Friday, November 7, 2014

Pastel painting "Gray Shaggy Parasol", a Pacific Northwest Mushroom

Well Autumn is here, and with it the mushrooms.  I love mushrooms!  Although I don't feel that I am knowledgeable enough to decide which are edible and which aren't, I love to take photos of them.  They are so varied and interesting.  Here is a painting of one of my favorites, the gray shaggy parasol, with a couple of progress photos.

Gray Shaggy Parasol, 8x10 inches, pastel on board
Available through Etsy

I often like a white background for painting, because it makes it a bit easier to keep the colors true to what I had intended - but with this one, I chose a dark green board made by Ampersand.  It allowed me to be looser in my application, since I don't have to worry about covering up every bit of white - the dark green peeking through was a good thing!  

I wanted to have an abstracted and mysterious background, so I put in plenty of darks right away.  I find that I have to do the darks first, or I am too hesitant with them later in the painting.  That burgundy color sort of just jumped into my hand - but I liked the way it looked - it added a nice warm contrast to the moss in the foreground later on.  

Thanks for looking!  :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Northwest Pastel Society's small works show, and a new painting.

I will be participating in the Northwest Pastel Society's upcoming small works show at the Elsinore Gallery in Salem, Oregon.  The show runs from November 5th to the 26th, with the opening reception being on the 5th from 5-8.  I can't wait to see everyone's beautiful work!
I painted something new for the show, having just sold one of the paintings that I had planned on entering!  This was painted from a photo that I took driving around the beautiful area where I live.  I have a couple of progress photos for those of you who enjoy seeing them.

"Evening Rising", 8x10, pastel on board
Available through Etsy 

I started this one as I often do with a watercolor underpainting- you can still just see my sketch underneath.

Then I started putting in the rows of the plowed field, trying to get the right feeling of movement.

A bit more work on the foreground...

You can see that I got caught up here and forgot to take progress photos for a bit...  :)  Nearly done except for the back row of hills and a bit of work to the sky.  I am noticing that the colors on this photo came out odd - too dark and too cold.  No doubt the sun went behind the clouds while I was working!  :)

And here it is finished again~

Thanks for looking! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oil Painting, "Deep Woods Twilight"

Attempting oil painting again after such a long time was a lot of fun.  So much fun, in fact, that I had to try one more before running back to my beloved soft pastels!  This painting was done from imagination, which is different for me as I usually at least get started with a reference photo or "en plein air".
It could be that I was thinking a bit about Halloween at the time...   ;)

"Deep Woods Twilight", 8x10, oil on board
Available through Etsy

Thanks for looking!  :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oil painting for the Audubon Society's "Wild Arts Festival"

I decided to donate a painting to the Audubon Society of Portland's "Wild Arts Festival", which takes place November 22 and 23 in Portland, Oregon. They have a wonderful program where artists receive a free 6x6 canvas at their local Dick Blick store to use in creating artwork to donate to the festival.  All of these 6x6 paintings are sold for $45, with the proceeds going right to the Audubon Society of Portland.  These little paintings sell quickly, so if you are interested, it is a good idea to get there early!  There are also larger works of art, sculpture, photography, and books, all with a nature theme, to see and enjoy.  It is well worth a visit if you are in the area!

I haven't worked in oil for over fifteen years, so this was a fun reintroduction!
Here is my painting of a Western Lesser Goldfinch.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 8, 2014

"Sunflowers in the Painted Hills", an original pastel painting.

On a recent trip to the Painted Hills with my family, we came across these sunflowers.  I loved the colors in the background!

"Sunflowers in the Painted Hills", pastel on board, 11x14
Available through Etsy

Here are a few progress photos:

 A watercolor underpainting over the initial sketch.  Those watercolor underpaintings are so fun!

The first layers of pastel - I was trying to get the feeling of the background hill while still keeping it really abstract and relaxed.

A close up of starting work on the sunflower.  I am using a sheet of glassine to keep from smearing the pastel around while I am working!

Here are the completed sunflowers "floating in space".  I wanted the foreground and the background to be out of focus, and the sunflowers to be the only crisp part.  I had to do a bit of thinking about how to approach the foreground grasses.

Thanks for looking!  :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

"John Day Reflections" an original pastel painting.

"John Day Reflections", pastel on board, 11x14
Available through Etsy

Like the previous painting, this was done more quickly than usual for me.  I am really enjoying it - it forces me to relax and stop thinking about the details too much.  This painting started with a color study and some reference photos, taken while we were on vacation on the John Day River, near the town of Spray, in Eastern Oregon.  It is such a gorgeous area - we will definitely be back!  Even though I was painting like a whirlwind, I did stop to take a couple of progress photos!  :)

First a quick sketch...

Then a blocking in of the underpainting, which I blended thoroughly with my hands....

