Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kodak Color Bar

If you are wondering what the little color bar is that appeared in each of the paintings in my last post, here it is. I shoot all my work with this color bar included in the photo to help me adjust to correct color. I left it included, as well as NOT cropping to the art, for the images I sent to the Publisher for their approval. 

FYI - I have posted an August Update to my Golden Years Blog.

Monday, August 22, 2016

August Project Update

Golden Afternoon
Since my last post I've been working on my August Project - seven new paintings based on seven old paintings.

The challenge was to capture the essence of what the Publisher saw in the original painting that prompted them to add it to their list of favorites. At the beginning of this project, I thought it would be interesting (to me) to change the medium. As an example, the painting above was originally an oil, this time I painted in pastel. But, the deadline changed and I didn't have the luxury of working in oil because it takes time to dry. The process of RE-painting wasn't as much fun as creating something new but also involved less angst because decisions about color, technique and style had already been made in the original paintings.

If you follow my work you know that since moving to my new smaller studio, I paint primarily in small format for sale on Etsy and DailyPaintworks. By painting small, I can keep prices affordable and move work out of my studio on a regular basis. But, small paintings simply aren't big enough to be photographed at the high resolution needed for larger reproduction. The seven new paintings range in size from 16 x 20 inches to 25 x 25 inches.

The amount of detail to include in each painting was tempting. My small paintings have less detail simply because they are small, usually quick and loose. In fact, one of my challenges is to translate the freedom of my small work to a larger format. I could use some giant pastels! But, when eyeing a passage of color that is the same size as the entire small 6 x 6 inch painting, I am tempted to give it a little dash or spatter of color or additional attention to a stroke. I may go into some of these paintings and do that later. For now, I consider them complete and I can move on to focus on my September Workshop for the Northwest Pastel Society.

Ruby's Canada

A Bright Tomorrow

Frame of Mind

December Rain

Lake Morning

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

From oil to pastel

Golden Afternoon (again) in progress, 24 x 24 inches,  8-9-16
I have painted this scene before. This time I'm using a photo of my previous oil painting, Golden Afternoon, oil, 20 x 20 inches, (sold) for my reference. Though the scene is recognizable, a different medium changes the texture and interpretation. I'm having fun painting large again in pastel!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

My August Project

July workshops are complete (what fun!), my retrospective show is hung and future art commitments are scheduled for September.

My project for the month of August is to repaint seven old paintings that have been selected by an art print publisher. Of the seven, two are in my Collection of the Artist but are too small for reproduction so they must be painted again in a larger format. The other paintings have been sold so I printed out color copies to work from as my reference to repaint them.

Several are in oil so my studio has been rearranged to accommodate 24 x 24 inch panels for priming. I'm also working one or two of the paintings in pastel. The paintings will not be duplicates because my stroke and interpretation has grown in the years since they were painted.

On another subject, you may have read posts about my separation of office from studio when we moved. My little office is upstairs with big iMac and file cabinets. But, I find I need a surface to write on and an internet connection IN my studio. I set up a mini office along one wall. Now my life is a continuation of going between left brain and right brain instead of an intentional separation. I like it better.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Retrospective Show Online

Thanks, Sue Anne for suggesting an online version of the 18 piece retrospective show I just hung. There is a link in the sidebar or click here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Retrospective at Covington City Hall

Yesterday Jay and I hung 18 paintings at the Covington City Hall. These are colored pencil and mixed media (watercolor with colored pencil).

Watercolor, wc with colored pencil and two small oils from my workshop several years ago with Qiang Huang. I'll be spending August working in oil then back to pastel in September to get ready for my three day Pastel Workshop for Northwest Pastel Society.

