Monday, August 28, 2017

Gila and Aloe

Gila and Aloe
5 x 7
Pastel on Primed Gator Board

Here's another painting with the primed Gator Board. I can thank my friend Michael S for the photo resource. He's a photographer friend I met at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. Though he's called the "hummingbird whisperer" he also gets great shots of other garden inhabitants, like this male Gila Woodpecker checking out the sweet aloe.

So, as I'm trying this new technique, part of it is figuring out how I want to lay down the primer. This one was more uniform like a canvas, up/down left and right. One can see it in the sky section more clearly. It's definitely harder to paint w/the primer. I'm going to continue to work w/these small subjects to refine my own ways with this. I do like that it gives it a more painterly look. It definitely gives more of a feather texture for the birds very easily.

I think I'm also going to try some different colors for the primer. Purple, Terracotta, umber, grey, olive green and sienna are generally my go to colors. This will be a fun journey. I did manage to get one progress shot on this. I'm concentrating very hard for this :)


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunny Oriole

Sunny Oriole
7 x 5
Pastel on Textured Gatorboard


We're riding out the hurricane that has decided to squat in Texas. We dumped out the rain gauge at 6 inches this morning and it's already at 2 inches again. We have a few downed oak branches, but we have power and water. Our family is safe. We're praying for my sister's home in Port Lavaca which is on the coast where the hurricane made landfall. This is the home she opens to me when I show my work at the July art festival in Rockport. Praying for the residents and town of Rockport that has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey as well as those in Southeast Texas still being battered by the rain. 

We had to cancel our art events this weekend including our member exhibit and awards event, as well as our workshop by the wonderful Rita Kirkman. Since I can't take the workshop this weekend, I'm still trying out her technique. The technique uses primed/textured gator board. I primed with the requisite Golden fine pumice gel mixed w/nickle azo gold acrylic. Then I built up values using terracotta Art Spectrum texture. She makes it look so easy!!  Clearly, I need the workshop. I don't think my textures are quite right. I'm probably in too much of a hurry, patience is a virtue, but it's not one of mine.

Since it's so gloomy today, and will be for another week, I needed a happy sunny subject. Rita's process seems to lend itself well to fur and feathers, so I thought I'd try one of those. She also does lovely portraits. No progress shots today....

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 Throat Chakra

Succulent Mandala Throat Chakra
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!