Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spring Park Gazebo plein air

I had such fun at my pastel plein air outing yesterday. But as the morning wore on it began to cloud up, and as noontime approached there were even a few drops of rain being felt. Not very good for painting! But there was a nice large gazebo in the middle of the park so we all gathered up our pastels and chairs and easels and boards and lunches, and came into the gazebo to eat then continue painting.

I had done pretty much all I thought I might with my first painting, so I decided to start a second one, and trying to incorporate the gazebo itself seemed like a fun idea. Though the light was so dark in the gazebo that it was hard to see what I was actually doing. And it's hard to attempt architectural details when you have no rulers or straight-edges and it's all done freehand. But it was still fun to try, and fun to be with a bunch of other artists.

This one, just like yesterday's, was done on my usual 9x12 art spectrum, various pastels.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Spring Park plein air

I don't do much plein air painting. It's usually too hot or too cold or too buggy or too "something" for me. But today we had our first planned outing of the newly-formed First Coast Pastel Society. I have to give lots of thanks to Lyn Asselta for getting this group off the ground, and for organizing this plein air paint out. We had about 7-8 people participate. We met at Spring Park in Green Cove Springs, just an easy 10-15 minutes from my own house, though some folks traveled over an hour to get there. But it was lots of fun! The morning was sunny and lovely, but as the day went on it clouded up, got chilly, and then started to rain. We all ended up inside a large gazebo, and then the rain started blowing in sideways with the wind! It was almost 2:30 PM by then so we called it a day. But I managed to get this painting done in the morning while the sun was still out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garrett Mountain

Last night was a bittersweet night at my art class - my last class before I move to Florida this coming Tuesday. It was fun though, and for the first time in months everyone was there. I decided I needed to paint a New Jersey scene, so I did this one of Garrett Mountain in the late autumn, taken last year when I was there on a birding expedition, one of my favorite birding spots in the area. Done on 9x12 Art Spectrum paper as usual.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

On the Beach

LOL, I guess I took my art teacher's advice to heart, when she suggested to me that maybe I should work on a series of beach-related paintings. I love the beach so not hard to take that advice for sure! So this is one I did last night, on my usual 9x12 art spectrum colourfix paper.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Man o' War

I love coastal North Carolina where my sister lives. I love going for long walks along the beach at Fort Macon. One day when we were walking there we came across a whole bunch of dead Portuguese Men o' War on the beach. My sister warned me not to go near them, and said that even days after their death they could sting dreadfully. So I kept my distance! But they were such a gorgeous and delicate blue color that I had to photograph them, and knew I would have to paint them too.

Christina, my art teacher, says I should do more beach scenes like this, and that they would probably be popular in Florida. :-)

Done on my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Afternoon in the Kitchen

It's funny how much the original photo I used for a reference appeals to me. In fact I actually painted this scene earlier here nearly two years ago. But for some reason I still had the picture on my mind, and came across the original reference photo yesterday, so I decided I would try another version of the picture.

Hopefully now that I've done it twice I'll have it out of my system, LOL. But just for information, here is the original photo I took which inspired me to do two paintings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Key West Light

Well, here's one more painting for my lighthouse series, as well as my Florida series. I saw this lighthouse in Key West back in May, when Key West was the first stop of the cruise I was on. I loved my day in Key West, and also enjoyed finding a new lighthouse to photograph and later to paint. As in my painting of the Portland Head Light I used no white pastel at all in painting a totally white lighthouse. :-)

This was done on my usual 9 x 12 Art Spectrum.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Turkey Trot

Rifle Camp Park, in Woodland Park, NJ, is another one of my favorite birding spots. I almost never go there without seeing wild turkeys, and I've probably taken dozens of photos of the turkeys over the years. I've long thought I'd enjoy painting them some time if I ever got a photo that I felt did them justive. But I took a photo last fall that I thought might be just the one, and that was my reference for this painting I did last night. Although the turkeys are common you don't often see the toms strutting their stuff, with tail feathers on display, so that made this one especially fun, As usual done on my 9x12 Art Spectrum.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Meadowlands - Saw Mill Creek

Today I'm back in my native New Jersey. New Jersey has so many gorgeous spots. It's a shame not to capture some of them also. This is done from a photo I took last March while on an organized birdwalk at the Richard DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, NJ, with the Bergen County Audubon Society.

