Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Aloe Sunset

Aloe Sunset
19 x 25
Pastel on Sennelier La Carte (Brown)

This is the first larger painting I've done in quite some time and I very much enjoyed the process. I've forgotten how much I enjoy the real estate! In my opinion, some cactus are just larger than life and they need room to spread their leaves. I'm going to have several shows coming up in the fall and would like to have some new larger pieces to share. To receive notice of my upcoming shows, you can sign up on my website.

This is a soap aloe which is one of the many progeny from the original gift from my sister in law Joy. The first time I painted the soap aloe I named the painting "Joy's Aloe". That was a couple of years ago and it's fun to look back on the changes in my work. Here's a few progress shots of "Aloe at Sunset".










Sunday, July 19, 2015

Moondance and Little Nemo

Moondance and Little Nemo
12 x 9
Pastel on Canson paper (black)
Moondance is a white water lily. Little Nemo, he's my little koi that is one of the babies from last year. Big Nemo, who truly had a lucky fin, became a snack for the blue heron. So, now we have Little Nemo, who while devoid of any fin challenges, may actually be luckier than Big Nemo. 

I've spent more time today taking photos vs painting. Working on distraction from a difficult day. One of our fur babies is working his way over the rainbow bridge today. I was reminded of the circle of life when I was outside and came upon a baby rock squirrel. One life ending, and another beginning - like a reflection in the water. Which way is up and which is down - we all just go round and round in eternity. I firmly believe that time is not linear, rather it's circular or perhaps we exist in multiverses. It's hard to let go of one reality for another. It's the waiting, that's the hardest part.

Thanks for visiting. Your comments and shares are always appreciated.




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stalwart

Stalwart
12 x 9
Pastel on UArt 600 Sanded Paper

Here's another view of one of those really mammoth agave at Desert Botanical Garden. I'm not sure of the genus/species. What I do know is it is the same type as one that had toppled over which inspired the painting Persistence. I know that it takes persistence to work on my art, and I have to be stalwart as well. 

I do admire agave - simple structure, efficient, strong, resilient, tenacious. I hope I can embody some of those traits in my work.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Persistence

Persistence
12 x 9
Pastel on UArt 600 Sanded Paper

On a recent visit to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens, I came upon a large agave that had toppled over....and continued to grow. Tenacious, persistent, unwavering. The early morning rays illuminated the tips of the leaves. The bottom most leaves were dried and twisted. I could not resist honoring this fallen soldier. It's definitely one of those that I suggest you click on the image just to see the image.

This is a small study of what I think will eventually be a larger painting. I am incredibly fascinated by this agave.





Friday, July 10, 2015

Plum Golden

Plum Golden
9 x 12
Pastel on UArt 600 Sanded Paper

I'm really enjoying this painting from real stuff thing!!! What fun! Who knew? The designer in me is having a wonderful time putting things together. I'm still working with my new thrift store square bowl. These are sadly the last two black plums in the house, and one will be eaten tonight. I'm sure these golden delicious will be eaten soon as well. 

Purple is my favorite color. I find purple and orange pleasing, as well as a touch of gold/yellow. So the golden delicious really set off the plums. What is a bit hard to see in the photo is that the dishcloth has gold threads that run alongside the yellow stripes. I used an iridescent pastel to set that off. Oh how it shines in the sunlight! 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two Peaches and Plums

Two Peaches and Plums
5 x 7
Pastel on UArt 600 Sanded Paper

I'm practicing working from "life" - this means working from the actual still life setup of fruit and bowl vs a photo of the setup.  I learned in both my class with Sally Strand and also in a private critique she did of my work that it's something I should do - at least once a week. 

In a painting session I did a couple of weeks ago I observed the difference first hand. The bowl I was painting in real life had distinct reflections from the dishcloth - not so in the photo. The colors in the lemons were also represented a more full range of color. Sure, I notice when I take photos of my paintings they are NEVER as vibrant as they are in real life. However, I never really noticed the differences of a real life piece of fruit or a bowl vs the photo. 

I also took some advice from a book by Carol Marine. She cruises thrift stores for bowls, cups etc. to use in still life setups. I had been searching for a cobalt blue bowl and my brain said "stop here now" one day as I drove by. So I stopped - and they had blue bowls that day. I also picked up a very nice square off white bowl. The universe validated my stop. When paying, the bill was 2.79. I pulled out a 5 dollar bill and then dumped out my change. It was exactly 0.79!

Here's the white square bowl w/some plums and peaches. I enjoyed working on this one.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Shadowdancers - UPDATED!

Shadowdancers
12 x 9
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper
UPDATED with new Golden Yellow background!
More from the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. What I liked about this agave as how the light illuminated the leaves revealing only the shadows of the two center leaves behind another leaf. The shadows were very intriguing.

As I painted the piece, I also came to like the piles of palos verdes leaves piled up in the cupping of the lower leaves. Here's a the resource photo and progress shots. I remembered the timer on this one! 

After I did the initial painting, I let it sit for 9 days. I just didn't feel 'right' about it. I came back and changed the background from purple to yellow. Purple seemed more like a night shot w/moonlight - but it seems to lack punch. The yellow gives more of the heat of sunrise. I'm curious to know which you prefer. 

Thanks as always for stopping in and for sharing! 








Purple Background
Yellow Background



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reggae Time

Reggae Time
12 x 9
Pastel on UArt 600 Sanded Paper
I had the great pleasure of visiting the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens again. I was so excited about being there. I had limited time and knew the places I wanted to stop - especially the agave garden. This is a Cow's Horn Agave - specifically "Reggae Time". Yes. Really.

What I liked about this agave was damage on the lower leaves, the pock marks were spectacular. In addition, as always, I am fascinated by the imprints left on the leaves where they were wrapped together as they grew. 

I decided to try out some of the Terry Ludwig pastels I picked up at IAPS. Here's the resource photo and a few progress shots. Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing your comments. Social media shares are always appreciated.