Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet
7 x 5
Pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord

Meet Strawberry Sorbet - the sister painting to Tangerine Dream. I did this painting on a sample piece of Ampersand Pastelbord (yes - that's spelled correctly). I LOVED IT!!! Fabulous texture! Thank you Dana for the sample!!!

This painting helped me escape after a difficult work day. Painting for me is a meditation. I enjoyed taking a little trip into fantasy land.

I'll have this painting with me at the Rockport Arts Fest over July 4th weekend! Hope to see you there!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Halcyon Heliotrope

Halcyon Heliotrope
7 x 5
Pastel on Pastel Premier Sanded Paper

Sometimes, when I'm naming paintings, I use a thesaurus. What I wanted to convey w/the title to this one was the golden lightness of the cactus blooms against the cool purple. When I looked up gold, halcyon came up as a synonym. When I dug further on halcyon, words like pastoral, bucolic and gentle came up. Yep, halcyon was the word for me. So, then on to purple. I tried Lavender but it just didn't work, but then I spied heliotrope. Since I'm a big fan of alliteration, that was it - two "H" words. Somehow, a name like Halcyon Heliotrope seems like it should be more mysterious. I'm not sure why....I may have to revisit this painting someday.

This painting was a revisit to begin with. I reused a piece of pastel premier paper with a failed painting. I actually rinsed off the pastel in the mop sink and put it under books to dry. Here's a few progress shots so you can see the used paper and the underpainting w/pan pastel.






Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brown Eyed Girls

Brown Eyed Girls
7 x 5
Pastel on Pastel Premier Sanded Paper

I've heard of Black Eyed Susans, but when I looked up these flowers I found at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, I learned there are BROWN Eyed Susans. It appears that the names seem to be interchangeable...but I'm still not certain. I'll need to do more research on this.

The colors in this painting just did not translate well to the camera. This painting is so much more beautiful in person. I'll be framing it up for the Rockport Arts Festival where perhaps she will find a new home.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream
7 x 5
Pastel on Pastel Premier Paper


Making final preparations for the Rockport Art Festival. I took a break to complete a few small paintings including this one. This painting started on a paper that I wiped down last weekend. I had started some Pride of Barbados flowers and disliked them. So, since the underlying stain on the paper was orange and purple, I chose another orange flower to replace it. 

This painting came to be easily and quickly. It flowed...like a dream. A tangerine dream.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fireworks

Fireworks
7 x 5
Pastel on Pastel Premier Sanded Paper



A couple of years back, I did a painting of this flower called Gaillardia pulchella. When I was in college, this was our school flower. Some folks also call these flowers Indian Blankets. As I searched for what to name that painting back then, I learned that these flowers are also called Firewheels - and that's what I named the painting then. It's interesting to look at the old painting and the new and see how my work has changed. So now, as the Firewheels are finishing out their very prolific bloom here in Texas, it was time to return to these lovelies. 

I'm also getting ready for the big show in Rockport over July 4th weekend. So, it was time for some fireworks! I wanted to have a few more small paintings as all but one of the framed ones sold over the last few shows. Here's a couple progress shots...




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Progression

Progression
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum
Sanded Paper Burnt Umber

The final painting in this series of cactus flowers, at least for today. Tomorrow is another day and things may change...and that's okay. The flowers in this painting represent the various stages from closed, to bud, to full bloom. They also represent the progression of stages, and as my painting process was a bit out of order, as is this image as well.

What is missing is the spent flower...maybe that's the final painting and representation of acceptance or completion. I'll have to ruminate on that for awhile. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Intersection

Intersection
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum
Sanded Paper Deep Ultra
This painting was the turning point in this series. While it's the 3rd painting in the series, the series it was the key. Visually, these blooms are between two cactus paddles, the intersection. Yet it also represents a metaphorical intersection - the place where we make choices and decide to turn back, turn to one side or move forward. I chose all three that day. I chose to go back and rework Rotation followed by a side turn (or even further back really) to Illuminated. I concluded my series with forward Progression, a new painting which will be my next post.

As I review the names of the paintings, I realize that I subconsciously named them as my psyche and painting progressed. I came to an Intersection in my painting, then Rotated back, became Illuminated, then finally made Progress. So it is with so many things in life. Progress - not perfection. Perhaps, there will be a 5th painting.....acceptance. Or is acceptance really the beginning?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rotation

Rotation
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum
Sanded Paper Burnt Umber

This is the second in the series of cactus flowers from the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. I started this particular painting 4 days from the day I finished it. On the first day, I just set it aside as what I considered a "meh" painting. After I completed what I consider a successful painting in the same vein, I went back and reworked this one as well as Illumination

As I sat down to name this painting, what struck me about these flowers was the two big blooms, a gap, then 3 about to rotate forward. I almost imagined the cactus paddle turning counter clockwise...rotating from bud to bloom. Kind of like a clock, yet backwards, I had to return to the beginning, turning back the painting clock to begin again. Sometimes in life, we have to return to the same lessons over and over until we learn them. I learn so much at the easel.





Sunday, June 12, 2016

Illuminated

Illuminated
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum
Sanded Paper (Burnt Umber)

I tend to paint in a series. For awhile, I've been fascinated with some cacti from the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden that were in bloom when I visited in early April. I did this painting some time ago...wow....almost 2 months ago. I didn't share it because it didn't feel quite right. Today, I had what I considered a successful painting in a similar vein, so I went back and reworked this one. I brushed out the background I had initially put in, and I also kicked up the teal blues in the cactus paddles. 

