Friday, August 31, 2012

day dream

My grandsons, 10 and 12, are spending their last days of summer vacation with me. I reworked this 2005 painting today and they suggested titles. The 10 year old thought "A Wish Come True" would be a good title. The 12 year old liked "Zombies at Dusk." I over ruled them both with "Day Dream." Does that give you an idea of my week?

I'm going to post this painting on DPW so you can use the magnifier to see the dusting technique I've included in some of my work during the past year. I use this special technique when I want random detail or a surprising dash of color.

Friday, August 24, 2012

another interpretation of rivers edge

This is my third... and final I think...interpretation of this scene. River's Edge was first painted as a vertical pastel in 2007, then as a square oil study and now in pastel again as a horizontal and in a higher key palette. I used some of my pastel sprinkling technique in this - difficult to see here but I'll post it on DPW so you can use the magic magnifier on it to see the detail. Visit my August 16 post to see the beginning of this painting.

I've been totally glued to my computer for two weeks working on a project that I'll tell you about in the fall. I'm tired of sitting and am looking forward to standing again at my easel. Soon...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

oil study for "Shadowland"

This 8 x 6 inch oil color study for a pastel painting "Shadowland" will be my last oil for a while because I have committed to a project that is going to take most of my time until mid September. I'll be able to tell you about it after that. You can see this with the magic magnifier on DPW.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

another river's edge

After looking at that tight version done many years ago (see my last post), I wondered what I could do with the scene again. The top photo is step 1 and the bottom photo is the pastel about 30% complete.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The painting on the left is "River's Edge," pastel on paper, 25 x 18 inches, painted five years ago. The painting on the right was completed last week from the same reference photo. Square format, 6x6 inches, oil on panel. sold

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the heart of the matter

When I came across the reference photo for a painting that ended up in the mediocre group earlier this year and was reworked into another painting, I remembered how much I loved that color palette.  I decided to cut the ‘heart’ out of the photo to use as my reference for a new pastel painting.
I taped a piece of pale pink Art Spectrum Colourfix paper to my easel and applied an oil wash using a large brush and very loose, broad strokes. Then, starting at the top, I began applying pastel.

For me, painting with pastel is a dance between the artist, the paper, and a stick of color. The interchange is exhilarating and energizing as well as challenging and exhausting. A drag and lift of the pastel stick creates a sheaf of dried grass; the edge of the pastel touches the paper abruptly for the bent branch or twig. The play of texture against texture and color combinations as one color is dragged over another is intoxicating. The nuances and subtleties possible with pastel are unlike any other medium I have tried. Below is "Shadowland," 25 x 18 inches. This painting will be at Cole Gallery, Edmonds, Washington in the fall.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

wild meadow...again

I came across the reference photo for a scene I've already painted twice: once in pastel in 2007 and then as an oil about a year later. Third try's the charm and I do think I like this one best. 6x6 inches, oil on panel. Oil Study 13 (Wild Meadow) is sold.

Friday, August 3, 2012


The little 6x6 study really helped me get unstuck on this painting (see my previous post of July 31). Love that subtle glazing process but in the end I had to throw caution to the wind and punch it up for "Golden Afternoon," 20 x 20 inches, oil on wood panel.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


aaahhh...pastel. There's nothing like it! After a seven month break from pastel and a journey into oil painting, I'm back. This is a piece that I painted in 2011. I loved it but after looking at it for a year, I felt it lacked 'content.' I can't explain what that means but it is the word that comes to mind. Last night I added some content and now I'm happy with it and happy to be working with pastel again.