November, 2009



You all know my motto…..”when in doubt, paint flowers”!!   I have been working on the 100 paintings challenge on Wet Canvas and in my case, that means pastels.  While thinking about the next version, I got side tracked reading Elizabeth Mowry’s “The Pastelist’s Year”.  She is head and shoulders my favorite pastel artist ….and not a bad writer either.   So, I thought I’d do a small watercolor tonight.  The image is approximately 4 X 6.  Once again using Winsor Newton watercolors in my 7X9 sketch book.  I definitely need to keep practicing using watercolor.  It’s the medium I need to work looser.  But, fuchsias are year around happy flowers.  So, I hope you enjoy!

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Wild Colors for No. 6

I’m truly behind in my quest for 3 versions a week for the 100 painting challenge, but still in there!  I haven’t decided on any theme for some of them, but who knows how I will feel next week.  This one just painted itself with wild and crazy colors!  For those new to the site, the size is always 5X7, pastel, 30-minute time limit   (although on this one I think I pushed that to 45 minutes).



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Week Two – Second Painting


This is another type of veriation that I’ll be exploring in the challenge to do 100 paintings.  My pastels tend to look soft and, some might say, mushy.  But I like the almost water color effect that I get manipulating the pastel.  In this case, the largest amount of pastel was applied with individual strokes. Sometimes, pastelists will use a vertical stroke…..I don’t think I’ve ever seen any with purely horizontal!   I was so into this picture that I ran over my 30 minute limit and took 45 minutes…..but I think I’ll keep it anyway. Otherwise, it fit the remaining categories of same picture and size (5 X 7)  I’ve now completed 5 paintings in my quest for 100.  I hope you enjoy this one!  Do you think I like color?

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No. 4 Completed

4-challenge-orange mountail Yes, I’m still playing around with weird color combinations!  This Facebook Challenge has been a lot of fun and it’s getting to be more comfortable with different pastels.  For those who are reading this for the first time, this is a challenge to complete 100 paintings using the same design, the same size and within a chosed time limit  (in my case 30 minutes).  There are three more below in the thread that constitute Week One….and this is the first for the Second Week.  If you are a Facebook member, you’ll find this in the Events under the name First Annual Autumn Painting Challenge.

I think I enjoyed painting the blue one the other day, but this is weirdly satisfying.  I may go back, however to using more colors in a more natural way for awhile.  Haven’t decided….maybe tomorrow!

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No. 3 For the Challenge


Well, I’m definitely having a blast, but it’s a good thing I had a 30 minute time limit or I would still be dinking around with this one!    Just as a reminder, I committed to 3 of these a week, 5 X 7 size, done in 30 minutes, with a goal of 100 paintings before celebrating!    Any ideas are welcome.  Anycolor combos you would like to see?

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Challenge Painting No. 2


Most of the artists have mentioned that they found themselves reaching for the same pastels for the same area in many of the pastels they did.  The idea really is to try everything, even if you don’t like the result, you now what those colors look like together….some were surprised at what they tried and liked.  So, I purposely went as far away from the original as I could get.   Ah, success…’s so bad, it’s almost hypnotic!    But, once again, it was definitely FUN!

1 Down – 99 To Go

First, I have to admit what I posted before as a Notan, wasn’t.  A Notan shows a division of value, so the picture should show light, medium and dark values.  That’s what I get for posting late at night….or maybe that’s what you get!   Anyway, the picture below shows the real Notan for the 100 painting challenge.  The drawing that I posted before would normally be done after the Notan.   Anyway, here it is drawn in the actual 5 X 7 size…..which I may already be regretting.  I thought they would go faster, but perhaps my choice of landscape is too detailed for this………never fear!   I am ready and willing to meet the challenge!

Real Notan 11-12

Now, below you will see two photos.  First, is the basic drawing lines  when I started and second is what I accomplished in 30 minutes.  BOY, DID I LEARN A LESSON TONIGHT!

