Sunday, January 14, 2018

Azul y Oro

Azul y Oro
12 x 9
Pastel on Tinted Pumice
Primed Gatorboard
I'm breaking into the gold iridescent/metallic paint. This was actually a failed painting (see the "yuck" painting in the Verdigris post). I took it to the mop sink and washed and scrubbed it off - and got to start again.

I primed the board again with pumice tinted with the neutral grey collected pastel dust I've been collecting. I'm so happy to have a use for it besides making grey pastels. I then over painted with a mix of 4 to 1 Gold with burnt sienna. Then I lightly applied the pastel. I decided I liked the underpainting/texture to show through on this one. This one is a revisit to "Blue Agave Supernova". Overall, my black gatorboard "experiment" is successful and I will be purchasing more. I learned the gatorboard priming technique in Rita Kirkman's workshop, but I know I needed to make it my own. I think it will continue to evolve.

I still have a roll of UArt 500 I need to continue to use. I'm feeling excited about the new metallic series, but a bit tired of my resource photo cache. I'm going to see about going to the wholesale cactus farm East of my home. While they don't sell retail, perhaps they will let me take photos at least. Not sure when I'll get out to Phoenix yet. I'm waiting on two more juried festival events to finalize - then I can plan my additional travel.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Verdigris Furrows

Verdigris Furrows
32 x 31
Pastel on Tinted
Pumice Primed Gatorboard

The metallic series continues with Verdigris Furrows. I was so pleased with my last primed Gatorboard experience I had to do it again. This time, I enlarged my subject and I am so thrilled I did. I started with black Gatorboard and primed it with pastel tinted pumice. I wanted this to have a rusted look underneath so went with some bits of a dark red brown and added some Ludwig eggplant purple. It didn't turn out quite as expected on the black board, so I over painted with a mixture of burnt sienna and metallic copper high flow acrylic. For interest, I sprayed alcohol on the mix to give it a more mottled look - not that anyone can see it now. I'll have to go back to that again. 

Then I just painted the agave. I COULD NOT STOP! It was such an intense painting session. At the end, I added more straight metallic copper. DEE-LICIOUS! Progress shots below. THIS is why I paint! So ready to do this again!!!

The Primed board - adding over paint

The finished board

The grid and sketch - very pale green

Scrubbed in darks w/TL Eggplant and fingers

Starting the leaves - mostly Ludwigs

Starting to add the straight copper metallic

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Burr's Fallen

Burr's Fallen
12 x 9
Pastel on Pumice Primed Gatorboard

These are a few treasures from my Saturday morning walk. Fallen Burr Oak leaves and a Burr Oak acorn. These are big leaves and corresponding large acorns. A few years back, I took a remote/virtual Botanical illustration class with Wendy Hollender.  For our first month, January, we drew sticks. Later on, we did acorns and later on, leaves. I came to appreciate the simple dried leaves and acorns of winter. 

I literally traced the shape/size of the leaves and acorn as best I could. Then, I taped them to my easel. Drawing shadows really helps w/presenting the models - or so I learned in class. Therefore, those are created here. The class was in colored pencil, but I love the richness or pastel. This surface is a pumice tinted with the droppings of many pastel paintings over the years. It's a lovely neutral grey with a hint of purple. Almost the color of Art Spectrum's Colourfix Aubergine, but in my opinion, much more intense.

Here's a few progress shots, that include the leaf models. There was no way that huge acorn was staying attached to the board. 

The tape under the bottom leaf
came undone.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Pastel on Pumice Primed Black Gatorboard
I've been dreaming of this painting for quite some time. Ever since I became fascinated with the metal sculptures of agave that were tipped in colors (See Pinterest for examples). Anyway, it occurred to me, what if agave were made of various metals - including copper. If they were copper, they would develop verdigris over time. So....follows the painting. This has more verdigris than copper, but that will evolve.