We hung pastel landscapes in Council Chambers along with two oil still lifes. The most challenging part of putting together this Retrospective Show was gathering up all the paintings. I wanted to show work from each era of my painting life: colored pencil, then watercolor with colored pencil, then watercolor alone, then pastel and finally oil. Paintings are on view at Covington City Hall, Covington, WA for the month of August. It's convenient to show so close to home!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blue Road complete

Blue Road, pastel, 5 x 7 inches

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fear of Black

I was recently reminded about fear of black. During my workshops, when I asked students to use a black pastel, some froze, reluctant to reach for that color. It prompted conversations about being taught an art RULE about not using black paint. I do remember giving consideration to that theory in the past by mixing black, enhancing black, etc.

We accidentally hit upon a solution when Sue Anne selected black paper for her afternoon pastel painting. No need to apply black, it's already there! She created a colorful little painting on Canson Mi-Teintes TOUCH with the first step being her color adjustment of the original reference photo. Thanks, Sue Anne for your good work!

Sue Anne's original reference photo
Color adjusted reference photo is on left, finished painting on right, both atop Canson Mi-Teintes BLACK

Landscape, pastel on black, 7 x 5 inches, SueAnne Sullivan 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Three Radishes Study

Three Radishes, pastel, 5x7 inches

This is the study I painted in preparation for last week's Still Life in Pastel Workshop here in my Studio. I limited myself to NuPastels and the exact colors that my students would have. I supplied the paper so we would all have the same experience: Pastelmat, color Buttercup. It was a very successful subject for them, see their paintings in my July 14th post on this blog.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Student Landscapes

Today we painted landscapes! Thanks to Sue Anne, Laura, ReneƩ and Joan for your beautiful work. Two of these students had never worked in pastel before. It was my pleasure to introduce them to this medium.

Photo by Sue Anne Sullivan

Thursday, July 14, 2016

First Student Successes

A great first workshop in my new Studio. Still Life in Pastel. Limited to four students: Sue Anne, Laura, Kay and ReneƩ each painted along with me in our quest for beautiful radishes. We worked on Buttercup Pastelmat with hard and soft pastels. Sensitivity to stroke and fearless red was our goal. Goal accomplished everyone! Click on image to enlarge.

Photo by Sue Anne Sullivan

Monday, June 27, 2016

Painting with ghosts - join me!

I hope I got someone's attention with that post heading. I need a few more students in my September 30 - October 2 Pastel Workshop. For a few hours we will be painting with ghosts (images). So fun, so freeing! Here's what I mean:

Today I came across this pastel painting in my studio storage. It must be 10 years old...I can remember several different rooms where it hung in our previous house. I liked it. I still like it but not enough to hang it. So, I took it outside and brushed it off with a stiff house-paint brush. That left a ghost of the previous painting.
Turned it upside down and pondered it for a couple seconds, used similar colors and started in.

The opportunity in painting with a ghost is NOT using a reference photo. Let the ghost and your intuition guide you. Very soon into your strokes you'll begin to visualize what might be.

Sometimes you don't know if you're done until you photograph it and look at it on the computer screen. Sort of like not being able to see the forest for the trees. Seeing it on your display gives new perspective. At this point I made more changes. Now I'm done. See the finished painting below. I will post it on the auction at Daily Paintworks.

Consider joining me to spend a couple hours painting a ghost of your own in the 3-day workshop I'll be teaching near my home. We'll come here to the lake for lunch, Studio Tour and Super Sale of my Small Paintings. I have a PayPal object that plugs into my iPhone for credit card sales. I look forward to trying it. Email Deb Cepeda at comcast dot net for more into on the workshop.
Toward Evening, pastel, 10 x 8 inches
Click to Bid

Friday, June 24, 2016

Back at the Friday Painting Group

Third week back at my Friday painting group at the local community center. It is a discipline I enjoy. My Soltek easel is set up by the window but under fluorescent lights, a limited number of pastels in the Pastel Porter and my reference photo. This little painting is on Pastelmat and is available for the next three days at auction on Daily Paintworks.

Autumn Creek, pastel, 4.375 x 7 inches Sold

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lola's brother, J.T.

