Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the ground or me?

Another painting that I am pleased with on my marble dust/gesso ground on rag mat. I'm mixing different recipes to find the ground that will make my paintings paint themselves (haha). But, I think I may have stumbled upon one variable that I hadn't figured into this experiment. I am painting on "scraps," the windows cut from rag mats, and I feel so much more playful (translates to loose for me) painting on them rather than painting on an expensive piece of my beloved Wallis. So, while I'll continue to mix recipes - I have some extra-fine pumice on order - this has led me to another question: is it the ground or is it me?

Monday, November 29, 2010

tender season

This painting was on my easel through the Thanksgiving holiday and it cheered me each time I looked at it. With Christmas less than a month away, we are in the tender season. Emotions run high, challenges and opportunities are magnified. This painting is the second test of the pastel ground recipe I'm trying to mix. This time the test is on rag mat board (instead of masonite) and it feels better because it is softer.

On another note, my long-ago instructor, William Cumming, passed away last week at age 93. I am honored to have a painting he gave me when I was his student. I found this interesting quote from him: "We are not creators -- we are created. I hold the brush, but what holds me? These are troubling thoughts for me as a practicing atheist."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ground test #2

Ground test #2 seems a little better - less grit. 2/3 cup acrylic gesso + 4 teaspoons marble dust + 1/3 cup water. I applied it to another 8x10 piece of masonite but I think the true test will be when I paint on the mat board.

ground test #1

It occurred to me (duh!) that I should test the ground I'm applying to the cut mats since I've never used this mixture before.  I used 1 cup acrylic gesso + 5 Tablespoons marble dust + 1/4 cup water. Put it in the blender, spread it with a foam roller. I'm glad I tested it on this 8 x 10 masonite panel because it is too gritty for me. I'll adjust the recipe and mix another batch to test. Click on the image to enlarge.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

pastel ground

Today I cut all the random sized pieces of 4-ply rag mat board in my studio into squares then applied an acrylic gesso + marble dust ground to a few for future pastel paintings. When these are dry, I'll prepare another batch and will be ready to start painting in pastel again after the holidays.

On another subject, the approach of the holiday season is the time of year that commission work is most abundant if that is something you are willing to do...it has to be a creative “fit.” My November 2010 editorial for the Northwest Pastel Society website is about some of my commission experiences. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Monday, November 15, 2010

a labor of love

This painting has gone from "hope springs eternal" to "dashed hopes" then to "hope against hope." There are a couple areas that I loved enough to stick with it. Painting it was a labor of love.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

hope springs eternal

There is a "hope springs eternal" time in the process of creating a painting when it is beginning to tell your story as you envisioned it and nothing has yet gone terribly wrong. It is a good time to stop for the day and post it as a work-in-process. It is our driveway (again) and possibly the last strong sunlight of this year. The paper is white Wallis, the foundation for pastel is an oil paint wash. Click on the image to enlarge.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Today I attended the Northwest Pastel Society 24th International Open Exhibition. Steve Hill received Best of Show with a beautiful painting of hay bales. After the awards presentation, there was a member meeting and small-painting-wrapped-in brown-paper exchange. This is the little painting I took for the exchange.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Ahh...back to good old Wallis paper for the second painting in the Sleeping Lady series.  This one has a light watercolor wash on top of gold gessoed white Wallis. The first painting in this new series is Sleeping Lady September.

The Northwest Pastel Society 24th Open International Exhibit is now online at the American Art Company website. There are many beautiful pieces in this show - I am honored to be included. Take a look.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the eleventh hour

The painting of my second acrylic-turned-pastel was interrupted by a couple things but I finally got back to it today. It has been wiped off, washed off, oil-painted on and brushed with alcohol. I even sprayed it with Windex...the bottle was sitting there and I was desperate. The next time I try to turn an acrylic into a pastel painting, I will do it by turning the board OVER and prepping the backside! This painting should be called "Instead of Yoga" because I missed my yoga class today to finish it so I could get it off my easel and out of my brain. Click on the image to see more texture.