Sunday, March 29, 2015

Radiant Dance

Radiant Dance
10 x 8
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
Yes! Yes! Yes! It was indeed a radiant day today! Spring is springing, the sun shining, not a cloud in the sky. Birds singing, fish swimming, and me painting on the screened in porch! It's a delightful way to paint outside without having to deal with bugs and dragging all my things all the way outside across the pond to the shady area. The screened in porch is that "in between" space. It also helps that I can turn on the ceiling fan when it gets a little too warm - and the low 80's qualify.

This is the second in the series of cactus flowers. Love the golden yellows and how the light is shining through the petals. I also like the deep dark center of the flower and how all the little stamens are dancing about the pistil in the center. I realize as I am typing this that it's kind of like a metaphor for the floral reproductive process. The males are dancing around the female at the center. It's so appropriate for the day as all the animals are starting their rituals. I heard the male hummingbirds doing their aerial dance to impress the ladies. It's that little whirring sound as they do the big looping arcs in the sky. I don't always see the guy, sometimes I just hear him. Yes, spring has sprung, the dance begins.

Here's a couple of progress shots below. I started with a hard pastel color block in followed by an alcohol wash.

Thank you for visiting my blog today. Feel free to share this post! :) 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fuschia Blaze

Fuschia Blaze
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Sand is good to be painting again! I've spent most of my time over the last several weeks preparing for the upcoming AAHC Studio Tour (Apr 11-12) and Art and Wine on the Square in Belton (Apr 25). I will have just over 60 paintings with me - about 1/4 framed, the others are matted and bagged.  I also spent some time setting up my new website and doing a newsletter. I hope you'll check it out!

Over the last 3 weeks, Spring has also sprung and I've had loads of yard work. Yeah, I paint botanicals, but all that starts with the real garden and pond. Now, the gardens are pruned, weeded (mostly), and fertilized. The pond is cleared of frozen plant life, biofalls cleaned, and waterlilies fertilized. The truck of mulch arrives on Monday. Along the way, I've also been collecting resource photos at the garden stores. I can't help myself when I get to the succulent section. 

I didn't make it to Arizona this spring and was quite disappointed. I do have several friends who live in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson, so I begged them for some blooming cactus photos. The reference for this painting is from my friend Donna. I did do one other painting back on Mar 16th, wrote up the blog and forgot to post! That will be up next. I'm so ready to be back to my daily (or at least several times a week) painting routine! 

Thanks for visiting and reading! Shares are welcomed!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tokens and Memories

Tokens and Memories
12 x 9
Pastel on Canson Mi Tientes Touch Grey

I've been in a workshop today with the very talented Mike Beeman. Today, we learned about building up color and carving out of shapes - painting shape not line. We also did an exercise called "color notes". Typically, I would have called the exercise a simple study, but it is oh so much more. It's a roadmap, a test and an education in the piece of interest. And indeed there is interest in each of the pieces of this composition for me on many levels. 

The feather - is a wild turkey feather found in my yard
The gourd - a gift from my sister in law
The turquoise beads - made by a woman in Africa who works on for a cheetah rescue organization. She is the friend of a friend who lives in Utah
The cairn of extraordinary square rocks - found on a walk with my friend in Utah

The items in the still life are not just tokens, they represent more than the objects or their origin, but the people and memories they represent for me. The lessons I learned today and the camaraderie of the artists with whom I spent time with today are cherished as well. I look forward to more lessons tomorrow. T