And a few details....  not too many!  :)

Thanks for looking!  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Evening Glow ~ an original pastel painting

"Evening Glow",  pastel on board, 11x14
Other paintings available through Etsy

A few nights ago, we had the most beautiful evening...  it was the perfect temperature, with a light breeze.  The birds were singing, and the light was wonderful.  I ran outside and did this painting of my backyard in one sitting - which is very unusual for me!  It was so much fun, and a great exercise in loosening up!  

Thanks for looking!   :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

South Falls at Silver Falls ~ original pastel painting

I have been going to the South Falls at Silver Falls Park my whole life.  It is a beautiful place, and I was a bit intimidated to try to paint something that I was so fond of.  I hope a little of the peaceful feeling that it gives me comes through in the painting.

Silver Falls : South Falls, 12x16, pastel on board
Available through Etsy

A quick sketch...

The watercolor underpainting...

Getting in some of the darks...

At this point, I got caught up in the painting and forgot to take any more progress photos!  But I think the watercolor underpainting is the part that is the most fun anyway...

Thanks for looking!  :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Rose of Friendship ~ original pastel painting

I had something wonderful happen yesterday when I was photographing this painting.  I took it outside to get the best light, and propped it up on the windowsill.  While I was taking the photos, I heard a hummingbird behind me.  I turned to look at him, and he flew up closer and hovered in front of my painting!  He obviously liked the bright colors, but it made me really happy that it caught his attention, and he looked just like an appreciative art lover at a gallery.  I wish that I would have had the presence of mind to get a photo before he flew away!

This painting was made in honor of my friend +Bruni Steinberger in Germany.  Bruni has been such a great friend who I was lucky to meet not long after joining Google+.  She takes wonderful photographs of the beautiful city that she lives in, and I got the reference photo for this painting from her collection of flower photos.

A Rose of Friendship, pastel on board, 8x10 inches
Available through Etsy

I did something with this painting that I haven't done in a while...  a watercolor underpainting!  I had forgotten how much fun they can be.  I like the random quality of watercolor - it sometimes makes patterns that I wouldn't have expected.  I was happy with the way that the upper right side turned out, and so I decided to leave it as it was, without any pastel.  The underpainting enables me to use a lighter hand with my pastel application, since I don't have to add as many layers in order to cover up every bit of white board that is peeking through, to get the saturated look that I like.

Here are a few progress photos:

Here is what the watercolor underpainting looked like before I started adding pastel.

I started adding the pastel, working in general from upper left to bottom right to keep my hands clean...

Thanks for looking!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Pastel Painting of a Plumeria

Today I am posting a painting that was inspired by the beautiful plumeria photos of my friend +Vanida Boonphitak. Vanida lives in Thailand, and she takes wonderful photos of the scenery, flowers, and buildings there.

Plumeria, 8x10 inches, pastel on board
Available through Etsy

Here are a few progress photos....

In my enthusiasm to get started, I made a silly mistake here and put those bright colors in the lower right hand corner...  since I am right handed, I had to cover the lower right hand side with wax paper while I did the rest of the painting.  :)

At this point, I noticed that my colors were getting a bit dull, and I had to brighten them up again!

I had a lot of fun with this background!

Thanks for looking!  :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pastel Painting "The Hideaway", of a Cottage in the Lincolnshire Wolds

My most recent cottage painting was inspired by a photograph from my friend Rich who lives in England.  He walks his dog Harvey (I should say his adorable and charming dog Harvey) every day, and on one of his walks he found this thatched cottage.  A big thank you to Rich for letting me use his photo for a painting!!

 "The Hideaway", 11x14 inches, Pastel on Board
Available through Etsy

Here are a few progress photos:

Thanks for looking!  :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Cover for "Briarwood Cottage" by JoAnn Ross

Here is the finished book cover for the upcoming novella "Briarwood Cottage" by JoAnn Ross.  I painted the cover illustration back in October, and now the jacket design has been finalized!  JoAnn, with her usual kindness, has allowed me to post the image before the book has been released - indeed, before she even has it on her own website!

JoAnn Ross is a New York Times bestselling author with around a hundred books to her credit.  She currently has several projects in the works, and you can read all about them on her website.  I can tell you from personal experience though, that she is not only very talented and successful, but she is also an incredibly charming and nice person, with the most beautiful manners.  Working with her was an absolute joy from start to finish, and I still can't believe that I was lucky enough to have her find me, and then actually choose me to illustrate her book!

As I said, Briarwood Cottage has not yet been released, but it revisits a village called Castlelough in Ireland, which was the setting for a previous trilogy of JoAnn's, that begins with the book "A Woman's Heart".

A big thank you to JoAnn for making me a part of something so exciting - and another thank you to all of you who have taken an interest in my art!  :)