February, 2011

Daily Sketches

Here are four daily sketches done the 3″ X 5″ pad that I carry in my purse with a couple of Micron drawing pens.   Sometimes I draw things I see out the window while sitting in my car, other times I take bits and pieces from magazines and create a sketch from them.   Although I call them “daily” sketches, and I do try to complete one in the morning to get the juices flowing, there are some days (even weeks maybe) that I just don’t get to it.  All in all, I have an interesting collection and I share it with you from time to time.

They aren’t meant to be high art or will ever be framed.  They are my way of getting into the zone of art no matter where I am or what I’m doing.  I don’t worry if some turn out better than others.  After all, even the days are like that, aren’t they?

I hope you enjoy the peek.

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No. 30! Only 70 more to go!

Well, what can I say?  I definitely need practice counting pastels.  I have all of them on boards now, and it turns out this one today is number 30!  I’m going to be rearranging them for better viewing and I’ll post all 30, probably tomorrow.  Then, I’m taking a break to work on my new category called MiniPix.    And, then of course, there’s the daily sketches.   Somewhere in there, I’ll probably be doing some regular sized work, including going back to watercolor for some.   But right now, I’m basking in getting 1/3 of this challenge down!


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One more down!

Yep!   It’s #28!   I have a feeling I know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow morning…..don’t you?

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Pastel work space

Since I might not get the latest pastel posted tonight and in reference to a comment on the last post about how everyone is different, I though you might like to see my work space (or place).  I have a table easel on (what else?) a card table.  Items I use while painting include LOTS of paper towel   (see holder on the right) and handy wipes (on left side and which work pretty well keeping my hands clean between colors since I paint as much with fingers as I do the pastel stick.  In other words, unlike many other pastelists, I blend colors with my fingers.   I also wash my hands a lot!)

For this post, I moved my box of pastels divided by color and value around to the front of the table where I normally site.  I have probably 6 different brands represented in the collection.   Some pastels are softer than others, some offer colors the others don’t have, etc. so I like having a lot of choices.  I just counted 58 blues, however there are others in boxes that I have recently purchased and aren’t represented here.  They are divided into 8 color groups, therefore………if my math is  correct, I have around 500 different pastels.   Not sure what the count would be adding in the boxes hiding behind my table easel.

I’ve turned the chair around (note the pillow for my back!) and pulled the pastels to the side for a different view.  The pastel tray is usually running parallel to the table so I can just reach with my left hand for a color.  You’ll notice a small box of pastels just next to the front edge of the easel.   It has a layer of rice in it and as I use a pastel in a painting I return it to this small box, not the big one.  It’s a way of keeping track of the colors already in use, as well as being able to repeat a particular color in another place in the painting without searching madly for it in the big box.  The rice helps hold the pastels away from each other, but I still have to clean them as I pick them up usually.

Here are pictures of two of the poster boards I use to mount the completed paintings.  They are propped up on books and a stand on the far side of the card table so that as I’m working, I can check and make sure I’m not duplicating anything.  As the number rises, I’ll have to rely on photos for that process as I won’t have room to stand the poster boards up after about another 9 pantings.

Enjoy….questions are always welcome

These aren’t all the paintings.   I have another board started that currently holds 6 paintings.  Just didn’t bother taking a picture of it.  (That’s for all of you obsessive art lovers out there that have probably already counted the paintings on the two boards and realize that some are missing from the count of 27…..6 to be exact!   I only say that because it’s probably something I would do if I were looking at someone else’s post!!!)

Have fun.

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100 Pastel Challenge – #27

I feel like I’m really moving on with this challenge.   I already have three color schemes in mind.  Everytime I think, 27 yes, BUT that means 73 to go, I have some moments of anxiety to finish, but, honestly, it is getting even more fun choosing colors and just going at it.

For newbies to this site, I would like to explain that my goal for this blog was to just jump into new methods and new materials and have fun.  If something that day didn’t come out as I expected, I posted anyway  (and looking back at some of the posts, I can only shrug my shoulders and go on to the next painting. )  BUT, for this challenge, the 100 pieces were to be done in pastel, a chosen size (5 X 7) , completed in 30 minutes ….. or just stopping at 30, no matter what still needed to be done!….and each one different.

I decided on this painting to put a little snow on some of the mountains as we’ve actually been seeing snow in our surrounding mountains lately even with 70 degree temps down here by the water.   (Sorry, East Coast!)

Please enjoy!

AND, if you feel like being a part of it, I would truely appreciate you looking back at all 27 and tell me what you like best about them.   Or if you don’t like them, that’s ok, I can take it……..I think!    I’m working on a way that I can post them on the same page.  I can tell you the impact is amazing, if I do say so myself.

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MiniApple in Pastel

I decided that since I have been spending a lot of time following Duane Keiser and he works in a small format for his daily painting, I might as well give it a try.   As I mentioned (probably several times) below, I have been doing 5 X 7 pastels for the 100 Pastel Challenge, but I decided to add another layer of complexity into my day by starting a new series that I am calling “MiniPics”.

This first painting is in pastel and even though it is only 5 X 5, it took about two hours to complete.  First, I haven’t been able to determine the pastel paper.  It was a loose sheet and may have been Mi Tientes…not sure.  I chose to use a warm grey paper. Then I decided to work in my softest of pastels, mostly Unisons………oops!   It was fun, but the paper filled pretty quickly and I had to scrape off and redo some areas.  Definitely not my favorite thing to do.

In any case, here is my first of I hope many small paintings (I even went out today and took advantage of various President’s Day sales to pick up some square frames.

This first picture is of the finished (well, almost…I need to work on more value change on the right side of the wooden stand) piece, appropriately call “MiniApple”.   Then, underneath you’ll see the steps from the original sketch to finish.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed doing it.  (By the way, I’m still going to finish the 100 Pastel Challenge this year and continue working on larger landscapes as well).  Please know that comments are always welcome……..especially, if you can tell me how to get clear, clean signatures on soft pastel.  Mine either look oddly shaped or scraped into the surface!)

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Yes, it’s Number 26!

So, I’m off and running to complete the remaining 74 versions!    Sometime in my lifetime, I promise.

I actually surprise myself at how different each one is pretty much.   When I put them all together, I’ll put them in the most pleasing way, not by date.


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Harvey’s Flowers

This is a watercolor I did for a very good friend who has been very ill.  He always admired my flower paintings here in the blog……..and isn’t it a rule that you have to take flowers to someone in the hospital?  Well, here is Harvey’s.    This was is a quick 9 X 12 and only vaguely resembles real flowers.  Sometime, I just like to make up my own.


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100 Pastel Challenge -real #24

Ok, here’s the REAL #24.   I feel so much better now.

Please enjoy…..and remember comments are always welcome!

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100 Pastel Challenge – Nos. 24 & 25

Well, I’m going to have to work on #24 because the color should be all purple, not blue.   I’m leaving this here right now to show you that I have successfully completed 1/4 of my challenge.   I’ll repost the purple one when I fix the color balance.

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