Category: trees

Red Barn Redo

Well, as you can see, I’ve made a few changes to this pastel.  I really felt that the bottom needed more attention and that the color sets off the barn much better.    Since this is a process blog, I can’t promise this is the final version.   I always have to live with paintings for awhile to truly feel satisfied.  The danger, of course, is going to far.   But then, that’s what learning is all about, isn’t it?

I hope you enjoy this version.

Tags: , , , ,

Autumn River

Well, it’s been a busy time (and,if you like the holidays as much as I do, it will be even busier!  I  am going try to set aside time each day and get more done…makes me feel more relaxed too in this hectic time.

The painting above is 8 X 10 on Sennelier Pastel Paper using primarily Unisons and Ludwig pastels…..yes, they are my favorite.   There are some touches here and there done with harder pastels, but principally just the two.

I hope you enjoy!



Tags: , , ,

East Oregon Autumn


I’ve been trying to work looser and had to stop myself from adding any more details.  I had some photos from years back that I combined and added a creek.  Hope you enjoy.

Tags: , , ,

Blue Lagoon – Pastel

11″ X 14″ Pastel on watercolor paper; mostly Sennlier, Girault, Art Spectrum and Terry Ludwigs.

I believe I started this painting two years ago.  Got down just below the lagoon and couldn’t decided what I wanted it to look like.  I’ve been doing more and more landscapes from memory (?) or imagination, so if there’s anything that you can’t find the botanical name for……..I’ll make one up.

I put so many layers on the paper that I had to actually remove some to change color in certain areas.  This would have been the perfect piece to use my newly found method of painting the first layer of pastel on, but since I had started in the pre-water method, I felt compelled to stay with it.

I was sorry I had made that decision when I got to the bottom, but I just chugged on through.  I can certainly see how setting up your forms with pastel then going over with water (or alcohol)  saves frustration with working on certain surfaces.  I’m going to move onto the more textured boards, etc. , next since I’ve been reading comments as to how many layers you can actually put on before the board just closes shop!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.  Remember, comments are always welcome.

Tags: , , , , ,

Mountain Path

On October 22nd, I took a demonstration class with Brenda Matson at the Arts & Materials Expo.  That  is held yearly in at the Pasadena, CA  Convention Center.  I try to take at least one half or full day class each year just to keep up with various teachers, products and approaches.

Brenda was demonstrating a method of pastel painting that has become more and more popular each year and that is using a underpainting and then finishing off with pastel.  I have read articles about artists using watercolor as the basis of the painting, but typically what is being done is drawing in a lose manner with pastels and then brushing them into the surface of the paper with either water or acetone (we used nail polish remover!). Some artists (like Brenda) change the color of the washes to approximate what she wants as a background.  Others, just use a dark brown or other color to indicate the darker areas in the finished painting.

Unlike some pastel artists that keep the painted background very loose, Brenda starts at the top of the painting and pretty much completes sections as she moves down by brushing in the pastel, waiting for it to dry and then going back over with her next layer of colors.  She works down from wet to dry to the bottom of the painting.  Brenda had a collection of photos she took in Maine this year and she used a seascape for her demonstration.

Once we saw how the brushing of the color into the surface simplified the next layer or layers, we were on our own. And I jumped into my usual way of working all over the scene….although I always start with the sky as well.   Not only was this the first time I had painted a pastel over a “painted” surface, but it was also the first time I used heavy grit paper.  I typically use Canson’s Mi Tientes, so this was truly like working on sand paper!

I have some other stock that I will be using to experiment with this process. Some companies have been producing boards with this surface, making handling and framing much easier than thinner paper.   The only problem is that since you are wetting the surface, it has to be at least of watercolor paper strength, so my Canson’s won’t really work.  Fortunately, there are more and more heavy, gritty papers being produced.

There have been many articles in the national magazines with discussions of creating your own rough surface by painting a layer of acrylic gesso with sand added onto heavy paper or boards.    In that case, you not only have created a surface that can hold many layers of pastel (a drawback of Canson’s paper), but you can even include brushstrokes as a way of adding texture.

