Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yellow Tree Line

This is about 9" x 12" done with pastels on sky-blue tinted sanded paper.

It's inspired by the plein air paintings of BJ Stapen.

I am enjoying the notion of a very high (or non-existent) horizon, where I can play with the layers and the texture of the intervening mid- and foreground. Kind of the exact opposite of my skyscape interest of a month ago.

Que sera, sera. You gotta follow your nose.

This is about the same size, but done on salmon-tinted sanded paper. Quite a different all-over tone and mood.

This was my first piece painted on Sennelier La Carte pastel card. The sanded surface is delicate and can be dissolved very easily with just a touch of moisture or a drop of water, leaving a plain shiny white card stock below. Interesting. (Annoying?) I have a stack of this La Carte paper and need to begin to use it!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Build Trees, Part Two

Here is a 13-minute vid by Leesa Padget, entitled Painting foliage in soft pastels, demonstrating one way to build a tree from the inside out.

(Apologies for the HIDEOUS ad that precedes the video. [shudder])

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Build Trees from the Inside Out

This painting is by Donna Timm, entitled Field Path 2 (10" x 7")

"I would love to see you try under paintings on papers that can take them so you could try to build trees from the inside out. When I paint trees or any kind of foliage, green is the last color I put down. I force myself to think of green as an accent, something to enhance the underlying structure that I've already built. Lavenders, oranges, deep warm reds - they all work to create the right temperatures for various parts of the tree. The fun comes at the end when you get to lay on the sunlight with yellow-greens or push leaves into shadows with cooler greens. You'll notice as leaves move away from the influence of a blue sky toward the deepest, darkest center of a tree that the darks get warmer."

The above is a bit of advice given by pastel artist Donna Timm to a novice plein air pastel painter on WetCanvas. It's a super way to think about painting trees, from the inside --- which is NOT green -- out. Excellent!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

WIP? Dunno. Finished? Dunno.

This is in an in-between state. I usually work on a piece until I am more or less satisfied and then put it up where I can see it when I happen by at intervals during the day. Most often I come back and make substantive changes.

With this one, however, I think it might be finished. I am going to give it more time than usual in this bare-bones state to really decide.

This one began with a horribly mistaken underpainting with wide very dark diagonal swatches and blobs against an almost stark white field. I washed and scrubbed most of the offense off, flipped the piece upside down and incorporated the streaks that remained.

Time will tell.

About 9" x 12" on sanded paper, done with pastels.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


A good friend recently visited Monet's gardens in Giverny and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed seeing Monet's house there, many years ago.

The dining room is particularly French and wonderful.

More on the house is here.

And a delightful blog written by a guide at Giverny and entitled Giverny Impression is here. Nice photos!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Don't lie.

Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal.

But mostly don't lie. The mouth can be vengeful. Careful what you put out through it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Park Slope Again

This is about 8-1/2" x 11", done with pastels on sanded paper.

It was inspired by a painting by Casey Klahn.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Artists, Dordogne River
Photograph by Jules Gervais Courtellemont, for National Geographic.

Artists paint on the banks of the Dordogne River near Beaulieu, France
(circa 1923; autochrome image)

Park Slope

This is about 8" x 11", done with pastels on sanded paper.

It was inspired by a painting by Casey Klahn.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yellow Field

This is about 8" x 11", done with pastels on sanded paper.

It was inspired by a painting by Lisa Couper.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Yellow Room

This is about 5-1/2" x 8", in pastel on sanded paper.

The Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory

I have been saying (and thinking about) a lot of prayers in the last few months, what with terrorist bombs, exploding factories, killer tornadoes, collapsing bridges, collapsing buildings, and so forth.  It was a rough Spring.

Anyway, it struck me that both the 'Hail Mary' and the 'Lord's Prayer' have a somewhat abrupt and curt tone. So I have decided to make my own modifications to them. My theory is that you're apt to get better results if you include a bit more courtesy and politeness. Right? It sure can't hurt.

My new versions:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, [please] pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. 
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. 
[Please] Give us this day our daily bread, 
and forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those who trespass against us, 
and [please] lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, 
for ever and ever. Amen. 

Image above:
The Alba Madonna
c. 1510
National Gallery of Art

Saturday, June 1, 2013


This is about 8" x 9-1/2", done with pastel, on sanded paper.