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.
In honor of “Uncle Phil” Algozzini who passed away recently at the age of 82. This portrait was done as part of the Hobe Sound Project a few years ago – the exhibit wouldn’t have been complete without him, just as Hobe Sound isn’t complete without him. His portrait is as colorful as he was. He was such a supportive person that he claimed he liked this painting, but it scared one of his nieces. Algozzini’s Hawaiian Shop is on Rt. 1 in Hobe Sound, FL.
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.
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:
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.
If it would stop raining I’d take them for a test ride.:)
This was a quick study that I did some time ago. Since I’m working on something else right now, I’m not able to post that painting until it’s finished. Pastels go through an ugly stage that I don’t share with anyone. My husband used to pass by my works in progress and think the paintings were horrible, but then would be surprised when he saw the finished product. He would be seeing the first layer of pastels. Although all the layers contribute to the final painting, they sort of disappear eventually – or visually mix together. So the first layer is usually the undertones, the shadows and might not even be the right shape yet. It’s all very scratchy and scrawly. It’s a different story when using an underpainting though and one of these days, when I have a chance, I’ll post that process.
Hopefully the new painting will have the same energy that this does. However, there won’t be any bouganvillas in it, but plenty of other flowers.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
A few years ago I did a special project that I called “The Hobe Sound Project” where I left post cards around town and asked everyone to tell me what they wanted me to paint and in the spring there would be a show of all the paintings. This particular painting is one of my favorites from that project. It’s a pastel on La Carte pastel paper. This paper has a lot of tooth to it and it has a luscious look to it when you fill the tooth, probably from the coating, which they say is vegetable matter, and I think some cork. You can’t use liquids on it though because it will just fall apart.
Harry and the Natives is located on the main intersection of Hobe Sound at Route 1 and Bridge Road and serves local delicacies, such as gator burgers. The street light is from the old part of Hobe Sound and there isn’t actually a glass globe on it but I thought it needed one.
The actual title of this painting is “Postcard from Paradise” but it’s the usual spot at Hobe Sound Beach. This was done from a photograph that I had taken, actually I had taken many photographs that day because while I was there painting another painting more umbrellas kept popping up. I wanted to be sure that I had the maximum number of umbrellas and this is what I ended up with. The beach drops off and people set themselves up on the edge of the dune.
This is a pastel painting on Wallis Museum Grade paper. It’s a decent size – 18×24 and I started with a water color underpainting. The underpainting is mostly a block in of complementary colors. So, in the grassy foreground I used a reddish brown and pink for the sky and water. An underpainting also saves on pastels, because the Wallis paper is a sanded paper that will eat up the pastels fairly quickly.