Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stolen Smile

Happy New Year!   This is my first painting for the 30in30 Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.  If you're curious about the Challenge, check out Leslie's blog at:  http://www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.   I believe there are close to 900 artists participating.  It's a great feeling to know there are other artists out there doing the same thing...it should be fun!

I hope to complete 30 paintings in 30 days...however, I must admit if a painting needs more time than what I can do in a day...then I'll take the time to complete it over an additional day or two.  I'll share work-in-progress images for those days (should they occur).

My theme "Family Matters" starts off with a painting I call "Stolen Smile".  This is from an image of my grandson Brian who is now over a foot taller than me!  On this particular day Brian just couldn't resist eating the raisins that were intended for Frosty's smile.  From the looks of it...I think he may have eaten half of an Oreo eye as well!

Stolen Smile, 8x8, pastel

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What was I Thinking?

The past couple weeks have been filled with holiday events and fun with family and friends.  It's been a wonderful time!  In addition to that I've been scouring my reference photos for painting possibilities for Leslie Saeta's January 2015 30in30 Challenge. To post my first painting early on January 1st, I'll have to start painting tomorrow.  Yikes!  I'm a little concerned.  I seem to be going into this Challenge more in a funk than fully prepared!  What was I thinking?

Having completed my first Challenge last September I would have thought I would be much more prepared and thus, excited.  My trepidation must come from the fact that I am fully aware of what it's going to take to complete the Challenge ( at least to my satisfaction).  I know there are going to be moments when I am frustrated, dejected, embarrassed to post what I've painted, and questioning why I am forcing myself to complete this silly Challenge.  There will be nights I drop into bed exhausted and annoyed...bad dreams will ensue.  The laundry will pile up.  Preparing meals will consist of anything fast and easy.  Food in the house will dwindle down to a few cans of soup and bread crumbs.  The dust will gather and the floors will be a mess!!  My poor husband and dog will have to beg for what little attention they will get from me.

Oh why, oh why did I sign up for this???  Who intentionally puts themselves through what is guaranteed to be an exhausting and frustrating month of non-stop painting?  I guess I did.  I secretly wish I could delete my name from the map listing the participating artists and locations that Leslie posts on her blog: www.lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.  Then I would just go about my business as though I had somehow overlooked signing up.  

Then I remember those breakthrough moments.  The progress I've made over the past year and especially during the month of September.  The few pieces I was very happy to call my own. Painting daily almost guarantees progress in one way or another.  For me, by the end of September I realized my best style falls somewhere in between Impressionism and Realism.   Would that be Imperialism? (Just kidding)

Without pain...there is no gain.  I will prepare today and hit the ground running tomorrow morning.  January's "theme" will be called "Family Matters".   My family provides such loving encouragement.  They help me overcome my self doubt and help me see myself as an actual artist.  The artist I always wanted to be as a child.  So I'll dedicate this effort to all of them.  See you tomorrow?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Village - Holiday on Ice

It's such a festive time of year...and a busy one!  I finally found time to finish this painting, complete a few framing tasks and make Christmas cards.  

Recently I went to the Village and took quite a few pictures of people skating and added them to the photos I took at Thanksgiving with my four youngest grandkids who were also skating.   This painting is the result.  I even found space to add several other family members even though they weren't actually there.  Ah, artistic license!  Ultimately, I was able to fit in all the grandkids and their parents and grandparents.  It was a fun project, a challenge, and a painting that will always be dear to my heart.   

Happy holidays everyone!

Holiday on Ice, pastel

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Work in Process...

Started a painting today that's a bit larger than usual...I think it will end up being around 9x12...a great size once a mat and frame is added to it (assuming of course that it's worthy of framing).  I think it will be because I'm already liking the direction it's taking.  Of course, because it's larger and more detailed, it will take a couple days to complete...so I'm posting my work in progress.  

I also signed up today to do another of Leslie Saeta's 30in30 challenges in January.  Yes, that's only three weeks away!!!!!  What was I thinking?  I need to finish this painting and get busy preparing for the challenge.  Oh Lord I may live to regret this.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Good Old Frosty

It was a long tough week when it came to painting.  I had a few days of appointments and errands but actually did find time to practice on a few pieces.  I've resorted to using the word "practice" because I don't think any of them are among my best work.   I continue to struggle to loosen up.  But hey, this is the year I decided to learn to paint...so I'll chalk it up to that.  A week of practice.