What is great about going on the organized walks is that you get to see places not open to the general public on a day-to-day basis. On this particular walk we went out onto the Saw Mill Creek Trail, which is normally kept locked out. As you can see from the official report of the trip we had a big crowd, and saw a lot of wonderful birds, including a horned grebe, which was a life bird for me. It's amazing I managed to get some photos with no people in them, LOL.

Photo of horned grebe.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grassy Waters

Back in May I went on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I'd been visiting my son and his family in Jacksonville, and drove down from there to catch the cruise. Well one of my hobbies, in addition to painting, is bird watching. Being in southern Florida might well give me the chance to see birds I'd be unlikely to see in my more northerly climes, so I googled for spots to look for birds that were along my route. I found a newspaper article that detailed several good places for bird watching in south Florida. I knew I could not visit all of them, or even most of them, and many were way out of my way. But I decided to make a visit to Grassy Waters Preserve as it was on my direct route and appeared to be pretty close to I-95.

Perhaps the other spots are just as lovely, but Grassy Waters was an absolute gem. I don't see how I could have picked a better spot. Just a mile or two inland from glossy West Palm Beach is this marvelous habitat like a mini Everglades. I spent over an hour there walking the trails, taking photos, watching the birds. It was so marvelous that I stopped there for another hour on my way home from the cruise also.

It just seemed like a natural to paint a picture of the place, maybe more than one! So I did this painting last night, my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum, of the pond at entrance to the preserve. There are signs there warning of alligators, but though I looked hard for them on both trips I didn't see a single one.

But I did see several life birds there, including a pair of *snail kites* - a locally endangered species in south Florida, with only about 400 breeding pairs in the state, according to Wikipedia. I'm unlikely to travel to South America where it's more numerous, so getting to see one in Florida was a big thrill for me. A real coup for my life list. :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I enjoy still lifes though I have not done them lately. But I didn't know what I wanted to do in art class last night. And it turned out Christina had had a workshop on florals at her studio over the weekend, and still had a bunch of floral still lifes set up around the studio. One of them was this vase of lovely big sunflowers, so I decided I'd try to paint them. Most of us in the class work from our own photos in the studio, but last night three of us decided to do floral still lifes. One of the other women did the sunflowers too. It will be interesting to see how hers turns out. Mine was done on my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Carolina Coast

This is just a quickie I worked on last night for the fun of it - a beach scene from Fort Macon, North Carolina. It's not exactly a polished painting by any means, but just a way to do something during the last 40 minutes of art class. It's actually a small piece, done on 6x9 inch scrap of sanded paper.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Carolina Moon

Last winter I stopped to visit my sister in North Carolina for a few days on my way to Florida for Christmas with my son and his family. My sister and I took a ride one day and went across the Neuse River on the Cherry Branch-Minnesott ferry. The sun was just setting and moon rising as we caught the ferry to head back home again and I couldn't help but try to get some photos of the beautiful colors of that hour of the day - and decided to try to use one for a reference.

The ferry ride was free then, which made it a fun outing. But I understand they are now going to start charging a stiff fee for the ferry ride, alas. :-(

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Floridian Winter

My life has been so hectic lately between my art commitments, and trying to get ready to move to Florida. Yesterday I helped hang 50 paintings, including 10 of my own, for a group show, tomorrow I have to be there for the take-down of our PSNJ Member Show, then Saturday it's receiving and hanging for another PSNJ show. Not to mention I'm still trying to get a judge lined up for our juried show in November. Sheesh, hardly time for my own art.

But I got thinking about how I'll be moving to Florida in the near future, and yet I have not done one single Florida painting. I've plenty of New Jersey, some of North Carolina, some of Maine, a whole show's worth of the Canadian maritimes. But nothing from my upcoming new home, so I decided to remedy that last night.