This is a total experiment. I will definitely have more of these. With this one, I applied a metallic copper tinted pumice to the board. Then I took my small foam roller to it - well, then it turns out I'm painting essentially on an orange peel textured wall. Yikes! But, I made it work for me. I also learned if I wanted to the metallic acrylic textures to work, I needed to apply directly undiluted. So fun. Although I'm not a "sparkle" sort of girl, I do like sparkle in my paintings.It was a bit difficult to get a good photo of this one. The metallic is more copper than gold - but you get the gist. 

Here's my source photo, but I missed progress shots. My sister came to visit, so it was fun to have her to talk with while I painted. Trouble is, being a big sister, she likes to direct. We had to have a discussion about who's painting it was. She paints in pastel too, and I credit her with taking me to my first class. She literally dragged me - somewhat kicking and screaming. Yet, here I am almost 5 years later still playing in pastel.

The first attempt - YUCK

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Snow Kured

Snow Kured
12 x 9
Pastel on Primed Gatorboard

This has been a week of unusual weather in unexpected places. Like snow on Kure Beach North Carolina. My friend lives there and snapped a photo of a snow covered agave in the morning sun. It was a glorious shot! The blues, the yellows the cools the warms. It screamed PAINT ME! So I did.

This is pastel on grey and metallic silver tinted pumice. I am pretty happy ovrall with this one. Not too many progress shots as I was in the flow and we have to honor those moments.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine
12 x 9
Pastel on UArt 500
with added Metallic Tinted Pumice

Happy New Year! A time for new beginnings and to do those things we've been considering! One of my artistic goals blossomed from an idea on a morning in early December. I had to travel to the Houston area for a 10 am meeting. The fog was dense. We have a side entry garage and a long driveway out to the street. I backed my van out of the garage and as I turned to drive out out of the driveway, my headlights shone on one of my agave. The shine on those leaves was mesmerizing! I felt it would make a very interesting painting. I imagined metallic layers. So on another morning, when the fog was dense and the dew heavy on the agave, I got some agave photos as the sun peeked through.

I was ordering liquid acrylics to mix with my pumice which I learned in a recent class with Rita Kirkman. I decided to expand my color choices to include many of the colors I typically use in Art Spectrum prepared papers. I purchased some raw umber, raw sienna, burnt sienna, indigo, carbon black and I decided to add some metallic selections. My ideas were "validated" when this month's issue of Pastel Journal was released. In it the work of Susan Lyon is reviewed. She mixes media with her pastels and includes metallic options.

So, here we go with doing something different. Today was an experiment on some used UArt that I washed down with alcohol. It was mostly dark blue, deep eggplant and a little green. I applied metallic silver and grey pastel dust from my tray mixed with pumice over the UArt. These days, I find 500 doesn't give me the tooth I desire. I have an entire roll of 500, so until my tastes/mood changes again, I'll be adding pumice.

As I applied the pastel, I did lose some of the shine. I added some Sennelier iridescent pastels, and finally, added a wash of straight liquid acrylic to the background which mixed with some of my pastels. It calls for a softer and looser hand and I think I'm liking the effect. I'll be continuing in this vein for awhile with my botanicals.

The grey/silver primed UArt starting my dark values
Dew Covered Agave

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Brown Egg Blue Egg

Brown Egg Blue Egg
9 x 12
Pastel on Wallis Paper

When I was thinking of names for this painting, Dr Seuss came to mind - One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. But I could never fit such a thing on a name card in a booth, so I went with Brown Egg Blue Egg. Thank you to my friend Sandy M and her "girls". I am constantly amazed with the volume these gals put out. I am particularly intrigued with the different colors of brown, tan, and of course blue.

I fiddled with this painting quite some time. Sometimes, I just have to stop fiddling. It's a hard thing to know when a painting is done. Often, I take a photo and find something I don't like. The camera is my tool - it helps with getting that long view and finding those little things that sometimes we don't see when we are too close to the work. Standing back is important too, and sometimes, just putting down the sticks and walking away.