Boat and Windmill Tutorial

Well, I have taken a break (perhaps a permanent one) from the Old Barn Window. I really like how the graphite version turned out and when I attempted it in pastel pencil it simply didn’t measure up, so I’m putting that on the back burner. I did complete this tutorial in pastel pencil. I love the palette he used for this painting and will be using it for an original piece next. The tutorial is from Colin Bradley. He is a wonderful artist and an excellent teacher.

Boat and Windmill


Winter Landscape

There’s something about bare winter trees that I just love, and this landscape (done from this tutorial at captured my attention. I’ve been wanting to try it for quite some time and finally dove in a few days ago. I just finished and wanted to share the results, as well as some of the process, with you.

This might sound silly, but the more I art (as my husband and our son say), the more I realize just how important the process of creating is for my emotional well-being. I love finishing a project, but while I’m working on it I find myself in a very special place – a place of quiet and peace where I can lose myself in the colors, in the forms, and in the subject. I can feel myself calm down and slip into “the zone.” Once I’m in the zone everything is good and all that matters is the process and the act of creating. Even after I’ve finished a piece the calm stays with me and I look forward to starting again – choosing the right paper, the right subject, the right media, the right colors.

I would like to invite you to try your hand at “arting” even if you don’t think you know how or don’t think you can. If you have a pen and paper, if you have a can of Play-Doh, if you have markers and coffee filters (yes, really) you can art. Tap into your creativity and see where it will take you!


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!