Sunday, January 31, 2016

Plein Aire Dunes

Plum Dunes
9x12 pastel on pastelmat, wine

A first for me, winter plein aire painting, well actually the temperature was at least 50 degrees. I usually plein air paint not far from the car with a wheeled cart full of supplies.  This time I bought a back pack and only took what would fit inside. 

I did this in the studio from a photo before heading out to make sure I had chosen  pastels that would work on the dunes.  I only had to add two colors to my box.  When I got to the beach I had a perfect range of colors but oh there is so much more color in real life than a photo can provide.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Clouds over Lake Massabesic

Clouds over Lake Massabesic

9x12 pastel on pastelmat
Another cloud study - these are fun.  My plan was to study in pastels and do a larger version in oils.  My goal is to complete 100 oil landscapes as a way to improve.  So far I have done one oil landscape and I keep playing with pastels, oh well, my pastels are getting better.

dry underpainting
block in

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cape Sky

Cape Sky
9x12 pastel on pastelmat (tan)

I took the photo reference for this on Cape Cod after a class with Ed Chesnovitch.  The pink under the blue is an influence from Ed.  I usually focus on the land and not the sky so this was different for me.  I really liked working on the clouds so there will be more, maybe I will start a series.

My plan was to do pastel studies of two scenes, "Snow on the Marsh" and "Cape Sky"and choose the one I like best to do a larger oil painting.  I want to try a grisaille and a direct approach to see what works best for me.  I think I will use this image.

I have to keep reminding myself that my journey is to create more landscapes simply to improve, I want to be able to create landscapes like Ed's that take your breathe away.

Snow on the Marsh

Snow on the Marsh
9x12 pastel on pastelmat

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Plum Autumn

Plum Autumn
16x20 oil

This is almost done, I need to let it dry before I put a few finishing touches on it.

I took the reference at Plum Island.  There is a special trail that almost never opened so when I heard it was I headed over with my camera. It was a beautiful clear crisp fall day.

I started the painting with a grisaille and was really pleased with the result and could not wait to add color.  My hope was to finish it in time for my solo show at Sullivan Framing. Things did not go well and so to end my frustration I wiped it out and set it aside.  The ghost image reminded me of my grisaille and how pleased I was with that so I decided to give it another try. Again I started with a value painting in raw umber and then proceeded with the color.  I would like to tweek the bottom edge of the reflections but it is time to let it rest, look at it with a fresh eye and maybe call it done.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's Local

It's Local

I just finished these five 6x6 oils for Sullivan Framing's Feb. show "It's Local".  It was fun doing the photo research and the paintings. I tried a variety of toned panels for these.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Snow Trail

Snow Trail
9x12 Pastel on Pastelmat

I worked on this yeaterday, I am not sure if it is finished.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Little Island Pond Sunset

Little Island Pond Sunset
5x7 pastel

The sunsets over the Pond are spectacular.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Casco Bay Morning

Day 14 of 30 in 30

Casco Bay Morning
Pastel Pencil

I have worked with this reference before.  This time I wanted to crop in close and fade out the background.  I did this with pastel pencils.  It is not exactly what I was looking for.  You win some, you lose some.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lavender Sky Day 12 of 30 in 30

Lavender Sky
9x12 Soft Pastel on Uart 400

Another attempt to loosen up with color as well as technique.  I love the coast line and especially the marshes.  I took the reference photo for this in Maine.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Morning Mist Day 11 of 30 in 30

Day 11 of 30 in 30

Morning Mist
5x7 Pastel on Uart 400

This was an unfinished painting, actually just an underpainting that I decided to work on today. It looks nothing like it's underpainting beginings.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

High Tide, Day 10 of 30 in 30

Day 10 of 30 in 30
 High Tide
5x7 pastel on Uart 400

Today I decided to re-work a painting I was not happy with. This was a scene from Essex MA. I felt I needed more variation in the grass areas and needed to push the background back. It still needs work. Maybe more highlights on some of the grases and more variation in the water colors.

This was the original painting

I washed it down with alcohol to create an underpainting

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Just Before Dawn

Just Before Dawn
8x8 pastel on Wallis Warm Belgium Mist

Yesterday's painting was from my imagination.  This one is from memory, an early morning trip to visit my daughter.

What is different:

  • Started with soft pastels, Terry Ludwigs and Sennelier and blended with hard pastels, Gireault and Nupastels.

