Friday, December 6, 2013

The Possibilites of Using two pastel sticks

"Shadow Intrigue" 8 x 11, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.
(Painting done with a limited pallet but with more than two sticks, see below for two stick paintings).
Yipppeeee I am able to post a blog after a frustrating time getting my images to upload so I have some catching up to do. Class is well under way. We have been studying values and gradations of pastels by limitting our pallets to two sticks in order to see how many values can be created under such limiting circumstances and how we can acheive these values by the amount of pressure we put on our pastels. I used my fingers, kneadable eraser, pipe insulation and cortillan pencil among other blending tools to acheive the various values and color blends.

 Limited pallet paintings from my demos in class 
Limited Pallet, 8 x 11, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.
For this painting I chose pink and blue.
At The Edge, 8 x 11, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.
For this complimentary themed painting, I chose a  violet and yellow stick.
Untuitled, 8 x 11, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper. For this painting, I used black and coral.


Friday, October 25, 2013

That Old Excitment

"After The Rain", 8 x 10, pastel on Pastelbord
Well its a while after Sierra Art Trails open studio event. It was quite successful and enjoyable. As an artist getting on in years, I have cut back on participating in art events and traveling like I once did. I was represented in galleries throughout the west and had an active full calendar with shows, workshops and demonstrations. Nowadays I no longer show in galleries except at Timberline Gallery in the lovely town of Oakhurst some few miles outside the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live and while I don't do as much as I once did, I get tremendous fulfillment living where I do. I have my home gallery and studio where I teach classes and private lessons. I enter into a few local art exhibitions every year and love that and I have Sierra Art Trails every year in October. I have to admit I get a twinge for the more active life as an artist so when Sierra Art Trails comes along I feel that excitement. I love meeting the people and talking about art not to mention the motivation it gives me. It recharges my batteries and spurns me on in my creating journey. I love being and artist. I love my career. How many people can say that about what they do? My time clock runs 24/7.
Just a few days ago I painted "After The Rain" and posted it on Facebook when a day or so later actually it was sometime in the early morning hours I was awaken by a dream or thought that came to me ....You have already done a painting called "After The Rain". Oh well, now I have two. Here's the first one.

"After The Rain", 11 x 15, pastel on sanded paper.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sierra Art Trails 2013

My set up and start of painting.
So tomorrow begins the Artist's open studio event that takes place once a year here in the foothills of Yosemite National Park. This will be my 9th year and I'm still as excited as I was the first year. I will be demonstrating throughout the day for this 3 day event. Paintings I created during this past year will be exhibited, many for the first time. Lots of work goes into this event for me as well as the other 100 plus artists participating in this event. Cleaning and organizing my studio and home takes a lot of work and planning. It also gives me a lot of pleasure. Hope to see you over the weekend.

For more information

is a big part of the work entailed, then there is marketing,refreshments, signs and a myriad of other detail that must take place. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Naked and The Dressed

"Lilly Pads Jammin", 11 x 14, pastel on Pastelbord.
I've been very busy getting ready for Sierra Art Trails  open studio event here in the foothills of Yosemite National Park. It opens three weeks from today.  Holly moley! That's not a long time when you consider all the things that must take place for example, cleanings one's studio and home, curating and hanging, making title and price cards, marketing, sending out post cards, telephone calls, food, and what ever else comes up during the countdown time. What makes it all worth it? For me it's an opportunity to share my passion and my creative process. It's the culmination of a years creativity. I created my last two paintings "Lilly Pads Jammin" and  "High Country Lilly Pond" (see my last blog)  too late to go to the framer but I will include them in my show naked so should anyone be interested in buying, they will have the pleasure of dressing them up anyway they want.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

