Friday, April 17, 2015

wall paint

I moved into my studio (formerly our two car garage) in 1989 and during the past 26 years I have painted the studio walls at least 6 times. This week I moved the flat files from their usual place to paint the wall behind. Of the colors shown here, the peachy color was first, then the French Gray, then a blue that isn't shown here, then the cork color and finally Benjamin Moore's Water's Edge Blue.

Here is the wall now with furniture sitting upon the counter waiting the move to the new house. When all your art supplies are packed away, you are left with nothing to blog about except wall paint.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Opening Reception Date Correction

Ooops! Updated Open Reception date for our Critique Group 20th Anniversary Exhibition at American Art Company in Tacoma is Saturday July 18th, 2-4 PM. If you are a colored pencil enthusiast, you'll want to see this show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

20th Anniversary Show

Many long years ago when I worked exclusively in colored pencil, several of us working in that medium started a Critique Group. Our group has met every other month for twenty years and this year, we are fortunate to have a Twentieth Anniversary Show at American Art Company in Tacoma, WA. Many thanks to Tammy, owner of AAC and to Kay Dewar and Sueellen Ross for co-chairing the exhibition. The show will open July 11th and run to September 5th. Opening Reception is Saturday, July 18th, 2-4 PM. We would love to see you there!

Each artist will have six pieces in the show. Over the years, I have worked in other mediums so for me, this is a mini-retrospective. Below are my paintings that will be exhibited and available for purchase.

1999 - Worldly Goods, colored pencil on paper, 19 x 25 inches.
Worldly Goods is in the style of my colored pencil work - sharp point, light touch, color lifted with reusable adhesive for added nuance. This drawing was featured in a step-by-step article for American Artist Magazine. I was working on it at the same time I was writing Colored Pencil Solution Book. When this drawing was complete I realized that in my confusion of shooting slides (remember slides?) for CPSB, I had failed to shoot slides of this painting for the step-by-step article. So, with this drawing as my reference, I created another quarter-size version of this painting and shot slides of that one for the article. That smaller version of Worldly Goods sold but I still have the original, larger version and am so happy to show it with this group.

2001 - Falling In Love Again, colored pencil on paper, 25 x 18 inches
Two years later, I created Falling In Love Again. Still working in that meticulous circular stroke that I love. I love to NOT see a pencil "stroke." The texture of the paper was critical to the result I wanted.

2002 - Strawberry Reflections, watercolor with colored pencil, woven surface, 14 x 13 inches.
By 2002 I was experimenting with colored pencil applied over India ink and watercolor. This painting was originally about twice the size it is now and I wasn't pleased with the composition so I cut it in half, cut one of the halves into strips and wove the strips back into the other side in selected areas.

2004 - Love Life, colored pencil on paper, 14.5 x 14.5 inches
I was pleased with the woven effect in Strawberry Reflections and began a series of pieces that appeared woven but weren't. Each square has an abstract quality but continues to relate to the whole in color, texture and shape. The plums in the center focal point are handled in a traditional realistic manner. This painting is about abstraction, play of light and saturated color.

2014 - Found Memories, pastel, 12.5 x 11 inches
Completed in 2014, this pastel painting began years prior to that in a workshop with the amazing Elizabeth Mowry. Elizabeth quietly passed behind me checking on my progress without speaking. Her silence gave me confidence that I was doing OK. I finally told her I was about to apply a yellow and asked her opinion. She suggested a "quiet" yellow. I loved her workshop but this painting needed an update so in 2014 I reworked the top third and cropped a couple inches off the bottom. It comes with good memories that were found again when I worked on it the second time.

2014 - Bejeweled Woodland, 13 x 12.5 inches

My sixth painting in our group show is from my 2014 "Minds' Eye" series. Paintings from memory. A woodland scene with small jewel-like reflections in the water. Click any image to enlarge. We hope you have a chance to see the show in person but it will also be online at the American Art Company website.








Sunday, March 22, 2015

bottoms up

A new non objective painting? No, this is the bottom of a family heirloom. One of these days I'll get back to posting my art here but today I am appreciating the colors and textures of this surface. Of special note is the green in the lower right corner. The green chair.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Good News

Follow Your Heart, pastel, 10.5 x 12 inches
Good News! I am surprised and honored to learn that my painting, "Follow Your Heart" received the Third Place Award in the Pastel Society of the West Coast 2015 Online Membership Show in the Signature/ DP category. The exhibition opens April 1st on the PSWC website.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

reading, stripping furniture

No art today but here is a link to a few of my favorite things
http://barbaragoldenyears.blogspot.com/2015/03/first-week-of-my-sabbatical.html

Monday, March 9, 2015

sabbatical

All together now on my studio wall: the three 24 x 18 inch paintings from the first quarter of 2015. Now I really will take that sabbatical I've been talking about because today I finished boxing up all my art supplies. Feels very strange. It's time to turn my attention to packing, refinishing a couple pieces of furniture and transplanting many plants to the flower garden at our new home.