This is definitely a process that I’ll be experimenting with as time goes on.


Tags: , , ,

Pastel for Pasadena Exhibition

Titled:  Above the Arroyo

This is a 9 X 12 soft pastel on Canson’s Mi Tientes, using primarily Unisons.

This is my entry into the most recent call for exhibition submissions by the California Art Club.  This is in conjunction with the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.  Accepted paintings will be on display the SouthPas ArtFest  2010 from October 20 through November 13 at the SoPas Gallery, located at 1121 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA.

The paintings were to be of South Pasadena and/or the Arroyo.  Unfortunately, the leaves haven’t really been changing a lot in the Arroyo and I wasn’t drawn to anything in particular, but this scene along the road that traverses the top of the Arroyo caught my eye.

Tags: , , , ,

Thinking of Eucalyptus

I’m still unsure of the trees, so I’ve been cleaning my room (I’d love to call it a studio, but that would be stretching it a bit) and just letting the painting simmer.  When I hit spots like this and I work on through, I end up sorry I rushed it………so, here’s what my painting looks like while waiting to be finished.   I know there is a photo of a cute, little dog sitting on the table easel along with a photo of local trees.  That’s Pango.  I think we are now officially attached at the hip or someplace else.  He had a bad ear infection a few weeks ago and it appears the medicine prescribed by our vet caused Bishi to go almost completely deaf.  He has always stuck by my side, but now there is an air of insecurity as well.    No….he didn’t put the photo there to remind me to watch for him….I just like to look at his photos when I’m working on other things.  Which currently is a reorganization of the material in this room.  I expect that when I’m finished and everything is in apple-pie order, I’ll be ready to finish the painting as well.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Coast Sentinels Step Two

Well, it’s been awhile since I last posted.  Unfortunately, I pinched a nerve in my neck and haven’t been able to sit OR stand at an easel for awhile.   If you scroll down to before the post regarding the display at the bank,  you’ll see the first step in this study.  Hopefully, I’ll get it finished in the next day or two and move on.

I hope you enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Display in Gateway Bank

I completed hanging 7 paintings in the bank yesterday.   The photos below just give you an idea of how they are placed throughout the main floor.  Actually, I’m working on 4 new pastels that I hope to take in and substitute for 4 I just put up.  The new ones are brighter and larger and will show up better.   I have to say, I’m excited when I see my work up on a wall.  Particularly in a location like this where the paintings will be seen by the general public, rather than someone visiting a gallery…..  Not that I would turn down a chance to hang in a gallery!

The people working in the bank were looking forward to seeing new work and they say that their customers notice right away and talk about what they like, etc.  Since this is a commercial bank, they have a local customer base that comes in often.  It will be interesting to hear any comments.  But, once again, I believe the reception to the newer work will be even more positive.   I should be able to get the exchange done next week.   We’ll see.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Two new pastels

Title:   Coast Sentinels


Size:  approx 10-1/2 X  13-1/2

I thought I’d make the work of getting pastels completed and ready for hanging on Thursday by including some process shots of the last one.   I think it’s been awhile since I’ve done this.   Anyway, as you can see, this is a scene of Eucalyptus trees on a cliff overlooking the pacific.   This is not an uncommon site in Southern California, believe me.  Once people started planting the Eucalyptus, they just couldn’t stop.  Like the also prevalent Palm Tree, the Eucalyptus is not native to the area, but you would never know it.  I think they actually fit the landscape here even better than the Palms, but that’s just my opinion.

Title:  Texas Spring


Size:  9 X 12

Just as the hills around Southern California are blanketed with carpets of poppies and Purple Lupine in the spring, so Texas is blessed with meadows of Blue Bonnets.

I may not get all the new pastels up on Thursday (I have plenty framed and ready from the Spring Art Show!), but if not, I will go in and exchange them when they are done.  I’m trying hard to meet the deadline of mid-day on Thursday, but I’d rather be happy with the paintings than put them up before they are ready.  I’ll be in this location for two months, so …who knows?   I may even exchange some more.

Please enjoy and remember that comments are always welcome.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Theme by