So I did this painting, which is from a reference photo I took last year at Christmas time when I was visiting my son and his family. This was taken just about the apartment complex were my son and his family are living in Jacksonville Beach. On my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Victoria-by-theSea lighthouse

Well here I am back to lighthouses and Atlantic Canada again. This light is in the Prince Edward Island town of Victoria-by-the-Sea. It's a charming little town on the shores of the Northumberland Strait. I enjoy the shops there, and just strolling the streets with their charming homes. It's well worth a visit if you get to PEI. This was done on my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum paper. Various pastels.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk

Another one for my bird series. It's fun being able to combine my twin passions of birding and pastel art. I was down in Newark's Branch Brook Park a month or so ago, and was at a spot where I had seen goldfinches in the past, hoping to see some again. And what happened but this gorgeous re-tailed hawk came flying in and landed on the tree right next to me. I tried to be as quiet as I could while snapping picture after picture of him. What a beauty. He was there for a few minutes until a jogger came running along the path and scared him away. The jogger, head down, just kept on moving, and never never noticed the large lordly bird he had flushed. So I decided I had to paint the hawk's portrait.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


My personal life has been so busy for the last few weeks that I have been away from art for a long time. But today I stopped in to see Alex Piccirillo at his life drawing class, and he let me sit in to do a makeup for the session that got cancelled for our last class. Our model, Arete, was a lovely young woman with the classic sort of profile you might expect to see on a Grecian urn. And I loved the red of her dress! It was fun getting dusty again - although the next month or two will be so crazy I'm not sure how much I'll get to it.

I'm in the process of moving to Florida, and have an offer in on a house down there. Assuming all goes through I'll have a room in the house that can be my art studio! That's pretty exciting in and of itself. I'll have to post pictures when I get there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Karaoke Singer

This is done from a reference photo I took in March of 2010 when I was on my cruise to the Bahamas. A group of us often hung out in the evening in the karaoke lounge, and quite a few folks did get up to sing!

This was Christina Denton, who belted out a fine version of The Beach Boys' "Be True to Your School". I had long hoped to paint this image and show it to Christina. But, sadly, she passed away last year only months after the cruise, as a complication of a minor cosmetic surgery. Our same group will be cruising again in just a little over a week, May 1-7. I'm sure many of us will be thinking of Christina.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dinner at Dysart's

LOL, after the hustle and bustle of '42nd Street' I needed something more soothing to paint. And what could be more soothing than a nice slice of pumpkin pie topped by freshly whipped cream! I took this photo last summer when I stopped for a meal at Dysart's, a truck stop/restaurant in Bangor, Maine that has been a family favorite for at least 30 years or more. It's not at all fancy or elegant, but serves good home-style food 24x7, 364 days a year (closed only for Christmas).

I stopped and ate there last summer on my way to Canada, and had a nice cup of lobster stew and a lobster roll, followed by this slice of pumpkin pie for dessert, and I just had to take the photos to send to family to show them I was there. Yum, dessert is finished now. Maybe next time I'll paint the lobster stew and roll since I took a photo of that too. :-)

Done on 9x12 art spectrum as usual.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

42nd Street

Today was the second day of my 2-day workshop with Frank Federico. Yesterday he had us do landscapes, which was something most of us were familiar with. But today he wanted us to do cityscapes featuring vehicles and people! Everyone in the entire class, all 16 of us, admitted this was *way* out of our comfort zone. Eeek.

But I did bring in a photo that suited the theme, even though I was terrified with its "busyness" - but heck, it was a workshop. Being forced out of your comfort zone is part of what a workshop is all about. So the above is the painting I did from my own reference photo. It's done on my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum, with a pastel and turpenoid underpainting. The scene is 42nd Street in New York City, by Times Square. The three foreground figures on the right are actually my daughter-in-law, my son, and my daughter-in-law's sister.

Interestingly, Frank liked my photo well enough that he asked if he could have a copy, as he said he'd love to paint the scene himself - so I gladly gave him the copy I'd printed from my computer. I'd love to see what he would do with the scene! Way more than I did, that's for sure. :-)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Conch's Point

I'm taking a two-day workshop, today and tomorrow, with Frank Federico. He's a funny guy, great teacher, and like all good artists - seems to make turning out a beautiful painting look so easy! We were all in awe of the demo he did. Then it was our turns. Today we were supposed to do landscapes and tomorrow cityscapes. For my landscape I chose this photo I took a couple weeks ago down in coastal North Carolina, where I was visiting with my sister. This lovely view is just a couple blocks from her house, and I walked down there every morning with my dog Flo.

