Saturday, November 28, 2015


Another version of the tucked-away farmhouse we discovered last summer. "Homestead" is available on my Daily Paintworks Gallery.

Speaking of homesteads, this will be our first Christmas in our new home(stead).  I have NEVER put the tree up this early. Big mess, but I'm done! Love the strange warm to cool light in this photo.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sky View Afternoon II

Instead of Black Friday shopping, my fun for today was a trip to the Post Office to ship four paintings, thanks to collectors in the US and Canada.

NuPastels on Pastelmat is an especially good combination for paintings that need to be shipped because they are not as fragile as softer pastels on paper with more tooth. I have a few more small pastels to post on my Daily Paintworks Gallery but I have new Rosemary brushes that I'm anxious to try so my next series will be in a wet medium instead of pastel.

Meanwhile, from the Sky View series that has gone on for years now, see Sky View Afternoon II on my Daily Paintworks Gallery.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Water Lilies II

Last August I was painting this view of our noxious weeds (water lilies) and sold the painting to an artist-friend who saw it on my easel. Sometimes, when a painting leaves the studio so quickly, I find myself wanting to spend more time with the scene so I paint it again. Here is Water Lilies II, on its way to my Daily Paintworks Gallery for purchase (where you can also see the first version). Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dry Spell - the second time around

I don't think I have ever reworked a 6x6 inch pastel before but there's always a first time. I LOVED parts of this painting but not so much on other parts. Much happier with it overall now. Scene of a dry creek bed in the Gold Creek series. You can view it with the magnifier on Daily Paintworks where it is available for purchase.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Four little paintings

These four little pastels will be available for purchase online in the next few days.
Visit Barbara's Gallery on Daily Paintworks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Inspiration to try harder

October Sunrise, pastel 16.5 x 23.5 inches
I'm getting ready for a group show at Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA, December and January. I am scheduled to show pastels and I just finished October Sunrise (above) for that show.

Below is the color study for the larger painting. I painted the study last week when I spent a few hours painting with artists at a local Community Center. Since I don't teach classes anymore, I am usually around painters who are quite accomplished. I had forgotten how HARD it is to make a medium do what you want it to when you are less experienced. My heart hurt for them but I was impressed how hard the artists I met at the Community Center work at their art and I think it made me "try harder"  - as my daughter tells my teenage grandsons.

Study for October Sunrise, pastel, 5 x 7 inches

Winners announced

Leavenworth Pine, 17th Annual Pastel 100 Juror's Image
I recently had the honor and pleasure of judging the Abstract and Non-Objective category for the 17th Annual Pastel 100. Winners names have now been posted! I'm especially pleased that my First Place choice in this category was moved up to the Bronze Award. Take a look at the list. Reproductions of all the prizewinning paintings, as well as artist interviews and juror comments will appear in the March/April 2016 issue of Pastel Journal.

Initially, I was surprised to be invited to judge this category. Though my landscapes have become more abstracted I haven't focused on this genre for a few years. I'm grateful the folks at Pastel Journal remembered my Abstract/Non-Objective period about five years ago and my images that were published in the Pastel Journal and other publications. Below are a few of my paintings from that period.

Foreseeable Future, pastel, 11 x 15 inches

Tuesday's Child, pastel, 17 x 24 inches

From the East unto the West, pastel, 13 x 14 inches

Slow Slide Into Pink, pastel, 13 x 14 inches

Out of the Blue, pastel, 11 x 15 inches

Silver Lining, pastel, 11.25 x 11 inches

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sweet Hush to auction

Tidying up means keeping only what you need and use.

I am (once again) moving to a looser style of painting. Two years ago, the strokes in this painting were loose for me but now the painting style doesn't fit into a current body of work I would, it has to go.

"Sweet Hush" is a 12 x 10 inch oil and is currently framed but I will unframe it and post on my Daily Paintworks auction. It may go for a ridiculously low bid but that is the chance I'll have to take.

And, I may (again) receive emails from other artists concerned that I am selling my work at prices that don't reflect the value. I agree, especially for a piece of this size but I have to let that thought go and instead hope for a new loving home for it.  Visit the auction.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A favorite thing

Continuing with the theme of tidying up and praising a small studio, I spent the day moving stuff around...again. This is my oil painting corner and I have a new favorite thing: a stainless steel 24 x 48 inch work table.

I purchased a second table of the same size for my studio storage room. This table has the shelf moved down to within a few inches of the floor so I have a place to store empty metal frames. It also gives me a 24 x 48 inch flat work surface to work on. Love this table!

Someone requested purchase information. Here is a link to my table.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 2015 - checking in

The rain has finally started here in Washington state after a record-breaking dry summer. Garden chores are coming to an end and I'm ready to get to work in the Studio after a fun summer. Annie is content to keep track of the yard from her bed in my Studio. Today I painted SourceTek and Masonite panels with Daniel Smith Venetian Red Gesso in preparation for small oil paintings.

My longing to knit again is being satisfied through a gift of lovely hand-dyed yarn from my friend Ruby. (Ruby's)

I love our local library! I'm not very far into this book but it has already inspired me to make some changes in my Studio. In my tidying I came across two oil paintings that need a new home. They'll be going to my Daily Paintworks Gallery for online purchase.