First...there were the few surviving flowers from a beautiful bouquet my daughter and her family gave us for Thanksgiving.  I had high hopes for this one...but alas, I think I missed the mark.  

The Last Bouquet, 12x9, pastel
 

Then,  I tried to shake the cobwebs out by REALLY trying to loosen up...

Loose and Bold 2, 5x7, pastel


And lastly,  in total frustration I went to my happy place.  I needed an old friend...one that always makes me smile and reminds me of just how good life really is...

Good Old Frosty, 8x6, pastel




Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Holidays!

A little practice piece for the holidays.  I couldn't resist this scene.  It brings back fond memories of sledding in a nearby park and the many trips to the ice skating rink throughout the winter months. Growing up in a small town in Iowa was like living in a Norman Roćkwell painting. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Village - Date Night at Grimaldi's

With snow coming to most of the U.S. early this year, it's hard to remember that only a few short weeks ago the leaves were just starting to turn.  That was the case here at Grimaldi's in The Villlage at Meridian.  I must get down there soon to see the kids ice skating and all the holiday decorations.   It's a beautiful time of year.   Happy Thanksgiving! 

Date Night at Grimaldi's, 6.5 x 8.5, pastel

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Day of Frustration

It's a beautiful day today...lots of gorgeous fresh snow.  BUT, I think maybe I have had too much coffee.  I started on the next piece but couldn't settle down (it's a piece that has a lot of detail).  What to do....what to do!!  A change of plans.  

I decided to do a plein air looking out the window at a beautiful evergreen covered in snow.....BUT, no matter how I tried, it just wasn't happening.   I tried...wiped it off, tried again, wiped it off, tried again, wiped it off....and so on and so on for at least a couple hours.  I REFUSED to quit....which was in fact part of the problem.   By gosh, I was going to paint today if it killed me!!!!  (have I confessed yet on this blog that I am a bit stubborn?)  By this time I had pretty much rubbed off the grit from the paper...it was a soft mushy mess!  I was in a battle with this paper and I refused to give in and pull out a fresh piece!  (Hmmm, stubborn to the core)

I wonder if other "artists" have this problem...and I do mean "artist" in quotation marks because I sure didn't feel like a real artist today.  I felt like such a failure...does anyone else go through this much frustration?  Well anyway...I decided my last try would be to attack the canvas...go all out and take my frustrations out on it...then I could get the agnst out of my system once and for all.   Or perhaps be carried away in a straight jacket!

I practiced on a piece using a recent painting by Karen Margulis as an example of how to loosen up and be bold.  Karen is a great artist and has a blog titled Painting My World...check it out and you'll be amazed.   So, today was a practice day. 

I'm really not sure if I have just committed a terrible sin using someone else's art for practice.  I hope not...I certainly won't sell it.  But the Little Catholic girl inside me is secretly feeling guilty.  I promise to say three Hail Marys and two Our Fathers.  All I know is that I needed the practice...and more importantly I needed to excise the demon within!

Loose and Bold, 5x7, pastel

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Village - Sur la Table

This week I had planned on painting 3 paintings....but "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray".   Final fall cleanup with a trip to the dump and snow today.  Both of those events changed my mind for me.  Sometimes, you just gotta just go with the flow.     

I did get this little piece finished...Sur la Table in The Village at Meridian.  I love the colorful flowers and how peaceful it is during the early morning hours, for a time, uninterrupted by shoppers.  

Sur la Table, 8x6, pastel 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Village - Walking The Dog

This is the second in a series of scenes at The Village in Meridian.  This painting is of the window display at Charming Charlie's.  It's a colorful place...I especially love the black and white awnings and the sign painted on the window "We ❤️ Handbags".   You just can't resist stopping by and taking a look at all the goodies within...even when you're supposed to be walking the dog.  

