Thursday, March 29, 2012

Out There, pastel, 9 x 12
I got a little sneaky on my pastel students this week. I didn't tell them ahead of time what the subject matter of the class would be, but insisted that they bring their full set of pastels. Just before they started painting today, I asked them to choose about 10 of their cleanest, most pristine pastels from their box. Pastels that look like this are usually the ones you never use. Well, today, they had to use them!

It's a great way to expand your typical color palette and try the colors you've been avoiding. Often you don't realize the beautiful color combinations you're missing out on when you only see the color of the pastel stick as it looks in your box. You have to USE it to really see the color it creates. And of course any color will be affected by what's beneath it and what's beside it.

Shown here in "Out There" is my result. A much more muted palette than I normally use. My rarely used colors included some muted greens, a couple of pinks, and some light value yellows and greens.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still Floatin', oil, 11 x 14

Miles of Marsh, oil, 11 x 14

Mid-morning Moment, oil, 8 x 10
These are three of my plein air efforts from my recent painting trip to Hilton Head.  Did some minor tweaks in the studio today.  I hope to add some finishing touches to at least two others.  It was a great two and a half days of painting with my good friends Jill McGannon and Nancy Nowak, both die hard plein air artists!
River Solitude, oil, 11 x 14
Painted this a week and a half ago at the Gwinnett Parks Plein Air Challenge.  It's a plein air event that's taking place two weekends a month for the next several months throughout Gwinnett County in Georgia.  I hope to make it out to at least a few more of the designated painting days.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Harvest Farm, oil, 10 x 8
Plein air from this morning.  I haven't used a lot of red in a painting lately, so this was fun!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Across the River, pastel, 9 x 12
This morning's demo for the first class of my spring session Monday morning pastel class at Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA.  Working on Sennelier LaCarte paper, I began this painting by blocking in the large areas of foliage, simplifying the scene into flat shapes before gradually getting into the details. I created distance between the foreground and background foliage using warm/cool color temperature and hard/soft edges.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Church on Mimosa Blvd., oil, 8 x 10
A group of us had John Guernsey teach another plein air session with us yesterday.  Since one of his specialties is buildings/structures, we chose a location accordingly.  We painted along Mimosa Blvd. in Roswell, GA.  John's demo was very similar to the scene I painted here.  Although mine isn't quite finished and I see a few things off kilter, I'll probably leave it as is so I don't cover up areas John discussed with me or tweaked a bit on my canvas.  I like to keep paintings like this from classes and workshop to serve as learning tools in view in my studio so I can reference them as I work on new paintings.  I photographed this quickly just before I packed up my gear yesterday, hence the little added piece of nature stuck to the canvas  next to the church steeple.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Field of Dreams, pastel, 9 x 12
This was a paint-along demo for a private class this morning with an artist who wanted to use a more interpretive color palette.  As with my group classes during the past few weeks, we worked from a black and white photo for value reference.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tranquil Meadow, pastel, 12 x 9
Round two of this week's demos (working from a black and white photo), from this morning's class.  This one   uses a cooler color palette than yesterday's.  I think yesterday's version was more successful.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Meadow Beyond, pastel, 12 x 9
In my pastel classes this week, we're working from black and white photos for one more week.  Students seem to like these exercises.  They get to have fun with color rather than agonize over matching it, and achieving correct values is made much easier!  This is my demo from this morning's class.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Miss Ruby's Farm, oil, 8 x 10
An oil version of a pastel piece I painted a few weeks ago (Feb. 24 blog post).  I worked mostly from the pastel version and only occasionally glanced at the original photo.  This is a scene from Adairsville, GA...a cute farm (Miss Ruby's farm, of course),where I've painted on location a couple of times, but photographed this scene while I was there.

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Monday night, I'll be the presenter at the Southeastern Pastel Society's monthly meeting.  My presentation will show where I started with my artwork many years ago and the progression up to what it looks like now.  Even if you’re not a member (or even a pastel artist) you may attend…it’s free!

I've been at this for awhile now, and as I look back at my older work, I'm noticing those changes (finally!) that only come from pushing through one painting after another without giving up.  As I take you through my progression, I'll point out elements of my work that I've purposely changed, and how I've done that, as well as specific skills that improved simply over time. I've always enjoyed seeing the progression of other artists' work, which is why I chose this type of presentation, and so I hope you'll enjoy it if you're able to attend!

7:00 pm at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center (Spruill Building)
Room 4 (upstairs)
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.
Dunwoody, GA

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just Me and the Trees, pastel, 9 x 12
Round two of this week's demos.  Slightly cooler color palette from yesterday's demo of the same subject, using some splashes of turquoise in this one.  I thought yesterday's was a bit stiff looking, so I tried to soften the tree mass some more on this one.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Peeking Through the Trees, pastel, 9 x 12
Demo from this morning's class.  We're still working from black and white photos...a great way to liven up your use of color!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sharp Curve Ahead, pastel, 16 x 20
This is a larger version of a piece I posted last week.  I liked the low horizon in the small version, and thought I'd lower it just a bit more in this one.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Among the Birch Trees, pastel, 12 x 9
This was my paint-along demo for a private class this morning.  As with my classes earlier in the week, we worked from a black and white photo, trying to keep the palette limited and color harmonized.  I've painted this scene before and was glad to paint it again, since the last time I visited this location, I noticed these trees were gone. :-(

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Arriving at the Barn, pastel, 9 x 12
Painted this barn one more time for my demo in this morning's class, changing up the colors a bit to a cooler palette this time, still working from a black and white photo.