This was done on a sheet of 9x12 art spectrum, with a pastel and turpenoid underpainting. Now to try to find a cityscape reference photo! Eeek, city paintings are not generally my thing.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


I had such a great time birdwatching while visiting with my son and his family in Jacksonville Beach, Florida for Christmas. I especially enjoyed the frequent visits from a pair of ospreys that often flew over the apartment complex. I did my best to take some photos of them, most of which didn't turn out, naturally. LOL. But I finally finished up this painting last night, which is actually an amalgam of two different photos I took. Done on 9x12 art spectrum paper.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Racing the Storm

This is done from a reference photo I took last summer when I was up at the farm in Canada. I had gone for a walk one afternoon, but as I was walking the weather suddenly began to darken. Winds came up and storm clouds began to roll in, so I turned around and headed for home, hoping to get there before the storm broke. The dark clouds were all facing me as I headed home, and shortly before I got there this car came over a small rise towards me, its headlights shining bright in the blackness of the day, and I had to take the photo, and have been yearning to paint it ever since. This was done my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum.

I finished early and still had time to go in class, so started a second painting, a composite of two reference shots I took in December of a pair of ospreys that hung around the apartment complex where my son and daughter-in-law live in Jacksonville Beach, FL. I'm getting quite a bird series now, so will see where this one goes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


LOL, the model who had been hired for our art class today never showed up! So we dithered a while, they tried to reach him ... no luck. Finally one of the women in the class, who also does modeling for artists professionally, offered to sit for us for the last two hours of class. She posed nicely though her clothing was a bit boring for artwork - a white top and gray slacks. But I loved her hair color! So I took a little bit of liberty with the colors of the clothing, and used the painting as an exercise in using the secondary colors on the color wheel: orange, green and violet.

Today is my birthday, and I had a crazy and busy morning, so I got to art class and realized I didn't have my art supplies with me. I had removed them all for a trip to North Carolina last week. So I used some spare pastels and a sheet of Canson drawing paper that they had at the museum, so I'm not sure of the size, but close to my usual 9x12.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Last Guitar

... this model is such a nice person, and I love Alex, and the other students are great too. But I am so sick of this darn guitar pose. She is doing this exact same pose for *six weeks* and I just no longer find anything of interest in it for me, or any angle that I feel like using as a compositional focus. I finally wound up with this one for today - done on 12x16 Canson paper, smooth side. She'll be doing this same pose again next week, but I'll be away in North Carolina, and when I get back again we'll have a new model and a new pose! Hurray.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Guitars again

I'm still experimenting in my life drawing class. This is from Wednesday's class, done on 12x16 Canson paper, smooth side.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Painter's Progress

Since the farm in Canada is one of my favorite inspirations I thought it would also be fun to show how painting it has changed over the years as I have worked on my art. When I think about my own entry into the fine art world, after many decades away from it, I think of it in 2 phases:
1) the abortive first attempt - which took place in 2002.
2) the second attempt - which took place in 2005, which totally captured me and drew me into pastels - a passion which continues to this day.

In 2002 I first signed up to take a beginning drawing class, feeling my drawing skills were very poor and rusty. We mostly drew in that class, and I enjoyed the practice. Our teacher did introduce us to pastels when we tried working with color. And I both enjoyed it and hated it. I liked it as I liked working with color, and I liked the immediacy of pastels. But I *hated* everything I attempted. They all looks childish and hopelessly amateurish. And of course they were. But I realize now, in retrospect, that a lot of my frustration was due to my total lack of understanding about how to use pastels - and this was not taught in the class.

In other words, I used them sort of like a child's crayons - laying a light color down on a piece of paper. I had not a clue about multiple layering, thick applications of color, scumbling, mixing and/or blending of colors. I colored so lightly there was nothing to blend anyway. :-)

I wanted to learn to draw and color well, and I wanted to do a painting of our farmhouse, and I just had no clue what I was doing or how to accomplish it. And the painting below is one I did of the farmhouse in that era - my first attempt.

As you can tell it a very poor use of pastels. Only light single layers of colors, sketched on as if with a crayon or colored pencil. I hated it, so after that 2002 class I decided art was not for me and I gave up.

