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.

marsh1

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Fixing Mistakes

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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!

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!

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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!

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A Mini or Two

Well, as you know I’ve been trying to be more consistent with my art. In fact I’m trying to do at least some painting every day. (Yes, I consider using pastels painting.) Yesterday I embarked on a new direction with my art – mini paintings. Now I’ve done paintings as small as 4×6 inches before, but these mini paintings are only 3.5×2.5 inches. Now that’s mini! I actually did two of them yesterday and had tons of fun. I’m quickly appreciating the mini canvas for it’s ability to allow me to create and experiment while at the same time limiting my space. Just as a blank page can bring about writer’s block for an author (and I know because I’ve been there), the blank canvas can freeze an artist in their tracks. But these tiny pieces of paper are so, well, tiny, they aren’t intimidating in the least. Here’s to the mini! And here are my first two, both in pastels!

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Second Chances

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I’m still trying to do some art every day, and so far so good! Yesterday, rather than start a new, smaller painting I took a painting I had done a couple weeks ago (and was not happy with in the least) and transformed it. I started by turning it into an underpainting. I blocked in the colors I wanted and then painted over it with rubbing alcohol. I just love doing that. Today I went back downstairs and tried my hand at impressionism. Not only did I transform the painting, but the painting transformed me.

Monet is my favorite artist. I’ve always loved his style and his eye for color and light. Until now it’s been a challenge for me to let go of trying to recreate exactly what I see and paint what I feel instead. This is my first step. I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out considering what it looked like before I gave it a second chance. I purposely chose a time when I didn’t have a lot of time to paint so that I’d have to keep my painting fast and loose. I’m really glad that I did because I’m feeling a little bit more confident to give this impressionism another shot tomorrow.

I’ve written before that art is an excellent therapy. When you’re involved in creating you can express yourself and work through garbage that could be very difficult to express in words. You can take something ugly and use that ugly to create something beautiful, all while taking a step or two toward healing. There’s no right or wrong with art. It doesn’t judge you. It simply is. All you need is a pencil or pen and some paper and you’re good to go. If you’re lucky and have little ones in the house borrow their crayons and go to town. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Now, I need to find a good reference photo for tomorrow’s painting. Here’s hoping I can stay on track!