Saturday, September 28, 2013

making progress

I loved the wildness of the neglected property but to make this place our home we had to clean it up. After the old smelly cabin was gone, we hauled away seven dumpsters of brush, stumps, tires, pipes, concrete, ant hills, bee nests and general garbage.

The lake is in the distance, beyond our car. The line of yellow is straw where the cabin used to be and where the house and studio will be in the future. There is a maple grove, and fruit trees will be planted where I stood to take the bottom photo (a spot that was impassable before the excavator). We're making progress.

Painting Note: the top photo is the reference for my painting Long Time Passing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

bye bye old smelly

Our new lake property came with a rotting 1928 cabin. We had it demolished a few days ago. Now, on to new house plans and a new studio. Yay!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

from the heart

This summer I painted a dozen small pastel paintings 'from the heart.' No reference photos, just me and my pastel sticks working and playing together to set a mood and tell a story. This is "Afternoon Passage," my first offering from the series, for purchase through Daily Paintworks. Pastel on sanded surface, 7.5 x 7.5 inches, unframed.

Monday, September 9, 2013

looking inward

Two months ago I completed a painting titled "Long Time Passing" and mentioned at that time that I'd share the backstory in the future. The future is now so here is the link to that post as well as a link to the process and below is the backstory.
My husband and I recently purchased lake property. I painted this scene of it when the previous owner first allowed us to walk the land. At that time, the sale was uncertain and turned out to be months away. Overgrown and wild, we looked at it for years as we drove by; to finally own it is a dream come true. I want to make the property and the building of a house and studio there my priority even though that will mean painting less or not at all for awhile.

This new project comes at a time when I was questioning why I paint what I do. I lost interest in painting scenes from reference photos so I threw all my photos out. I began painting what I called "mind's-eye" scenes. They might be from my memory though I don't remember having been in these places. Maybe they are from my heart?

As part of my break from painting,  I rarely log into Facebook these days and I cancelled most of my blog subscriptions because these are sources of painting motivation for me.

Two subscriptions I didn't want to give up are Tom Weinkle and Loriann Signori because these artists provide thought provoking words of wisdom. I may not be painting but I am certainly thinking about painting. Specifically what/how/why I will paint in the future.  I am looking inward.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

attention pastel artists

This is my Pastel Journal magazine collection, 2001 through 2012, complete except for the February 2011 issue (where is it? I have looked everywhere!). There are 69 magazines and 4 guides. It is time for me to pass this collection on to someone else. If you are interested, please email me.

NOTE: I FOUND FEBRUARY 2011! Now there are 70 issues, a complete set!

Friday, September 6, 2013

step 9 - complete with details

Step 9 - Complete with Details
The last step of my work is to add details. I believe that a good painting should be 95% complete before adding details (see above).  Details can never save a mediocre painting.
Before beginning detail work ask yourself if you have a strong composition. Do you have the range of values that is appropriate to the story you want to tell? Once you have a pleasing composition and good value placement, you can review your color. It has been said that value does the work and color gets the glory. It matters less what exact color you use than the value of that color. Any number of colors in the same value range will do the job but some will do it with more vigor than others.

The marks you make for your detail work are very important because these are the strokes the viewer will look at first. For that reason, put detail only in strategic areas to do a job: to lead the eye around the painting or to tell the story. Your detail marks must be confident. Tentative marks of detail have a labored and tense look.
 Follow Your Heart  |  pastel  | 10.5 x 12 inches

Thursday, September 5, 2013

step 8 - add transparency

Step 8 - Add Transparency
To achieve the look of translucency, I hold my pastel stick so the side of the pastel, not the tip, touches the paper. In a fluid movement, I touch the pastel to the paper and drag. This gives a light layer or veil of color and when used over another color the result can be magical. In this painting, I used two complementary colors, one as the base and one as the veil. Because complementary colors intensify each other and vibrate, the yellow green veil placed over the complementary violet background seems to lift and float, adding depth to the tree foliage. 

Complete the details tomorrow... 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

step 7 - enchancing the atmosphere

Step 7-Enhancing the Atmosphere

Adding a lavender purple will soften and unify the other colors. I apply pastel veils of color. My marks are strong and direct. I add lavender notes on the ground, and I take a little pigment throughout the stage to create an atmosphere. I reused my light yellow to provide more saturation to the sky.  I use the ridge of a pastel stick to emphasize the presence of trees on the left.

Step 8 tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

step 6 - play with color

Step 6-Play with Your Colors
I have not planned the color scheme of this painting in advance because I do not want to transform the process of creation into a method of production. The relationship between colors is critical knowledge for an artist.  We have to ask: is the purple under the shade of green trees too bright, too extinguished and dull?  Does it deserve adjustment? It is gratifying to find the right color immediately. When in doubt, I test on the margins of my paper.

Step 7 tomorrow...

Monday, September 2, 2013

step 5 - create atmosphere

Step 5-Create an Atmosphere
The mood of a painting is set by composition, color, color temperature and pastel technique. Here, the horizon is slightly above the center of the paper, which balances the composition.  The path must go a certain way.  Surrounding trees emphasize the private aspect of this trip.  If you think about the mood, and if you know your subject and you have a clear vision of the story you want to tell, you will naturally gravitate to the right colors.  I want a calm and serene atmosphere. My first choice of color is a blue-violet.  I apply it generously, as it will have to bear the overlays.

Next step will be posted tomorrow...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Step 4 - bring dynamism

Step 4-Bring dynamism to the painting
A complete set of values ​​will bring force to your tableau. The lightest value lies in the sky, unless you are painting bright snow or sand.  The second value is the flat ground. Upright rees and shade will be a darker value. I apply my darkest value (dark green brown). I use a gloved finger to blend the pigment. I love working the material with a glove, I have the feeling of coming into the image to work transparency and depth.  I merge the ghost color along the edge of the forest. To establish and confirm the setting, I use a Colour Shaper:  this tool is ideal to draw the foliage, stems and grass. 

Step 5 tomorrow...