Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tide Textures


Tide Textures | Pastel | 6x8

As the tide goes out, slick rocks and seaweed are left behind, looking bare and refreshed.

Painting Notes:  It’s all about nailing the values when you create the wet look. Pastel is very forgiving, letting one go smooth with the sweep of a finger, or pushing the previous stroke into the paper and making a new hard line over it. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fishing on the Sacramento River


Fishing on the Sacramento River | Pastel | 6x8

This scene will always mean a great deal to me for I took the photo of it on our first walk just a short week after my husband’s heart attack.  We walked 1 1/2 Miles down the levee before returning, way past the curve in the river seen here.  It was tiring for him but a good sign to both of us that he is going to recuperate from this dramatic heart event.  


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Noyo Revisited


Noyo Revisited | Pastel | 12x9

Four years ago, I attended the first MOPO - Mendocino Open Paint Out.  Several of us went to Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg to paint. My painting that day has always bothered me. At first, I didn’t know what was wrong; then, I didn’t know how to fix it; tonight I took it out and redid in my 2018 style. As I grow as an artist, I’m able to see what is wrong, then figure out how I’d change it. This will be a fun painting to revisit every four or so years and see what I come to change.
Here’s a shot of the original titled Harbor Lights | Pastel 2014



Painting Notes:  It’s not hard to ‘revisit a painting’ if it’s a pastel. I sprayed my Pastelboard painting with ISO 90 - Isoprophyl Alcohol 90%. Then I went off to eat my artichoke dinner. When I returned, of course it was bone dry and I was able to do anything I wanted with it. The only downside to fixing and changing is the substrate and what it is attached to. Recently I sprayed Spectrafix heavily on a sheet of pastel paper attached to a self-adhesive foam core board. It rippled when dry and I had to chuck it. Pastelboard, on the other hand, is rigid and will take any fixative and a lot of abuse!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Homage to Rudy


Homage to Rudy | Pastel | 6x8

My dear friend Suzi Long, Artist extraordinaire, lives in lovely Mendocino where she has a balcony which is visited frequently by a sea gull.  She calls him Rudy. He seems to be ubiquitous as we’ve run into him at every beach painting site, even in Monterey at one of the Plein Air Conventions. Here he is, again at the beach; or perhaps this is his first cousin once or twice removed!

Painting Notes:  A good set of pastel pencils is essential, not only for the initial drawing.  When a drawing requires accuracy, I find it is the tool to use. Only problem I continually experience is that the pastel inside its wooden sheath seems to easily shatter, either during the sharpening process or perhaps during transporting it during my plein air outings.  I sure wish some company would create a better casing so the whole pencil stick is usable.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

BC Vista

BC Vista | Pastel | 6x8

As we traveled south from Alaska through British Columbia, it seemed like the mountains that had been so inaccessible in Alaska were now surrounding us. BC is known for many things, not the least of which is its awesome lakes. The water is still the glacier turquoise while the Black Spruces are still the main forest conifer. Black Spruces brunch closely together; their tall skinny forms are often ravaged by the elements of their long-lived lives.


Mountain High



Mountain High | Pastel | 14x11

Mountains always amaze me. Their height, their sheer cliffs, the way snow and light clings to their surfaces. Add a stream of melting snow and I’m in heaven!

Painting Notes: Save the good ones, put it away, then come back when you’re a better painter ... and change it up. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Frosty Morn


Frosty Water | Pastel | 8x6

The end of September brought the first dusting of snow while we were cozily asleep in our van. We awoke to a pink dawn and a landscape so frosty that it seemed to crackle. Colorado showed us its winter glory that last week we were there and brought back fond memories of my four years at University of Colorado.