From Smart Phone to Smart Art

High Country Lilly Pond, 11 x 14, pastel on Pastelbord.
Wow, I've really gotten away from blogging. Maybe it was the heat or vacations or a setback with a blood disorder I have or maybe I lost my incentive or motivation. Whatever! I took a leave of absence which artist's too have a right to do. In my absence I traded in my three year old smart phone (which wasn't so smart anymore) for a new one. It's been an adventure for me . I don't have a grand kid living nearby to help me with it so I've been hounding the customer support folks. It's a good thing a new person comes on every time so they can't say "Oh No! It's her again". Glad of that. But it's been good for me going through the growing pains. I was reminded that I love learning whether it's a smart phone or in my art. I can and have put myself into my own box when it comes to art but like the cell phone it becomes not so smart anymore. With this painting, I went back once again to my old subject of lily ponds. It's been around five years since I last painted one. I discovered in the process some new thought processes,and some newer freedoms of expression that have taken place since I last journeyed there. I've also rediscovered my love for this subject matter. More to come.... Here are some older paintings I've done on the subject.
Purple Lillies, Yellow Pads, 18 x 24.
"Lilly Pond, Statue and Gardens", 18 x 24.
"Koi and Lilly Pond", 18 x 24.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Instant Inspiration

"Morning Embrace", 16 x 20 pastel on pastelbord.
The original scene that inspired this painting was a section of shore line on Heron Lake where my husband and I take our morning walks.  The support I used was Amphersand pastel board which seems to bring out a loose creativity in me. This painting is the one I chose to be in the 2013 Sierra Art Trails catalogue which comes out sometime this summer. Sierra Art Trails is a once a year open house studio event that takes place in early October here in the foothills of Yosemite National Park The event attracts people for afar as well as local. I'm grateful and proud to be one of the participating artists. More to come on my art and this event in future blogs.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Keep Going Back

"Moody Heron", 10 x 14, pastel on Canson paper.
I've changed my cover image. I love Heron Lake. I don't know how many times I've painted it. Don't care. It continues to intrigue me. I keep going back to it for it's a place of healing and  inspiration. Its many moods create a desire to paint what I see and feel. Here's another painting of Heron Lake. 
"Moody Afternoon at Heron Lake", 11 x 14, pastel on Canson paper.
Both of these paintings are currently showing at Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst.

Monday, July 1, 2013

BeforeThat First Stroke

"Into The Light, 19 x 25, pastel on Mi-Tientes Touch board.
I don't just select a photograph from my collection and start painting simply because I think it looks nice.There are lots of questions I have to ask myself about the scene before I'm ready to commit to painting it. Here are some:
What do I want to bring out in the painting?
What do I want to convey to the viewer?
What is my focus all about?
What is it I felt when first looking at the scene in real life?
Where do I want the eye to travel in the scene?
What support, pastels and other media do I want to use for the painting ( what paper, board, brand, color )?
How large do I want the painting to be?
What method and process do I use? 
These are just a few, but I think you get the idea. Some paintings take a lot of forethought and planning, while for others the answers come almost instantly without decisions to make ( I love to paint these kinds, but it doesn't happen too often).
The painting "Heron Lake Loop Trail II" was one of those that the photo of the scene sat around for a while first as something intriguing but passed over. It was several months before my decision was made. I knew I was inspired by the morning light,  shadows and pallet of the scene. When I knew what my ingredients were for the painting, I was committed and ready to start. Was or is this particular recipe a success?  Now.... that depends on the viewer.

Don't leave

"Heron Lake Loop Trail II, 18 x 24, pastel on Mi-Tientes Touch board.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Go Take a Walk

"Heron Lake Loop Trail II", 12 x 15, pastel on Canson paper.
I feel sometimes that I'm boring you to death with Heron Lake but it's a big part of my life living here in the foothills of Yosemite. Wasn't it Monet who painted the same scenes in all kinds of weather, light and seasons? I'm not by any means comparing myself to him but I keep coming back to the lake because it's so intriguing, delightful and beautiful, always beckoning me to observe and explore its hidden secrets. It inspires me to paint what new things it reveals to me. While no one can predict the future, I'm feeling this will be a lifelong pursuit of mine as long as I live here. What I learn through this experience expands my creativity and for an artist that's priceless. It's like an open air art class I can attend anytime I want. You probably have one just outside your door. What action you must take is to go out and observe and things will be revealed . Now it's back to the studio for me. Oh, by the way, I already took my walk around the lake this morning.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I've Changed My Cover

