Monday, September 11, 2017

Opal Skies

Opal Skies
6 x 8
Pastel on UArt 500

Continuing in the series of remnant paper paintings is Opal Skies. When I took my remnants, which were of skies, I decided I would do various skies from my cache of photos. I searched sky and so many came up from different times. This glorious sunset was a wash of color. What I liked was the color mixing on this one. Truly, the Divine is the best artist of all. It took me some time to realize that we often see shades of green in our skies....well some would say turquoise. Of course - yellow and blue make green! 

I am in awe of artists who paint clouds and skies as a primary genre. It's not easy at all....but it is very freeing. I'm enjoying this diversion from my usual genre.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Snowbound Sunset

Snowbound Sunset
6 x 6
Pastel on UArt 500

This is the next in the series of remnant paper paintings. As many of you know, I live in Texas, so snow is not something I typically see. BUT...my BFF (and I literally mean BFF because I've known her since I was 5) lives in Utah! A photo from her back balcony inspired this painting. What I liked about the image was how the snow reflected the setting sun. The colors in the southwestern skies are always amazing and Utah doesn't disappoint. 

Up next, is a sunrise at home...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Long Haul

The Long Haul
7 x 9
Pastel on UArt 500

This is the first of a series of sky/sunset/sunrise paintings. They are done on the remnants of some longer pieces of paper that I've re-purposed. That's the lovely thing about Uart and some other pastel papers - you can take a piece of another painting and make it into something different. Of course, you can do that with canvas as well. These started as a painting I worked up for a local call for artists. I did three passes at the painting then selected the one I preferred. For the two that I did not prefer, I cut them into pieces. You'll see more of the preferred painting next week after the deadline is passed.

This remnant became a painting of a photo which my friend Steve S took. He drives motorcycles across the country. This was a photo on the road of a either a sunset or sunrise, I don't recall. What I liked about his photo was how the road in front of him was illuminated by his headlights. The vanishing point of the road into the redness of the sky was intriguing. The painting became "The Long Haul" since that what Steve does. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Gila and Aloe

Gila and Aloe
5 x 7
Pastel on Primed Gator Board

Here's another painting with the primed Gator Board. I can thank my friend Michael S for the photo resource. He's a photographer friend I met at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. Though he's called the "hummingbird whisperer" he also gets great shots of other garden inhabitants, like this male Gila Woodpecker checking out the sweet aloe.

So, as I'm trying this new technique, part of it is figuring out how I want to lay down the primer. This one was more uniform like a canvas, up/down left and right. One can see it in the sky section more clearly. It's definitely harder to paint w/the primer. I'm going to continue to work w/these small subjects to refine my own ways with this. I do like that it gives it a more painterly look. It definitely gives more of a feather texture for the birds very easily.

I think I'm also going to try some different colors for the primer. Purple, Terracotta, umber, grey, olive green and sienna are generally my go to colors. This will be a fun journey. I did manage to get one progress shot on this. I'm concentrating very hard for this :)


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunny Oriole

Sunny Oriole
7 x 5
Pastel on Textured Gatorboard


We're riding out the hurricane that has decided to squat in Texas. We dumped out the rain gauge at 6 inches this morning and it's already at 2 inches again. We have a few downed oak branches, but we have power and water. Our family is safe. We're praying for my sister's home in Port Lavaca which is on the coast where the hurricane made landfall. This is the home she opens to me when I show my work at the July art festival in Rockport. Praying for the residents and town of Rockport that has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey as well as those in Southeast Texas still being battered by the rain. 

We had to cancel our art events this weekend including our member exhibit and awards event, as well as our workshop by the wonderful Rita Kirkman. Since I can't take the workshop this weekend, I'm still trying out her technique. The technique uses primed/textured gator board. I primed with the requisite Golden fine pumice gel mixed w/nickle azo gold acrylic. Then I built up values using terracotta Art Spectrum texture. She makes it look so easy!!  Clearly, I need the workshop. I don't think my textures are quite right. I'm probably in too much of a hurry, patience is a virtue, but it's not one of mine.

Since it's so gloomy today, and will be for another week, I needed a happy sunny subject. Rita's process seems to lend itself well to fur and feathers, so I thought I'd try one of those. She also does lovely portraits. No progress shots today....

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Agave with Retama Petals

Agave with Retama Petals
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum Terra Cotta
Today, we went to the garden store because my significant other has been talking about getting a Palo Verde tree for weeks on end now. He's been fascinated with them. Once at the garden store, I learned something about these trees. What we see in Texas may not always be Palo Verde. Turns out, we have Retama trees which have bigger thorns. Well, we ended up with a Retama. Both have nice green trunks and there are more differences  and I'd recommend the read. By the way, Palo Verde translates to green stick, Retama translates to broom.

As I'm getting ready for my show in Temple next weekend, I was checking my stock of various paintings on hand and realized I need a couple more for my rustic barn wood frames. So, with Retama/Palo Verdes on my mind, I dug through my cache of agave and found this one that had the petals of the tree in it's leaves. It was a nice afternoon diversion.



The initial palette
The final palette
picked up more for flower petals







Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Purple Lily Burst

Purple Lily Burst
14 x 18
Pastel on UArt 500
Still in my water lily phase and digging through my own water garden photo cache and my neighbors water garden lilies as well. This one belongs to Sam and Sheila. It's a lovely starburst purple tropical with a variegated pad. I'm much happier with this rendition of variegation. It's also my first try at water droplets. I couldn't locate the lesson I had on water droplets, so I had to wing it. I should have just googled the process, but I'm pretty okay with the outcome.

Overall, water lilies are darn hard to paint. I think I've found a new challenge and I have a pond full of these as well as several other neighborhood ponds, and the best water garden store in our area only a few miles away (Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery if you're interested).

Here's the progress shots. I did under painting with pan pastels. I decided to take the second water droplet off the lily pad - that one I didn't like.