My thoughts:

  • I liked this blending technique, I found it my accident searching for the right color.
  • I like this ground, now I am glad I bought several pads when it was available, can't wait for the white version.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Darkest Hour

Day 8 of 30 in 30

The Darkest Hour
6x6 pastel

This was a re-do of an painting I did in Stan Sperlak's class. 
What is different:
  • I cropped it in closer and used mostly sennelier pastels on Wallis Warm Belgian Mist. 
  • I used Ed's technique of putting a hot pink under the sky 
  • I am trying to really push the color
  • This time I remembered to keep a scrap of the same paper near by to test my colors
What I learned:
  • I really working on this Wallis Warm Belgian Mist, I can't wait until the white version is available.
  • It really helps to test colors

Week one is over and I'm still in the game.

Day 7 of 30 in 30

5x7 pastel on UArt


What is different:
  • I tried a warm underpainting that I alcohol washed. I wanted to adjust the tones and not rely on the photo reference for color.

What I learned:
  • If I adjust one color I have to adjust them all.    Originally the grasses were too green and the lavender strokes toned them down nicely. The trees in the upper  left may still be too dark.I liked the looseness in this one.
This is one of my "do ahead" paintings done at the end of December.  I spent yesterday at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston viewing the show Dutch Paintings from the time of Vermeer and Rembrant and today at the Currier gallery to see the Maxfield Parish exhibit.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Marsh Impressions

Day 6  of the 30 in 30 challenge

Marsh Impressions
6x6 Gireault Pastel on Paastelmat, peach

What is Different: 
  • I followed Ed Chesnovitch's advice "Do not be afraid of the color"
My Thoughts:
  • This was just plain fun to paint!
  • I have done this scene many times, again advise from Ed and it really made it all easier.

Marsh Gold

Day 5 of 30 in 30
Marsh Gold
5x7 Gireault pastel on ampersand astelboard

This started out fine with a pastel underpainting that I alcohol washed but I lost control  about half way through. It was almost a wiper but my husband said to wait.  My friend Barbara always tells me that I wipe too soon so I will sit on this a while.  It was almost a relief to be able to say "OK, I painted but I don't expect them all to come out good"

A water color teacher in college said "Paint one painting a week, at the end of a year you will have 52 paintings and if you have two good ones, you have two good ones"

What  is different:
  • This was done with Gireault pastels on ampersand board
My thoughts:
  • The Ampersand is a nice surface but does not hold many layers of pastels. 
  • Gireault are still my favorite. When I separated them from the rest I realized that while some were hardly used, quite a few are almost too small to use.
  • I would like to adjust the composition a little but this board will not take any more layers.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Day 4 of the 30 in 30 challenge

5x7 Soft Pastel on Canson MiTeintes Touch - black

This little tree is famous on Plum Island. It used to have a companion tree but that came down in a hurricane several years ago.  I have heard them called the bean and the pea and also the ball and the glove.  Now it is just lonely.

Just day 4 of the challenge and I am losing speed, this little painting didn't look like it was going to happen.  It is amazing how just one stroke can pull it all together (or turn it into a wiper!)

What is different:
  • I worked on black and tried Stan Sperlak's scratch technique - I think I need a different pin.
  • I remembered Ed Chesnovitch's advise to keep it abstract as long as possible.
What I liked:
  • The black ground helped because I didn't have to remember to put the darks down first.
  • I underpainted the grasses with an orange and when I set in the water line it kept bleeding through.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Just a Dusting

Day 3 of the 30 in 30 challenge

Just a Dusting
6x8 pastel on pastelmat - anthracite 

What is different:
  • Tried a technique that Stan Sperlak told us about - layering pastels on a dark surface and scratching through with a push pin.
  • Used pastelmat instead of my usual sanded surface
What I like:
  • This surface and will use it again.
  • The scratch technique and I will try it on o sanded surface.
  • Skimming the light colors over the dark background

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Winter Marsh

Day2 of the 30 in 30 Challenge

I spent New Years Day at the coast. I photographed on Plum Island, walked the beach and had lunch at Bob Lobster. A great day! This was done from one of my reference photos. I plan to do a larger version.

Winter Marsh 5x7

I did sketches and value studies first and concentrated on the big shapes which I blocked in with both warm and cool darks and lights. I used Terry Ludwigs, Gireault and my new set of pastel pencils.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 1 of 30 in 30

Jan. 1,2016

                                Day 1 5x7 pastel

What is different:
  • Worked from a sketch, not a photo, I do not know where the original photo is or where the actual place is.
  • Used Ampersand pastel board. I have tried this before but didn't like it - time to try again
  • Used only the Stan Sperlak Terry  Ludwig set
  • Deep pink/peach underpainting in the sky and water (thanks Ed Chesnovitch)
  • More emphasis on sky rather than earth (thanks Stan Sperlak)
What I liked:
  • The dark area in the foreground
  • The deep blue at the edge of the foreground grasses
  • Touches of light at the horizon line, maybe houses
  • Mauve in the grasses
  • letting some of the pink underpainting show through