“Lamp to My Feet”
5 1/2″ x 11 5/8″ Oil on gessoed hardboard
This painting started as an experiment in trying to paint two surfaces which I find challenging – metal and glass.
Original pastel. 8″ x 12″ on Canson paper
I’ve been wanting to portray this scene ever since I saw it earlier this year, but somehow I could never get the brilliance I wanted using watercolor. Pastel, on the other hand, gives me the opportunity to capture some of that fluorescent look.
Yesterday I spent the better part of the day at an art expo held annually in Burbank, and had a great time strolling among the booths of the trade show, trying out brushes, testing different brands of pastels and experimenting with different kinds of paper. One of the highlights of the show was watching one of the demonstrators in the Winsor and Newton booth make French Ultramarine Blue paint by hand, using various binders and a glass muller. At the end he scooped it up and gave us free samples. The milled paint would be more brilliant, he advised, but I think this has its own beauty.
More about the show later this week, please check back.
Did I mention I’m lusting for Sennelier and Girault soft pastels? This painting (yes, pastels are often called paintings, not drawings) was done with Rembrandt pastels, but I’d sure like to get my hands on some Giraults …
9 x 12″ – pastel on Mi-Teintes paper
I plan on opening an ebay store in the next week or so, and this will likely go in it.
The Amtrak Surfliner goes up and down the Pacific coast through Santa Barbara and passes by the bird sanctuary near Montecito, the inspiration for this artwork.
I just don’t think I’ll ever get tired of drawing and painting eucalyptus trees … their forms have so much variety in color, size, shape of foliage.
Ah, the treasures of fall. First persimmons and now these. Fruit and flowers are in abundance everywhere I look and I want to paint them all. This little pastel is 4″ x 4″ and was so much fun to do – especially the velvety dark centers.
4″ x 4″ pastel on paper
Last Sunday we went to our local farmers’ market and I picked up quite a few unusual fruits from specialized growers. This little fellow is called a Japanese persimmon – a Fuyu, to be more precise. Unlike many other persimmons, it is short and round and looks a little bit like a tomato. I don’t know when it will get sweet but in the meantime I’m going to have a good time painting and drawing it. The oranges, golds and greens in the skin were a powerful lure.
Occasionally I’ll add a bit of pastel to a watercolor to enhance certain colors, but I haven’t done too many lately.
The Tujunga sunset (below) was my first attempt to get back into it (in June) after far too many years.
The good thing about letting your pastels sit around for a awhile is that they don’t dry up, fade or show any signs or deterioration. The bad thing is that your fingers get rusty. But that’s what learning’s all about, and I’m enjoying the process.
Have you revisited a medium that you put aside long ago? What did it feel like when you started up again? Vaguely familiar like riding a bike? Or strange and foreign?
Original watercolor – 10.5″ x 7″ – available
Although much of Santa Barbara is cosmopolitan and sophisticated, there are some rural areas where abandoned roads still sprawl over undeveloped land in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
I wanted to climb over that little wire fence and see where the forgotten path would lead, but I didn’t really want to get stopped or questioned for trespassing. Now that the heat of summer has passed, it’s the very best time of year for getting out and overindulging in the beauty of nature. Within six weeks, the first of the trees will start changing in Southern California and the skies will be a little bluer as the heat haze becomes a memory, blown away by cooler autumn gusts.
It’s a dangerous time for fire, as well, and I hope that this season we don’t see the firestorms that have ravaged parts of our local mountains in previous years.
Do you have a favorite season for getting out and drawing, painting, or photographing nature? Is it this one?