Sunday, June 16, 2019

Rusted Azure

Rusted Azure
32 x 32
Pastel on Pumiced Board

Apparently, it's the year of the BIG paintings. This spring, it was the big paintings that garnered attention. Ultimately, many found new homes. Some collectors asked to commission specific paintings for their space. Rusted Azure is one of those. 

My collectors really liked the metallic series, but wanted something larger. The wife chose Magnolia Sobre Oro. Her husband liked the painting of magnolias, which have an antique gold background. However, he was really drawn the strong bold coppers of some of my smaller paintings in the metallic series like Copper and Jade and Copper and Cobalt. They just were not the right size for their space. We worked this one up from some of the photos from my April trip to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. I really enjoyed working big again. I'll need to work big again to replenish my stock of larger paintings.

Rusted Azure is at the framer now. I'm hoping I'll get to deliver the painting next weekend....and see her in her new home.  

Here's a few progress shots of the piece. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Desert Firecracker

Desert Firecracker
12 x 9
Pastel on Richeson Sanded Paper

And then there were two paintings after the hiatus. The hiatus that felt like the desert was parched and has now found the drenching rains. I very much enjoyed my visit to the desert in April - the Phoenix/Sonoran Desert to be precise. I'm lucky enough to live close the Chihuahua desert. Often, people ask  me why I am so drawn (ha ha) to agave/succulents. At one time, I didn't know the answer. Then, on a trip to West Texas a few years back, we were driving from Terlingua down to Lajitas, over to Presidio and then up to Marfa. As we came through Presidio, it reminded me of where I grew up - on the border of Texas/Mexico - and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I grew up in a hot semi arid place. Though we grew citrus, there was also a lot of cactus and mesquite. So, it was there that my unconscious love of all things cacti and agave began.

Thanking a instagram friend of mine, Jeremy Spath @hiddenagave for the resource photo on this one. During his travels, he sees many species of agave that I don't normally see. He's often in the Chihuahua desert and northern Baja. This particular agave is called Agave pelona. Pelona in Spanish means "bald". Being that my Spanish isn't what it used to be (or maybe never was), I looked it up in translator and also came across translations to "broke" or "tough/difficult", as well as one reference to "death". Given how this agave looks, it may look like it's dying, but it certainly is tough! And really - WOW - what colors! This may be my new favorite. Must do more research on this one - will it live in Central Texas - or are we too cold in the winter?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum (Olive I think)
Greetings from what seems like the beyond! It has literally been just shy of 4 months since I've been at the easel. I've been super busy with shows and traveling quite a bit for various reasons....starting in mid February with the class I taught at the Port Aransas Art Center. The run down is below. I had to write it down so I could see the carnage - I don't know why. I've surprised myself with what I've accomplished without collapsing. I do have to admit there was a grumpy day or few....

So yeah, not much painting going on since my last paintings in late January. Finally, last weekend, I was able to paint. I finished up a couple of paintings. The photo shoot in Phoenix in April was AMAZING. I have so many photos that are saying - "paint me"! My muse was refreshed and gushing with ideas. Then....instead of painting, I had loads of shows and work travel. I've had lots of time to think through what I want to do. I made lists of paintings and sizes during vacation. I've ordered frames and am stocked up and ready to roll. This is the first painting, Pretty in Pink. Trust me, there is a lot of warming up going on, many paintings directly into the trash. Just getting acquainted again with my pastels and easel. It's also getting used to my new studio arrangement. It will take a while to feel comfortable and hit my stride. I'm looking forward to the three weeks off with no travel!

  • Jan 29 - Hang Solo Show - Paper Garden
  • Feb 16/17 - Port Aransas - Teach at Port Aransas Art Center
  • Feb 18 thru 22 - Port Lavaca - stay at my sister's until the next activity
  • Feb 23/24 - Rockport - Whooping Crane Trip
  • Mar 2/3 - Lakeway - Jen Evenhus Pastel Workshop
  • Home working through Studio Refresh - refinished/recovered furniture
  • Mar 29/30/31 - Houston - Bayou City Art Fest
  • Apr 6/7 - Phoenix - photo shoot at Desert Botanical Gardens
  • Apr 13/14 - The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival
  • Apr 20/21 - Home -Easter
  • Apr 27/28 - Wimberley Arts Fest
  • Apr 29/May 1 - Orlando - Corporate Work Trip
  • May 5/6/7/8/9 - Fort Davis - Vacation - WHEW!! Much Needed
  • May 10 - Granite Shoals - Visit a client to size a commissioned painting
  • May 13/14/15 - Indianapolis - Corporate Work Trip

