Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Bee and Butterfy feast

I could not think of any imaginative title - not that titles are my strong suit anyway! "Purple Vase"? "Black-eyed Susans"? This is from art class tonight, and the flowers are from Christina's garden. But I have purple coneflowers and black-eyed susans in my own garden, and the bees and butterflies seem to love them.

This was done on my usual Canson, smooth side, a slatey-blue color, 12x16. Mostly NuPastels and Rembrandts and some nameless others.

And a NOTE to update: This painting has now been *sold*. Hope it's happy in its new home, where it will join a previous painting of mine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

White Pitcher - Hugging the Lemon - Sunset

In the workshop today we mostly experimented with different supports, and different assignments, working on color concepts. This one was done on a Richeson support - a fairly roughish sanded sort of surface, and a very thick, hard board. The assignment was to do a white pitcher using*no* whites or grays or blacks in the pitcher (though you could use white for one or two highlights at the very end). And this was my pitcher.

Then just a chance to experiment on a very TINY piece of LaCarte paper. We were supposed to work with complementary colors as underpaintings and then build up layers of color to what you wanted - and I just lined up a few fruit to give it a try.

For the last project she suggested I look in her Best of Pastels book, pick out a landscape I liked, and just try to copy a fraction of it - so this is my version of the top left quarter of one of the landscapes in the book!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Barnegat Light

Well might as well post my other picture from my workshop today. For the last third of our workshop today Christina did a demo with a watercolor underpainting. She did it on a support she called "pastel canvas". Funny, pastel canvas is something I've never heard of before. But she had a book for us to look at called "Best of Pastels 2", with some gorgeous works in it, and at least 2 of them said they were done on pastel canvas.

Hmmm. anyway .... so she then gave us each a small piece to try, so we could do our own watercolor underpainting, and then pastel on top. Mine is from a photo of NJ's Barnegat Light. I've never done a watercolor underpainting before, and the canvas support was quite rough and did not take blending or layering very well, so it was interesting to work with. It did take *some* layers - but I could not achieve the smoothness I like, which I get with Canson. Though as I added more layers it got a bit better. I'm not sure this would be a support of choice though - but good to try new things, and the watercolor underpainting was rather fun.

This is also only about 6x9 inches, far smaller than my comfort zone. Christina also pointed out to me that I apparently was going for the 'leaning tower of Pisa" effect. I didn't even see it until she pointed it out! I did my best to correct it, but there was not much that could be done with this support - so mostly I just had to accept it and move on. But this was a fun experiment

Copper Pot and Fruit

I had signed up for a weekend workshop with Christina Debarry this weekend. There were only 5 enrolled in the class. But 2 dropped out at the last minute, and 1 just never showed up. So there were only 2 of us in the class! Wow, it was like having your own private workshop. The other woman had never done any pastels before. But we started out with a still life - and lo and behold it was my old friend the copper pot from Wednesday night class.

But this time we had some fruit added to the comp. Christina just let me work at my own pace while she went over a lot of pastel basics with the other woman. But it was interesting to listen in as I worked. So this was what I managed for the beginning of the class, though I got interrupted a few times - first with a trip to the dentist for an abcessed tooth and second with a call from work, so I didn't get quite as much time with this as I would have liked.

NOTE: This painting has been sold!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Copper Pot

Christina is working on a little series on "metals" with us, and gave us a demo tonight on doing copper. Then we were on our own to try this copper pot and flowers. I'm not sure it looks "coppery" but it was fun to try it out. She says next week we will try silver!

On the way home I stopped at the Montclair Art Museum to visit Alex Piccirillo's class. Alex has had a rough time, but he's feeling better now and was looking good. The class was busy working on a nude model. LOL, I adore Alex, but all I could think was how happy I was with my pots and flowers rather than doing more nudes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Getting a Round Tuit

This was done on Canson, and already multiple layers there - so hard to add any more. But I wanted to de-emphasize the background to make the vase more prominent, so I worked on that last night and reached this point. Not a prize-winner, but I'm happier with than I was after class on Wednesday night.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rushing Around

Art class was a bit of a rush last night. I didn't get there until 7:20 PM which meant I had only a little over an hour to accomplish anything. The luscious still life set up with dozens of flowers of all different colors was *way* too complicated for a mere hour. But this little cute round vase with a single flower in it was set up also, so I decided I could spend my hour on that. It was still not enough though. I'm not very happy with the flower, and the background fabric detracts from the vase - but this is where I got to at the end of my hour. Maybe I'll see if I can mess with the background, and maybe I'll be less disappointed in it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pewter Pot

This is from last week's art class, so I figured I'd better get it uploaded before tomorrow! Michelle asked if I really liked fruit better than flowers? Well I like flowers in and of themselves, but I much prefer to *paint* fruit - they are just more fun, sort of senuous and rounded.

But in this case we had a pewter tankard filled with gorgeous hydrangeas - but I just loved the tankard and could not fit both the pot and the flowers in without having to work too small - so I chose the pot and lopped off the flowers at the top!

The flowers were pretty though, and beautifully backlit. But the little bit I did was enough for me. My friend Lynne from Canada liked this picture well enough to want to *buy* it though! Now I just have to get it packaged to ship.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Not much to say about this one - another from a few weeks ago before my crazy trips to NC. It was fun, though, and I do love fruit more than flowers. LOL.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Off Shackleford Banks

This is just a quickie (about 45 minutes) done on a not so great support - a 16x20 piece of mat board, so not much tooth, and a grainy texture I didn't like, like the "bumpy" side of Canson. But I had a little free time and decided to play with my Pan Pastels - which I have tried a little, but not been crazy about them other than as an undercoating medium.

But in this case the whole picture was done with Pan Pastels. I guess I was influenced by all the cloud pix I've seen people posting at Wetcanvas, . This is done from a photo I took a week ago Saturday when I was down in NC, and my sister and BiL took me for a ride in their new boat.

Of course I *still* can't do water, but I yearn to be able to! Not really sure how I feel about the Pan Pastels either, but I'm still trying.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Red Roses

I'm so behind in keeping this blog up to date, but things have been crazy in my life, and I've been having to rush off and make lots of trips to NC to see my dad, and other things have just fallen by the wayside. . I've had to miss a lot of classes too, and not gotten to do anything in my personal time. But there are a few pictures from lessons past that I never got posted, and now that I'm starting a new summer session I hope to have more. This is one from a few weeks ago, as I try to catch up. I still a not crazy about doing flowers, but it's a different challenge from doing the human figure at least. :-)