Sunday, August 13, 2017

Agave with Retama Petals

Agave with Retama Petals
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum Terra Cotta
Today, we went to the garden store because my significant other has been talking about getting a Palo Verde tree for weeks on end now. He's been fascinated with them. Once at the garden store, I learned something about these trees. What we see in Texas may not always be Palo Verde. Turns out, we have Retama trees which have bigger thorns. Well, we ended up with a Retama. Both have nice green trunks and there are more differences  and I'd recommend the read. By the way, Palo Verde translates to green stick, Retama translates to broom.

As I'm getting ready for my show in Temple next weekend, I was checking my stock of various paintings on hand and realized I need a couple more for my rustic barn wood frames. So, with Retama/Palo Verdes on my mind, I dug through my cache of agave and found this one that had the petals of the tree in it's leaves. It was a nice afternoon diversion.



The initial palette
The final palette
picked up more for flower petals







Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Purple Lily Burst

Purple Lily Burst
14 x 18
Pastel on UArt 500
Still in my water lily phase and digging through my own water garden photo cache and my neighbors water garden lilies as well. This one belongs to Sam and Sheila. It's a lovely starburst purple tropical with a variegated pad. I'm much happier with this rendition of variegation. It's also my first try at water droplets. I couldn't locate the lesson I had on water droplets, so I had to wing it. I should have just googled the process, but I'm pretty okay with the outcome.

Overall, water lilies are darn hard to paint. I think I've found a new challenge and I have a pond full of these as well as several other neighborhood ponds, and the best water garden store in our area only a few miles away (Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery if you're interested).

Here's the progress shots. I did under painting with pan pastels. I decided to take the second water droplet off the lily pad - that one I didn't like.




Sunday, August 6, 2017

Big AL and Pal

Big AL and Pal
14 x 18
Pastel on UArt Board
Another scene from my water garden. We have leopard frogs and sometimes they sun themselves during the day. On this particular day, my Albert Greenberg (which I sometimes call Big Al) was blooming prolifically. I love this waterlily for not only the beautiful flowers held way above the water, but also the variegated pads. Now, while those pads may be pretty to look at they are a challenge to paint without looking contrived. I may need to practice some more.

I  missed my progress shots other than my gouache under painting. But at least I can show you the actual photo from the garden :)




Gouache Underpainting


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Moondance and Little Nemo

Moondance and Little Nemo
14 x 18
Pastel on UArt 500 (on board)
About this time 2 years ago (July 19) I painted this image on a piece of Canson black paper. I never did anything with that painting, it was more of a study and distraction. One of our older pets was not well at the time, and we let him go about a month later. This year has been a challenging one for us again with pet loss. We lost another older male cat in April. In June and July we lost two of our older large koi (Serenity and Flop). 

I was getting bored of painting succulents and needed a break. I went by my favorite neighborhood garden store (Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery). I took photos of succulents and lilies. But this photo is from my own pond a couple of years back. The water lily is called Moondance and it's prolific. HUGE ivory flowers. I'll probably do a few more water garden paintings. I actually do enjoy both my water garden as well as my succulents.....talk about opposite ends of the spectrum!
Original Photo




Gouache Underpainting



Friday, August 4, 2017

Succulent Mandala #3

Succulent Mandala #3
12 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500
This is the succulent Echeveria gibbiflora. What fascinated me about this specimen was not only the ruffled leaves, but the color variation - like a psychedelic kaleidoscope of color. However, when when I put it in my painting file next to the Mandala #1 and #2, I realized the pattern kind of broke with the other two. That being said, the Star Series had agave with pointed leaves and rounded. So, I'm going to leave this one up to my followers...and maybe we don't decide on if it stays or leaves the series, until more are complete. Perhaps, it will be better with others that are coming soon.

On my last post, it occurred to me to pattern the succulent mandala after the chakra. My plan was for five in the series. There are seven chakra...so....we shall see where this goes. So far we have the chakra listed below - clearly, I may have to reorder the numbers or rename the paintings....and I can do that because that's my privilege as the artist! I like that!


1. Succulent Mandala #1 - Indigo - Third Eye - Purple (or deep indigo blue) is the color of the third eye chakra (sixth chakra); it evokes intuition, extrasensory perception, inner wisdom.


2. Succulent Mandala #2 - Orange - Sacral - Orange is the color of the sacral chakra (second chakra); it carries meanings associated with emotions, creativity, sexuality, and is associated with water, flow.


3. Succulent Mandala #3 - Turquoise - Throat - Blue (or Turquoise) is the color of the throat chakra (fifth chakra); it symbolizes self expression, expression of truth, creative expression, communication, perfect form and patterns.


Here are the progress shots on this latest entry in the series and how it will look framed. And....once again - I forgot to under paint, and I cannot blame it on being sleepy this time. Now I'm just forgetful!






Sunday, July 30, 2017

Succulent Mandala #2

Succulent Mandala #2
12 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500

The second in the succulent mandala series. This one reminds me of my cream spike agave, but this little one has a lot more ping and peach in it. The challenge with these little guys is - well, they are little. Second, it's keeping the pattern and leaves correct. Sometimes, the actual plant has a damaged leaf, or I've inadvertently taken a bad photo. but, that's what we get to do as artists, is add or take away in our paintings. 

The color scheme on this one is bright and fun, where Mandala #1 is more blue and introspective. Perhaps, I may align these w/the chakras. Hmmm....that may be fun. More thought on that.  

