Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lifting Off!

6 x 6 Pastel on Wallis Paper, 16 x 16 Framed
$150 + s/h (Framed)

A few years ago, friends of ours invited us to go to Abingdon, VA, to see the hot air balloons.  They were "chasers" for a friend who participated with his balloon.  Their job was to follow his balloon as it drifted and, hopefully, get to the spot where the balloon set down.  Everything was mapped out, but it all depended on the wind at any given time.  It was always a challenge to get to the right spot, because it might be in a cow pasture, a stream, etc.  We were enthralled watching them fill the balloon with hot air, and then seeing them lift off one at a time.  It was such a beautiful event to see.  I finally got around to painting this.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dapper, 1920's


This is a painting of my two uncles.  The photo was taken in the 1920's.  My objective was to make it look like the old photo it came from.  It isn't a polished painting, but I really love the way it came out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Window View, Pemaquid Point

This window was so old and in need of repair, and some of the glass was leaded and some had been replaced, kind of like the human journey....The scene was spectacular but glazed over by grime and grit.  The wonderful thing about being an artist is that one sees things that might have been overlooked in everyday life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Morning Fog, Boothbay


During my second trip to Maine, I woke up early one morning and didn't think I would be able to paint at all due to the fog, so I took a few photos.  I put them away for about 6 months and found them by accident when I was cleaning out my studio files.  I really liked working on this, but got frustrated half way through.  I just kept grabbing pastels and smudging everything.  When I stepped back to look, it was like a "WOW" moment.  It has since sold.  You never know! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Smith Mountain Lake Spring

13-1/2 x 11 Pastel on Wallis Paper, 23-1/2 x 19-1/2 Framed
$200 + s/h (Framed)

Spring is so beautiful here at Smith Mountain Lake.  Right now, the trees are all blooming and everything is getting green again.  It's a chance to use my pastel called "Spring Green."  I must say, though, that the color doesn't even do justice to nature's spring green.  I pass this scene when I walk everyday and never get tired of it.  I don't know if any of you artists out there have the same problem I do when painting a scene with lots of greens in it.  I find it difficult to get the variation without overuse.  I was pleased with the balance on this one.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Red - Super Cool!

6 x 6 Pastel on Wallis Paper, 16 x 16 Framed
$150 + s/h (Framed)

I had so much fun painting this man.  He let me take a few photos, but I really would have liked to take a lot more.  He had the most fascinating face...and that wonderful hair!  I don't even know if I did him justice. I'll just have to do the painting again at another time, but I do think I captured the amused expression which was what I was going for. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Hey Buddy, Can You Spare 25 Cents?" Chicken Panhandling

6 x 6 Pastel on Wallis Paper, 16 x 16 Framed
$150 + s/h (Framed)

These chickens remind me of the panhandlers in New York City.  You'd expect them to ask people as they pass by for a handout.  I think they've learned that this is a good place to hang out... and they say chickens aren't smart....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Painting Monhegan

13 x 9-1/2 Pastel on Wallis Paper, 24-1/2 x 22 Framed
$250 + s/h (Framed)

This is actually an older painting. I did it 'plein air' the first year I went to Monhegan and still love it.  The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, and you could smell the ocean.  Nothing is better than that!  As I had mentioned in other posts about Monhegan, everywhere you looked there were artists painting the scenery.  I set up my pastels and spent a few hours in the "zone."  I've kept this painting, and whenever I look at it, I can feel that day and smell the salt air.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creature Comfort

When I saw this woman with her cat I pretty much knew what I was going to paint, but this painting was a real problem to do.  I changed the background a number of times and finally just left it as is, which was a good thing, because the paper wouldn't take any more pastel.  What I really liked about the scene was that I wasn't sure whether the woman was comforting the cat, or the cat was comforting the woman.  It was probably a little of both!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuning the Clay Pots

A few months ago, we went to see "The Electric Junkyard Gamelan" band.  They are a group from New York who play music using original instruments made from pots, pans, clay pots, saw parts, etc.  In other words, junk.  They were marvelous and we really enjoyed the evening.  The woman I painted was tuning the clay pots during intermission.  Amazingly, the pots do have to be tuned.  They each have their own sound.  She was nice enough to let me take her photo.  I used some of the colors of Bali for the background because their music was inspired by their trips there.  This was just a fun exercise that didn't take me very long and is not really "polished," but I like it anyway.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Portrait 66

This painting was a learning experience.  My goal was to create a semi-impressionistic portrait.  I wanted it to have some "life" to it.  Never having taken a portraiture class, I was a little intimidated, but considering the obstacles, I'm happy with it.  This is the first time I've painted a portrait from life.  I'm finding that the best part of keeping a blog is the experimenting that goes along with it.  There's nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Paddles Up!

This is a relatively simple painting and I thought it would be a quick study, but it took a lot longer to paint than I originally thought.  I was using a new brand of pastels which are thicker than most I've used before.  Because the figures are small I wound up switching to my usual brands midway, but by that time everything was out of balance and I had used up the tooth of the paper.  I suppose I could have sharpened the thicker pastels, but I wasn't that motivated.   I saved it as best I could and may think about painting it again....or not.