Fading Summer

I got this painting done yesterday. I’m still trying to make peace with Canson Mi Teints paper. I think we’re actually coming to a mutual understanding, more or less. My next piece is going to be on Pastelmat. We shall see how that goes, but for now here is Fading Summer – 8 x 10, soft pastels.


You can find this and all my paintings at Smurgles Art!


Fixing Mistakes


This morning I did something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I fixed a painting that was just wrong. The perspective was wrong, well, more like non-existent. Originally I had wanted to paint three snow-covered mountains, so I put in a sky and I put in the mountains. The problem was I had no clue what to put in the foreground. I taped the painting to the wall and have been staring at it for months. This morning I took it down and got busy fixing it.

I knew I needed something in the foreground that would put things in proper perspective. The mountains needed to be pushed way back, so that they looked like mountains and not little hills. I decided to add trees and a snowy path to help achieve my goal. While it worked rather nicely I did end up losing one of the mountains entirely, as well as covering up a good deal of the other two, but I can’t complain. I learned a great deal from this and am looking forward to doing another mountain scene – this time with proper planning and perspective from the get go!

First Still Life

Don’t worry. I really have been doing something every day. I’ve been studying and practicing and a few days ago I decided to try something new – a still life. Here are my results. I must say that I’m very pleased with it. It’s a 5×7 and done with soft pastels. Working on this was really quite relaxing. I tried not to over think the process or over work the painting itself. I literally had to force myself to stop and I’m glad/surprised/shocked that I did!

The next thing I need to work on is getting my photos to more closely resemble the actual painting. This one is close, but not exact. I guess there’s always something to fix!


Mirror Lake, Take Two

A few days ago I did a mini painting of Mirror Lake from a photo my son had taken about ten years ago – Learning So Much From So Little. Today I wanted to try doing the same scene only a bit bigger. This one is 5 x 7 inches done in pastel pencil on Strathmore Colored Pencil paper. I wanted to try the colored pencil paper not only to check out the surface with pastels, but I have a ton of it. I’m very pleased with the results. I hope you like it, too!


Prairie Landscape – Today’s Mini Pastel Painting

I wanted to share my mini for today with you. I actually ended up doing two of the same scene as I thought of something I wanted to try once I had finished the first one. Here they both are. Let me know which one you like best, the one with four wires on the fence or the one with three (and that’s not the only difference between the two).

Mini Barn

So you might be wondering why I’ve begun focusing on mini paintings (2.5 x 3.5 inches). There are several reasons, one of which is the fact that my husband has asked me to make him lots and lots of mini paintings that he can put up on one of the walls in his computer room. Who am I to say no to a man that’s put up with me for over 33 years? These minis are also a great way to be able to complete a painting in a short amount of time.

Now, my husband like barns and yesterday he asked me to paint another one for him. I had my heart set on something else, but went ahead and worked on his barn. I don’t mind telling you that I wasn’t happy and I was just sure that it was going to turn out lousy. Well, I was wrong! I don’t know why I talk myself into places of frustration and anxiety, but I had. Fortunately it didn’t take long for me to see that things were going swimmingly. I actually enjoyed doing this painting very much!

For this mini I used Pastelmat and PITT pastel pencils. The Pastelmat allows for a very smooth application and the ability to layer quite a bit of material on to the surface. I was quite pleased with the finished product – and so was my husband!



Learning So Much From So Little

Another day, another mini. This one is also done in pastel pencil on Fabriano Tiziano paper. One thing that I’m learning from my mini experiments is that while I usually enjoy the texture and patterning that even the backside of this paper brings to a larger piece, when I scale things way down I’m just not feelin’ the love.  In this piece I purposely didn’t smudge or blend much at all in order to try to simulate the light peeking through the trees. Unfortunately the final effect wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for and looks much rougher than expected. Well, at least I’m learning! I’m also learning how to better blend my pastels to bring richer colors to the party. And now, without further ado, here is my latest mini, Mirror Lake.