December 12, 2008
November 06, 2008
October 21, 2008
5 x 7, mixed media
Oh my, this was fun! This is a mixed media experiment on Richeson’s (relatively new) pastel paper. I am so excited about this new process I can barely contain myself! The paper has a bit of texture to it and the best I can describe it is “grainy” but it's not overwhelming - it adds just the perfect amount of texture. It’s just luscious and the colors are well-saturated. Though technically a "mixed media," the final stages of this piece were done in oils and then varnished.
The scene is of Biscuit, back on top of her favorite chair in “our” studio. I think she likes it on her perch because she is perfectly positioned for getting petted every time Larry and/or I walk past her to get to the studio sink or to the office. AND her chair is right next to the gas fireplace so she can stay nice and toasty during her long winter baths. So, the more I write, the more obvious it becomes that, indeed, Biscuit has discovered the perfect perch.
October 17, 2008
11 x 14 pastel
And Five Makes Happy Hour
Gull and Girls
where there are gulls
there will be girls
because they, too,
love the wind
and warm sand
on their toes.
I discovered that along the California Coast, just as along the Washington Coast, seagulls seem to gather on the sandy beaches just about the same time every day. Hmmmm.... just makes me wonder if they have their own kind of Happy Hour. I know these five seagulls certainly had a lot of catching up to do when they arrived.
This painting was selected for inclusion in a limited-edition hardcover, book published in 2007 by Richeson School of Art and Gallery.
October 06, 2008
It's not, because the painting (or so it seems) will call me back to the easel, relentlessly at times. Time and time again. You might think I could choose to ignore it. The fact is, I can’t. It's the very thing that keeps me awake at night and what makes an eight hour drive seem like one. It’s that one thing in a painting that’s just not quite right...WHAT is IT? Is it the surface? Is it the value? the hue?...the message? chomp, chomp, chomp. It eats away until it gets what it wants; resolution on the canvas.
It's that inability to let it go that I hope, one day, will be what makes me a great artist in my own eyes and heart. Though I doubt I will ever know when (or if) that actually happens. I think there’s too much elusiveness in the creation of art to have a “there” moment. Art is ever-changing; it will never repeat itself and is never predictable. That’s the very reason art is so treasured and it is the essence of what makes it so valuable. After every piece, the artist stops doing that thing and starts doing another. Growing with one’s art, as in any relationship, is learning to understand and accept change and probably more than anything, embrace serendipity. It’s wonderful that as an artist I can have, and share, snapshots of that relationship in the form of paintings.
October 05, 2008
This is painted on one of those small 6 x 6 x 1 ¼ canvasses that doesn’t require a frame; it’s just so adorable! I love that it can sit on a table top, a shelf, a window sill…just about any place that needs an added smile and a purr.
September 26, 2008
Tread Lightly 12 x 22
Pastel on Arches Watercolor paper
Charity Supported: Pasado's Safe Haven
It has taken me awhile to let go of this piece. I have decided to finally decided to offer it for sale. In my mind, it is just so tranquil. I can pop in there so fast when I need a place to "be" that is just a little more calm than where I am. It's a special place in the valley (Skagit Valley in Washington) that is home to lots of animals roaming freely and, strangely, every time I've been there the sun has been shining. Anyone living in Washington knows just how strange that is.
This was one of those experimental pieces that just fell together and I loved every minute of working on it. One of those I was there but not there pieces so it was fun to be done, sit back, and then say "Oh, look what happened while I was gone!" It is painted with a variety of pastels (Nupastels, Unisons, Schmincke's, Diane Townsends, and a few others I'm sure) on Arches watercolor paper. From a distance, it looks pretty smooth but up close you can see the texture of the surface. Loads of fun!
September 25, 2008
September 07, 2008
Heart Stealer 5 x 7
supported charity: Best Friends
This piece was auctioned with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary as the recipient of the eBay Givingworks donation. I chose them because they are a member of the Rapid Response team in compliance with the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition and are assisting as needed with misplaced animals of the GUSTAV hurricane.
No matter which way you look at her, she'll steal your heart if you get too close. I had so much fun painting this oil of Biscuit on her favorite rug, playing with her favorite red heart toy, and giving me that little wink that she does sometimes. If you are at all familiar with my art, it might appear that everything is all about Biscuit. Oh, wait, it is.
It was so much fun to get back in to oils again for this piece. I've been away from them for awhile and, perhaps because they were my first art-love, I always get the "ah" factor when I get them out again to start a new painting. This one was especially enjoyable because I used a new surface, too. I tried using the relatively new Unison pastel board. What a treat that is for oils. As a precaution, I checked with Terry Stanley at Richeson art (the manufacturers) and she noted the surface holds up great for oils. So, this won't be my last on oil on this board. I will, however, be buying more brushes. They look like Biscuit's new chew toys after using them on the pastel surface.
August 30, 2008
August 26, 2008
7 x 5 supported charity: Sarvey Wildlife Center
August 24, 2008
June 20, 2008
5 x 7 supported charity: Cast-away Cats
You know, Biscuit gets a little worn out with all the modeling she does. I can't really blame her for wanting to just kick back and take a break every now-and-again. And just to be sure I don't get the camera out, she covers up that sweet little face when she's on break. Ha!
June 16, 2008
Love Letter to the Sea, 685
5 x 7
Another in my series of Love Letters to the Sea. This one is from a trip right outside my studio, and on to the deck. Early evening is the best time to catch the sun as she starts setting off just to the South of us (yes, yes, that's still in the West).
June 11, 2008
supported charity: Cast-away Cats
Biscuit loves our time spent in the studio. It's her favorite place to be. She's even been known to help me pick out just the right color pastel if I get stumped.
June 10, 2008
June 06, 2008
7 x 5
supported charity: Orca Network Organization
May 27, 2008
Though well-planned, this piece is straight from the heart. Those are "my" waves, the ones just outside my studio and I study them with a passion, almost to the point of drinking them, I think. I'm back to Sennelier La Carte ~ I just love this paper. I chose the salmon-colored paper, which I often do since it is the complimentary color for the blues in the water. It adds a great vibration in the painting. I photographed this painting as I worked through it in anticipation of using it as part of an instructional video (thanks for that idea, friends and family). Please stay tuned for that and let me know if you're interested. If you are, it will kick that project up a notch further on my radar.
Whidbey Island Life (16 x 20) can be seen in greater detail on my website.
May 18, 2008
This piece is titled Grand Indeed (25 x 20). You can read more about it on my website.
May 05, 2008
This is a scene from my local area, Whidbey Island, Washington - I LOVE it here!
I wanted to try out some new-to-me pastel paper. It's Hahnemuhle Velour, mould-made paper, from Germany. The company has been around since 1584 so I figured they should know what to do to make quality paper.
This is my first attempt on the new surface. It's 9.4 x 12.6 inches because that's the size of the paper. It's soft and I like how it takes the pastels. I used the same variety of pastels I usually do. Nupastels, Unisons (ahhh), Schmincke, Sennelier & whatever else is close-at-hand. The paper held it well but there are no hard edges here! I'll probably try some more experimenting with this ~ I enjoyed working on it.