I expect a lot of physical work this spring and summer so I look forward to ending each day in my new bathtub with candlelight from the Glassybaby selected for me by my grandson Elias. He chose this color based on my cool painting palette.

Also complete is 8 weeks of online mentoring of Canadian artist Barbara DeMott through two paintings. She was my test case and I have a better idea now of how I might structure online mentoring in the Fall to assist several students to more successful work. If you are interested in having your name added to my online mentoring list, email me. Below is Barbara DeMott's painting, shared with her permission. Great job Barbara!

Homesite Creek Falls, pastel, 12x11 inches, Barbara DeMott

Thursday, March 5, 2015

For Evermore - based on path studies

For Evermore, pastel, 24 x 18 inches
About 70% complete.
OK. I am DONE with the dappled path series. I finished 'For
 Evermore" this morning after looking at it daily on my easel for about a week.

I keep forgetting to mention the reducing glass that I've been using to see the entire image even when I'm standing very close to it. Also, I want to mention the dry brush I use to lift pastel off the paper in a random gentle manner. See the photo below.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

painting over an old painting

River's Edge, 24x18, 2005
If you follow my blog instead of stumbling upon today's post by accident, you know that I am repainting big old pastels from 2005. This one is River's Edge. I painted a small study of it yesterday and changed it quite a bit from the way I looked at things ten years ago. I decided to unframe the painting and use the paper (Wallis Belgium Mist) for a new scene using two small studies I did for a larger version of Dappled Path.

           Studies 3 and 4  Purchase

After I brushed and vacuumed off as much pastel as I could from the original painting, I applied acrylic with a 2 inch house painting brush using the small studies as a loose reference for the composition.

This is the new painting about 70% complete. Notice my very limited number of pastels - an added challenge. These are the only ones that are not packed up for the move.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring Stream, mixed media

Spring Stream, 24 x 18 inches, acrylic underpainting
I unframed my old painting, A Boulder View, and was surprised to find the surface is Lanaquarelle 140 lb watercolor paper with a pumice gel coating for pastel work. Not much tooth left after I brushed the pastel off so I used acrylic to block in the new painting, Spring Stream. Pastel was added to most areas but not all so this is a mixed media piece.

Spring Stream, mixed media, 24 x 18 inches

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dappled Path BIG completed

Course of Events, pastel, 24 x18 inches
Ta-duh! Done. I'm very pleased with the large version re-painting of Dappled Path. It has been renamed Course of Events. The six small studies were extremely helpful! I ended up using the first one as my reference (shown below).


The loose and spontaneous feeling of the small study is difficult to capture in a large format primarily because I am working with a small piece of pastel. On a small study, one lively stroke of the pastel stick might cover 10% of the total area giving a nice swath of color. On a 24 x 18 format, the coverage is so much less that it makes me feel like I'm working with the point of a pencil. Now I see why those gigantic pastel sticks were invented and I might have to invest in some.

These small studies have received a very warm welcome; my thanks to the three collectors who have given Study #7, #6 and #5 a new home. I have two more to post on Daily Paintworks for sale. I will keep the one above and plan to frame it in a 7x5 inch frame directly against the glass. No mat but the border of the paper will show.

Added Note: A known French method of framing pastels is with the pastel directly against the glass. I have used this method for my own collection and find it works great as long as there is no movement - everything in the frame has to be stationary. I mentioned that I would frame my small study in this method - both because it is small and because it is mine. Try it on one of your own works and see what you think. Note: this applies to UNMATTED work. Don’t put a mat directly against a pastel - you will have a dirty mat. Presently, all my gallery work in pastel is framed with spacers behind the mat or, if there is no mat, there are spacers inside the frame to hold the glass away from the painting.

Monday, February 23, 2015

study for Spring Stream

Ten years ago my husband and I went on a photo shoot. It was his first time capturing scenes for me to paint and he became so enamored of a stream rushing over rocks that he stood in the middle of the stream to get a shot for a painting he called "A Boulder View." At the time, I painted it mostly for him but today I will use it as reference to paint the scene again, without the huge boulder in the foreground.  Painting a small study first works well for me. Here is a photo of the 6x4 study on my easel with the big painting in the background.
Study for Spring Stream, pastel, 6x4 inches  sold

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Study #5 on Daily Paintworks

Study #5, pastel, 6 x 4 inches sold

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Study #6 on Daily Paintworks

Study #6, pastel, 6x4 inches   sold

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Study #7

Study 7 for Dappled Path, pastel, 6x4 inches   sold

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dappled Path BIG

The Canson Mi-Tientes Touch paper I ordered for the large version of Dappled Path has arrived. I'm not familiar with it and this is a good experiment. My first impression of this paper is that it reminds me of LaCarte but with a coarser tooth. Linear marks are fat - I don't like that but it might keep me from getting too detailed. This painting is 25 x 18 inches and it feels like I can't see the forest for the trees. I'm looking through a reducing glass to get enough distance to see what I'm painting. It is a struggle to get the loose look I want with a little pastel stick. I may have to try this again in oil or acrylic.