Walking The Dog, 6x8 pastel



Monday, November 3, 2014

Couch Potato

Tubby is my little couch potato.  Ever since we lost his buddy Scooter this past April, Tubby has been at my side, day and night..night and day.   Each morning he has his breakfast and follows me into the studio where we sit together sharing a chair and ottoman by the fireplace.  I sip my coffee and read the paper or catchup with social media while he snuggles into the blanket for a short nap.  He does little else these days but seems especially content to sleep on the back cushions of the couch while I work at the easel.  Here he can keep an eye on what I'm doing and can occasionally gaze out the window in case a squirrel dares to enter his yard....or, he naps.  Most often he naps.  I surely love this little guy!
Couch Potato, 6x8 pastel

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Village at Meridian - Dining at Twigs

Today I finished this little piece.  It is the first painting in a series of scenes in and around Meridian, Idaho...the best little "small" town in America...at least I think so.  Not many years ago Meridian was truly a small town but with the explosive growth of Boise during the past 20 years, Meridian and Eagle couldn't help but follow suit.  The good thing about so much growth is the newness of just about everything.  New streets, new houses, new shops and restaurants...and the people in Idaho (longtime and new residents) are among the most friendly I've ever met.

This scene is the outside patio of Twigs Restaurant at The Village.  The Village is a gorgeous dining, shopping and family entertainment complex that opened in 2013 and continues to expand with more and more retail spaces opening each month.  Walking around The Village reminds me of Disneyland or Disney World...it is not only beautiful with fountains, sculptures, and flowers but is impeccably maintained.  A great place to capture Life in Meridian. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Roadside Barn 2

Today I had enough time to refine a painting of the Roadside Barn and start another one of a scene at The Village located in Meridian, Id.   The patio at Twigs is a perfect start to a series of Meridian cityscapes I hope to do this winter.  I've been busy taking photos and narrowing down a few...now, I can finally get down to actually painting them. 

Roadside Barn 6x8 pastel 

The Patio At Twigs...Work in Progress 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Beach Bum 2

Finished the remake of Beach Bum today.  This is one of my favorite boat scenes.  I can just imagine being on the beach on a warm sunny summer day...especially helpful today where it's cold and rainy outside.  I'm afraid it's going to be some time before I walk the beach again.
Beach Bum 2, 8x6 pastel

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wisconsin Winter Glow


I find it fascinating that Sept.'s 30 in 30 challenge would be followed by such a lean Oct.  Oh well, life just gets in the way sometimes.  I do have a couple things on the easel...and this one finished yesterday for a very special person.  

This is a Wisconsin barn at sunset.  It's fascinating how many colors go into producing snow... especially at sunset with a grayish sky giving way to such a beautiful sunset glow. 

Wisconsin Winter Glow, pastel, 8x10


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Work in Process

This week I've spent time plein air painting and taking photos for an upcomimg cityscape series.  So today I headed back into the studio to start a couple paintings.  One is a redo of Beach Bum which recently sold.  I wanted to keep it in my seascape series.   The other is the fifth in a series of quilt based paintings.  Both of these are in the "ugly" stage...no more than 1/2 way through the process.  I believe the quilt one is a bit larger than usual...somewhere around 8x10 so it definitely has a ways to go!   Oh well....no rush. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Early Morning on the Patio

I couldn't resist painting this one...although it was a bit more time consuming than I initially thought it would be.  Fortunately I didn't try to paint it during the 30 in 30 Challenge.   This one took a couple days.  I love how the early morning sunlight was just coming up over the neighbor's fence...casting sunlight on the table and vase of flowers.     I also like the square format and the way the patio leads to a back gate and into the grassy area behind it.    9x9 pastel 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Americana

Nothing says Americana like a red, white and blue quilt...and nothing looks more inviting than a cozy patio such as this one.  Thank you Jamie and Alan for letting me crash your home and photograph your quilts.  This is painting number three of a quilt series.  Stay tuned...more to come!

Monday, October 6, 2014

All Things In Moderation

Well I'm back at it...but this time trying to give myself a little breathing room on completing each piece.  Today's work in process is the third in a series of still life paintings featuring quilts.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Break To Re-group

What, you may ask have I been doing the past 4-5 days...where's the artwork?  Well, after the September marathon I finally finished setting up my studio and have been busily taking reference photos for the past few days.  I also had to catch up vacuuming, dust, go to First Thurday downtown, give my husband a much needed haircut, clean up the garden and trim shrubs.  And yes, the dog could use a bath and haircut too but that may need to wait until next weekend.  Tomorrow is my deadline for getting back at it.  It's been a nice break but I miss the easel.  Tubby misses his hangout too.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Glorious Morning

This is the final painting for the 30 in 30 Challenge...I'll upload it to Leslie Saeta's blog in the morning...thus the title...a "glorious morning" it will be indeed.  The past 30 days have been...what can I say...LONG!  It felt more like 30 weeks.  At times I was so darn frustrated...and at other times really happy with my progress.  I realized the absolute worst thing to do was to get to the end of the day and still need to paint.  Yikes!  Those days were killers (can you say...paint a piece of fruit?).

