Saturday, June 28, 2014

Experimental Poppies

Orange Poppies Blue Window
10 x 8 - Archival Card Stock

Orange Poppies Purple Allium
10 x 8 Archival Card Stock
with Art Spectrum Primer

The fun is kicking in again and I can't paint fast enough! It's said that "pain" or "trouble" is the touchstone to growth. Indeed - the painting blahs of the last couple of weeks are passing and I've learned a few things. I've been in the painting blahs. For a change, I have been using some archival card stock in a terra cotta orange, and a deep golden yellow. It's acid and lignin free paper, but it's smooth - or at least the stuff I have is smooth. it works okay for a couple of layers of hard pastels and maybe one soft. Earlier this week, I was ordering some Art Spectrum paper at Jerry's Overstock sale and thought, what the heck, I'll try the primer. I've seen Rita Kirkman use it on her blog and it seems to go well. When using the prepared papers, I tend to like the storm blue, terra cotta, olive green, elephant grey. Since I was in the terra cotta mood from my card stock, I ordered a small jar. As a test, I applied some to my archival card stock. I also applied to a used piece of UArt, and a used piece of Canson Paper.

The first painting "Orange Poppies Blue Window" is done on the smooth paper. The second "Orange Poppies Purple Allium" is done on card I prepared with the art spectrum primer. I'm in LOVE with this primer. Oh the fun! Oh the possibilities with supports. I'm getting ready for a whole lot more painting!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Purple Snowballs in Santa Fe

Santa Fe Purple Allium
8 x 10
I'm practicing working smaller and more loosely. I'm also still feeling like I've not been getting enough painting in, so using colored archival card stock and mostly hard Nupastels, and some soft pastels when they will still adhere.

This is an image of some fabulous purple snowball flowers which from what I can gather are called Allium. I really liked about this subject because of the purple flowers in the sun and shade which were absolutely stunning. But I also liked the juxtaposition of the purple with the turquoise blue windows and if you look closely, the turquoise blue door. I think I will be exploring this subject again on sanded paper. Would these be the proverbial snowball's chance in ...well, Santa Fe?

I'd be interested to know your opinions on this looser style.

Source Photo - Santa Fe

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Psychedelic Cactus, Lucy and The Beatles

Cactus and the Sky on Fire

Picked up a great set of Jack Richeson Hand Rolled pastels today at the Austin Pastel Society meeting and garage sale. The set has fabulous turquoise, yellows and blues. So, I went to my stack of paintings that I've put in away to return to another time. This set of pastels was the perfect match for this painting. It really added more "fire" to the sky and light in the foreground. As I was finishing up, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the The Beatles played on my Pandora Station. I remember the old "LSD" references about the song and that kind of went with my psychedelic cactus.

This is an variant of the Opuntia genus but in a bluish/pink variety. I found this little beauty in the sun at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. I liked the orange dirt/mulch in the background but decided it would look better with sky vs ground. The name of the panting is a play of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." I think I'd definitely like to explore this particular cactus subject again.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pot, Turquoise Doors, Pink Walls and The Cure

Pot 'O Barrels
9 x 12 Black Canson Paper

Skull and Blue Door
12 x 9 Black Canson Paper

Pink Wall Green Tree
20 x 16 Canson Paper on Board

Ha! Gotcha with the Pot and bright colors reference huh? I've not moved to Colorado, but rather, I'm taking inspiration from Scottsdale and heads over doors. I have waited so long to paint and it's finally here! The Cure's song comes to my mind ....

I've waited hours for this, I've made myself so sick
I wish I'd stayed asleep today
I never thought that this day would end
I never thought tonight could ever be this close to me
Just try to see in the dark, just try to make it work
To feel the fear before you're here
I make the shapes come much too close
I pull my eyes out, hold my breath and wait until I shake
But if I had your faith
Then I could make it safe and clean
If only I was sure
That my head on the door was a dream

Read more: The Cure - Close To Me Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

The Head on the Door was a dream.....In my case it was a skull - goat of some sort I think. So yeah, I finally got to paint today, and boy was I feisty and it truly was my "CURE" for what ails me! Today I focused on just painting without much thought and total freedom. Shapes and colors galore. I felt since it's been so long since I painted, I had to just "warm up" and "practice" - hence the canson paper vs sanded paper. I've been spending a lot of time in Scottsdale, AZ and I stay at a hotel in Old Town when I'm there. It's so inspiring not only because I love the cacti, but because everything in Phoenix and Scottsdale is done with an aesthetic eye. Not to mention that I'm only a few blocks away from Main Street and "Gallery Row". Here are the source photos I took that inspired the paintings. I think they may take away my artistic license for driving WAY outside the lines today. 

The Pot of Barrel cactus reminded me of "Barrel of Monkeys" we used to play with as kids. The Skull and door - well, the door just screamed to be turquoise blue - so it is in my world. And last, the pink wall - well - it really was that intense pink. 

Barrel Cactus in Pots by Fountain at my Hotel


Pink Wall at Distrito

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Old Bakery & Emporium

I am really missing my easel! I've been traveling a lot during the week and weekends are filled with other activities - like getting ready for a July exhibit. I'm planning some quality time with my easel this weekend - so get ready for some new pics! 

Until then, here's the details on the next exhibit. I will have 3 pieces in the show: Aspiration, Esperando (Waiting) and Longshadow (you can preview them on my website under Pastels in Botanical and Architecture sections)

The Old Bakery & Emporium Art Gallery

July 10 - August 6, 2014
Reception: July 11, 5-7 pm 
The Art Gallery is located on the third floor 
Monday - Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

History of The Old Bakery & Emporium

The Old Bakery, a registered national landmark, has graced Congress Avenue since 1876, when it was built by Swedish immigrant Charles Lundberg. The building was used as a bakery till 1936, and after that for a variety of purposes.

The Old Bakery was vacant, deteriorating and scheduled for demolition when it was rescued through the combined efforts of the Austin Heritage Society, which purchased the structure in 1963, and the Junior League, which donated $12,500 for restoration work. No alterations were made in the restoration work which included installing the rods on the second floor to strengthen the side walls. The giant oven and the wooden baker's spade remain as reminders of the building's history.

In 1964, the Heritage Society began operating a Tourist Information Center and Coffee Kitchen at the site. When the mortgage was paid off in 1970, the Old Bakery was sold to the State of Texas. The state of Texas deeded the building and property to the City of Austin in 1980. The City of Austin Office of Bicentennial Affairs and the Texas Bicentennial Information Center occupied the building between July 1974 and September 1976. The Old Bakery and Emporium opened its doors in October, 1976, as a co-sponsored project of the Senior Programs Section of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the First Lady's Volunteer Program of the Texas Center for Volunteer Action.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Santa Fe Breeze

Santa Fe Breeze
12 x 9
Art Spectrum Sanded Paper - White
Good to be painting again! I've missed my easel. I started this painting last weekend and just got back to it today. The reference photo was taken mid-morning on Monday in Santa Fe on our way to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. We walked past the New Mexico Museum of Art - and this is a painting of a portion of that building. It was a blissful morning, perfect temperature and nice breeze. It was so inviting to look at these open windows and imagine what it was like inside in the cool shade w/the breeze blowing through the windows. Hope you enjoy the "Santa Fe Breeze". Here are the progress shots:

Initial Sketch

Sketch on Sanded Paper 

Under Painting with Pan Pastel