Sunday, August 28, 2016

Plein Air Peacham

 Had a few wonderful days painting with friends in Peacham, VT.  The Tuscany of Vermont


  1. Aline! How the heck are you? I just love this set of paintings from "the Tuscany of Vermont..." (Why does that sound so hilarious to me? Probably because I've never seen either place. I'm such a philistine.) Your color harmony in all these works is so pleasing. Do you cover your canvas with a 'colored ground' similar to the terra cotta Colourfix that you use for pastels?
    I see a slightly 'peachier' color peeking through on these pieces. It works SO well for foliage.
    Hey! Of course it is 'peachy'--you're in 'Peacham!' Silly me.
    I'm taking some online lessons with Marla Baggeta & I really like the results. Finally I am loosening up!
    I still tend to apply pastel too thickly but that habit is falling away quickly. Also, I brush off the excess just as soon as I detect it. Since I've also stopped 'over-blending,'the excess pops rights off with a light tap of a paintbrush. I'm excited to paint each day because I see improvement--the best motivator.
    My only complaint is that I feel like crap these days! I have Hepatitis C (another victim of too much 'fun.') I was able to ignore it for a long time but now that there are drugs that can cure it, my hepatologist says I must go for it. I took Harvoni for 3 months & the Hep C virus disappeared! Handshakes all around, Big Win, hubba hubba. Then I got re-checked 4 months later--Hep C virus had roared right back.
    Turns out I am one of .05% of carriers who have an
    'NS5a mutation.' The virus wriggles around & mutates.
    (My hepatologist was in shock--she is a Stanford prof & I was her FIRST 'failure.'Stanford has a rep to consider!)
    A month ago, I began a frightfully NEW drug called "Epclusa," plus 1000 mg. of ribavirin, an old & hated
    stand-by. These two make me feel SO tired I can't believe it. AND they make me 'irritable,'a most benign way of saying I went from having a short-fuse to NO-fuse. Aline, I can go from silence to bellowing in 5 seconds & not even know why! Luckily, my boyfriend understands & just keeps his TV headphones on all the time. I've got 5 more months of this, so I agreed to buy him a bigger & better cable TV 'package.' It's worth it.
    I cannot tell you how much painting helps me with stuff like this. Every day, I just go into that wonderful zone we all know & love. Your recent workshop in Aiken looked liked tons of fun! I really
    liked the pictures you painted there. Of course, I also loved the "pastel figure workshop" you did just prior to that. I can see how much your two 'mediums' feed each other. I used to bug you to do pastels, but now I see that the same basic principals apply in each. I also think that pastels come very close to looking like oils, maybe closer than any other medium.
    Scumbling, fat over lean, colored grounds, all of these things can be used in both oils & pastels. Thus, I learn just as much from studying your oils as I do from studying your pastels.
    Well, I shall give this post a happy ending: we're all glad it is finally over! (Yay!) Perhaps in a couple of years I will accompany you on one of your overseas workshops! Do you still do those? If so, I'll set it as a goal & get in more mileage at the easel to make it worthwhile. Meanwhile, I just LOVE visiting your blog. Many good wishes to you,Aline! You really do inspire me. L&K, Mary Brady

    1. Hi Mary...thanks for letting me know about this post. Do you get my replies? I have an email if you ever want to be in touch that way. I have a friend with Hep C who has apparently been cured...I hope you have the same luck. I do use an acrylic ground on my canvases that works well and the two techniques of pastel and oil do compliment each other. I've gone to your blog but I never see anything...would love to. Recovering from Ireland which was amazing...come to Croatia in 2017! Thank you as ever for your missives...they are greatly appreciated...Aline