For my sweet beautiful niece Courtney who loves wolves.
This is a second still-life piece from the Intermediate Drawing Class at PCCA. I did the initial drawing in class and then finished up the detail work at home. I used a large piece of drawing paper, vine charcoal, and compressed charcoal for the shading. I then used a subtractive eraser technique on the vase where you first lay down all the darks and then use an eraser to create the lights and highlights. I did this for the decorative frieze, the body of the man and spear, and the vase highlights. Then, I used a pencil to draw in the details of the man. The last step was to add color using hard and soft pastels.
Our family recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic. It was heaven on earth and I had a really hard time adjusting once we came back to the states. It wasn’t just the shear beauty and warm temperatures, the tropical island breezes and the blue ocean white sands right out our doorstep; it was the entire experience, the culture, the people, and the simple way of life that I really fell in love with! ‘Til we meet again…
Red Jacket was a still life assignment in class. I usually don’t care for painting a still life subject, but this one I was eager to paint. I love Red and Jackets! I must own 20 or 30 (much to my husband’s chagrin!) I began the painting in class and then finished it up in the evening at home.
Adding more life and movement into the piece with the shadows and blending really made it start to “pop”. Not quite sure about the orange heels though! They were actually more of a gold color, but I like the contrast of the two bright colors against each other.
I originally saw my Mom in this painting. The jacket is something she would wear and the mum – she loves flowers. I was not to surprised when she saw it and loved it! This one’s for you Mom – Enjoy!
I love fall! The cooler weather, the light breezes, the sun shining, the myriad of colors all work together to ignite my soul!
My friend Sheila and her husband recently took a trip to Ireland. Upon seeing some of her photos, I was blown away by the utter and sheer beauty of the images. I commented that they would make an incredible painting and offered to do a landscape for my friends.
The photograph was taken near Gormans Clifftop House, a local top-rated B&B on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry, Ireland. I learned from the owner that the pool in the rocks is known as Loch na gCaorach (pond of the sheep). It is believed that sheep were dipped in the lake long ago. It was also a gathering place for the woman where they would gather and wash the coarse flour bags, which would then be adapted for many uses, such as sheets or babies diapers.
I’ll admit it, I love Facebook. Besides keeping in touch with friends and family, I learn so much from interesting sites and people. One of the best uses for the social media site are the incredible shared photographs. They make for great artistic inspiration! This is a popular photo, one that you may have seen before, and perfect for soft pastels.
In between learning to paint with oils, I needed to create something in a familiar medium, to remind myself that I can do this! I came across this incredible picture of Venice, Italy on Facebook. My depiction doesn’t do Venice justice, but I like the overall feel, especially the water. This was also a great learning experience in perspective. It’s been since my Design days, about 20 years, that I have tackled perspective drawing. So, I had to dig deep in my memory bank to retrieve those lessons. It’s not perfect, but nothing ever is.
For this assignment we each chose a photograph to use for inspiration. Our teacher, Lois Jones, is teaching us how to edit what we see instead of painting the entire photograph. First we use a viewfinder to crop the image, then do quick charcoal sketches. From there, we pick the sketch that speaks to us.
I was drawn to the bright purple flowers and green grass against the pale house. I love the combination of gold, purple, and green so I decided to make the house more of a golden color. I really struggled with the trees; in the picture they were barely visible. I gave them more life by using a pointillism technique. Overall, I was very happy with the end result.
In Spring 2013 I began taking classes at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. We mostly do quick still-life studies and I rarely leave with a finished product that I am happy with. However, I have learned so much and it’s always wonderful to be in a room with other artists!
I did this pastel painting at home, in-between classes. Our orange tabby, Bailey Rae passed away in April, just a week after her fourth birthday. She was an outdoor/indoor kitty and tragically met her fate by the garage door. She was such a sweetheart and a large part of my recuperation. I will always lovingly remember her. Rest in Peace baby.
I took a break for about a year and a half to be with my boys. Eventually, I ventured back to art class with Kathy. I missed everyone and I needed to do something for just me again. However, this time would prove more challenging as I now had a 5-year-old and a toddler at home.
Dylan was in preschool and speech therapy and Ethan was into everything! I was having a lot of problems with my arthritis, not to mention the sheer exhaustion of motherhood! I believe I only took one or two semesters this time and had to quit. It was too much! By the time class came around on Friday, all I wanted to do was sleep!
I did complete a few pieces of art; one being this replication of a Van Gogh painting in oil pastels. It was my first experience with Oil Pastels. I liked the waxy feel of the finished product but oil pastels do not blend like soft pastels, so the application process is a little different.
In May of 2006 I found out that we were expecting baby boy number two. Dylan would be three in December and it was a good time to add to our family. Before baby’s arrival, I wanted to do a large pastel painting of Dylan. We took this photo of him playing by the ocean in Florida. He loved the sand – mesmerized by the feel and texture, he played for hours! What better way to capture our first-born son at such a special moment in time.
I was determined to finish the painting before baby boy two arrived. I had to rework the sand and ocean many times before they looked right. Surprisingly, painting Dylan was the easy part! I was so pleased with the end result and completed it just in time – about 1 week before Ethan was born!
I had spent so much time focusing on the tiny details in my pastel paintings that I wanted to approach the next one differently. My goal was to paint loosely, relaxed, and quickly. I discovered this photograph in a magazine at the library and I knew it had to be painted! The Mandrill painting is one of my all-time favorites. I love the vibrant colors of his nose, the softness of his fur, and his penetrating eyes, as if he is staring into your soul. And, I had met my goal: this turned out to be the fastest and easiest painting I had done to date!
I love frogs! Especially the bright beautiful Amazon frogs with a multitude of colors. While looking through magazines for my next pastel painting subject, I came across these guys. They nearly leapt off the page as if to say, “Paint us, paint us!” And so I did.
Now that I had two successful pen and ink drawings under my belt, it was time to try something new. I took the plunge into a new medium, pastels, and I’ve never looked back!
For this piece I used a beautiful photograph in a magazine for my inspiration. I began by lightly drawing the image onto a piece of pastel paper and then blocked in the background. Next I added the details of the buildings and the greenery. Lastly I put in the rainbows. I must have reworked them twenty times! It was challenging as I had never used pastels before, but I enjoyed the learning process and could tell that this piece was only the beginning!