Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Tucson Desert

Tucson Desert #2
Another desert scene from the Tucson area.  This one is a 12 x 18" picture on U-Art 600 paper.  Since there was an hour left in our Tuesday session, I was challenged to do a 35 minute 9 x 12 picture.  I chose a reflected sunset from Plum Island, MA.

Plum Island Sunset

Friday, December 16, 2011

This week with J.Taylor

Chose two old photos from Tucson to work on this week.  The first was the piece I spent most of the day painting.  It was done on a 9 x 12 piece of U-Art 600.

Tucson Desert #1
The second piece was an experiment.  I had a new fixative.  It came in a spray bottle (no propellant) and was suitable for use indoors.  It was based on an old formula used by the early masters and made from milk products.  So I chose a piece of tan Canson paper.  I used the spray between layers of pastel.  The fixative did allow me to add extra layers of pastel.

Tucson Study

Friday, December 2, 2011

Catching Up

I have been busy catching up, joining Jodie Taylor in his Bandera studio and finishing up several projects.  These first two pastels were done while painting with Jodie.  They are both 9 x 12 and were done on 600 grit U-Art paper using an alcohol wash pastel underpainting.

Lost Maples State Park Trail
East Texas Mansion
This picture is the studio version of the one I did with the Texas Paint Slingers in Walker Ranch Park, San Antonio.  It is 12 x 18 and also done on 600 grit U-Art sanded paper, using an alcohol wash pastel underpainting.

Panther Creek at Walker Ranch

The following two pictures were done in Kathleen Cook's plein aire workshop.  They were done in her studio before we went to the ranch to paint.  I finished them in my studio.  Both were done on half sheets (13 x 20) of Canson paper.  I had great difficulty with these as the paper will not take as many layers of pastels as the sanded paper.

The New Hampshire Mountains on a Rainy Day
Plum Island at Sunset

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Autumn Paintings

Here are three autumn pictures I completed recently.  All are from photographs taken during our recent visit to Massachusetts with the Tenneys.  Thanks Barron and Jeannie for the opportunity to take autumn pictures.

New Hampshire Autumn #1 (9 x 12)
Yes, the highway was paved.  I choose to make it a dirt road.

New Hampshire Autumn #2 (9x12)
Both of the above were done during recent sessions in Jodie Taylor's Bandera workshop.  The following picture was done during Kathleen Cook's recent work shop.

Mt Chocorua (12x18)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kathleen Cook's Workshop

Last week I took Kathleen Cook's workshop on Pleinaire painting.  Worked on two paintings on Canson  half sheets and one on UArt sanded paper.  Still finishing the two on the Canson.  Then Saturday we went out to the Lazy Hills ranch and painted.

Lazy Hills Ranch on a cloudy day.
It started out as a cloudy day.  However, halfway through the painting, the sky cleared and was a brillant blue.  I decided to stick with the original sky.  Finished the painting in my studio.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

East Texas Fires

Finished this painting from a photograph taken by my daughter in Elysian Fields (East Texas).  Thanks Beth.

East Texas Wildfire

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Friday I worked at the NBAL gallery.  While there I entered three pictures in Artoberfest.  This is the NBAL's annual juried show.  This show is open to members and non-members alike.  It was interesting to watch all of the artists bring in some very excellent work.  One of my entries was selected for the show.

An Irish Still
Not this one.  An 12 x 24 inch pastel.  Had the picture critiqued by J. Taylor (one of my mentors) and a fine pastelists) after the judging.  Too much green, Needed some detail in the foreground.  Red doors were a little uneven.  Edges needed softened.   However, a good effort for my level.  I was able to complete this on the rough side of a piece of Canson paper.  A new achievement for me.

Hummingbird and Friend
Not this one.  Previously posted on this blog.  I printed this on a piece of Canson Infinity Paper.  This paper has a surface like watercolor paper (neither glossy nor matte).  Something new I tried.  T. Bender, one of the Co-Chairpersons and a premier digital media artist, was kind enough to explain to me that the judge did not like the effect that surface gave and complained that the photo "showed lines".  Oh well, it was the same paper I used for the photo last month that got the honorable mention.  It really depends upon the judge's perspective and background.

