Thursday, June 24, 2010
The oil spill in the Gulf is so upsetting. We spent 28 years in South Florida and took the oceans and the parks for granted. We enjoyed the everglades and used to go to Flamingo Gardens to spend the day and admire the beautiful flamingos.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
We're on the road now, heading to the Adirondacks of New York from California. A week before we left I had a commission to paint - water lillies. It's nice when someone decides they want a piece of art and they want you to paint it. I'm always thrilled and then a bit apprehensive that they'll like my interpretation. The client had a photo for me and I actually simplified it for the painting.
Monday, June 7, 2010
We attended the parade last year in San Juan Capistrano and I took way too many pictures! I was considering painting those beautiful horses, but decided that doing the people across the street would be more fun. Didn't know if I could accomplish it - so many different people...
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Buttermilk Falls is a serene place near Long Lake, New York. It's easy to get there, no big hike, very close to a road, so it's usually very busy in the summer months. At the bottom of the falls, kids can wade in the pool of water, so there are usually lots of kids climbing the rocks and parents yelling at them to keep away from the edge! It's not easy painting children from a distance with pastels and I hope I've done them justice. It wanted to just let people feel the falls and the fun kids have on those rocks
Done recently from a photo taken at The Hedges. This is such a magical place. We used to spend two weeks every year here with our grandson. Families from all over would spend the same two weeks so Matt grew up knowing that every year he would see certain friends and they would be free to roam the place, kyack, fish, swim, canoe. A very Adirondack experience and one we're both happy to have given him.
Here's another from Colorado. This was done plein aire - the house was there but the road wasn't. I just thought it would make a better composition with a road and it sure worked. This is also at the Cottage Gallery in Laguna Beach. I love those aspens!
This is actually one of the first pastels I ever did. Ever since going to the IAPS convention in Albuquerque last May, and taking an "art business" demonstration, I've been organizing all my work. It's unbelievable that I've done as much as I have and have actually sold as much as I have, considering the learning curve I've gone through. That two hour course was such a necessity, as far as record keeping is concerned and pricing your work. Now that I have pastels in a Laguna gallery and also will have them in a gallery this summer in Indian Lake, NY, it's so important to have very good records. It's taken me six months to finally organize myself. Now it's just upkeep and I can breathe a sigh of relief and just paint! Oh, btw, this tree sits at the side of Blue Mountain Lake at a place called The Hedges, a beautiful rustic Adirondack resort.
This pastel was done a few years ago (I'm still going through those older pastels). My aunt and I wanted to paint together in Boynton Beach, FL and I had this photo. I drove up to her house and we spent the afternoon both painting this scene. If you google Sarah Spina, I think you'll see her version. She put some other people on that beach and it's so amazing to me how each artist interprets the scene differently. I miss painting with her, now that we've moved, but we still critique each other's work via email and always have Skype!
Another older pastel - this one of my grandson, Matt, when he was only about six years old. We were at the Miami Zoo and he was munching on a sandwich and watching it intently as he ate it. This little girl walked over to look at something and I took the photo. I was just starting to paint using pastels at the time and just loved the photo, but decided to turn the sandwich into a flower. At the time, I was totally flabbergasted by the background, which was very busy, with lots of trees and a fence and didn't know how to approach that kind of background without taking from the kids. I still have this painting in New York and I keep thinking I'm going to change that green. This one is 20x30
I'm trying to pull some older pastels to post and here's another one done plein aire in Colorado. It's also at The Cottage Gallery in Laguna Beach. I remember trying to get very impressionistic with this - also trying to impart how I felt that day - free, happy to be painting those gorgeous aspens in that gorgeous place. George Inness said that a work of art's "aim is not to instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion." "the real beauty of the work consists in the beauty of the sentiment or emotion which it inspires. Its real greatness consists in the quality and the force of this emotion." He did this so beautifully - I keep practicing, with some success, but not as much as I'd like. 11x14
Here's another pastel from some years back. I was learning how to lay down pastel and then drip mineral spirits over it to create these wonderful patterns and shapes. This was done plein aire in Colorado. It's 11x14 and at The Cottage Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA.
This pastel was done on pastel board a number of years ago. I was going through some of my old work and decided to post it. I think you can see that I've gotten looser from when I first started. This one never even got framed, although I kind of still like it. We were traveling across country from Florida to California and stopped in Arizona, to see a ghost town. We had our grandson with us and he was a bit grumpy and impatient that day. On our walk to the town, we found this old abandoned car. After I took this photo, we got to the ghost town and it was closed! Didn't make the grandson any happier, I can tell you! This one is 18x24
Rock Island is part of Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondack Park. Most people like to canoe out to it and jump off the 30 foot rock into the water below. It's always fun and very scary, because that rock sort of juts out and it's difficult to get up the nerve to jump over that hump. If you have the nerve, it's really exciting and the water is sooooo cold!! "Rock Island" is 8x10
Autumn in New York State is so gorgeous and there is nothing like the changing of colors on the trees surrounding the Hudson River. I've excited that we'll be there this autumn to see this in person again. Sorry for the not so great photo - some light leakage, I think. This is 11x14
Last summer we took our granddaugher, Ava, to the Moose River Plains for a picnic and fishing. It was fun and I took so many pictures. I've just found out that the plains is closed for lack of state funds and that is a real tragedy. So many people enjoy the wilderness, which is unique and not that far from civilization. This painting is 20x30
I'm painting from photos these days because I'm exhibiting at the Abanakee Gallery in Indian Lake this summer. I've been busy finally getting some giclees made and also some greeting cards done. I haven't had a chance to really go out to paint here in California, but first things first and I'm actually having fun paintings from my photos. This is from a picture I took a couple of years ago on Tirrell Pond in Blue Mountain Lake, NY. Getting to Tirrell is quite a hike but when it's done, you've come to a peaceful, quiet place. This painting is also 11x14
I was asked to do a demo for the pastel society in Lake Forest last month and decided to use mineral spirits as an underpainting with the pastel. I hadn't used this method for awhile so set one up the day before and started it - just in case, and also because I wasn't sure how fast the mineral spirits would dry. The session went well, I think and I even finished rather earlier than expected. I like the finished painting. Someone at the session said they liked the cool colors I used. When I think about it, I realize I don't think about it.....it's more intuitive for me. Sometimes I wish I was more planned when I paint. I wonder what's better - planning or just doing. When I look at Sally Strand's paintings, I see planning, beautiful planning......oh boy...Anyway, this pastel is 11x14.