up on details. In today's case we are doing quick studies with a twist. We are painting with the canvas upside down working for 30 minutes total. In the case of the this image, we started the painting upside down with everyone using the image I provided. We taped the image to the wall some feet away from us so we could see it from a distance so as to get the big picture. We worked 10 min then turned both photo and painting  right side up and worked for another 10 min win the last ten upside down again. But let me start at  the beginning, we started with white Canson paper (9 x 12) which we toned up using pan pastels and what ever stick pastels we chose choosing our own colors. We worked fast with whatever strokes we wanted  using from 1-3 different colors, in my case I used red pan pastel then put  red and med to dark gray Terry Ludwig pastel sticks over it using the  broad side of the pastel. Once the paper was covered which took a minute or two we sprayed with fixative, let it dry then sprayed again to set it in (this will be  the background for the painting). Once dry, we prepared the setup putting another Canson sheet behind it to soften our strokes.  So what you see is the result of my work so far. Now, I will continue on at my leisure painting upside down and right side up until I'm finished. I find this is a good method for quick starting a painting.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Two Ads in One Month

Ad for website Artist's Rendezvous in the current issue of "American Artist".

"Eleanor Lake"

It just blows my mind that I never know who out there who sees my work.   Of course, I have to show it first. I remember I was working my shift at Timberline Gallery about a year ago and I was in an artistic funk or slump what ever you want to call it when a middle aged man came in carrying some of his paintings. He introduced himself , said he was newly retired and wanted to devote himself to art from now on. He said that he had been following me and my art on the web that he was inspired by my work and wanted to talk to me in person. As he was talking I could see in his eyes the glow of an aspiring artist so excited to start on this new venture. I saw myself in his eyes. I knew where he was at. We talked for about an hour and after he left , my thoughts went something like this.  I wished him much success and felt excited for him. I asked myself was it worth it for me. My answer came without hesitation.  I asked myself would I do it over again? Same answer. I try to remember when I get into an artist's funk about that day, and when I do I am charged up again. Now to go back to my easel.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Whole Picture

"Desert Seduction"

I created this painting for the Blick pastel ad as a loose rendering knowing only a
small portion of the painting would be used. I selected a small pallet of colors that appealed to me. It was a totally intuitive process.  Years of living and  painting in the high desert north of Los Angeles filled my memory bank with gorgeous scenes of spring when the desert comes alive with  amazing colors. Honestly, I don't think I spent more then a couple of hours creating this. It was like it was all planned out and waiting to be painted. I love it when this happens.

To see the ad go to the back cover of the current issue of "Pastel Journal".

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Something Bothered Me

Heron Lake Autumn, 20 x 30, pastel on Mi-Tientes Touch paper

Heron Lake Autumn (version a)

Look familiar? If you've been following my posts you'll know that I featured this painting not long ago. Well, it isn't exactly this painting because what you see is the updated version. As I came into my studio each morning I glanced at version A sitting on the easel and felt uncomfortable about it. This went on for about a week until I knew I had to do a little more work on it or so I thought. Anyway, I went ahead and put more sky in the water reflection lower far right hand corner. Also I enriched the darks with more color and lightened the darks of the far hillside across the lake. Also added rich deep magenta's to the center left. And lastly, I added another tree on the hilltop middle right side. I listened to my intuition as I worked not stopping until I felt satisfied. Living with it for a week or so I decided to call it done. I feel the composition is better and the colors more reflective of what I intended it to be. Scrubbing away, taking off layers of pastel is part of the game. It's very important for me to be at peace with my work. So if a painting isn't framed and out on exhibition, anything can happen. No, I don't make this a habit but on occasion it does happen. Looking back I realize that I declared it done too soon. Ah well, such is life with this artist.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paintings Faves of 2011

"It Started With Green, 15 x 20, Pastel on Linen Mat Board. (Painting from 2011)

Instead of starting off 2012 with my first new painting of the year and since I'm not ready to show a new one yet, I thought I would bring back some of my favorites from 2011.

"View From Sara Mountain", 16 x 20, Pastel on Canson Board.

"View From Rose Mountain", 16 x 29, Pastel on Canson Board.

"Moody Heron Pond Glow", 10 x 15, Pastel on Canson Paper.

"Morning Light Play II", 12 x 16, Pastel on Canson Paper.

"Autumn Chic At Heron Lake", 8 x 10, Pastel on Pastelbord.

That's it for now. Enjoy. Happy 2012. Here's to a year filled with many delights and  artistic truimphs. 

P.S. Oh yes, I did finish one in 2012. Here it is.

"Autumn Dazzle", 9 x 12, Pastel on Canson Paper.