What I've learned over time is to not judge my work too harshly. What I think is absolutely grand, others think "meh". Vice versa, when I think something is 'meh', someone will find it to be meaningful to them. So, my greatest lesson in many things in life is to "Take it Easy"....on myself and others. That is the illumination. 

I started this painting April 26 with a pan pastel underpainting on burnt umber Art Spectrum paper. I added the light blue background May 21 because I just didn't know what to do. Finally, I brushed out the blue background and kicked up the color stopping where I think I'm finished on June 12. People often ask me how long a painting takes. My answer usually has to do with the level of struggle. Some paintings take hours, others months - the results are not always commensurate with the amount of time involved.







May 21
June 12

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mystique

Mystique
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Sanded Paper (Black)

Meet Mystique - a beautiful an sultry Agave. She's the first of the blue super hero name inspired agave. I need to come up w/other blue super hero names - Beast is another -but it seems like such a rude name. 

My photo reference for this  painting is from the Chihuahua Desert Research Institute in Fort Davis. The actual agave has some very unusual markings on the leaves. I don't know what caused them but will have to investigate. As I drew this image, I simply couldn't mark up the beautiful leaves. I think I will be doing another similar painting with the markings....and will likely name the paining Agaveglyphics.  


Here's a few progress shots of Mystique





Saturday, June 4, 2016

Green Arrow

Green Arrow
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum (Black)

This is the last of the Green Super Hero Agave - the Green Arrow. It's so much richer in person...photos just don't do it justice. I look forward to revisiting this agave in a larger format. What I liked about this one was the greens, blues, and teals of the agave leaves, and the dark purples, blues and pinks of the thorns. 

In addition, this lovely specimen also has some really nice 'ghost leaves'. I became fascinated with these impressions some time ago. As the agave grows and unfurls each leaf, the leaves underneath are left w/the impressions of the tightness of the leaf that used to be arranged on top of it. Agave are just amazing to me. Once I stopped to look at their beauty long enough I began to see thorns of different colors and of course the ghost leaves..I fell even more hopelessly in love with them. 

Blue Agave Super Hero is up next...still thinking more more blue names. In the meantime, here's a few progress shots of Green Arrow






Friday, June 3, 2016

Green Goblin

Green Goblin (After value adjustment)12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Sanded Paper (Terracotta)




Green Goblin (BEFORE)

It's that time of year I need to treat for the agave snout weevil. As I walked the yard sprinkling the granules around my prize agave, I thought about my recent painting of "Green Lantern". I also have an image in mind from my trip to Big Bend of a pointy green agave that I thought I would paint and call "Green Arrow". Then, I as I walked my yard, I came upon one of my Agave Salmiana which is commonly called the Green Goblet. It was then that I realized I also needed a Green Goblin in what I've just named the Agave Superheroes Series. Gotta keep all my super heroes together! It's a bummer there are no blue superheroes...but there ARE blue X Men - like Mystique, Beast....hmmm..this could be fun.

Anyway, so here's Green Goblin...the Agave Salmiana and the progress shots of the painting.

Update June 4 - overnight - I decided the Green Goblin was Blah. Not enough value shift. I updated. 














Thursday, June 2, 2016

El Dorado Morado

El Dorado Morado
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Paper (Olive Green)

El Dorado - the mythical place - or per Wikipedia

El Dorado (pronounced: [el doˈɾaðo], English /ˌɛl dəˈrɑːdoʊ/; Spanish for "the golden one"), originally El Hombre Dorado (the golden man), El Indio Dorado (the golden Indian), or El Rey Dorado (the golden king), is the term used by Europeans to describe a mythical tribal chief (zipa) of the Muisca native people of Colombia, who, as an initiation rite, covered himself with gold dust and submerged in Lake Guatavita. The legends surrounding El Dorado changed over time, as it went from being a man, to a city, to a kingdom, and then finally an empire.

My photographer friend Michael Searcy (aka the Hummingbird Whisperer) took the resource photo for this painting. What drew me to this beautiful image was the rich purple of the cactus paddle and the rich gold of the bloom. As I thought about names for this painting, Deep Purple was a consideration. But the gold bloom is the focal point - so I considered El Dorado. Then, I remembered that purple in spanish is Morado - and it rhymes - how fun is that!?! The Purple Golden One....





Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Green Lantern


Green Lantern
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Sanded Paper (Storm Blue)
Two weekends ago, two Spiders presented themselves in my path. One was a tiny one on my easel. The other was a HUGE tarantula in the garden. The second one seemed to say "If you weren't going to pay attention to the spiritual meaning of the small spider, here I am! You CAN'T miss me!". The spirit medicine of spider as the creative one is important to me. I suspected at the time that the message was that I was about to enter a creative period. I think that period is beginning now that the major art show season is over in Texas.

So, as the spiders begat Spiderman, this is Green Lantern, begat of a glowing green agave. I hope I'm going into an art superhero phase. In actuality, I was doing my paperwork while The Big Bang Theory was on in the background on television. In a particular scene, Leonard is explaining that the Green Lantern and Arrow were different. I almost named this painting Green Arrow, but today, while perusing my potential painting photo fodder (boy - talk about alliteration), I came across a very pointy green agave. Clearly, that will have to be the arrow. What I liked about the photo that inspired this painting was that the green agave seemed to glow - so it's appropriate it's a lantern.

Here we go! Hoping for a few months of serious creativity!!