Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dogwood and Tangerine Painting, 15.5" x 18.25", Pastel on 2 Ply Cotton Rag

"Dogwood Daze"Currently NFS

Painting is becoming more and more of a challenge with the mess around me growing daily. We're into the third day of drywall and mudding. I'm told to expect at least three more before they plaster and paint. Sigh. I purchased the materials for my matting table today and hope to sneak into the empty studio space on Sunday when the workers are gone and put the thing together.
However, I did manage to get a bit of work done yesterday and today. My husband helped me move my huge case of pastels into the dining room (the drawers tipped forward, oh no!) and after I made some order out of the mess, I started this painting. It's a mixed media, actually. The underpainting is done in watercolor and then I've worked glazes of pastel into it. I've found that this technique works best on rag. While the paper is a bear to raise a nap on, once you do, the surface allows you to get multiple lazers of pastel in thin glazes. I'm entering this one in the Northwest Pastel Society members juried competition. They've advertised that it's an "anything goes" show for pastel so I'm hoping the mixed media flies. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Draped Reclining Nude Pastel Painting, 13" x 11"


By now you probably think I've lost my mind. This is a pastel done of the same figure I've been working with. I've changed the colors quite a bit here and played around in layering and glazing some pastels. I had some 2 ply cotton rag sitting around the studio and although it's not generally used for pastels, I realy like it because it allows me to layer lightly and glaze one color over the next. Look at the cloth and the bottom of the painting, for instance. See all those lovely colors playing off each other? You really can't get that with a lot of the newer pastel papers on the market. They're very good for handling a lot of the medium, but they don't allow you to put light layers on like this. I'm beginning to see the merit of working in a series because it actually has been giving me quite a few ideas for other works I'd like to try.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reclining Nude, 11" x 14", Oil on Canvas Panel

This is a favorite theme of mine by now. I've done it in a couple of sizes and have been searching out color schemes. I recently purchased about 20 frames in standard sizes and this one looks great in a plein air mahogany frame. As I have a large studio tour coming up in the summer and also hopes of gaining entry into the Belvue Arts Museum Fair or Belvue Arts Fair, I'm trying to build up inventory. This is for sale, but you'll need to e-mail me if you're seriously interested.

On another topic, I've discovered something that surprised me about myself. I started as a serious realist painter in pastel and gravitated to oils a couple of years ago as a primary medium. Even when I started this blog, I was heavily into sharp realism. I've noticed that when I look back over my work and how it has evolved over the past two years, I find that I have made a foray into the arena of impressionism or expressionism. I'm still heavily representational and still interested in realist work, but something has shifted. I'm presently attending atelier with Tenaya Sims, a remarkable realist painter who studied directly under Juliette Aristedes and also teaches at Gage in Seattle. I feel very honored and awed to be under his tutelage and have to smile at the new quandry I find myself in. Tenaya seems not to be bothered by any of this indecision or vascillation and reassures me that it's all the "same" in the bones. And this I agree with, but I'm still wondering what the next few years will bring in my development. Should be fun to find out. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yellow and Pink Roses Oil Painting on Gallery Wrap Canvas, 8" x 10"

"Jeraline's Vase"

From the macabre to the romantic. This has been a strange week. This little pink vase was a thrift shop find by a friend. I never used it because, frankly, I couldn't figure out how. It's kind of small to hold a lot of flowers or even a bud or two. But I found it worked very well as a complement to the pink and yellow roses. I love this bright little piece. Hope you do too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Graphite Drawing of Skull on Vellum, 12" x 12"


As part of my homework for atelier, I was supposed to practice doing head layins. I was also supposed to practice taking my layins through various stages. I reasoned that with time being what it is for me, that practicing on a skull would kill two proverbial birds with one graphite stone. So I picked "Bob" off the shelf and here's what came of a full day's work. OK. It's not a painting, but it did take me the day so it's what goes on the blog today. Tomorrow a painting. The photo doesn't do it justice as the camera picks up every flaw and the graphite is much softer in appearance on the paper. Follow the steps below from a not very good layin to a not too bad tonal drawing. I really need to impove my layins. I working on it. Sigh. Paint is so much easier.
Oh, Bob got his name from a skull in the "Dresden Files" series. Those of you who know, know.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Market Scene of Seller and Watermelon, 8" x 10", Oil on Canvas Panel

"...and I have watermelon!"


The studio is still freezing and inaccessible but I cleared some of the mess away in the dining room and struggled through this painting of a fruit seller. I did this from a photograph I took a few months ago in Spain. Out of a 100 that I took in that dark market, this one was the best. I simplified things a bit but, overall, it's pretty close to the exciting color and action that was going on in that day.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Oil Painting of Lillies in Cut Glass Vase, 11" x 14", Oil on Canvas Panel

"Lillies in Cut Glass"

Things haven't changed much since I posted a couple of days ago. My studio is still freezing and things are difficult to get to. But today, despite it all, I put on my heavy coat, went into the freezer and pulled out a few supplies. I had a hunkering to paint lillies. Maybe I'm just praying for spring but it felt right. Hopefull somehow. When I was in Europe a few months ago, I purchased a red wool scarf that I've been wanting to use in a painting. The designs on it are quite elaborate but I felt they would detract from the simplicity of the flowers, so I didn't put them in. But the warm red tones of the scarf acted nicely to set off the cool whites and lavenders in the flowers.

I had to paint this in my dining room and despite the inconvenience and mess, it was comforting to have my husband a few feet away watching an old John Wayne movie while the cats played at my feet. The light wasn't the best for photographing this but despite that, I think the photo still conveys the overall warm feeling of the painting. Enjoy.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Taking a few days from the easel here. Simply cannot work with the construction going on. My studio is 35 degrees Fahrenheit and everything is inaccessible. I have an easel in my dining room, but it's proven to be an untenable situation with no place to actually put set ups without locking the cats up for 8 hrs at a go. A huge back order of supplies arrived with no place to put it and so now even that space is unworkable. Things promise to be a bit more organized after Tuesday so hopefully, I'll be able to get some work done by then. Please stay tuned and thanks for checking in.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Charcoal Portrait of Man wearing old hat, 18" x 24", Charcoal on Paper

"George"Currently NFS

George is my painting/drawing buddy. He runs the life drawing group that I have met with every Tuesday for five years. We've sort of grown on each other. I like to think of his wife, Janet, as a friend too. One day our model failed to show and George modeled for us. We couldn't get him to take his clothes off though.

Landscape Painting of Walking Path in Morning, 5" x 7", Oil on Panel

"Morning Fog"

It was truly beautiful yesterday. It was sunny and the temperature was a warm 45 degees. The sun actually warmed my face. It almost felt like spring. So I went home, dug through all my photos and came up with one from last summer. I remember this day. The fog was just lifting and the sun was shooting through the trees onto the path. The bugs were just starting to buz and the breeze was sweet with salt air off straits. Take heart, it's just around the corner.