Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nebraska twice

Nebraska again
pastel on Uart 800 paper 6.5"x9"

Nebraska 1st painting
pastel on Canson paper 10"x19"

I thought it might be fun to post the first pastel that I ever did. I had a cheap little box of Mungyo pastels ($6 at Hobby Lobby?).
I decided to try painting the same scene again. Funny thing is, I'm not really sure which one I like better.
I'm also not 100% sure that this was in Nebraska. If it is, it's northwest Nebraska, close to Wyoming or Montana. We covered lots of states on that road trip. It's beautiful out there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

charcoal sketch

David at the creek
vine charcoal on paper

Gee, I've been having a hard time painting lately. I sat down and started this sketch to help me decide if I wanted to do a pastel of my husband. I do landscapes, not people. Well, it does look like him except that he's 6'4" and this makes him look more like 6'.
I still haven't mustered up the courage to start the pastel version.
I've never spent much time drawing. This vine charcoal is nice stuff. Really black, and it moves around and erases easily. And amazingly it doesn't come off on your hands. I'm a messy artist so that's a good thing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the colors of fog

the colors of fog
pastel on board 3"x5"

Another four hours on the interstate yesterday, and another picture from memory. I was so annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my camera, so I worked real hard at trying to remember something about the way the clumps of trees looked in the fog. But the most beautiful part was the colors. The lavender sky made the grasses glow all orangy pink.
I didn't really want to paint this evening, and started out trying to rescue a painting I started over the weekend. I don't often give up on a painting, but that one is filed away, probably forever. Not wanting to quit on a bad note, I did this one. I think I did it in 10 minutes and then quit, because I want to go sit by the woodstove and knit.

But first, I'd like to mention that I was recently tagged by Jala Pfaff, who is a talented artist and feels like a friend because she so faithfully stops by my blog and leaves encouraging notes. If you aren't already familiar with Jala and her lovely paintings, please visit her blog. She does amazing things with vegetables, locks and other interesting subjects.
I was also tagged earlier by Karen, and never got around to fulfilling by tagging duties. She is also very talented and does some delightful little landscapes. You can see them at A Visual Journey.

Some other artists that I want to mention (or tag) are:

Jeff at 120 Paintings who has been a source of inspiration (and information) to me
George Coll Daily Paintings who does small landscapes with wonderful color
Margaret Dyer, also a pastelist who does very expressive studies of people
Susan Downing-White paints Gulf Coast Flora
Joie de Vivre has a great chair series
Myra at I Want To Be An Artist who paints nice little dancers

These are just a few that came to mind. There are many more. The art blogging community has been such a good thing for me. I'm glad you are all here. Thanks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

shadows on the path

shadows on the path
pastel on Uart600 paper, 7.5" x8.5"

A painting that I started and put aside for a week or so. Most of the ground work was done quickly on site. I finished it up today and it's cold and rainy. It was nice remembering this warm sunny day.

I realized that I use a lot of trial and error when I paint. Sometimes it's a very hard decision as to which color I'm going to pick up out of the box and use. Sometimes it's just really pretty haphazard- almost unconscious, or maybe a little intuitive. And I'm not talking about the choice between 2 very close shades of green, but more like, am I going to use this blue or that red? I'd like to find a good book on color. Any suggestions?

One very basic way that I think I'm improving as an artist is that I notice sooner when something isn't working, and I stop trying to make it work.