Monday, March 30, 2015

Plein Air painting....first outing for 2015

Saturday, the 28th, was the first day this year for me  painting outdoors.   First day for trying my new Lammert Paint Box  outdoors as well.  

I had a pastel workshop scheduled for the afternoon at the Fort Madison Art Center and decided to make a full day of painting....starting out by meeting friends that live in the FM area.  We met along the route to Fort Madison from Pulaski.

I followed them to Wilson Lake Park, just off  hwy 2.  We settled on a spot to paint around 9am.   Above is a picture of my friend Carlene Dingman Atwater pastel sketching from her vehicle.

Here is Jessica Kirby in a cozy spot...staying out of the brisk breeze.   Both her and Carlene have been painting outdoors several times already this year.  We thought it would be GREAT to meet up and as I was driving to the park, my car said the temp. was 29 degrees.  I truly had avoided painting outdoors because of the cold air....and here I am....finally excited to be in the sunshine trying out my new paint box and it's below freezing out. (shaking my head here :D  )

....and my set up!  Once I started painting, I didn't notice the cold air.  I had the Sun to my back and the only part of me that became numb was my hand that I was holding pastels with.

The view I decided to focus on.......

......and the beginning.....I'm working on matboard I primed with Colourfix Multi-media fine tooth primer.   

Here shows the "underpainting".  I used Gamsol odorless mineral spirits, brushed on the pastel color you see above.

Here shows where I started applying strokes of pastel over the dried underpainting.  It didn't take very long for the mineral spirits to evaporate.

...and the finished  painting.  "At Wilson Lake Park"  10" x 8"  Pastel on board.

I went on that day to share this technique of applying mineral spirits to pastel with those that attended my workshop.  It was truly fun watching everyone try something they hadn't done before.  One student was so inspired, she's asked if I would come back and give the workshop again.  That was music to my be a part of someone discovering a new way to be creative.  She hadn't tried pastels before.   

I was so caught up in the moment, I had forgotten to grab my camera and take pictures of everyone painting.  Next time, I'll do my best to snap a few photos of everyone.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fun with students

~click on images to enlarge~

Here are a few photos that have been taken of students at two of my classes.  This first one is of the oil painting group that's been attending the once-a-week classes this winter at 

Here's a close up of Jeanne Dixon working away.  She's the owner of the gallery/studio.  Jeanne is best known for her high end fine jewelry which she showcases in the gallery.

Below are a few pictures taken at the most recent pastel workshop held at the Art Center in Kirksville, MO.

Here we're discussing the value range in Meg's work.

Yep...this student was "slightly" aware of the camera, but truly absorbed in his work.

I often hold a students work back for them so they can view it from a distance.  Most are amazed and pleasantly surprised at their handwork.  (it ALWAYS looks different from a distance then when up close and focused on a small area.)

.....and last  is the instructor (me, Me, ME :D ) showing my approach to applying pastel to my primed surface. Yes....this is the Lammert Paint Box & Easel I'm working off of.  

Here are dates for upcoming one day pastel workshops....

March 28th - Fort Madison Art Center, Fort Madison, IA
May 2nd - Courtyard Gallery & Studio, Bloomfield, IA
May 16th - Edina, MO (FULL)
July 11th - Pastel 1 & 2 - Villages Folk School, my studio in Bentonsport, IA
July 25th - Underpainting & Pastel - Villages Folk School, my studio in Bentonsport, IA

I offer a 3 hour - 5 hour - 2 day (12 hour) workshop in either soft pastel or oils.  I also offer tutoring for one or up to three people as private instruction.
Currently there is an on going oil painting class offered at the Courtyard Gallery & Studio in Bloomfield,  This once a week class may be joined at anytime.

For more information about classes or wanting to schedule a workshop, please contact me via email through my website 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Different Landscapes....

I'm sharing info on two pastel paintings I did this week.
 ~ click on image to enlarge~
"7:00am" 12"x 16" Soft Pastel

The above work was created by adding layers of pastel with no "blending" with my fingers.  Just letting the layers of pastel do all the work of creating form and atmosphere.
I also didn't attempt to fill in all the surface of the paper, allowing the texture of it to be part of the finished work.

~click on image to enlarge~
"Morning Glow" 12"x 16"  Soft Pastel

This work  is created on the same primed board as the painting above.  The only difference is I used my fingers to blend (smooth out) the pastels over the surface.

Now, I'm asking for a vote of which style you, the viewer, prefers.

It would've made this easier had I used the same composition for both paintings. Yes, I had a "duh" moment here :D

"Morning Glow" is a view from an East window of our home in Pulaski....just as the Sun is rising. 
"7:00am" (first image here) was created from a picture I took while driving toward Bloomfield one morning last week.    
I love how the sunlight casts bright light at a certain time of the morning.  How it is cut off,
 so to speak, by the horizon line, and makes the top of things "glow" in contrast.

So, I'm anxious to hear which style you like best....Blended? or Not Blended?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life Drawing #2

11"x 14"  Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. Assorted Sauce drawing crayons + Blue & Brown soft pastel on primed board.

It's obvious which medium is which here.  I added the soft pastel around the figure to give it a bit more color.  This is a good example NOT to follow.  If you are going to do something like this, it's best to "blend" to  match the softness created in the figure.  

Now viewing this work on here, I find how I've left this undone,...... too distracting.  My eye definitely doesn't know where to land.  I've lost the importance of my focal point.  

 I may fix this, I may not.  Being the visual person I am, this would be a good example to share with my students when we talk about the importance of texture and edges. 

My critique:    The color in the background of this sketch doesn't compliment the subject.  It would have if I'd softened the application of pastel with my fingers.  Here it shows the texture of the substrate (surface)....making IT the focal point, not my subject. The figure is like a "bystander".  "Okay, there's something curvy in the middle that is white/off white.....Yawn".

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oil paintings hanging at Courtyard Gallery & Studio!

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Here's the grouping of the latest oil paintings hanging now at the Courtyard Gallery & Studio in Bloomfield, IA