Category: Pastels

Two Pastels

This is an 11″ X 14″ pastel painting titled Lone Pine that I am happy to report received a first place ribbon in the Other Media category in the Lakewood Artist Guild’s Spring Art Show on April 21st.  I also received a third place ribbon in the same category as shown further down.

Yep, it’s a blue ribbon!

This is a 4″ X 9″pastel painting floating in a 7-1/2″ X 10″ space  titled Golden Meadow and was the one that got the third place ribbon at the show in the Other Medium category.   I was totally surprised (and pleased, of course) with the judge’s decision!

I’m happy to be back painting again.  This is the longest break I’ve taken in a very long time, although I have been sketching occasionally during that time.   Hopefully, I haven’t lost too many visitors in the past 3 or 4 months, but I’m determined to work daily and share my art adventure with you all.  The show was a wonderful return to public viewing!

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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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Art Around Town

I just finished having 4 paintings in an office in Los Alamitos in June through September.  This time I was chosen to display 3 paintings in a small library in Long Beach.  The checkout counter  and other equipment are below the camera angle and it turned out that the best shot I could get was to stay behind it.  Quite a bit of glare from a wall of windows to the left of the area.    Anyway, these are all pastels that I believe have been shown here in the blog:  Golden Path 10 X 14, Coast Sentinels 14 X 10 and Big Sur Coast 9 X 12.

However, I think I’ll be changing some or all of them after awhile.    I think some autumn landscapes would be perfect here.  I can’t tell you how difficult it was to get these hung on the devises they use there which include long hanging strips of some sort with movable hooks.  Centering the paintings both vertically and horizontally was “fun”.

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Taos Bushes

Well, this one was really different for me.  Even though it is soft pastel on Mi-Tientes paper (smooth side)…which I do a lot….I found that I had chosen a picture taken years ago on a trip and didn’t spend much time planning the painting.   I use thumbnail sketches about half the time in planning, otherwise, I just take a pencil or stick charcoal and  mark where things are going to be.   It’s not unusual with that method to have to make adjustments as you go along, but that’s ok with me.

In this case, it turns out that positioning within the painting wasn’t the problem.   The problem was that I hadn’t worked out exactly how I was going to illustrate the layers of rocks growing right behind the bushes and small trees.  And to make matters worse, I decided to do the foreground first……not my usual style.   I just loved those plants and couldn’t wait to start painting them.    In truth, the rocks are very complicated and would have been difficult painting in soft pastel even without the bushes.

I have to admit that I have never removed and repainted an area as many times as I did with this one.   Finally, I surrendered and just put smeary lines the color of the rocks in the background and accepted that some people will think it’s a very BROWN stormy sky or an out-of-focus landscape of sand and rocks.  So be it.  I guess sometimes I learn more than others!

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Say Goodby

Just a version of the road from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.   As you can see, I took a lot of artist’s license in both color and foliage………but that’s the fun of painting, isn’t it?   This is an 8 X 11 done on Fabriano Paper and using a whole bunch of soft pastels.   I didn’t really keep track, but I’m sure Ludwigs were predominant.    I feel like I’m heading off to blue skies and new adventures with this one.    Enjoy!    Comments are always welcome.

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Purple Mountains

Well, this was a real learning process……don’t buy cheap paper, even for practice!  I saw that the paper in the pad had texture on both sides, but I thought  it looked different and might be fun to work with.   (I tend to work on the smooth side of Mi-Tientes, etc.)    Little did I know that the texture was like a million tiny knife slits which made it difficult to cover the color of the paper (weird grey/brown), but completely controlled how the pastel worked into it.    Lots of rubbing and smudging went on.  As soon as I find the pad on the shelf with my other pastel pads, it is going to join the various items collected in the land dump where it belongs.

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100 Pastel Challenge – No. 75!

This is number 75 of a challenge to complete 100 versions of the same painting, each within 30 minutes and my size is 5″ X 7″.   If you would like to see the other 74, just keep scrolling down through the blog!  (Or check the category list over on the right of the page).


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100 Pastel Challenge No. 74

Since it is a holiday, I took even less time to devote to this, the 74th in the series of 100 pastels done on 5″ X 7″ paper with a time limit of 30 minutes………I wonder if the people who started this challenge oh so long ago even remember it.  We’ll see.   I’ll post my 100th on Wet Canvas and see who responds.   (But, of course, I still have 26 to go!)

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Brown Mountains

It is so hot here today, I just had to do something that made me feel the wind in my face and lots and lots of room.  This s a 9″ X 11″ pastel on Fabriano Paper.

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100 Pastel Challenge No. 73


This time, I made things different by putting my hand on a pastel and then moving to another.   Weird, but that’s what the challenge is all about.

This is the weekend for the Lakewood Artist Guild’s Spring Show.  I will be entering 2 pastels.   Less than previous years, but it’s been a busy time and I decided to take the stress off.     They only have separate categories if there are at least 7 paintings in the same medium, such as watercolor.   If there are fewer than 7, then those are all lumped together in a general category.  In past years, there have always been fewer than 7 pastels, so I get judged along with drawings, mixed-media, etc.

We’ll see what happens this year.  Pastel is becoming more popular across the country, but I’m not aware of anyone in the guild besides myself that works in it on a regular basis.   Must make decisions hard for the judge!

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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