Sunday, February 19, 2012

Something Wonderful Happens

"Wild Preserve Tahoe Basin"
11 x 15, Pastel on Canson paper

There is something wonderful that happens to me on a bright, beautiful, clear summer day when the weather is perfect and I'm in a place of beauty. My inspiration for this painting came from an area of Lake Tahoe in Northern California known as Lucky Balwin Beach, while not a wild preserve it is part of the public lands around Lake Tahoe now owned by the USDA forest service. This was once part of the Baldwin estate . Btw, Elias Jackson known as "Lucky Baldwin" was a businessman and investor in the 1800s but best known as a racehorse owner and breeder and a wild kind of guy. 

Lip of the Lucky Baldwin Beach and land beyond.

Land bordering the beach.

My painting process:
First premise is that this "something wonderful" I referred to at the beginning translates into an overwhelming inspiration to paint what I see and how I feel about the scene. Then once  home in my studio with my reference paintings in hand, I begin the actual process. Once the first layer was done, I integrated pastel and Prismacolor pencils along with the pastel sticks. I used fixitive throughout the painting process in order to give the surface more tooth to grab and hold the next payer of pastels. The paper support which in this case was from the new Canson pastel 12" x 16" pad of gray tones really takes a beating and allows me to apply many layers so long as I use fixative in between. I painted this over a period of about four days from about and 10 minutes to an hour or two at a time depending on when my schedule permitted. The breaks between sessions allowed me to process the painting in between so I have a fresh perspective each time I return to the easel. Then I made adjustments and continued on. I worked until I got a feeling of peace and completeness about the painting and called it DONE.


  1. Lovely! I always enjoy your art work and your comments.

  2. Thank you, that means a lot to me.