I was surprised most of all that no matter how badly a painting was one day, I was anxious to try again the next morning.   I became much more comfortable with landscapes...and loved doing the seascapes (they were my favorite ones)...aside from today's...which I have to say is my favorite overall (I love the composition, colors, and subject matter).

I am amazed at how much I learned about painting with pastels and I have to admit I will miss the challenge.  I would not have otherwise forced myself to complete a painting each and every day...yet, I'm pretty sure I'll stay on a good pace...maybe a painting every other day (ha!). 

If you're reading this blog, (and you must be)...I hope you'll stop by again.  I'll be here...painting away!
A Glorious Morning 8x6 pastel

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Under The Tuscan Sun

One of my favorite movies is Under The Tuscan Sun.  It's set in beautiful Tuscany...what could be better.  But more importantly it's about overcoming life's challenges...perservering when life gets tough (which everyone has to do now and then).  Many years ago I bought this vase from an artist in Bainbridge, Wa.  It reminded me so much of the dark blue vase Diane Lane's character had in the movie (if you've seen the movie you'll know the vase I'm talking about).  One of just a few possessions she ended up with after a divorce.  Anyway, my little vase is a symbol of my own strength throughout my life..and a reminder that I sure wish I could live in beautiful Tuscany!  Today, I painted my vase picture while watching the movie.  It was a great day.  7x5 pastel

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sunset Sail

Sticking with my nautical them this week...one more boat.  This is such a beautiful scene.  I love the colors of the sunset...the warm glow of the setting sun and its reflection on the water.
Sunset Sail 7x5 pastel

Friday, September 26, 2014

Old Yeller

Ok now, with this title I realize I'm showing my age!  As a kid the movie Old Yeller was a classic.  A great movie about a beloved old dog.   I imagine this old yellow boathouse is also beloved by its owners.  Maybe a family with a lot of kids fishing or diving off its dock.  If I had a boathouse I think I'd spend every day there.  Maybe painting...or fishing...or kayaking in the waters nearby.  The sun is setting in this picture which is appropriate for this old boathouse...at the end of its days...but still beautiful.  5x7 pastel 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Little Red

It's always a little more stressful painting detail...so on this piece, I really got tired of it after 4 hours or so.  There was a lot of teeny tiny details since this is only a 7x5 painting.  Normally if I do a "detail" painting I give myself a couple days to complete it so I don't burn out.  But then, those are not very "painterly" either which is a style I'm trying to achieve.  Not so with this one though.   Since this is a 30 in 30 painting, I needed to finish today...so it's not my best work...but hey, today, it's good enough.  7x5 pastel

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Feeling A Little Dinghy

Today is day 24 of the 30 day challenge...and by now, I'm feeling a bit dinghy.  Only six more days to go...so I will press on.  I love the bright orange colors of this little boat and the overall composition.  The water is so calm you can see the larger boats moored directly behind it.  I love reflections!  5x7 pastel

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lucious Lavender

I always like the look of blooming lavender fields.  They are such a beautiful shade (shades) of purple.  Today, I had wished I was an oil painter where I could mix just the right luscious lavender colors.  Alas, I struggled a bit to find the right colors...but at least I can say... "It's colorful".   
Luscious Lavender 6x8 pastel


Three Tips For Starting A New Piece

When I started this blog my intention was to share info along the way that someday might help someone else...tips on what I find is working for me.  So here's a photo and run down of three tips for starting a painting:

1.  Pastels can be very messy and if you use your fingers even just a little bit...your fingernails are always stained with paint.  I try scrubbing them clean with an old toothbrush and that helps a bit. 

To eliminate the problem this is what I'm doing now.  I bought small latex gloves (which were too big) and small finger cots.  The "finger cots" you see in this photo were too tight and quickly cut off circulation.   I hated to throw them out...so I unrolled one, cut the excess latex off and put it back on...the problem was solved.  Now they are very comfortable and will save my poor fingernails going forward.  You'll also notice I have backup finger cots already cut down and placed over pens/pencils in my pencil jar ready for use.  I rarely need to change them during a painting because I keep wet wipes on hand to clean them along the way.