"Sun Washed", 18 x 24, pastel on pastelbord.
 I've decided to change my cover image to a painting that was a featured in International Artist's magazine's landscape contest a while back.
My mood and energy level was on high intensity when I painted this because I was so inspired by the magical light in the scene at our local lake. Hubby and I usually walk in the morning but on this day it was around noon when I came upon this area of lake shore. I was struck by the brilliant, magical light. I started painting this in my studio soon after I took the photographs so my inspiration and memory was still fresh.
I decided it was a good time to bring it back and share it with you.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whatever Works

"Heron Lake Loop Trail, 18 x 24, pastel on Mi-Tenets Touch board.
I posted this painting on face book the other day and someone asked "What kind of  pastels did I use? Sticks or pencils?" The answer to that question opened up a topic I would  like to talk about. A few years ago, I was inspired to break away from the traditional confined way of painting with pastels as I knew it. I started adding all kinds of mediums I hadn't used before such as Prismacolor pencils, vegetable oil right from my kitchen, hairspray, alcohol, water color and probably some other ingredients all applied with my fingers or a brush or whatever. My students at the time and I committed to paint this way experimenting as I was doing each in their own way experimenting as they saw fit. No limits and no restrictions. Here are a few of my works resulting from this experimentation.
"Sometime in Spring", 12 x 16, pastel on sanded mat board.
"It Started With Pink", 9 x 12, pastel on sanded paper.
"Into My Gourds", 8 x 11, pastel on pastelbord.
In reflection, I have to say that this was a turning point for me. It opened up boundaries and set me free and it changed my way of thinking and my painting process. I haven't looked back since.
By the way, in answer to the question asked me on face book about whether I used sticks or pencils. I answered in part with this photo I took of what I used on this painting.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Studio Intrepidation

"Heart Song", 16 x 20, pastel on Pastelboard
I know I'm repeating myself but I'll say it anyway. It's been a while since my last post. That's because since my heart attack I came down with the flu, followed by food poisoning and then pneumonia. The good news is I've recovered and feel great. I started back slowly when I felt I could go back to my studio. Frankly, I was wondering if I would ever paint again. Just the thought of pastel dust near me and standing on my feet for stretches gave me nightmares. Then sometime in April I began feeling better. The tables turned. Somewhere deep within I found my self inspired to paint again .I walked back into the studio and found it to be like a welcoming friend I hadn't seen for a while. I was so glad to be there! I started playing around in the studio for short periods of time. I did a little more work on a painting I thought was finished. I retitled it "Heart Song" because I felt my heart singing out after all my ordeals starting with the heart attack. Within a week or two I was ready to do a quick painting and then another not so quick..... I'll post these soon. It's great to be back!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Blue Bird Flew By

"Winter Solitude", 8 x 11, pastel on Canson paper.
It's been a while since my last blog. I've been easing back life, into a somewhat changed work ethic since my heart attack. I've been looking at what changes have been taking place and what my attitude is toward these changes. Now I weigh myself and take my blood pressure on a daily basis and pay attention to it and do what's necessary to keep it good and consistent. I enjoy each day like never before. I tell my husband what he means to  me everyday and at times during the day. I don't only think them, I verbalize. I verbalize my appreciation of things and the beautiful qualities of my surroundings. I know it sounds hokey but each day is precious to me. Life is good. Now, about how I look at my art. I'm not as hard on myself to produce a masterpiece with each painting, rather enjoying the experience of creating. I enjoy my class more than ever. I'm letting go of extraneous things I use to do that really didn't mean anything except that I might do some day. I'm living in today pretty much, not in the future. Oh is that a mountain blue bird that just flow by my window . Have to go and look. Bye for now.