But I still had a yearning for art, and in 2005 I signed up for another beginning drawing class, with a different teacher. She also introduced us to pastels when we did some color work, but this time I got some feedback on the *real* use of pastels - laying in multiple layers of color, using the sides of the pastels to put down swaths of color, rather than just the timid use of a tip. Suddenly I had fallen madly in love with pastels! I have taken classes continually since them and work on painting every week. The work I was turning out, while still clearly "beginnerish", was far and away a different caliber from what I had done in my 2002 class, and I was no longer totally embarrassed and ashamed by my work. So in that environment I decided to do another painting of the farm, which I did en plein air when up at the farmhouse for summer vacation. Large storm clouds rolled in as I worked and luckily I was close to the house as I had to grab all my stuff and race to the kitchen to escape the rain! But I was far happier with the attempt and felt it actually looked like a real painting, unlike the 2002 attempt.

I liked it well enough that I found myself thinking that the farm was "done" - so no need to paint it again, except I still felt a yearning for it. So finally a couple years later I tried a different scene, the farmhouse in the early evening dusk. The perspective seems a little odd in this one though. The shed walls to the right seem to be marching uphill somehow, so it sort of spoils it for me, although I was happy with the sky, and the glow from the windows.

But the farm is never truly done I guess, so I just recently made another attempt, now six years since I have been pasteling in earnest. This one was inspired by the lovely light and colors of the autumn that I saw when I was up at the farmhouse for a week in October this past year. This one is truly my favorite farm painting now. Will I still be saying that in a few more years if I continue to turn out additional paintings? Who knows?

Friday, March 04, 2011

A Painting's Progress

I took a few pictures along the way as I painted this one, so decided that again I would post a series showing how the painting developed. Here I have basicaly finished the sky, but began to lay in some colors in the farm house as a sort of underpainting - with bright and strong colors. Note that you can also make out quite a bit of my underlying sketch also. Some people do initial drawings that are so detailed they are almost works of art in and of themselves! But drawing is not my strongest suit, and I love the bright colors of pastels. So my intial drawings tend to be very simple, just simple charcoal lines.

Now I have also filled in some underpainting colors on the side of the house in addition to the front.
Starting here to layer more colors on top of the underpainting, to get closer to the actual colors I'm hoping for in the finish.

The house is pretty close to the finish I want for it at this point, so now beginning to lay in some lights, darks, and strong colors for the grasses and vegetation around the house.

Mostly done now. After this I'll just subdue the colors in some of the vegetation other than directly in front of the house. I want the front of the farmhouse, and the vegetation right in front of that, with it's bright autumn colors, to be the primary focal point in the painting.

After this one I just made the changes I mentioned above, to finish with the painting in the next blog post.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

October Light

I've painted more than one painting of our farmhouse in New Brunswick, Canada. For example, this one which one of the first paintings I did up in Canada, during the first year that I had taken up pastel, and this one, of the early evening. But I have never done one with fall colors. I was at the farm this past October to see some fall colors, and took quiet a few photos as well, so decided last night I just had to do a painting, and I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out. It's a subject near and dear to my heart But I think this is my favorite of all my farm paintings so far! It's done on 9x12 Art Spectrum.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

One-Hour Guitar

I got to my afternoon art class late today. I had to do Receiving for the PSNJ Signature Member show this morning at the marvelously eclectic Design Domaine Gallery in Bernardsville, NJ, and afterwards I went to lunch at The Grain House to talk about some PSNJ business.

So it was about 2:45 by the time I got to my class, giving me only an hour to work. But I used it to try an experiment that I'd had to do in another art class one time - where we had to do still lifes, but were given only an hour to do each one, but were expected to turn out a reasonably complete painting in that one hour. The idea was help you work fast and loose. Since I had only an hour I decided to try that today, and just worked fast to see what I could get accomplished in an hour.

So the end result is not a painting I particularly love or even like, but it was a worthwhile learning tool for this experiment - done on 9x12 cream-colored Canson, smooth side. I think the guitar looks more like a ukulele though, LOL.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

White Ibises

Ibises are such unusual looking birds, with their long, curved red beaks. I've been on a "birdy" kick lately with my herons and egrets. I decided to add a few more. This was done on 9x12 Art Spectrum paper. I used a reference photo I took this past December in North Carolina, when a large flock of 11 white ibises came in for a landing right alongside the waterfront where I was going for an early morning walk.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Guitarist #1

Today I was back in the groove a bit, and more my style, with the life class. Last week's painting was torture, so not "me". But it was an experiment, one that was not every successful! Today I returned to my usual technique and felt much better with it, as did Alex, who admitted he had not been too happy with last week's effort, but was glad to see me back in the groove again this week. This was done on 9x12 Canson, cream colored, smooth side.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Great Egret

