Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Inside Out Translucence

Inside Out Translucence
10 x 8
Pastel on Pastel Premier Board (Italian Clay)
And now for something completely different. One of my pastel friends shared an article about growing as an artist. Give it a read - it's good stuff - Unusual Habits to Keep You Growing Artistically

I enjoyed the article and am trying to take it to heart. I'm working on something I know is hard for me - and I feel like I'm failing. But that's good. My nemesis is translucence and I'm fascinated with translucence. 

This is a view I had recently from inside my house, looking out into the setting sun through the Virginia Creeper vine around my screened in porch. The colors w/the back lit sun were mesmerizing. 

This will be one technique I am going to have to research more thoroughly. For now, this is my attempt at translucence. Below is the actual photo. Likely, part of what I'm battling with is the camera, the way it blows out the light. So, will need to observe this more in actual light - with my own eyes - not my camera eyes. 


Monday, November 27, 2017

Lemon Laden

Lemon Laden
12 x 9
Pastel on Wallis Belgian Mist

Here's another view of my lemon tree. Literally, the poor thing is drooping with the weight of the lemons. I think she may need some support. The same thing happened last year - so many lemons. We were worried, so we pulled the lemons at one time, and later learned to leave them on the tree until needed. We gave so many away. 

While we didn't have a lemon tree at our childhood home, we did have a lime tree and boy did it have thorns! It was always loaded with limes. You could walk up to it and give it a shake and the ripe ones would fall off. So many went to waste. It was too much for one family. We gave away what we could...but the animals would come for the rest. More on that in my next installment on tangerines.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lemon Drops

Lemon Drops
12 x 9
Pastel on Wallis Belgian Mist

When I was a little (okay, I'm still short), my mom would put me outside under the tangerine trees with a drawing pad. I was entertained for hours (and out from underfoot I expect). My Dad was a great gardener as was my Mother. My Dad however gravitated to fruit trees. We had 2 tangerine, 2 orange, 1 grapefruit, 1 lime, 1 fig and many peach trees. Time it seems is circular (and check out the movie "The Arrival" for more on that subject).  While I can't sit under our Meyer Lemon tree, she's laden with lemons, and I'm still admiring the view and still drawing. 

I'm going to be doing a run of still life paintings. I'm down to ONE....all my other still life are sold - lemons, oranges, kiwi, radishes, beets, eggs, peaches. apples etc. My recent commission client told me I really needed to do more still life, and the realization yesterday when 2 of the last 3 sold, it confirmed his statement. So, here we go - get ready for fruit and other plant based foods...and perhaps more eggs. 

I didn't get any progress shots of this one since I was "in the zone", but here's me when I was a kid drawing under the trees, as well as a shot of our Meyer lemon tree.


Me under the tangerine trees


Our potted Meyer Lemon on the Front Porch

Friday, November 24, 2017

Familia Azul

Familia Azul
24 x 32
Pastel on UArt 500 with Added Tinted Pumice

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's not about things, but about being thankful, grateful, and for me, being with my family. There is no pressure to present each other material objects that will fade with time. We are there with the gifts of food we each bring to the table and most importantly, to enjoy each other. 

This agave colony lives in my front yard. It is the offspring of a single blue agave I brought home to my garden 10 years ago. Blue Child is part of this colony, but this is a better view of more of the family. It's a tangle of agave and a bit of a challenge to see who starts where and what leaf belongs to which agave. There are at least 3 large agave in this image, and more sprouting from "umbilical cords" below. I recently thinned the family and took offspring to my students in my pastel class with the Wimberley Valley Art League.

I started this painting last week and have been working on it off and on for the last several days. Today, we went to see Disney's latest film "Coco". It's absolutely delightful and the homage to Frida Khalo - priceless. I almost fell out of my chair laughing. But the message in the movie is the importance of family and remembering them even when they are gone. I grew up on the border and Dia de Los Santos is a special day to me, so the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is near and dear to my heart as well. 

I came home inspired by the colors in the movie - especially the pink and orange. I had been struggling w/the background on this painting, it had gotten too pale. I decided to give it some pink and orange and it felt good. So, here she is - in honor of my family - Familia Azul.








Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ballena Azul

Ballena Azul
24 x 32
Pastel on Tinted Pumice Enhanced UArt 500
COMMISSION - SOLD

Last year, on July 20th, I completed a painting "Green Javelin" on a very special day, the anniversary of my mother's death. I wrote about how I "knew" the painting was finished and it was almost like a message from my mom. Today, I got a similar message.

This painting is a commission for a client in Dallas whom I met at the Cottonwood Arts Festival. He was drawn to my booth by my banner which has an image of Green Javelin. After he and his wife looked at what I had they decided to explore a much larger commission. I've been working on this painting for a few weeks sharing studies, progress shots etc. Today, I had that "feeling" this was done. I texted my client with a photo of the painting to date. I let him know that it was ready to sign with his approval. His reply was 💗💗💗💗💗. I asked it that meant yes and he said "Um Duh!". 

Today is my mother's birthday. There are no coincidences - only God Winks. My guardian angel guided me once again on timing. 

This painting is named Ballena Azul- or Blue Whale. The agave is the Agave Ovatofolia - Whale's Tongue. She's off to the framer tomorrow. We'll make that Christmas delivery early!!

Study with the paint swatch of their home - theirs is the middle grey

Examples of background colors on another study
Study of a different agave
The winner - Agave Ovatafolia - Whale's Tongue





Thursday, October 26, 2017

Blue Child

Blue Child
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Olive Green

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and more appreciative. Sometimes, I have to take a break from botanical paintings. It helps to do other things to realize how much I truly appreciate the beauty of agave. 

This one is from my front yard. It is one of oodles of babies from a single big Agave Americana I purchased when we first moved into this house 10 years ago. That original agave bloomed and died many years ago, but she lives on in the many pups. Since then, two pups have matured and bloomed and passed. Soon, I'll cut down the big stalks. I have this desire to paint them turquoise and hang Christmas ornaments on them.

Here's some progress shots of this child...I'll have her with me at the upcoming Turtle Creek Arts Festival in Dallas Nov 11-12.





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Yin and Yang Rabbits

Yin and Yang Rabbits
7 x 5
Pastel on Textured Gatorboard

Here's 5 of 5 in the rabbit series. They were so fun and freeing! These two were also part of the birthday party. These reminded me of yin and yang - light and dark. I loved the sweet little brown bunny cuddling up w/the white one and the look of almost sleepy closing eyes of the white one. This was a fun series to do. They just flowed.

I've framed these in a smooth finished rustic wood with Anti Reflective and UV protective glass. These are ready to put on your wall and for $95 plus Texas state tax if applicable and shipping ($15).