Saturday, October 30, 2010

Up Front

I am drawn to images of horse racing because it is all about movement, colors and values. Once again, by treating the image in an abstract way...that is, not thinking "horses" but just creating the shapes and colors that I see, the image emerges. By not trying to define letting the hoofs and legs be obscured in places and seen in others, the feeling of movement is created.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Having described my process in the painting of the radishes, I must confess to sometimes just reacting immediately to a subject and foregoing my process. "Cherries" was a small pastel demo I did at the end of a three day workshop. The lighting, the intensity of the color and doing it on dark blue Colorfix paper enabled me to basically "throw" color down in an almost abstract manner to create my vision of this colorful fruit. However, in teaching, I am adamant that while an artist is learning their colors in pastels and how the colors react depending on the background color, they follow this process which allows control of color in relationship to value. More about pastels in upcoming blogs.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cloudy Cows

In picking up yesterday's thread, all paintings are abstract paintings. In the case of this painting, I chose to keep the cows dynamic; allowing their loose shapes, brushstrokes and vibrant colors to create a painting that is both about cows in the field, but more about the cross between an abstract and an illustrative oil.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One of my earliest boat paintings. I don't know much about boats, but I paint the shapes in a near abstract manner to create them. All painting is really abstract painting...a combination of shapes, values and colors in a composition.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Puddles of Paint

I did this demonstration in class yesterday. I want to talk about my palette and “puddles of paint.”

I am aware that my palette may seem strange to many painters. I come at painting as a pastelist and therefore use many more colors than are usual for most painters. Hey, they make them so I get them. By having this large array of colors I am able to combine my warms and cools to create lovely grays while saving my intense colors for dynamic “hits.”

I begin the painting as always, using an umber and roughly sketching in the still life in value. The shadows on the radishes as well as the cast shadows are equally important to the overall design as the radishes themselves.

I then begin to put down the general color field of each basic part..the radishes, the leaves, the background color. As I do this, each color is the beginning of a “puddle” on my palette. From this puddle, I can pull it into darker, lighter, warmer or cooler while I start to define the elements of the painting.

I’ll talk more about the specific colors of my palette tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just back from NYC and retrieved my pastel, "Autumn Tree" which won the Allied Arts Award from the Pastel Society of America which gave me the third national award I needed to be designated Master Pastelist.
While in NY, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I always enjoy seeing the French Impressionists. There is something so thrilling about going up as close as possible and seeing the layers of thick paint and colors that create the play of light.