April, 2010

Birches – Step Two

I didn’t get as much done as I had planned today, but here is step two in the pastel process.  Hopefully, I can finish tonight….  I keep looking at the calendar and the 8th is  closing in quickly for the Pan American Fiesta’s Arts and Crafts Show!

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Birches in Pastel

I thought I would do another process entry….what the heck?  The show is only 9 (or is it 8?) days away.  I don’t mean to complain (just explain), but I have a terrible time with migraines and the past few days have been “no work” days.  Not that I consider painting work….perhaps I should call them “no artwork” days.  The winds let up a little this evening, so I jumped into a new painting.   I’ve seen so many paintings of birches that I’m just making this up as I go along.  It seems to me that in the past several years all artists have to complete a painting of birches, a painting of a pear or pears and and an empty row boat at a dock.  My first impulse has been….”no way!”, but that’s just my Irish speaking.  I may not have one of each for the show, but I will at least have the birches.  These are done in pastel, as you can see, and I decided to use a warm rusty pastel paper.  Eventual size will be 8 X 10.

I expect to finish tomorrow (maybe I can outfox the winds and start early, what do you think?) at which time I’ll post more of the process.

Enjoy….and remember, all comments are more than welcome!

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Shih Tzu in Pastel

I decided it was time to show another painting process.  I plan on having some animal and children’s portraits in my booth at the Pan American Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show and will be soliciting commissioned portraits.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  You can never tell when you enter an outdoor show like this whether there are any buyers coming through or just lookers.  I don’t mind lookers…..I do it too!

Above is the original photograph that I worked from. It was rather small, about 2″ high.

First, I  lightly draw the subject (today I used a regular lead pencil, but usually I use a pastel pencil), then put in the basic color or colors.  I like to get the eyes completed or close to complete at the beginning.  If they aren’t right, it’s nearly impossible to catch a likeness.

Here you can see some of the layers of colors I used.  It is easier to control pastel dust and smears by working from the top down at each stage.  I see that the left ear is a little short, but that’s easily fixed.  I think the eyes show the tilt of the head well.   Now on to the finish.

All done and ready for framing.  I’ve chosen a plain golden wood frame that picks up the colors in the dog’s coat.  I’ve surrounded the drawing with white pastel both to pop the figure out of the background as well as cover any errant smears or marks around the figure and pull the top of the head down slightly.  I usually like to use color for backgrounds, but I’m happy with white for this fellow.  Unfortunately, this may not show as well in the photo, but you see the white strokes when your standing near the painting.

By the way, this is not one of my Shih Tzus, but it could be.  He looks very much like my female, Bishi.  Looks like I’ll be painting them soon…….they are very sensitive dogs, you know!

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April Clouds

Pastel    6 X 8

Purely from imagination.  I’m in the groove now.  The Pan American Fiesta with the Arts and Crafts show is May8th and 9th.  Lots of work to do.

I’ll be producing work for sale (usually it’s just for my own pleasure), so (as usual) any comments are welcome.

My first mistake is the size.  I’ll need to get a mat cut for this.  The closest standard size mat is for a 5 X 7 image…..imagine that!  And usually I’m careful to work to a mat size to avoid the cost of getting something cut.  Unfortunately, using a 5 X 7 takes away too much image and doesn’t do the job.  So, off to Michael’s tomorrow …..  this may prompt me to start cutting my own! Of course, I’ll call around and see if anyone has such a thing first.  I worked so hard today to get a lot of other work done so I could  concentrate on just art, so Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m off to bed and my beloved heating pad!  More tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day……..

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April Flowers

Unfortunately, I have no idea what these flowers are.   I was going through my collection tonight to choose something that might be done quickly, saw them, chose them and here they are.  I’ve been neglecting my daily painting,  and it really shows ( I think ) in the brush work and color, but painting is like learning to play the clarinet (that’s Chick’s thing), if you don’t practice, it’s harder to reach your goals.  I’ve read columns by writers that say the same thing.  Rather obvious, I guess.  I just realized that it applies to jumping rope as well.    So…….lesson learned (hopefully).