And the selected entry was:

Comal Spring Stream
Printed as an 8 x 18 inch on glossy photo paper.

Thursday's Paint Out at Walker Ranch Park

One of San Antonio's secret places.  The Walker Ranch Historical park near the airport (under the flight path).  The Texas Paint Slingers gathered here for another paint out.  I selected a spot along the ttrail to Panther Springs (no water) just over this stone bridge.

Old stone bridge at Walker Ranch

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Marion Texas Paint Out

Thursday morning the Texas Paint Slingers went to Marion to paint an old abandon feed store.  There were five of us that showed up and painted until 11 o'clock or so when it got too warm.

My set up (in the shade).
The feed store (there is also a small white weigh station off to the right).
My picture was somewhat disappointing.  I tried to eliminate all of the newer buildings and bring in the weigh station.  The feed store came out a little to boxy for my taste.  And too much lawn.

Old Marion feed store

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Hummingbird pictures

Spent several hours this week taking more hummingbird pictures.  They seem to like the Texas lilac (Vitek) tree this year.  Here are two more.

Hummingbird and Friend

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A bird photo and two new pastels

Yesterday we had a visitor in our backyard.  I was told it was an immature Ruby-Throat Hummingbird.  Up to now we have only had Black Chin Hummingbirds.

Hummingbird feeding
Also finished my pastel of a small stream in Lost Maples State Park.

Beside a Quiet Stream
Friday I went to Warbler Woods with the four of the Texas Paint Slingers.  Below is a picture of one of the many paths in this local bird sanctuary.

Thrasher Alley

Friday, September 2, 2011

NBAL Shades of Red Show

Reception for the NBAL Shades of Red show tonight.  Lots of good art, wine and gourmet snacks.  What more could you ask for.

I entered the little red school house (see last post).  Had a nice critique from J. Taylor.  Seems I needed more dark shadows in the bushes and shrubs to highlight and "pop" the individual plants.

I also modified the red stones in the water photograph.  I added a green glaze to highlight water depth.  The President of the Art League, as well as one of the Art Leagues premier Digital Media commented favorably on the picture.
Red Rocks in Landa
I also entered the Little Red Wagon photograph.  I printed this on a rag paper similar to watercolor paper.  It gave a very interesting finish.  It didn't look like a glossy photo, more "arty".

Little Red Wagon
It won an honorable mention.  Best I've done this year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Pastel

I never know when a painting is finished.  I feel that this one needs something but what?

Little Red Schoolhouse

It's based on a photograph I took near Arcanum Ohio.  I decided to make it an Autumn scene (more color).  I moved the road (which you can't see in the photo), but kept the original Z shape.

Abandoned schoolhouse or church near Arcanum Ohio

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Photos

Took a walk around Landa Park.  These two photos caught my eye.

Green Stream
Loved the wave effect.

Peaceful Stream
Loved the little red stones.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Photographs

Worked on two photographs, with the upcoming NBAL theme of "Red" in mind.

When Irish doors are smiling
Just a collage of door pictures taken in Ireland.  My chief critic thinks this is too silly to show.  However the second picture was better accepted.

Little Red Wagon
The whiskey wagon from the Jameson Distillery in Ireland.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

August NBAL Show - Land and Sea

I have decided to go with three photographs for this month's NBAL show, since I have no pastels that seem to fit the theme (Land and Sea).

The Cliffs of Mohr
The first picture is from the western side of Ireland.  The Cliffs of Mohr and the Atlantic ocean.  The second picture is from the other side of the Atlantic.  A lighthouse in the bay near Portland Maine.

Lonely Lighthouse

Finally, I am entering a panoramic picture of Bar Harbor, taken from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.  I call it Leaf Peepers, because that is why the two hugh cruise ships are there.  It's a 40 x 18  inch picture in the frame.