As I begin to post my progress shots, I've come to realize why I struggled with this one more - I did not under paint! We had a late evening the night before, and I had so much fun at the birthday party, I couldn't get to sleep. So, I'll blame my lack of under painting on not being awake. Oh well - we live and learn. I may have to do this one again.





Saturday, July 29, 2017

Succulent Mandala #1

Succulent Mandala #1
12 x 12
Pastel on UArt 500
This begins a series of five, and not just because I'm lazy and don't want to clean up my pastels. This is a series I've had in mind for some time. Succulents, little ones. I bought 5 antique silver frames in 12 x 12, and have been waiting to have some time to begin the series. I'm doing these up similar to the Star Series (which are available in a card set or individual prints - all originals are sold). 

One of the primary reasons I'm drawn to drawing nature (Hah! Drawn to Nature), is Mother Nature's patterns. As I sat back and looked at the finished painting, I realized it looks like a mandala. I am fascinated with spirals in nature (fibonacci sequence phyllotaxy). Mandala are defined as:

noun
1. Oriental Art - a schematized representation of the cosmos, chiefly characterized by a concentric configuration of geometric shapes, each of which contains an image of a deity or an attribute of a deity.


2. (in Jungian psychology) a symbol representing the effort to reunify the self.



I'm really digging the second definition, because I'm beginning to come out of a darker emotional period to find myself again. This series couldn't be more meaningful - and serendipitous. I did not plan this....call it akashic inspiration.

I'm not sure of the species of this particular little succulent. I'll have to go back to look at one of my favorite garden store (Hill Country Water Gardens) where I took the photo. Still being in my clear state of mind, I did remember to do some progress shots. I under painted this one w/pan pastel. I wasn't sure what color of background to use, then saw the blue plastic pot. I chose to leave the pot out, but add it back...not sure.







Friday, July 28, 2017

Claret Quartet

Claret Quartet
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Black
I like working in a series. This is the second of a claret cup series. I don't know if I'll do more. It really depends on how lazy I am in getting a new palette together. It's kind of like the dishwasher or laundry. I like loading the dishwasher, not so much putting dishes away. I don't mind doing laundry or even folding, just not the put away part. So it is with pastels; for the most part, I like choosing new paintings and a palette for the painting. Sometimes it makes me nervous to choose a new palette - the unknown - the self induced pressure of creating something pleasing to the senses. What I don't like is cleaning my pastels and putting them away. That's kind of a good reason to not get crazy with a bunch of colors, less to clean up. Also, it keeps a harmonious palette to not keep going back to your box for something else. A little bit is okay, too much....and you've got mud.

Anyway, here's some progress shots of Claret Quartet. As I said in my last post, I was clear headed with my clarets - and remember to do progress shots! I did make some artistic adjustments w/the placement of a second yellow flower.




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Singularly Claret

Singularly Claret
12 x 9
Pastel on Art Spectrum Black

Feels so great to be back to painting, especially since I have a clean studio now. I'm super excited on two levels. First, I got the great news that I've been accepted to the Cottonwood Fall Show! That's a big personal accomplishment for me and I'm excited to get some new paintings done in anticipation of the show. 

Second, I've been busy the last couple of weeks and weekends working in the gardens in my yard. We've been terrorized by feral hogs the last several months. We had finally just given up putting the gardens back together every couple of weeks. But, we think they have finally been trapped. We've been hog free one week! Yippee!!! 

So, now my mind is clear and I felt like this claret would be the perfect thing for a clear mind. I was so clear I remembered to do progress shots too! 




Sunday, July 16, 2017

Agave Hideaway

Agave Hideaway
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum Terra Cotta

Welcome to almost the start of the "off season"! I'm so excited to have some time at home for about a month with no shows to do. My next show is not until August 19/20. After that, I might have a show in October.  It's a BIG one, and I'm wait listed, which is in and of itself an accomplishment for me. I was invited to a show in Corpus Christi over Labor Day, but decided to take a break. I also was invited to Bayou City again, but the show dates conflicted with an event for my corporate job. So, it was time to clean my studio, pastel boxes and to start some new paintings. 

This is an image I took earlier this year in April in my garden. I had spied this wren every time I walked up the driveway to go out for a walk. She always seemed to come from the agave. So, I decided to watch her one late afternoon. It was then that I discovered she had built a nest between two agave leaves. Talk about hidden! Talk about PROTECTED! What a natural barrier with those thorns! 

This is essentially a warm up painting for me. I haven't painted for a month. I may do this painting again in a larger format...maybe some more vibrant colors. Maybe. Prior to today's session, I had the July 4th weekend Rockport show to prepare for, then I took a weekend off to just rest. I'm looking forward to more painting and resting.

Here's the original image and one whopping progress shot plus my color palette. I was definitely in the zone on this little one. 




I did this one freehand - no measuring.

The color palette

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pink Cholla

Pink Cholla
9 x 12
Pastel on Art Spectrum Leaf Green

Getting ready for the Rockport Art Festival on July 1st and 2nd...in the city of, you guessed it, Rockport. As I composed my newsletter yesterday, I realized that this spring, I sold forty four (44) original paintings. So, I'm working to bring up my inventory in the small and medium sizes.

While I had the pink pastels out, I thought I'd do another pink floral with some cholla from Big Bend. What I like about cholla is the channeled segments. This is the same palette as my prior painting from my last post. 

The subject of my last blog was about the age old question "how long did it take you paint that". Since I had done the prior painting with the same palette, this one went faster. Of course, it's the warm up and the practice with the set of colors. Different flower, same colors. Only one progress photo on this one. I did take a bit of artistic license on my resource photo by adding in the full flower on the right side. My photo did not include that.