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Coming Storm


Well, this photographed a little darker than I wanted, but it’s been sitting on my board for at least two weeks and I’m anxious to move on (despite the holiday shopping still to do!).   The closer set of trees are especially lighter and easier to read on the original.   This is a 9″ X 12″ pastel , mostly Ludwigs and Unisons.    Maybe I should work on a Christmas one now.  That should be lighter, right?  We have no snow here…..but the leaves are changing color and dropping around the trees.   Let’s see, if this is Fall in SoCal, then winter shouldn’t be too close behind…..maybe January?       Enjoy.   Comments are always welcome.

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Lakewood Fall Art Show

Yesterday the Lakewood Artist Guild held their Fall Art Show.  I was absolutely thrilled to receive awards for 3 of the 4 pastel paintings I entered.   Below was chosen for First Place in the Class 2- Intermediate group that included watercolors as well as all media other than oil, acrylic and photography.   I’m hoping someday they will judge pastels on the same level as oils, but in the meantime, I’ll take what I can get!    Photos of all 4 are below.

This is an 8 X 11 pastel titled Country Living.   Don’t you just love blue ribbons?

This is an 7-1/2 X 11-1/2 pastel titled Big Sur Spring.  The light blue ribbon peeking into the picture is an Honorable Mention.

This is the other Honorable Mention titled Taos Brush  also 8X11

And now the “also ran” titled Meadowland.

It really was a great show and I’m now looking forward to our spring show in 2013!


2012 Spring Art Show

This past weekend was the Spring Art Show for the Lakewood Artists Guild.  Unfortunately, attendance was down just a bit….but everything seems to be suffering these days.  We had a great time hanging the paintings on Friday evening and Saturday morning.  The doors were closed Saturday afternoon to allow the judge to view all the many entries and choose winners in several categories.   One wonderful outcome of the show was the children’s art which was at least double previous years.

I entered two pastels and won Honorable Mention for “The Country Life”.  Both can be seen here and in earlier posts.  I have to admit it’s encouraging to see your work hanging in a roomful of art!   Enjoy!

The Country Life

The Red Barn


Something strange happened today and my comments didn’t appear on the site that referred to the vase of flowers below (although they were there when I previewed it before publishing).   I was really just explaining that I had promised myself to be honest on the blog and if somethings didn’t turn out as well as expected or hoped, it’s all  a learning experience for me (and maybe you, too).

Summer Shore Once More

I know I declared the last painting below as a finished painting…..should have known better.   It’s not uncommon for me to see things I wished I had done differently after I’ve lived with a painting for awhile.  I realized that the emptiness at the bottom of the scene, although intentional, was just a little too empty for the rest of the picture.  So, I’ve added color and some rocks, etc. to satisfy my “itch to change”.   See what you think.

Summer Shore

The following is a series of pictures showing my process in painting a shoreline in Pastel.  It is 9X12 on Canson paper using primarily Unisons. Ludwigs, Rembrandt and Sennilier.

I lightly drew the large masses with a pale yellow pastel pencil  on the dark blue paper.

I had a great time working with the clouds in the sky. Just the basic background now on the cliff.

Gentle waves and some wild plants to add interest.

Just another day on the beautiful California coastline.   Enjoy!


New Pastel – barn on creek in Orange County

This was a small creek we crossed (on a small bridge) a few years ago while just driving through the area below Julian.  I have to confess, I added the barn for interest.

This is an 8 X 10, soft pastel  using primarily Unisons on Strathmore Pastel paper.


Marshland in Pastel

This was done on a heavy watercolor paper, first roughing in the background colors, then going over this with brush and water.  This is a process used by many pastelists to put in the background without filling the texture of the paper, thus allowing several layers of pastel as needed.  Once pastel has filled the texture, the color just slides off as you try to add more.  You have a couple of options when that happens, such as spraying with fixitive  which allows a little more pastel to be applied, or you can taka a stiff brush and remove portions of the painting to be changes.

I had picked up an off-brand of watercolor paper to work on and discovered during the process that the paper was a little too textured.  I’ll be keeping the pad for future watercolors, but using  this particular paper for pastels was especially difficult.

I have the process steps below.  The painting is 7-1/2 X  11-1/2 using primarily Unison pastels. Enjoy!

Here is the painting before completing the blending with water.  The sloping horizon line is due to a sloppy photo edit.

Background is now blended.

Here is the beginning of adding the marsh grasses, next is reflections in the water and completing the sky and cloud colors.


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100 Pastel Challenge

I’ve been posting single 5 X 7 paintings and sometimes a group of 3 or 4 and described (probably ad nauseam) the self-imposed rules that the pastel group on Wet Canvas agreed on:  completing 100 pastel paintings with no target date, same size (I chose 5 X 7), within an alloted time (I chose 30 min.) all using different colors.  Now that I’m at number 55, I’m really having to watch what colors I chose.  And to give you an idea of how I do that, I took a couple of shots of the 55 already done.  The 5 X 7s are affixed to poster board and propped around the area in front of my easel for reference.  I tried using photographs….and may eventually return to that method….but found looking at the originals more inspiring.



Almost Daily Sketch – bouquet on fence

Ink sketch ( Micron 01) on 5 X 8-1/2 sketch book. I find a lot of “inspiration” in various magazines like Sunset and Country Garden.  Easy to find something to draw.   I intentionally make changes from the photographs, however.  And not because of copyright laws on the photos, but just a little something to make in mine.

Looking at the photograph now, I think I could have popped the flowers out a little more.  Well, that’s what practice if for, right?


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