Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dusty Blue

Dusty Blue
12 x 12
Pastel on Hand Pumiced Gatorboard

This is another visit into the realm of highly textured pieces. I started this process with Azul Arenoso and just hadn't gotten back to it yet. Arenoso sold on it's first trip to a show, so I figured I did something right! HAH! I have another show coming up and needed a new "blue" painting to fill out that section of my booth. I've decided to take my color explorations to a new level by organizing my paintings in my booth like that. So, I'll have sections for Blue and Green agave with a transition that's both blue and green. Then I'll have the wall of white flowers. This little beauty will be with me this weekend at the Texas Arts and Crafts Fair in Ingram Texas. 

With this particular piece, I did my usual pumice application with a sponge. In some instances, I've kind of done this in sweeps and swirls. In this case, after wiping down the board, I kind of blotted the sponge to give it a bit of a more uniform texture - though still highly textured. Then, after drawing out my image, I worked around it with additional pumice and white gouache and a small spatula - almost like palette knife painting. I like the high key look of this one. The day I visited all these Whale's Tongue (Agave ovatafolia) it was really really sunny, so I got some good shadows. 






Sunday, September 23, 2018

Agave Fountain

Agave Fountain
12 x 9
Watercolor on Clay Board (Aquabord)
As promised, I said I would try my last painting that I did in pastel in watercolor. So, here is the pastel formerly known as "Emerging" re-imagined as "Agave Fountain". Since this was watercolor, I wanted this to be a water based name. I did feel like the agave's center was shooting up like a fountain and made reference to that in my last entry. I broke out the thesaurus and the word 'surface' came up - as in surfacing from below. But, that didn't seem quite right. Then I realized, well "DUH", FOUNTAIN is a water word. Silly rabbit.

After I varnished this guy (or at least put the spray down first), I tried some alternate color backgrounds. Initially, I left it white for the light and airy look. Then I realized it sort of looks like a canna lily. I wanted this to be similar to my last watercolor "Alamo Agave". My sister told me that my last agave reminded her of a clean/sparse Japanese painting. I was rather honored by that. I don't think this one has that quality though - I think it's the green vs the Payne's gray of Alamo that made it seem like Japanese inks.

Anyway, here are a few of the alternate backgrounds. Which do you like?

The original brick color - like "Emerging"

Very dark - but not quite black

Purple is one of the triad complements of Green - but yuck right?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Emerging

Emerging
12 x 9
Pastel on Richeson Pastel Surface
140 lb archival paper - Color Clay

It's been quite some time since I've worked in pastel. The work started last weekend. Since my last run at pastel paintings on July 1st, I left my studio and materials in disarray. In between, I did some watercolor work in late August/early September. Since then, I've just been working really hard at my corporate job. I finally got back to my art/creativity when I spent last weekend cleaning my studio. I did avoid one part though. One of the things I really abhor is putting away my pastels after I've used them. I gather them on a tray as I'm using them. Then I get lazy and don't want to clean and put away. It's kind of like I don't mind loading the washer/dryer, but I don't like put away. Oddly, folding doesn't bother me too much.

This piece is of my Mr Ripple agave in the front yard. I am using a new set of Earth Green Jack Richeson pastels. I'm also trying out a Jack Richeson pastel support. It's 140lb paper coated with a toned grit. This particular color is clay.

I decided I liked the color of the clay support, so am leaving it clean. The look also reminded me of some of the watercolor work I've been doing. Next up will be the watercolor version of this image.





How it ended - added Ludwig
Eggplant, Dark Blue, Dusty Purple, Grey Blue and Salmon Pink

Monday, September 10, 2018

Desert Star

Desert Star
5x5
Watercolor on Clay Board (Aquabord)

This is from a few days ago, but I saved it until after the holiday weekend to post. For this one, I practiced lifting the edges back to white to give the leaves thickness. I also had to lift some of the darker shadows towards the middle because I made them so dark they were distracting. While this is an artichoke agave, I made it more green than blue, so it seems to be a small succulent. Yet, in reality, this guy is probably 18 inches in diameter. I'd like to do this one again, but maybe a different off center composition. Having fun on the journey. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

August Daturra

August Daturra
5 x 5
Watercolor on Clay Board (Aquabord)

Here's another installment of photos taken while on my morning exercise walk/jogging route. This Daturra (also called Jimson Weed) was blooming over on La Cantera street. It's a squat little plant, kind of grey green leaves and really cool seed pods. 

I thought I'd give white a try. It's so weird to work on a white surface. I usually work on a toned/colored surface with my pastels.  It takes some getting used to that the wet paint is darker than it will be dry. I do think I could have pushed the shadow on the flower more. I have to say I was REALLY pleased with how much pigment the clay held in the upper dark green/purple area - really intense. What I like about my pastels is the vibrancy. What I'm getting with Aquabord is Vibrancy as well! The varnish only intensifies it! Loving this journey.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Alamo Agave

Alamo Agave
9 x 12
Watercolor on Clay Board (Aquabord)

Finally, something is clicking! I had loads of fun with this guy. Four colors: Payne's Gray, Yellow Ocher, Hookers Green, and Sepia. Oh!! And Alizarin Crimson and Indigo for the thorns.This is a Whales Tongue agave up on Lakeline Drive by the Alamo Drafthouse - hence "Alamo Agave". One of the things I was doing with my agave pastel work of late was limiting color. the other image I did of this guy in pastel is called "Azul Arenoso" or Sandy Blue. 

I liked the way the Payne's Gray and Ocher blended together in layers of glazing. Still a long way to go, but feeling accomplished for today.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Agave Melt

Agave Melt
9 x 12
Watercolor on Clay Board (Aquabord)

Today was a bigger step than the last several days. It all came from a comment shared by another member of a Facebook watercolor group. She gave me a suggestion for working wetter for softer blending. Since I'm working on Aquabord, I'm not sure if it works a bit differently than paper. On a dampened spot, I deposited paint then pulled it with a puddle and drier brush. Yeah, probably watercolor 101, but things I've forgotten while working in Pastel the last 5 years. 

The importance and learning from daily painting is critical. It is harder though to work really small, so I am coming up a bit larger. I purchased a stock of 6 x 6 and 9 x 12, so here we go!