Turtle Lake

Turtle Lake
Turtle Lake – Pastels on sanded paper – 9×12

This lake is located within the community that we live in.  It actually doesn’t have a name, as far as I know.  Out in the middle there is a small raft that turtles and the occasional alligator sun themselves. Turtle Lake seems like a good name.

The pastel painting was started with a water color underpainting.  Just using the maroon color in the land masses and a rosy pink in the sky and lake enables me to then quickly put in the middle values.  You might notice that I didn’t use any green.  Honestly, I just felt like not using green so this is probably considered a tonalist painting.

Dad’s 54 Chevy Truck

Dad's 54 Chevy Pickup
Dad’s 54 Chevy Pickup – pastels on mat board 11×14

In honor of Father’s Day I thought I’d post this pastel of my father’s truck.  Don’t be surprised if I post it again next year!  It’s not a new painting, but a favorite.  He never finished restoring the truck so that I could paint the “after” shot, but he did see and love this painting.

This pastel is done on a maroon piece of acid free mat board that I sanded a bit to give it a little more tooth.  When you sand mat board or paper (sometimes it helps to rough up Canson paper before using it too) you should use a very fine sanding block, not regular sand paper.  The block is sturdier and won’t make unwanted bends, folds or marks on the paper. Just a gentle once over is enough.

John Pierce Barnes

There was an interesting article in the June issue of “Pastel Journal”  titled “History Reclaimed” about John Pierce Barnes (1893-1954), an impressionist artist, who was discovered recently.  The pastel paintings that they show on the Pastel Journal website are stunning.  In order to avoid any problems I haven’t included any pictures of his paintings here.

This link is to the Pastel Journal Blog:

http://www.artistsnetwork.com/medium/pastel/john-pierce-barnes-gallery

You can read the story in the following link,  about how the curator of his paintings, Katherine Stanko, learned that the paintings existed and had been in storage since the artists death or maybe longer.

“THE RESURRECTION OF ARTIST JOHN PIERCE BARNES, RCA Worker and Impressionist Painter” By Hoag Levins is here:

http://historiccamdencounty.com/ccnews145.shtml

What inspires me the most is how wonderful his color choices were and his bold strokes.  Many pastelists blend the heck out of their work and it thrills me to see unblended work from the 1920’s.  It is also pretty easy to put together his very simple plein air palette from his work, which, of course, I had to do.  It seems to be very limited, which is great for going out on location.  Possibly, he had a small landscape set – I don’t know what was available in the ’20’s.  I managed to fit all the colors into a small 5″x4″ box – it doesn’t get better than that!

Since I don’t keep the names of my colors, and now realize I have way too many colors, yet, not enough of these colors, I’ve made a color chart of what his palette probably was.

John Pierce Barnes Palette
John Pierce Barnes Palette – it looks a little dark here but see below for actual pastel sticks
pastels for plein air
pastels for plein air – in a little cigar box

If it would stop raining I’d take them for a test ride.:)

 

 

Through the Oaks

Through the Oaks
Through the Oaks – 18×26 – pastels on sanded paper

This is from Adams Ranch in Ft. Pierce, FL where the live oaks grow undisturbed.  They are huge trees with far reaching limbs.  A bit farther down this dirt road on the ranch is a picnic area with a giant tree house.

I’m getting ready to start a new commission and while taking stock, making sure there were plenty of pastels in the box and planning my approach this painting came to mind.

The new painting won’t have a path with dappled light but many of the colors will be the same, as well as the size.

Better get to work!:)

Magnolias!!!!!

Magnolia – 11×14 – pastel on paper

The magnolias are blooming like crazy this year – or more than they have in the past – I tend to exaggerate.  We have two trees in the yard.  One in the front and one in the back.

They are the big trees with the big flowers.  They smell great!  Some magnolia trees in the neighborhood are dwarf trees with the big flower, which is nice because the flowers are lower.  With the big tree it’s hard to even get a good photograph of the blooms because they are so high.  However, once in awhile, if you can catch it at the right moment (the flowers peak on one day and then they’re done!) blooming on a lower branch you’ll be able to at least have a photograph to work from.

Repeating Myself Again

Here is one of my favorite painting spots at Jonathan Dickinson State Park on the bank of the Loxahatchee River.  In the past I’ve seen very large gators here and often there are kayakers going by too.  Not together.

This first plein air is done on an 8×10 panel that I made with a gritty coating to give the surface texture.  It’s done in pastels, pure brilliant pigment – in stick form – better than crayons!

Loxahatchee River
Loxahatchee River – 8×10 Pastel on Textured Panel – the gesso mixture used was also tinted light cadmium red and you can see the surface coming through

Next on the Loxahatchee, same place different day and time, was also a textured panel – much bigger and was done as a class demonstration.  The class wanted to also see how to underpaint so I used some rubbing alcohol over the pastels, which solidified the background.  Then I waited a bit for the painting to dry and finished the pastel on top.

 

Loxahatchee Again - 12x16 Pastel on Panel
Loxahatchee Again – 12×16 Pastel on Panel

Wait, I’m not done – there’s one more for now – this one is same place – of course a different day and time and different paper!  Viewpoint is slightly farther down on the river bank.  This one is my favorite – it too has an underpainting – this time with watercolor.

Banks of Loxahatchee - 9x12 - Pastel on sanded paper
Banks of Loxahatchee – 9×12 – Pastel on sanded paper

The watercolor underpainting is a great tool.  You can get some great darks in without getting too messy and build some beautiful shadow areas.  Also the pink undertone in the sky and water adds luminosity and air.

Looking at all these together like this makes me want to go there again.

I can’t promise that these are all the paintings that I have done or will do of the Loxahatchee River.

The same path

So, after I posted and edited and updated “This Way to the Beach” I was thinking about it and it seemed like something that would be a fun monotype print.  Apparently, that thought ran across my mind before because here it is – done already:

This Way to the Beach Again

In fact, it’s posted on my original WordPress blog, that I haven’t been using because it didn’t link me to my location.

That blog is found at: http://useallthecrayons.wordpress.com/ and oddly enough, my last post was on monotypes, this one included.   Hope you don’t mind the resurrection.

Please let me know if there is  too much redundancy because obviously it doesn’t occur to me.  Sometimes I’ll draw or paint the same thing until it’s right or because it’s a pleasant composition.  Don’t you think it’s interesting to see how the same subject looks with different mediums?

Chorus Line

Chorus Line
Chorus Line, 8x10 Oil on Panel

The practice of setting up a small still life and limiting the time you spend on it has been around for a long time and it’s a practice that I enjoy.  Some of the most inspiring subjects are in the produce department and I find myself there testing the bartlet pears quite often.  Most people might be looking for softness, ripeness, but my tests are: can the pear can stand on it’s own, is it a shapely pear, and of course, how good is the color?

Once they’re home with me, I set them up with dramatic lighting, as if they are on stage!  With this painting my goals were to improve my brush work and to keep the colors light and appealing.

Using a bristle flat brush is greatly improving my brush work since it holds more paint and the marks are showing how luscious the paint is.  The pears were juicy and luscious, so they should be depicted that way.  My palette is a simple rainbow palette that I’ve been using for years but I’ve lightened things up now, reminding myself to stay in the higher value range.

The Soloist - 5x7 oil on panel

This guy needed his portrait painted and didn’t have anything to do with that other group.

Thanks to the sale a Jay Mar, I’m stocked up on canvas now and will be painting more still lifes in the near future.

My collection of thrift store finds will be a future series of paintings and great composition practice.

Feel free to give me feedback or ask any questions in the comments section and thanks for looking!