Monday, June 29, 2015

Lemon Blues

Lemon Blues
9 x 12
Pastel on UArt 600 Sanded Paper
I love summertime. I love the variety of fresh fruits available. I also enjoy creating still life "stages" with these fruits. Digging around the house putting together interesting setups with different dishes and dish towels. I went through a blue phase years ago and still have much of the glassware and dish towels. I use ALOT of lemons. I use their juice on vegetables and salads instead of salad dressings. 

Here's a few lemons enjoying their color complement of the blue water pitcher. I'm following the recommendations of Sally Strand and painting "from life" vs photos more often. I had a hard time just rendering the drawing. I finally wiped it all down and then toned the paper and it went much better. I had a good time w/the reflections. I was surprised that the ceramic bowl had as much reflection as it did. The photo surely didn't show it as clearly! This was also my first try at glass. 

I remembered to set the timer, so here's a few progress shots. Thank you as always for reading and viewing my diatribe. I appreciate the comments and shares. Oh- and big thanks to my friend Chris B for her suggestions on "Summer Plums" I've made some adjustments and it really helped the bowl "sit down"






Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Plums

Summer Plums
9 x 12
Pastel on Sennelier LeCarte Sanded Paper
I love Saturdays. I especially love that Rick goes to the grocery store on Saturdays. He likes to shop - I don't. Today, he bought some plums. I couldn't resist another still life. So it was plums on parade today!

When I was digging in my drawer of pre-cut sanded paper, I found a sheet of Sennelier Le Carte paper that was part of the samples we were given in my IAPS workshop with Sally Strand. I have to say I enjoyed this paper more than I expected. 

Here's the resource photo and progress shots. When I did the peach painting last week, I realized after the finished and put the photo and the finished product together, that I liked the chair in the background. This time, I put the chair in the painting. I'm also trying to remember to set a timer when I paint. It is helpful to have the series of progress shots. I often go back to my blogs when I need to remember how I did something. So, while I enjoy sharing my work, the unexpected benefit is that this blog truly is my art journal of sorts. Thank you for allowing me to share my art with you. I appreciate your reading and comments. Of course, it's an honor when you share my work with others and I can never thank you enough.









Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hill Country Harvest


Still working through light and volume studies. These are Texas Hill Country peaches in a ceramic bowl on a dishcloth. Initially, I worked from "from life" - the actual setup of peaches on my dining table with north light from the adjacent window. I really liked the purple, red and yellow of the dishcloth with the orange, yellow and red of the peaches. My kitchen walls are really green as the background appears. Then, I left on a work trip, and of course, the peaches had to be put away and were ultimately eaten.

I did a couple of studies of this. The first one was with me sitting down at the table with my paper on the table - yikes! Yes, must step back to look at my work. I did a second pass on a small 5 x 7 piece of UArt. Finally, I did this 9 x 12. Now that I see the resource photo, I have to say I really do like the composition with the top edge of the chair in the background. The version with the chair removed seems kind of bland. I might be doing this one again. 

Peaches remind me of my Dad. My Dad had 3 or 4 peach trees, 2 tangerine trees, 2 orange trees, a grapefruit tree, a fig tree, and a lime tree. He took good care of his fruit trees. He always kept Milky Ways in the freezer and brought me chocolate milk before bed. He took good care of me and worked very hard. Happy Father's Day to my dear 'ol Dad! I miss you every day.


5 x 7 Study

Rendering and initial lights

Friday, June 19, 2015

Golden Delicious


Golden Delicious
9 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
Continuing on my study of light and volume. This is the second work of this piece and done on sanded paper with a mix of my new Girault pastels along with some Sennelier and Ludwigs. The first pass was on terracotta drawing paper. The second pass was on UArt toned with Pan Pastel.  I liked the purple with the pale golden green of the apples, but maybe it's too distracting.

I like these guys - but they are now in sliced pieces in the refrigerator. On to peaches next....if I can find a blue bowl.



Study on Terra Cotta card stock

UArt toned with Pan Pastel
Charcoal rendering

Monday, June 15, 2015

Four Treasures

Four Treasures
9 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
This is the result of the final touches on a painting I started in the IAPS workshop with Sally Strand. The painting is a revisit of Totem Treasures I had done last year. It was another good exploration of the color of light. Sally shared that most artists do well with the lights, it's the dark that challenges us. It reminds me of the quote from Harry Potter "Half Blood Prince". Harry asks Professor Slughorn about dark magic. The response is "There can be no dark without the light...." Conversely, in art, there can be no light without the dark.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Butterfly's Treasure

Butterfly's Treasure
9 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
One man's trash is a butterfly's treasure. Beauty is everywhere we look, if we only look hard enough - but sometimes we have to work for that new vision. There is symbolism in the butterfly on the half eaten apple. Is the famed apple from the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden? Does the butterfly symbolize some level of metamorphosis after eating the apple? The apple and butterfly are in a pile of discarded food - trash - or is it a compost pile? Will new life spring from this - like the butterfly from the caterpillar? There are 3 cheerios. Cheerios are circles - like the circle life, the eternity, the trinity.

This is the painting I started when I was in Sally Strand's workshop at IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies). Initially, I created an image that was a likeness of the original photo, which included some confusing/unidentifiable elements. This painting helped me to solidify several things I learned in the workshop. I learned the "color of light" is about the quality of the dark or contrast. I also learned more about composition and taking artistic license. I've been reading through Andrew Loomis' Creative Illustration as well. This book covers quite a bit about composition and was also recommended by Sally. 

In the original image, what interested me was the butterfly on the half eaten apple. Additionally, the strawberries point to the butterfly and half apple. The three "pointers" apple and strawberries, also point to the butterfly. The rest of the items are inconsequential. So, I changed some of the elements of the original photo to include some old purple cabbage (or red romaine) vs more uneaten food and plastics. I'll a lot happier with my new composition.

Perhaps, this is a metamorphosis for me - the start of a new way of painting perhaps.

Resource Photo

Original composition from class


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Profusion

Profusion
29 x 19
Pastel on Mi Tientes Touch
Sanded Board (Tobacco)
This is the larger version of Cascade. This painting is inspired by some orchids at the grocery store. Yeah, it was a nice floral department, but none the less, it's the grocery store. Every painting has a life of it's own, and though I may do a study, the next painting is not exactly the same. 

Like life, moment to moment - none is like the next. They may be similar, but not the same. Enjoy the moment.