I finished the two day pastel workshop today and here is my finished project. There were about 15 of us in Dianna Ponting's class and we all worked from a photo of this still life which was taken by Dianna. It was really a lot of fun and I learned so much. She is an incredible artist and teacher. Check out her website. Her work is very photo realistic and is even more beautiful in real life.
I'm going to be taking a 2 day pastel workshop this week so here is my 'before' pastel and we'll see what my next one looks like after the class. This one is done on a mat board that had some texture on it. I usually prefer to work on a sanded surface that is smooth but I do like the texture on this. I don't know if you can see it in this photo but it's there.
Image size 7.5" x 19.5"
This is from a photo of a "castle" we stayed in when we were in Tuscany. We had already been to Venice and Florence and had stayed in very nice hotels and I was very excited that we would be in a castle for our last stop. On the way there, we got stuck in Sienna. Everyone says how wonderful that city is but my memories of it give me nightmares. We were there on a Sunday so everything was closed and after seeing the city we were ready to continue on our journey but we kept ending up at the same intersection. There was one sign that pointed to the highway that we wanted but we couldn't find the road. Of course, nobody we saw spoke English and I was getting hungry (never a good situation). Somehow, we finally got out of town and went to find our castle.
We found the town and stopped to get directions to the castle at their tourist center. The local police were waiting for us when we returned to our car and extorted $60.00 out of us for a parking ticket for parking in a no parking spot (no signs posted). We still hadn't found anything to eat because no restaurants were open in the afternoon. Luckily, our castle included dinner in their price. As we were driving, I happened to be looking at our itinerary and noticed that the cost of the castle was $79.00 a night. This was back in 2001 but still, that seemed way too cheap. Once we got there, of course, we figured it out. We weren't staying IN the castle, we were on the castle grounds in one of their surrounding buildings. The room was nice enough but they wouldn't let anyone in to even see the castle. One person I asked said they were doing renovations and the second person told me that they never let anyone into it. In our room was a notebook with a bunch of rules listed. The one that really cracked us up was "There is a refrigerator on the second floor. Please do not put food or medicine in it." I still haven't figured out why they even mentioned it or what else you would put in it. They made it very obvious that they didn't really want guests there. They probably need the money to pay the taxes on the place, or maybe local parking tickets.
We never found out what the dinner would have included. Some other guests warned us that we would leave the dining room needing to find a restaurant because the offerings were so meager.
It sounds like that part of our trip was horrible but it's actually one of my fondest memories of Italy. Or maybe I should say it is the most memorable....
This is another palette knife painting. The subject matter was probably not the best choice for using a palette knife. It was really hard to do the crenellations on the castle. Oh well, live and learn.
Image Size 8" x 8"
$100.00 Unframed, painted on wood, sides painted, can be hung unframed
Shipping included in continental US
For the last couple of days, I've been playing with painting silk scarves. Usually when I do silk painting, it's very controlled with resist and with a specific design. For these, I just played with the dyes and it was SO much fun! I need to figure out a better way to photograph them. The size of each is either 11" or 14" wide and about 6' long. As soon as I get my act together, I'm going to post them on ETSY along with some of my small paintings and greeting cards with my artwork on them. We'll see how long that takes. I signed up on ETSY about 6 months ago and have never posted anything. It takes me awhile to embrace new things....
Here is another view from our Alaska trip. This was the view from the train that we took from Anchorage to Seward. What a beautiful, relaxing few hours that was for us. The photo for this was taken on the same day as my last painting so the day was overcast and cold feeling but there were such pretty spring greens in the foliage that I wanted to brighten up my colors for a different feel. Isn't it fun to be able to skew colors in a painting and give a completely different look? This was also done with a palette knife but I did put in the tree trunk with a brush. I just couldn't seem to get it right with the knife. Obviously, more practice is needed.
This method is so much like frosting a cake and once that image was in my head, I started having cravings so I made a spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Yummy! I can tell that this palette knife painting phase is going to cause me to gain some weight.
Image Size 6" x 6"
Unframed, gallery wrapped canvas with sides painted, no frame needed
$100.00, no shipping in continental US
Jerry and I just got back from a cruise to Alaska to celebrate our 26th anniversary. I think Alaska is probably the most beautiful place I've ever been. Being from Southern California, I'm not used to seeing huge expanses of green trees in every direction along with wildlife and lots of rivers and lakes. We spent 3 days after the cruise in Vancouver, Canada which is equally beautiful. I finally got to see Buchart gardens in Victoria which has always been on my list of must see places. By the time we came home, my brain was on beauty overload. I took almost 1000 pictures so you will probably be seeing a lot of greenery in my paintings in the near future.
We didn't get home until Saturday so I decided that my painting this week should be small. The colors in this painting are very different from my preferred bright colors but I wanted to capture the feeling of the coldness. Actually, it was in the high 50's but to me, that was cold. I've been admiring palette knife paintings done by other artists so I thought I would try one. Being a control freak, I wasn't sure I would like it because I love to work a painting to death with detail but I had so much fun, I can't wait to do another one. The experience was a cross between doing a home improvement project with drywall compound and frosting a cake. Right now, I'd rather have a cake as a finished project than a painting. Cake is the perfect food group and I would really be happy if one was in front of me because I'm rather hungry.
Image Size 6" x 6"
Unframed, gallery wrapped canvas with painted sides, no frame needed
I work in just about every art medium I can get my hands on with my favorites being watercolor and silk painting. I love to experiment with different mediums and styles of painting. I try to paint every day and will post my paintings here as I finish them. I really appreciate any comments you may have on the paintings. You can sign up below to receive the postings automatically by e-mail. If you would like to see my artwork divided by medium, visit my website. If you would like information on purchasing one of my paintings, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org