Still to come - 
  • May 21/22 - Dallas - Corporate Work Trip
  • May 25/26 - Kerrville Arts Fest
  • THREE WEEKS WITH NO TRAVEL (let's hope it stays that way)
  • Jun 17/18/19/20/21 - Indianapolis - Corporate Work Trip
  • Jul 6/7 - Rockport Arts Festival
Here's the refreshed studio space. Grey leather couch, grey chair. Sideboard for supplies. Indoor/outdoor rug - but we'll see if it makes it. No art on the walls...most of it is packed up for final shows of the year.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Phoenix Afterglow

Phoenix Afterglow
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum Colourfix in Ultra

Continuing in the theme of cactus florals. I'm moving away from yellow and pink and into Orange. Dang, orange is hard. I used to think yellow was hard, but now since I'm feeling better about yellow, orange is my new nemesis. It may be the blue base I worked on, but I figured working with the compliment would be good. then I realized, orange and green are compliments - blue is the compliment of red. What was I thinking - oh, yeah. I wasn't. I just said in my last post how I don't think when I paint, I just flow. The blue did keep this a cooler painting. I suppose if I had some Leaf Green Art spectrum that would have been better. I wanted a cooler feeling, vs maybe my instinct was okay? Not sure. Thoughts? comments?

Feb 6...oh em gee. Many years ago when studying for a standardized test, I learned I was a bad answer changer. This means I should go with my first instinctual answer. The same is true here. I over thought the color wheel of all things. YES the compliment of blue is orange so my instinct on papers was sound. But I second guessed myself and talked myself out of it.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Big Bend Beauty

Big Bend Beauty
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum Colourfix in Olive

A clear, cold and windy day. A full day including early yoga, a pastel group meeting, painting, and a lovely dinner at home. Earlier this week, it felt like spring, and now it feels like old man winter is back. I'm back to the easel painting cactus flowers and longing for spring. I say I long for spring, but I also do enjoy the winter and the heat of summer since they are slower seasons when I can focus on my painting. Spring is of course yard time and art show time. Fall is holidays and the beginning of the fiscal year at my corporate job.

Anyway, this blog is about art, but there are so many other things in my life besides art. Meditation and yoga bring me peace. Art however, takes me to a place of sheer bliss and serenity. I don't think when I paint, I just do. It's kind of yoda-ish if that's a word - "There is no try, only do". Which reminds me of another quote - "The only difference between a master and a beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried". I'm no master, but I keep trying. A friend recently shared their frustration with meditation. Meditation, yoga and painting are a practice....practice doesn't make it perfect, but it does yield progress.

Progress shot....and one of our cats - Severus.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Midnight Queen

Midnight Queen
12 x 12
Pastel on Hand Pumiced Gatorboard

I'm continuing in the theme of the night blooming cactus. Their proper name iof the genus is Epiphyllum. This one belongs to my neighbor Sam. I envy this one. Mine are white. He gave me a cutting from his plant, but alas, the deer munched it. I will have to start again and keep it on the screened in porch.

As I painted, I listened to the soundtrack from Bohemian Rhapsody. This is how the painting ended up with the name Night QUEEN. I grew up on Queen. In fact, one of my first records was a 45 of Killer Queen. I think the first album I ever had I got from my brother - The Animals. My favorite song of theirs was "The House of the Rising Sun" - which would be apropos for this series of night bloomers. I'm on a new roll!!

Once again, only one progress shot. I got into the zone again. I did some composing on this one. I adjusted the angle of the flower - you can see how the photo is tilted. I also added some additional leaves to 'frame' it.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Desert Dawn

Desert Dawn
12 x 12
Pastel on Hand Pumiced Gatorboard
Good to get back to the easel this weekend. I was up in cold Indiana this week. While it's good to see my workmates in Indy, it's also good to be home. 

Continuing in the theme of cactus florals, this is a lovely night bloomer. Such a treat to wake up to the incredible fragrance of these. This one is on an upright cactus vs the floppier type. I'm not quite as knowledgeable on the specific species on these. Something to work on I suppose. 

This piece is done on a hand pumiced Gatorboard. I tint the pumice with the collected pastel dust from my easel. It's the perfect neutral gray. I created a more even texture on this one by blotting/patting my sponge over the surface after I applied the pumice. Only one progress shot right after I drew out the image.