I don't know why I thought J.T. would be easier to paint than his sister Lola. He wasn't but I am finally pleased with him - especially his left arm and hand, his hair and his lips. I am getting better acquainted with acrylics and have managed to let go of some of my bad attitude about this medium.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sun Ribbons

Sun Ribbons, pastel, 4.375 x 7.5 inches
A little painting from today's Friday afternoon painting group. Love the ribbons of light coming through the trees. This one will go to auction on Daily Paintworks. Sold

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lola to date

Voila! My impression of Lola in acrylic. For many days I was hung up on making this LOOK LIKE LOLA. It was torture and I'm tired of talking to myself about her eyes, her mouth, her little teeth. Finally I decided to give up and try to capture the essence of the day. Sunshine and the happiness of a cold Popsicle. All of a sudden Lola was there and I can quit fussing over her.

I am forming some opinions about acrylic which I'll keep to myself for now. I'm glad I'm persevering with this medium but I'm not sure about our long-term relationship because I still don't enjoy the actual application of the medium. Working on my attitude.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Coming - NWPS Member Show and Workshop

I am honored to be named the Awards Judge for the Northwest Pastel Society 2016 Members' Exhibition. I will also be teaching a three day workshop, Pastel - Loose Not Labored for the NWPS September 30 - October 2, 2016. Limited to 10 students. For more information, go to the NWPS website. I am happy to be able to give back to this great organization. 
Edge of Winter, Best of Show NWPS 2012 Members' Show

Heartbreak Morning, Best of Show NWPS 2012 26th Annual International Exhibition

Providence, Best of Show NWPS 2009 23rd Annual International Exhibition

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A worthless reference photo?

How many times have you taken what looked like a great reference photo (especially when hanging out the window of the car) only to realize, 'I guess you had to be there."? One evening last week we were invited to tour the lake by boat. Just at sunset I snapped the photo on left. When I saw how dark the photo was and the bow of the boat in the foreground, I adjusted it in Photoshop to the lighter version shown at right.

Millpond Sunset, pastel, 7x5 inches

It was a challenge to keep the evening mood but to add enough detail to appreciate the scene. For a while, the highlights and reflection in the water were brighter but I dropped the value to move further into evening. I started this at the Friday local community club paint session and finished it in the studio. Click on the image to enlarge. It is available at my Etsy shop, BBNewtonART.

Friday, June 10, 2016

ACRYLICS - aargh but making progress

My history with acrylic is long and mostly torturous. I've had acrylics forever and somehow my collection keeps growing.  Finally, I'm taking online instruction from Chantel Barber who has a technique to eliminate HARD EDGES. Below are progress photos of my challenge. By the way, I still have two spots in my July 21st Studio Workshop - Still Life in Pastel.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Are you a slave to your reference photo? Part II

This post is actually about two things: adjusting your reference photo and my UArt trial.

As a reminder, here is the reference photo I started with before adjusting it in Photoshop. I adjusted the color and painted a little pastel (See previous post). Then, I tweaked the color again in Photoshop and began another painting with the reference photo shown below.

Today I tried UArt 600 grit paper for the first time. I used archival spray adhesive to mount it on archival 4-ply rag mat. Then, applied NuPastel and dissolved the pigment and moved it around with a brush dipped in alcohol. Let it dry and start painting.

Wooded Trail, pastel, 7x5 inches, sold

Friday, June 3, 2016

Are you a slave to your reference photo?

I was emailing with an accomplished pastel artist the other day who remarked that he has trouble distancing himself from what he sees in his reference photo.  I suggested changing the reference photo with Photoshop Elements to reflect the vision of the scene he sees in his mind. My example here is a photo my husband took for me while walking the dog.
Left, original. Middle, composition adjustment, Right, color adjustment. 

Playing with the clone tool.

Dog Walk, pastel, 7 x 5 inches