Many of the artists had been talking about using up small pieces of various pastel papers….which sounded great to me.   And then I decided to get VERY brave and start out with black paper.  Many pastels are done on black paper and I had a couple small sheets, although now I’m not sure why I saved them because I don’t really enjoy working on black.   BUT the biggest surprise of all was learning that it wasn’t in fact pastel paper!

So, the 30 minutes were spent smushing pastel into this slick surface and covering up the black while trying to make the painting resemble in some way the landscape I had decided to use.  Consequently, there is very little detail in the painting.  I could have stopped at any time and moved to the proper paper, but I admit I’m stubborn and decided since the clock was ticking, I would do the best I could.

Who knows?  They may all turn out this way…..but, I hope not.

In each of the following 99 paintings, I will be shifting values, color combinations, etc., with the aim of learning what happens when you break the rules and just go for it.  (Seems like I already know how to do that, doesn’t it?)

Here are the sketch and Painting #1  (despite paragraphs above, IT WAS FUN!!!!)

1-black paper


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Autumn Leaf and Challenge Announcement

Fall leaf 11-10

This is a quick watercolor done this evening of a leaf collected while walking my dogs.  Fall in L.A. is a strange affair. Hot temps and very few beautiful leaves.  Most trees just go from green to brown and drop leaves when the wind blows.    The image is 4 X 4 done with Winsor & Newton watercolors in my sketch book.  Not really watercolor paper, but works ok.

And now for the challenge announcement:

I’ve decided to bite off probably more than I can chew, but I’m going to try.  There is a movement going around in the art world about a comment that has been attributed to several people over the years, so who knows….that to really know a medium, one needs to complete 100 paintings in that medium. In last month’s issue of the Pastel Journal,  artist, Maria Bagetta, wrote an article about her having achieved that goal.  In order to make this workable, Maria confined her paper size to 10 X 10 and decided to restrict herself to 30 minutes on each painting.

The photo of the 100 paintings is amazing!  Debrah Secor, a pastel artist and teacher in Albuquerque, N.M. challenged readers of the website, Wet Canvas, to do the same thing.  She opened up the challenge to any medium, not just pastel, and each person could choose the size of painting and time limitation.  She had a great response in October that has rolled over to November.  There’s one member that has completed something like 70 so far and is expecting to complete the 100 this month.

So………….I decided to pick up the challange (there is no time limitation, of course and many may not finish, but so far they are  having a great time of it.   I will work in pastel, 5 X 7 size and 30 minute time limitation.

The following illustration is called a Notan.  A Japanese word for simplified drawing of the values (dark, medium & light) of the proposed painting.   Unfortunately, I skipped the medium value, but you’ll get the idea.

That’s as far as I got today.   Let me know if anyone in Vegas makes book on my finishing!


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Autumn Pond

Autumn Pond

Above is a pastel that I rushed to finish after the Lakewood Art Show and before Halloween (which is a big deal at my house)!   This was done as an entry into the First Annual Fall Painting Competition on Facebook.    The had nearly 1000 entries!  The paintings had to be started and completed in the month of October.  They have several categories similar to all competitions:  oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor.  They will be announcing the winners they hope by mid-November.   I’m not sure they knew what they had gotten into,  but by the end of the month they were saying how amazed they were at the number of entrants.  Each person was allowed to enter up to 3 paintings, but I was lucky just to complete one.   Maybe next year?

If any of you are Facebook users you can look at all the entries by going into the Events forum from the main page and clicking on the Fall Painting Competition….you know, now I’m not sure that it isn’t titled Autumn instead of Fall….but, in any case, once there you see a section of photos and the words “see all”.  Click on that and you get the screen filled with thumbnails. Clicking on any of them will enlarge the image and there are arrows for moving forward.  If you enjoy looking at art, you’ll be very impressed with this collection.  Most of them are just stunning.

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