Sunday, March 22, 2020

Working From Home And Still Feeling Connected

At this point, I've been home from work for almost a week.   It is a new world of exploration thanks to technology.  Learned how to set up a basic google classroom for my new home isolated art students.  For artists, isolation is not new.  It is how we work.  The positive part of all of this is I get to work on my stuff and share more than ever with my students, other artists, and friends.  Exploring the internet for how to do video is amazing.  There is so much to see. 
I'm learning about how to video my work in process.  Here is a clip of me working in time-lapse.  My current series of bees.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

It has been a very long time since my last post.  I’ve been very busy teaching and learning new stuff about pastels.  I love Dawn Emerson’s work and especially love that she has a book on her many processes that I own.  So for my students I chose to demonstrate a brayer under painting using Akua black intaglio ink. It was fun rolling out some black ink without a complete plan and just letting go.  When I got to color I found myself not worrying about it as it relates to subject, but more as it relates to value, harmony and intensity.  I wasn’t worried and the process felt very intuitive.  One of my students remarked how relaxed I was as if I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular.  I laughed!  I was in a zone.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Importance of Showing Your Work

It is that time of year when I put my work out there to be judged.  It's good to get feed back from professionals and the viewing public.  Then it's good to take a fresh look and evaluate.  I think that's what is important about the process of entering shows.  One show and one judge may not see your work as you do, so enter it in a few shows and get it seen and then move on.  Keep working and keep putting it out there.  Create, process, complete, release, evaluate and move forward as quickly as you can.  Take all you can use and continue.  Don't hang on failed work, just work.  Success is a cumulative effort of all work previous.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Power of Playfulness

I've had a number of wonderful teachers in my life.  All have taught me the tools I use today.  My high school art teacher Jerry Nicholson " Mr. Nick", taught me 2 very important things.  First, to be organized with your art.  To plan your day so you approach your art as you would if you were walking into an office everyday. Good advice I have grown to understand and appreciate.  Second, remember to be playful.  Try new things.  He kept a board of characters.  This was a large sheet of paper he would paint people doing various jobs.  Loved seeing these little characters go from the drawing board into his paintings.  He taught me to work ideas out and fill pages, instead of cluttering up my head.  Mainly to be fearless and have fun. 
So these are a few of the things I do to work out ideas and just play.  I keep a board divided into 6" squares where I lay down an idea, colors and practice my stroke.  Painting is a journey.  For me it's important to play with an idea and get it out.  I always like to make room so I can see where I'm going.  I know too it is important to be humble and grateful to the special teachers who I would not have come to this place without.  Thanks Mr Nicholson!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Getting started and leaving white in my pack.

I've been so antsy to paint!  So I started with an exercise avoiding the use of white.  I put aside 30 minutes to jump in and paint.  I like doing this process because it forces me to look at the color on my palette.  I mixed colors together to change values which I might have just reached by using white.  Here I used a photo on my phone and just started.  It wasn't about accurate copying , but about no white, big brush and see what happens.   

Friday, October 3, 2014

Needing a little inspiration

Today I looked at the beautiful cover of Southwest Magazine featuring Ray Roberts.  I thought I would use it as a launching point for working in pastel.  So not going for a copy just a feeling.  I had a few hours to work and try out some washes.  I wiped out areas and tried something else, it was fun and using a master to work on ideas made it easy and fun to play. Thank you!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Study in temperature alone.

Yesterday I started a 2 day workshop with Tom Balderas.  This temperature exercise was challenging.  I think value first and value got shelved for this one.  Using a limited palette of warm and cool for yellow, red, blue and green we went through the process of decided which of these colors would fit each shape.  Lots of mind tweaking.  It was fun and I will try this many many more times.
So for my 30 in 30, I have 2 in 5.  I'm failing the challenge,  oh dear!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ode To The Tree

I am so rusty.  Did this pastel of my tree in the yard that is being removed tomorrow to make room for a big new shed.  Did one of a little shed before this that was way too rough.  It all gets me started.
I commited to Leslie Saeta'ps 30 in 30 for September to knock the dust off and get back to painting.  I can tell you it doesn't come back easily.  I am hoping to stay with it daily for 30 days.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My winning set of Great American pastels to play another day.

Today I realized that I had not played enough with my new set of Great American pastels that won for "Best of Show" PSSC.  And yesterday I had a conversation with friends who wanted to see me work larger.  So today I played large.  Not sure about anything except that I'm enjoying all my materials.  Did a little under painting and then started in with pastel.

Monday, May 19, 2014

New set of Girault greys to play with today!

These are a wonderful texture of soft and easy to work into a surface.  They are not so delicate that you need to worry about breakage.  Colors are highly pigmented.  I applied them straight onto a sample piece of pastel media board.  I rubbed and smeared them and made direct marks as well.  After the greys I dug through a small box of colors I keep by my desk and applied those on top.  It was a few minutes of fun.  Now I must wash dishes and get on with my day.  Try Girault.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Nice to work from the model.  She was dressed in wonderful colors and cultural costume.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Continuing the workshop, post project #3.

The 5 minute gesture.
Blocking in a simple under painting
Pastel application with simple shapes and smart mark making as my primary objective.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Viewpoints Exhibit at Chemers Gallery

I had a great night of art and friends.  Won an award and had a red dot on my painting.  Met the lovely couple that will be taking "Morning Stroll in Crystal Cove" home with them.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Demo and Workshop for Pastel Society of Southern California

Yesterday I did a demonstration followed by a half day workshop for members of PSSC.  It was great fun with a wonderful group of enthusiastic creative folks.   

Here is my 45 minute demo illustrating the uses of dispersion under painting by Guerra Paints followed by an economic application of pastel.  Not finished but to the point.
My examples and some birthday cake too.  

Some photos from the day of students and there work.
Thanks to all who attended and made this a fun creative day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Under Painting to Pastel

I continue to work in pastels in preparation for a demonstration and half day workshop.  We will be studying under painting and how it can support the  underlying plan of our composition.  
Here is the under painting.
Next is with pastel.
Here is the completed painting.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pile Up 1 & 2 , 12x9 pastel

Decided to work on two at the same time today with different under paintings.  I found during the process it mattered a lot what color I was working over.  In the end there is not a strong difference.  My thought is the under painting leads me and I respond it it.  Some lead better than others.  It isn't so much that the paint shows through as much as it simplifies my process..  It can make it easier or give me a fight.  What it does best is it gives me a course and thought process to follow.
Under painting
Pastel applied
Left one finished
Right one finished

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Working Through the Chaos

This painting started with an organized plan.  I set up the still life and got started with my under painting.  I love the painting process.  I have been practicing this part a lot because of the demos I have coming up, but especially because I will be teaching what I do to a group of 17 at a workshop in 17 days.  So much to think about and keep it flowing.  
So this painting jumped on and off the path.  The under painting created a good map to follow, but I covered most of it with pastel.  It is what happens.  Under paintings lead me, but doesn't always take center stage.  It acts as a wonderful supporting cast.  So it is a process full of surprizes.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Just Before the Flowers Die

It's day two with these tulips for me.  They actually have been in my studio since my class last Thursday.  They have given their all.  So today I did the second and last completed pastel with with them.  
Here is the under paint and pastel process.