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