Leavenworth, oil, 10 x 8 inches  See the auction    

Sub Rosa, oil, 10 x 8 inches  See the auction

Monday, September 28, 2015

Photo, Study, Painting

Briefly, my process...

Starting with a reference photo, I talk to myself about why I want to paint this scene. This is a photo of Roberts Road in our town of Black Diamond. It is on the route between my Grandma Benedetti's house (she is long gone but the house remains) and the cemetery where she and my aunts and uncles are buried. Now that we have moved to this area, I drive this road often on my way to the post office and library. I have built-in emotion for the scene. I like the way the road dips as it goes over the creek that is bordered by lush foliage of native trees and brush. I like the way the house on the left peeks through. I like the tops of the trees - big and loose. I like the grasses and shadows and most importantly, I can imagine painting this scene. But, I also can easily envision how I might become immersed in detail and include too much detail with small sharp strokes or the spattering I have become so fond of. I know the formula that works: Start with the large shapes and work to the detail but be sensitive and aware of WHEN TO WALK AWAY before it becomes labored and picky.

I'm a big fan of small studies as you may have noticed on my Daily Paintworks Gallery. I use the studies to work out composition, value, color, etc. So before embarking on a 13 x 13 inch finished painting of this scene, I painted a small study and as I write this it is in its final hours on the Daily Paintworks. Sold

I cropped the reference photo scene to a square format and painted (quickly and with abandon) my interpretation of the scene. Got the dip in the road, got the loose, breezy trees, put in an indication of the building. I like it!  I like it so much that Study#2 of this scene is not going to happen so I moved on to my larger painting. The paper of both paintings is my new favorite, Pastelmat but I didn't have a large enough piece of the same color so I chose a warmer hue for the larger painting. Pastelmat doesn't have a deep tooth to hold lots of pastel so I laid in the big dark shapes of the trees with an oil wash. I would love to be able to make the bold strokes of color that appear in the small study but I am limited by the width of my pastel sticks.

Roberts Road, Black Diamond, WA - pastel - 13 x 13 inches
Several things changed in the larger painting - the most obvious is that there is more emphasis on the road instead of on the house. I saw this happening and was OK with it. It is up to each artist to decide what they learned from their study and how closely they choose to follow it in the finished painting. Overall, it has a more finessed look but I stopped myself before including much detail. This painting is scheduled for a show at Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA in Dec 2015/Jan 2016.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Study #1 for a larger work

I was curious to know if I could do an underpainting on Pastelmat. Seems to work. I used an oil paint wash to tone white Pastelmat.

Study #1, pastel, 6 x 6 inches

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Red Barn - the larger version

Red Barn larger version Step 1
I'm painting for a couple fall/winter gallery shows. This time it is Red Barn again with the little study to guide me. I photocopied the little study and drew guidelines on it to help me transfer the scene to an 11x15 inch format.

Red Barn, pastel, 11 x 15 inches

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red Barn Progression

Red Barn, pastel, 5x7 inches Available   

Red Barn, pastel, 5x7 in virtual frame

Sure Mount

Judy commented on yesterday's post asking what adhesive I use to mount pastel paper to Gatorbord. Here it is. When it arrived, the jug had leaked all over the instruction label so I had to Google how to use it. Can't remember now but I just Googled it and found this information.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Study#2 for Tucked Away

Study#2 - Tucked Away, pastel, 9x6 inches
​As much as I loved the angles of the buildings in Study#1 for Tucked Away, they kept getting in my way as I tried to simplify the scene. I used a vertical format this time to emphasize what the story is about (the "tucked away" house). Different paper, different application of pastel. 9x6 inch image, Wallis mounted on Gatorbord.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A study challenge in simplification

I have a reference photo of an old farmhouse off the main highway, down a dirt road around a fenced pasture, between outbuildings and suddenly, an uphill driveway to the main house. Definitely "tucked away."

Study - Tucked Away, pastel, 5x7 inches
Love all the angles and planes, reflected color. I will continue simplifying this scene for a larger work. Available         
My September update

Monday, September 7, 2015

filling frames

I'm still bonding with my new studio. When we first arrived here, I jammed everything I didn't want to deal with into my storage room. Suddenly, it is Fall and I have to begin painting for a couple upcoming gallery shows so I have to get organized. I pulled everything out of the storage room, repositioned the shelving unit to a different wall and ordered a work table to go along the wall where the shelf had been. I left my collection of frames in the main room of the studio beside my drafting table so I would have to look at it daily and do something about it. I culled those with imperfections - I thought I would use them someday for personal work. That left about 50 frames, wood and metal, some with mat and glass.

I was excited to paint a larger version of my Chicken Coop study and use a frame I had on hand but the first frame I pulled out of a box had a mat and glass in horizontal format instead of the vertical format of the small study. Well, an added challenge, that's okay.

When I begin a new painting, I almost always take step x step photos but then when the painting process gets exciting, I forget to stop and take photos so there are only three below. They will give you an idea of how I begin a pastel when I don't use an under painting. This painting was FUN, maybe because I was so fond of the little Chicken Coop study. This is a scene from our new, more rural neighborhood. I love it here.

Chicken Coop, pastel, 11 x 15 inches