August 30th, 2014
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September 25th, 2012
I was sharing images of my work with a fellow artist when he remarked how much he liked the painting Bluegrass Blast. We had been discussing Plein Air painting of which this particular image was not. I said almost apologetically that I did this piece in the studio from a photo." Oh" he said, "but it still has the energy and vibrancy as if it were done plein air. Besides, artists since Vermeer or sooner have been using some sort of optical aid in their art."
The truth is I used several photo references for this piece, combining different images to put together the composition I wanted. As far as I know, neither of these musicians actually played together. But hopefully, this painting convinces you that they were jamming their socks off.
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December 5th, 2011
The painting is near completion. I will wait a few days and look at it more objectively to see if I think it needs any changes or modifications. I want to be careful not to overwork it, so for now I'll call it finished. To the people of the Village Art Association, thanks again for inviting me to do this demonstration. I hope I have shed some light on the use of pastels. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
October 6th, 2011
A lot of times my title simply references what is physically represented by the painting; for example, the painting Forestlight. Sometimes the title descibes what is physically represented by the painting and at the same time alludes to an underlying theme as in the painting Crossing Over.
The title obviously references the fallen trees across the path, but notice that younger tree shimmering with light in the middle ground. This is the cycle of birth and death on the path of life.
Now there are some titles that will have special meaning only for me, until of course I talk about it. The painting Out of the Woods, discussed in previous blogs, has such a meaning. The phrase, out of the woods , was something I heard my father repeat often and described coming out of a difficult situation, such as an illness or natural catastrophe or financial difficulty, almost anything that threatened one's well being and lifestyle.As for the painting Out of the Woods, it alludes to the fact of enduring a long harsh winter and welcoming spring. It also has another special meaning for myself. During that harsh winter I had undergone by-pass surgery. The operation was successful and through a long recovery during the winter months, I had fullly recovered by Spring and was out of the woods so to speak. That Spring, Out of the Woods was painted. Now, what meaning do you think you can attach to the painting, Hidden Waters?
October 1st, 2011
This detail shows the loose and swift application of pastel, keeping the work open to suggestion and creating lots of movement. Save on Prints & Posters
October 1st, 2011
Generally when working on Wallis Sanded paper or Pastel Board , I first create an underpainting using an oil wash, a very diluted mixture of oil paint and mineral spirits or turpentine. I am not looking to paint any really defined imagery at this stage but I am trying to keep it rather loose and open to suggestion, as a set-up for the layers of pastel. The accompaning image here was the underpainting for "Out of the Woods" as seen on the homepage.
September 30th, 2011
After the oil wash is dry I begin to apply the first layer of pastels with the harder grades of soft pastel such as Nupastels and Rembrandts. I begin around the focal area and work outward from there. I use the most range of color and value in the focal area. Other areas of the composition will be less intense in color and value.
All areas of the painting have been worked with pastel to a certain degree.The distant trees at the horizon are softened to indicate atmospheric perspective and create a sense of distance. In actuality, those trees were much closer but I felt the need to push them back to create more space in the composition.