2.  If you use an iPad or similar device for your reference photo:  when sketching the image select "edit" and "crop" to view the cropping grid superimposed on the image this helps properly scale the subject matter.   

Also, after the sketch is done use the "tonal filter" to convert the image to gray scale...this helps select the proper values when applying the under painting.

3.  Rita Kirkman gave a great tip on cleaning pastels with toilet paper.  I am also using it when selecting my color palette.  It cleans the pastel and at the same time gives you a good look at the colors you've selected.  If you don't like a particular color, just mark it out with a magic marker.  I also lay out the colors on my palette in the same order as they appear on the TP.

Ok...on to painting today's piece.  Day 23 of the 30 in 30 Challenge!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Cozy Cove

love sailboats.  Not that I've ever been sailing....or even stepped foot in one.  But, I love them all the same.  They're beautiful in full sail or moored for the evening in a cozy cove.

Today is day 22 of the 30in30 Challenge.  I'm barely keeping up with the laundry and cleaning...thank God my husband is good at getting the groceries and cooking.  Not that I've been painting all day long...but some days it sure feels like it.  Oh well...getting lots of practice!

P.S. Technically I just met the challenge with today's painting (I started in mid-Aug.)...but I'll forge ahead and complete the whole month of Sept.  Why not..right?
7x5 pastel 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

An Evening On The Lake

For me, there are few things more peaceful than kayaking especially in the early morning or evening hours.  We are fortunate in Idaho to have so many lakes, rivers, and reservoirs from which to chose.   5x7 pastel 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

On the Fly


Appropriate name for this one.  Without much forethought I just dove in and started painting this one...on the fly.  After several hours I realized I was once again overworking it...once again, I tried to put too much detail in it and the colors were off.  There wasn't really any way of fixing it.   So, rather than beat myself up...I'll just say, "I like the sky."  6x8 pastel

Friday, September 19, 2014

September Sky

Today is day 19 in the 30 in 30 challenge.  This is painting #20.  I felt the need yesterday to get a little ahead of the curve and post two pictures...having a bit of a cushion is easier on my psyche!  The challenge had been fun...but painful...exhilarating...but exhausting...rewarding...but defeating...and at the end of the day...satisfying.  The most satisfying aspect for me is being able to (very humbly) get out of my comfort zone and practice, practice, practice. 

Earlier in the month I declared to you (assuming there is someone out there reading this)...I declared that I am definitely not a landscape artist.   Then I reflected on that statement and told myself..."Hey!  Now is the time to force yourself to try and grow a bit and not accept defeat or hide behind an excuse!"   So, I've stayed in my "discomfort zone"...I've committed to myself to trying skies, earth, water etc. for the final two weeks of the challenge.  So...this is "September Sky".  A typical Idaho scene that my mind conjured up...but one that I'm sure I've seen over the years while travelling around the state...most likely on a fly fishing trip with my husband.  6x8 pastel 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Feeding the Birds

The Gulf Coast is a beautiful place...especially at sunrise.  On this particular morning I captured a photo of a couple on the beach just as heavy fog was lifting.  It was a mystical sight.   He, walking their dog and she, throwing breadcrumbs to the birds.  The sight of the birds hovering above them was amazing.
Feeding the Birds, 5x9 pastel

Idaho Sunset

It's true...in Idaho we don't get a lot of rain.  We have more than our share of sun and blue skies throughout the summer months.  Many of us relish those days when the clouds move in and light up our skies!   This was one such day several weeks ago...a beautiful sunset photographed by "jasonstwisted" and posted to Instagram.   He regularly captures the beauty around us and shares his photos.  Check out his work...a feast for the eyes!  Idaho Sunset 6x8 pastel

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

After the Rain

We had a glorious early morning rain yesterday followed by a gorgeous cloudy sky...so I tried to capture it in today's painting. Have a beautiful day!!!  After the Rain, 8x10 pastel

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where the Sky Meets Water

Feeling a little funky...so here's an abstract for today.   This painting reminds me of a trip down to the Padre Island area.  The sunrises during that trip were amazing.  This may be a week of sky and water...or maybe not.  We shall see.  8x6 pastel

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall is Just Around the Corner

Today marks the halfway mark for the 30in30 challenge...so I practiced on this tree...trying to defy that little voice inside that says "...but you're not a landscape artist!".   In any event, this is my little study of a tree showing a little fall color.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Walk With Me...The Best Is Yet To Come

We live in a beautiful neighborhood.  This path is across from our house and we enjoy it year round. Our dog Tubby especially likes to walk down the path and visit all the neighbors' dogs.  I love it the most as the sun is setting, which was the case here.
6x8 pastel

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Life's Short...Eat Dessert First!

