Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

december rain

It has been pouring rain in the Pacific Northwest for days. The colors of wet trees, grasses and branches slide into one another and on into the creek. The only bright spots are the lichens on branches.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

come dance with me

This painting of dancing grass (again on gessoed rag mat with no pastel mixture ground) came together in about an hour last night. Add another 3 hours of messing with it this morning then another hour of trying to get the color right in Photoshop - now I'm tired of it. Maybe the last painting for a while...Christmas is coming.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

pastel on gesso

In my studio, another batch of 4-ply rag mag boards with gesso on both sides is awaiting the pumice-gesso ground for pastel. I wondered what would happen if I painted directly on the gessoed board (no pastel surface mixture on it). I applied a watercolor foundation on top of the gesso and pastel on top of that. This painting didn't require any wipe offs so the gesso alone had enough tooth for my needs.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

back to bare bones

The good news is my "hand-made" surface held up through three total wipe offs of this painting. I wasn't sure if this surface (my pastel mix on rag mat) could take a hosing as Wallis can so I sprayed it a couple times with Spectra Fix to get some tooth back. After a couple more hours of work on this painting, I took a stiff bristled brush and brushed the whole thing off AGAIN from top to bottom. LOVE the trees in the background, I didn't touch them again after the wipe off. A little work on the purple bush and grasses on the right as well as some distant turquoise. I think it is now as good as it is going to get.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the point of no return?

I'm at a turning point with this painting. I was happy with the oil-wash foundation (left) but the painting went downhill from there because I was torn between the colors of the reference photo and a darker version that I had in mind. I have wiped the pastel off twice, pasteled the whole thing over in violet once, and scrubbed and scratched this "home-made" surface close to the point of no return. I may have to simply rip this one up.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a good photo problem

Today I used a reference photo that looked very much like this painting. And once again, I am reminded that though I am interpreting the scene and making it my own, it isn't as challenging or interesting to me as painting from either a really bad photo, a compilation of photos, or from no physical reference at all. Note: I left plein air painting out of this comparison because it is a completely different experience.