Fields of Gold

11″ x 11″ Mixed media, watercolor and pastel. Unframed.


Well, I have finally decided to take the plunge and list something on eBay. Thanks to all the friends who have written me and given me the push to make it happen.

Prompted in part by the recent Illustration Friday theme of Farm, which I missed last week … and prompted also by the Ebay Art Squared (Art2) September theme of “Illustrate a song” – I decided upon one of my favorites, Sting’s “Fields of Gold.” I can scarcely think of another contemporary ballad that speaks to me so well about the cycles of life and love and enduring devotion. When the theme, the song and the concept came together, it just felt right. The Art Squared group theme features artwork that is in a square format, from very small up to 14″ x 14″.

Enjoy the lyrics again – or for the first time – here.

This mixed media painting comes partly from the imagination and partly from my reference files. After doing a smaller sketch on Stonehenge paper, I painted this directly on 140# watercolor paper, using several large brushes both rounds and flats. When those underlayers were finished and completely dry, I still found that it needed a little something extra. But I didn’t want to risk muddiness with glazing, so I reached for my pastels instead, adding more color to the clouds, the barley fields and foreground trees. Sometimes you just have to improvise.


  1. lin
    September 18, 2006

    LOVELY and EVOCATIVE, Karen!!! Love the illo for the words too!

  2. Jana Bouc
    September 18, 2006

    This is beautiful! I think the pastels added just the right depth, color and texture. I’d love to see the square painting place on ebay and your link for sale. Will you post it?

  3. Renate
    September 18, 2006

    The golden glowing field is gorgeous. Beautiful!

  4. Diahn
    September 18, 2006

    Fabulous, Karen! I’d say you should improvise more often! I love the addition of the pastels in this piece. Just the little bit of purplish really makes these fields of gold sing!

  5. TeriC
    September 18, 2006

    It’s gorgeous!! Interesting use of WC and pastel.

  6. Margaret McCarthy Hunt
    September 18, 2006

    Magnificient…love the white shining thru in the fields….looks like the sun glinting…

  7. Karen
    September 18, 2006

    Thank you, all …

    The rough texture of the paper is very hospitable to pastel. It’s not like the tooth of pastel paper, but the pigment catches on the high spots which gives it an interesting look. It’s just as permanent as watercolor, though. Once it’s there , it’s there for good.

  8. Nina Johansson
    September 18, 2006

    I just love that sky! And the little spots of blues and purples in the fields and among the trees add a lot of interest and life to this. Wow!

  9. Frank Bettendorf
    September 18, 2006

    Really wonderful! I love the choice of colors, the sweeping image of the fields, and how cleverly you mixed the media. Congrats!

  10. Jana Bouc
    September 18, 2006

    I can see the link now. Either I was blinded by sleepiness last night, or it wasn’t showing up then. And you’ve already got one bid on it! It will be interesting to see how it works out for you. Did you set a minimum selling price?

  11. Linda
    September 18, 2006

    KAREN! This is super! Love the combination of watercolor and pastel — gotta go try that this week. I know you’ll sell this one — it’s great!

  12. Toni
    September 19, 2006

    Simply beautiful!! Best to you on selling your art. So glad you took the step and it is inspiring for me to get off my butt and do something also.

  13. Fran aka Redondowriter
    September 20, 2006

    I bet you will sell like hotcakes on eBay, Karen. Haven’t visited lately and it’s so good to see all your lovely work. I actually sketched Cookie a few times and put them up at Sacred Ordinary yesterday. Amateurish, but I finally gave drawing a crack! How’s life?

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