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


  1. Thank you for your post. I love your Chicken Coop painting. Your designs are always superb! And about frames. Have been sanding some of my rejects lately to hopefully, with some success, paint off white, my new favorite frame color. I'd be interested in hearing more about frames that you like or reject.

  2. Barbara,
    I was wondering how you work the lines of the buildings so that they are so straight... something I notice in most of your work and I am curious about.


  3. For straight, clean lines, the paper and the pastel both play a part. This is Pastelmat paper, very grabby for crisp, clean lines. A NEW stick of Nupastel has very sharp corners to lay in sharp edges. Place the Nupastel against your paper and pull confidently down or sideways. You'll get one chance to make a clean, fresh stroke. In this painting I completed the chicken coop first. I know I can make beautiful trees but chicken coops? Not so sure. So, the chicken coop was 95% complete before I went on to other areas. In this painting, the white gutter was laid in initially with a sharp pastel pencil and ruler. You can see in the finished painting that I broke the line with random marks.