Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inside the Loveland Greenhouse, 11 x 14 Pastel

Last fall we had an unusually cold, windy, really nasty day and instead of painting the outdoors plein air we moved into the Loveland Greenhouse. I really had a hard time deciding what to paint, I enjoy plants but this sea of green was too much even for me. At the back of the greenhouse they had this really nice umbrella set up, and I just loved the look of it so I parked my easel in front, added a couple of nice plants with the grass and painted happily away. This is one of my favorite paintings, I think I just love umbrellas, even though opening them inside is supposed to be bad luck!
Altogether I had a great week. This painting, as well as two others, were chosen for the Jack Richeson "Pastels 75" book which will be published in the next few weeks. The Western Spirit Show curator called and asked me to do the Quick Draw before the opening and I was really excited to accept. Quick Draw is a 45 minute drawing from start to finish and framed!! So, obviously, I will have to have my pastels "ducks" in a row for this one. You can't dawdle with a few hundred people watching!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lake Loveland at Dawn, Pastel

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to watch a demo by one of the greatest pastelists of our times, Doug Dawson of Wheatridge, CO. He is a Master Pastelist in the Pastel Society of America and gave us a wonderful demo. In an hour and a half I wrote three pages of notes. Some of the information he emphasized was looking and relooking at the big shapes. He also talked about weaving one color throughout all the colors of the weaving (painting) to unify it. I thought this was a wonderful concept, using the analogy of weaving, you could really picture this working.
He talked about using toned paper, he uses pink for overcast days and yellow gold for a sunny day.
He did a really brave thing and had each one of us in the room pick out a color and he used all of them to do a painting of a big tree in front of a background of other trees. It was very interesting to see how he brought it all together with something like thirty colors being used!
Doug has a new book out so be sure and check it out if you can. I have his first book which I think I've had for almost 20 years.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bales Aglow--Western Spirit Show

In case you think this looks familiar, this is the finished painting that I did the study for in the posting I did of the Small Painting Show. The study is 6 x 8 and this painting is 20 x 24.

I like this painting, it speaks to me in so many ways of my childhood, life in North Dakota and our farm in Southwestern North Dakota. Today I painted all day and it seems like I always go back to farm and landscape scenes. Today I worked on a winter scene in the "Russian Style"...rough strokes of oil on linen, fun and entirely different from pastel painting. Keeps my short attention span on track!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

National Juried Western Spirit Show

I am excited that two of my paintings were accepted into the 2009 Western Spirit Show in Cheyenne. I haven't applied for this show before so it was really nice to get two paintings in. My Bales Aglow which is a 20 x 24 pastel and my Arches at San Jose Mission pastel painting which is 24 x 36. The Bales painting is such a reiteration of my childhood in North Dakota...even though our bales there were rectangular...very heavy....and awkward.

The San Jose Mission is in San Antonio and when Dale had a conference there a couple of years ago I went along and decided I would photograph all the Missions. Well, that turned out to be a little more than I could do, but I did take three rolls of film with my Fuji Advantix camera. I still really like to use that camera, it takes wonderful photos.I have to admit that I like the flexibility of being able to take many photos and delete the ones with my thumb in the middle!

The Western Spirit Show is in Cheyenne, WY, from March 7 to April 19, 2009. The opening reception is March 7, 2009, from 6 to 9 pm in Cheyenne Frontier Days "Old West Museum". You need to make reservations, it's a great opening...hope to see YOU there!