I always pass by the bakery at our grocery store rather quickly...avoiding the tempting pies, cakes and artisan breads.  But recently,  for the sake of art, I stopped and purchased two mini-desserts in order to have suitable props for a couple still life paintings.  I think I broke some kind of an artist's rule though...I ate this mouth watering little lemon cake before my painting was finished.  Oh well.  My new motto is: Life's short...eat dessert first (even if the painting isn't finished).
6x8 pastel

Friday, September 12, 2014

Charlie was the Life of the Party Last Night

Yesterday I bought three beautiful pears for another stab at a still life...but this morning one of them looked a little down and out.  Hmmm, must have been a party in the kitchen last night.  I decided to do another quick study anyway before it turned completely brown.  
Charlie was the Life of the Party, 6x8 pastel

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Apple A Day...

Some days it's best to keep things simple.
An Apple A Day, 5x7, pastel



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Breakfast With Grandma

,For years I've had a few pieces of the "china" my maternal grandmother used daily.  I remember it fondly because I often stayed with her during the summer months in the teeny tiny town of St. Patrick, Mo.  She didn't have running water...we pumped water from a well outside the back door.  This also meant that we used an out house...which is another story altogether (maybe another painting opportunity).  Her house was two rooms wide...with a small pantry and back porch.  Suffice it to say, her teeny tiny house fit nicely into the teeny tiny town (I'm not sure the population ever got above 75...and today it's perhaps 10 or so.  

In 2001, my mother gave me one of grandma's old delapidated kitchen chairs.  After getting it from the Midwest to Idaho, I set about learning how to re-cane the seat and gave it a fresh coat of wood stain.  It's one of those treasures seldom used...but often admired.  

Both of these items came in handy today as I set about looking for a still life that had meaning for me.  The way the morning light streamed in from the kitchen window onto the old china gave it such a glow, almost as though it was brand new again.  With grandma's chair in the background,  I couldn't help but remember so many of those summer mornings as we sat down for breakfast.  For her, piping hot coffee...for me, fresh orange juice and always always fresh homemade bread slathered with butter and strawberry jam.  I so loved breakfast with grandma!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Last Berry

Well summer is surely coming to an end...I've picked my last strawberry.  What a great summer.  I'm looking forward to a gorgeous fall.  This is a quick study. 
6x6, pastel

Monday, September 8, 2014

Life's Short...Have A Ball!

I really am having a BALL lately.  So I pulled out a 20 minute study of a Ball jar and refined it today... Along with a juicy red strawberry.  So today's efforts were around those two quick studies.  I needed a break from the landscape challenges of the past couple days.  
Life's Short...Have A Ball!   12x9 pastel

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Long And Winding Road

Trying to become an artist is tough.  Oh sure...you can have the occasional success.  But (at least in my case) it's immediately followed by lesser works.  Keeping one humble.  Very, very humble. 

I am officially declaring to the universe that am not a landscape artist.  And, I don't think I ever will be.  Not 
that this revelation is bad.  There are other genres to focus on.  The whole point of this entire year is to challenge myself and try to learn how to paint with pastels,  I just need to find my niche.

In today's case, I had a great composition (at least I think it is)...and I did a good notan under painting.  In fact, once I did the under painting I thought, "wow,  this is going to be a good one".  But capturing the essence of the view and the appropriate colors eluded me.  

The path to becomIng a good artist is a long and winding road for sure!  Oh well, as I've said before...there's always tomorrow.  
8x10, pastel 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Roadside Barn

This was my first attempt at plein air.  I went with a painting buddy a couple miles out of town to a location where I knew there were two beautiful old barns.  At least they were there a month ago.  Sadly, they were torn down.  How can a couple barns be there for decades...maybe a century and then just gone?   So, we drove around and quickly found plenty of barns to choose from.  That's rural Idaho for you. Roadside Barn 6x8 pastel

Friday, September 5, 2014

There's Always Tomorrow

A hot mess...that's the only thing I can say about today's painting.  It started as a simple painting and for some reason went down the wrong path.  I reworked it and reworked it and then had to admit it got the best of me!  Oh well...there's always tomorrow.