Monday, June 27, 2011

"Sunset Hike"

Sunset Hike, 14 x 11
I've been enjoying these southwestern desert scenes and I guess I'm in the midst of creating a series.  Abandoning the typical sunset colors I would normally use, I was drawn to these cooler colors that I liked in combination with the pale yellow greens. I stopped short of overworking the rocky area in the forground to make sure the viewer's focus would be pulled back a bit further along the path, skipping along the shadow patterns along the way. I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going on these southwestern paintings!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Still "workin' out west"

Uphill Climb, 14 x 11
At the IAPS Convention I bought Girault's "Southwestern" set of 25 pastels, since I now have lots of Southwestern reference photos from both Arizona and New Mexico.  For this painting, I went back to one of my Arizona photos to try out these new pastels.  I also used them on yesterday's painting.  Something else a bit different on both today's and yesterday's paintings is the surface.  For about a couple of years now I've been using my own prepared pastel boards, but since taking a workshop at IAPS using the UART paper, I decided to work on that some more for a change.  The Girault pastels work great on the UART paper (and would aso work well on Wallis and other similar sanded papers), but I'm not sure they work well on the more textured boards.  Need to experiment some more, though.  For both of these recent paintings, I started with a monchromatic Turpenoid underpainting.

Monday, June 13, 2011

First painting since the IAPS Convention.

Desert Colors, 11 x 14
It's been a whole week since I got back from the IAPS Convention in Albuquerque, but today was the first day I was able to spend painting in my studio.  With the creative juices flowing, newfound inspiration from the wonderful demos I witnessed from some of the top pastel artists alive today, and new reference photos from New Mexico, I couldn't wait to get going in my studio.  But with my son out of school for the summer, it's a little trickier getting in my studio time. This week he's attending a day camp, though, and he even spent a little time this afternoon painting with me in my studio!

Today's painting was from three different photos I took from the train that Nancy Nowak and I took to Santa Fe. I don't usually take photos from a moving vehicle, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture the unique desert scenery.  Snapping away almost nonstop through a not-so-clean window, the photos themselves weren't great, but provided enough information for interestingly shaped trees, mountain backgrounds, and other desert scenery, as well some adobe buildings to use in some future paintings. 

I even used some of my pastel purchases from the convention trade show on this painting!