Of the six small studies I painted in preparation for this painting, I have selected the first one for my reference and I'm starting at the top.

The studies will be going to Daily Paintworks for auction or Buy It Now. If you are interested in purchasing one before I post them at Daily Paintworks, let me know.

Study #7 sold

Study #6 sold

Study #5

Study #4

Study #3

Study #2


study #6

Study 6 for Dappled Path, pastel, 6x4 inches

Monday, February 16, 2015

study #5

Study 5 for Dappled Path, pastel, 6x4 inches
It's a sunny day today! Guess it shows in today's study. I didn't even turn on the overhead Otts lamp attached to my easel. Love this bright morning studio...my new studio will not get the morning sun. Another study on Ersta 500.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

path study number 4

Dappled Path 4, pastel, 6x4 inches. Study for a larger painting.
I'm continuing to work on the small studies for a larger painting. A different paper this time - Ersta 500. It is like working on fine suede and takes some getting used to. The soft color application that results from very little paper tooth encourages me to do more line work for definition. Hmmmm...

Friday, February 13, 2015

another study

Dappled Path 3, pastel, 6x4 inches, color study for a larger work
Another version of Dappled Path. - repainting this scene may become my Life's Work.

challenge progress


Dappled Path, pastel, 23 x 18 inches, 2005
In my last post I mentioned a new challenge I invented for myself: to paint  a color study based on an old painting but with a new interpretation of strokes.

It didn't work as planned but I am very happy with the new painting, shown at the end of this post. I used the original Dappled Path, painted 10 years ago, as my reference. Many of the same colors were used but in different amounts. The paper makes a big difference - the original was painted on Canson Mi-Teintes and then, I used the texture to tell the story. This time I used Colourfix. I really did TRY to stay with the original composition but the creative process took over. See the progression below.
Step One - charcoal sketch
Step Two - dark pastel
Step Three - and from here it took on a life of its own.


Dappled Path II, pastel, 6 x 4 inches, 2015
My next challenge is to paint Dappled Path II 23 x  18 inches, unframe the original and use the frame, mat and glass for the new painting. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Packing and a new challenge

Packing up for the move. 
The pastels that have been beside my easel have been in two large Dakota pastel boxes. They are mostly Schmincke, Unison and Sennelier.  Also, a half dozen boxes of Terry Ludwig and two chests full of NuPastels (a generous gift years ago from Cathy Woo). For the move I'm using the little foam cradles that came with my boxes. If you click on the photo above, you'll see them at the far end.

When I married Jay 27 years ago he built a detached garage so I could have the attached garage for my Studio. Jay and my father made a wonderful studio for me including a ton of under-counter storage. I have been packing up art supplies and my storage areas are full again.

My new project
My studio has been rearranged (again) in a way that gives me a wall to hang the larger work that won't fit in the storage area under my counter. The large painting on the left in the photo above is still pleasing to me overall and in fact, has some very nice areas but some not so nice too. As I became more skillful in working with pastel, my strokes matured and I am imagining this scene as I would paint it today. In preparation for doing that, I'm going to start with a small color study of the painting. Then, from the small study, I'll paint the scene again in large format. Actually, I can think of  quite a few old paintings I'd like to try this with. I'll let you know how it works!



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

done thinking

Godspeed, pastel, 16.5 x 23.5 inches
I am so excited to move to my new studio that will have new track lighting. Paintings are one color on the easel, another color under overall studio lights then another color as I move to the window. I'm done thinking about it. I put it in a frame to keep it safe (from me). Click on image to enlarge for detail.

Friday, January 30, 2015

revisiting LaCarte

In July of 2013 I painted a pastel on LaCarte paper - a coarser surface than my favorite Wallis. At that time, I wanted a soft look for the painting shown above so it was a bit of a struggle. Today I pulled the painting out and began lifting color off with a hog bristle brush.

Here you can see the color of the paper showing through. As I lifted, removed and added more color, my mind was occupied with good thoughts of my former father-in-law who passed away today. I was painting on auto-pilot. At some point, I realized I was loving this paper!

"Godspeed" is sitting on my easel...I'm thinking about it. And, I wonder if I have anymore LaCarte. For those of you who are not familiar with this paper, you CANNOT get it wet and since I usually work with an underpainting, I have avoided it. Hope I have another sheet in my flat file.