Leaf Peepers

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Last week in June

Here it is, the last week in June already.  Thursday I picked up the three pastels that were part of the NBAL display at Santa Christus Rosa hospital (the onion picture, the picture of the Irish stream and the snail picture).  Friday we delivered three pictures to the NBAL Texas show.  I entered the lizard photograph, entitled The Eyes of Texas (see previous post) and two pastels, Guadalupe Sky (previously accepted into the 2011 Texas Paster Juried Show, and my panel painting of the Palo Duro Mesa).  Got several comments on the lizard picture already, including one phone call from Jodie Taylor.  We will see what comes of this Friday, that's the opening reception.

The Invitation

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Photos for NBAL Texas Show

I was getting together entries for the NBAL Texas show and worked on three pictures.  The plan is to pick one for the show.  The first one was a heard of longhorns walking toward the camera.  I had to move part of the herd closer to the main herd to eliminate a metal pipe fence in the background.  Here it is:

A Meeting of the Herd, 12x18
It's Texas, but there is no focal point and a lot of green, so I tried a second picture.  This is a picture of tubing on the Frio river.  I liked it because it shows the hills in the distance.  I had to remove power lines in the foreground to clean it up.  Here it is:

Tubing on the Frio, 12x18
Then I came upon a picture with a lot of color, mostly reds and oranges.  This was taken in our backyard.  Don't tell anyone, but the rock is from East Texas.  This is the one I will enter:

The Eyes of Texas, 12x18

Monday, June 27, 2011

Amazing Workshop

I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Ingram Texas at Kathleen Cook's Studio.  She is a marvelous pastel artist (see  Her work ranges from portraits to still life (including intricate fabric patters and lace work) to landscapes.  Just spending time in the studio with all of the marvelous art was inspirational.  However, I also got to attempt two still life pictures under her guidance.  These were designed to challenge me at my level.  It was not expected that I would end up with a finished picture.  However, I came close.

Thursday's challenge was a 13 by 19 inch study in darks and lights done on Canson paper.  Much different than using sanded paper.  You certainly can't put on as many layers of pastel, so some planning is required.

A Ball, a Can and a Box, 13 x 19
Friday's (and, as it turned out Saturday's)  was a more complicated arrangement.  I was also challenged to do this pastel on a full sized (19 x 25 inch) sheet of Canson.  This is the biggest I have ever worked.  Believe me, I created a lot of pastel dust.

Feathers, Fruit and Copper, 19 x 25
All in all it was a great experience.  Hopefully, I have learned from this.  Still life requires more discipline than landscapes, especially if you are trying to be faithful to the subject.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Break

After completing painting of the Blue hills outside Sydney and the Texas hill Country scene in in June 6th's class, I decided to paint another Hill Country scene at home.  This was based on a photograph taken at the Sister Creek Winery.  The challenge: a)  there was no foliage on the trees in the picture, and b)  I decided to add a road as a point of interest.

Sister Creek Shack, 9x12
Monday, June 13th was my last day before summer painting in Bandera with Jodie Taylor.  I am taking a summer break because of other time commitments.  Hopefully, I will be able to rejoin him in the Fall.  I only completed one picture this week.  It was based on a picture printed from an old scanned slide, so I had to do a little color correction.  This is another scene from the Sedona Arizona area.

Sedona #2, 9x12

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 6 - Update

I did another version of the Mt Garfield Storm, this time trying not to end up with an abstract.  I started with a pastel/alcohol wash on UArt 600 paper and concentrated on using a light touch.

Mt Garfield Storm #2 - 9x12
Compare this to the version in the previous post.

Continuing with the blue hill theme, I painted a picture in class of the blue hills outside Sydney Australia.

Sydney's Blue Hills - 9x12
For the second half of Jodie's class, I worked on a Hill country scene with lots of Texas sky and clouds.

Hill Country Water Tower - 9x12
I added the road and weeds for interest and left out a windmill and fence to achieve a less cluttered picture.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day Class

Completed two pictures this monday.

Sedona #1 - 9x12
Started this one with a pastel/alcohol wash.  Added the road to lead to the focal point.  The hillside along the road started out as a shadow, but looked better as a steep bank.

Mt. Garfield Storm - 9x12
Started out as a painting from a photo of a storm taken from the top of Mt Garfield.  The idea was to use lots of purples for the distant hills.  Turned into more of an abstract the initially intended.  Had lots of input from Jodie and Trina (a class member).