I’m hoping to have some pet portraits to show soon and maybe an announcement about them and the AIDS ride that my son, Thom, is part of, but I need to hold that for a few days.

My biggest pressure right now is getting some paintings completed for the Pan American Fiesta to be held here in Lakewood on May 8th and 9th. I’m sharing a booth with another member of the Lakewood Artists Guild.   I do have some pastels you’ve already seen, but I’m determined to get lots of new work (ok, ok, some work) done for it.   DESPITE the constant winds attacking my allergies, I have to say.  The weather is sunny during the day and beautiful…..I just wish I could enjoy the winds.  We’ll all miss them come August!!

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AIDS 7 Day Bike Ride

As many of you know, my son lives now in Mill Valley  (no safe room in the loft in SF for the baby), but he and a friend are joining the SF AIDS Bike Ride in June.  It is a 5 day ride from SF to LA to raise money for the aids organization as well as increase aids awareness.  Each rider must collect a minimum of $3K to join the ride, so I thought I’d include the info on this event in case you were interested in helping support.  Thom has a website for his biking friends called Team Lope as well as his sites for comic book illustration called “Third Rail Design Lab.com” and the one for his miniature robot drawings called “WhatItoleyou.com”.   And that’s on top of a full-time architecture consultant job and an almost 1 year old baby!

I asked him to send me a link to the event information and how to participate.  So, here’s his message:

Information on AIDS Lifecycle 2010:

In June 2010, I’m riding 585 miles of gorgeous California coastline on a fixed-gear bike over 7 days, in order to raise money ($11M dollars a year for each of the last 3 years) for AIDS prevention and treatment, cure research and services for disenfranchised gay and lesbian youth in the SF Bay Area.

AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, June 6-12, 2010. It’s a life-changing ride—not a race—through some of California’s most beautiful countryside. AIDS/LifeCycle is co-produced by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is designed to advance their shared interest to end the pandemic and human suffering caused by AIDS.

With that stated, I humbly ask you to look into your hearts and see if this is something that you want to give a few bucks to.  if so, you can donate by credit card at this link — http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/thom_chiaramonte

(if you’d rather write a check, there’s a link at the bottom of that page which will help you do so.)

and don’t forget, many companies will match their employees’ charity donations.  If you work for one of these generous organizations, please make sure and give them your receipt so that you can see your gift increased!  (just remember to do so in enough time to get the matching gift into the revenue stream before 6 June.)

Each rider must raise $3,000 before the event, and I’m riding with my buddy Blair as a team (The Team Lope Tyre Club) and we collectively raise $6,000 with a goal of higher than that… so everything helps!


Fundraiser Event Notice: Team Lope is also having a fund-raising party in gorgeous SF!

DATE : Sunday, 25 April
LOCATION : Wild Side West, 424 Cortland Avenue @ Wool Street, between Andover and Bennington Streets, Bernal Heights, San Francisco, CA, USA
MAP : Wild West Side

The Wild West Side offers a great, multi-level outdoor area.  There will be drink specials, trivia contests with killer prizes, and a special treat for anyone who’d like to make me, or even one of their friends, suffer: we will have a bike on rollers on which you can force us to ride and balance for dollars! Obviously, we’ll be accepting donations at the fundraiser, too.

Thanks for your consideration, and lets all endeavor to contribute to a future free of the stigma of AIDS!
Team Lope Tyre Clubbe

Flower Sketch in Color

Here’s yesterday’s sketch redone in color.  I’m still sorting pictures from our California Poppy trip last week, so I probably won’t have anything up for a couple of days.  In the meantime, enjoy!

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Flower Sketch

Just a quick sketch in my 3X5 pad to keep things going.   I think it’s going to be an busy year…..doesn’t that sound good?

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