Another "birdy" picture. When I was in Florida at Christmastime I put my grandson in the stroller and we went for an early morning walk several days. On one of those walks we came upon this great egret, perched in a tree right over our heads. Such an amazing difference from the starlings and pigeons and house sparrows I see around here, LOL. This was done on a 9x12 sheet of art spectrum.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snowy Egret

I've been feeling rather "birdy" lately and enjoying doing bird paintings. I've had fun doing the blue heron ones I did lately. I think herons and egrets are such beautiful and graceful birds, so I decided to see if I had any good reference photos of other birds I might paint, since I'm always snapping pictures of birds.

So this is one I did of a snowy egret I saw down in the Bird Island Park in Florida's Ponte Vedra Beach this past Christmastime. This was done on 9x12 sheet of art spectrum paper.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gail on Guitar

We had a new model in life drawing class this week, and we will have the same model, same pose, for 6 weeks in a row! Eeek, that gets old for me, though some students take a full 4-6 weeks to complete one painting. Anyway, since I have to figure out what to do for 6 weeks I decided to start with what I never do - a full-figure painting. I loved her orange Crocs and wanted to get her feet, so that was the only good way to get them in. Now that they are out of the way I can concentrate on other areas in other weeks.

This is done on 9x12 Canson paper, smooth side. I hate doing a full-figure drawing or painting on such a small sheet, but can't really work larger. I have no space to store anything larger and need to downside anyway. As a result I don't really like this one - too fiddly to work so small. But it's all a learning and growing experience. :-)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

We're having nasty weather again! I bet art classes will be cancelled tomorrow, based on the weather reports - which will be the third week in a row. I do miss painting with other people. But I decided I would do something on my own since I'm housebound.

My daughter-in-law's parents invited me to their house Saturday evening to celebrate Chinese New Year. Alas, I can't go, as I'm already committed to my annual choir winter party for that same date. My usual social calendar - nothing for months on end, and then several things for the same date. :-)

Anyway, I understand it's the year of the rabbit this year, so I decided I would paint a rabbit, and ended up with this painting, which is an amalgam of two photos I took last summer at the Morris Canal Park in Clifton, NJ.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Taste of Honey

Some time ago I painted a picture of a bee sitting on a purple coneflower, which I blogged about here. My sister is a fan of bees and beekeeping, and liked it so much I gave it to her as a gift. After a couple of my paintings had been rejected from juried shows she kept saying I should have entered the bee painting, as she was sure it would be accepted.

However, 1) I had already given it as a gift, so didn't want to take it back to enter, and 2) there was a small rip in the paper which is hardly noticeable, but which I felt a judge might notice. But the more I thought about it the more I decided to do *another* painting from the same reference, and the above painting is the result.

And sure enough, I entered it into the annual show of the West Essex Art Association, and the receiving and judging was today, and it got accepted!

But so much depends on the judge after all. You were allowed to enter two works into the West Essex show, and the second painting I entered, The Old Farm Pantry, was accepted also. This is the very painting that got rejected at the PSNJ juried show in 2009, and which prompted my sister to say I should have entered the bee painting instead. But today they both got accepted. :-)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Blue Heron at Dawn

I love Great Blue Herons. I've been away on vacation for a couple weeks, with no art supplies with me, so my pastels have not been touched since mid-December. But I had a lovely time in Jacksonville, FL, spending Christmas with my son, daughter-in-law, and 15-month-old grandson. It was chilly early in my visit, with temps down in the 20s at night, and even light snow flurries the day after Christmas. But it warmed up as time went on, and reached up into the low 70s by my last couple days there.

My little grandson woke up every morning about 6:30 AM and would come into my room to visit me, so those last couple days I put him in his stroller and took him for an early morning walk around their apartment complex, which surrounds a small lake. I always enjoyed seeing what birds might be at the lake, and the early morning was a great time to see herons and egrets. We saw this great blue backlit by the rising sun, and I just knew I wanted to paint him.

I got a chuckle when I realized that he is not my first Great Blue Heron painting. I did this blue heron painting just recently from a photo I took up in Canada back in October. Though my first one was this one from two years ago, where you can barely see that there is a bird, let alone its species, LOL.