When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"...the painting has a life of its own. My mission is to bring forth this life". (Jackson Pollock)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

Seasonal

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Flowers series: Hydrangea

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Blue Hydrangea, 18 x 24 inches graphite on 80 lb premium

Blue Hydrangea, 18 x 24 inches graphite on 80 lb premium

The flower gardens have really filled in this year, so there’s a lot of subject matter to work with. Earlier this week:

Blue Flag Iris, 24 x 18 inches graphite on paper     Gladiolas, 24 x 18 inches graphite on paper

Blue Flag Iris

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Blue Flag Iris, 10 x 10 x 1 inches  oil stick on canvas

Blue Flag Iris, 10 x 10 x 1 inches  oil stick on canvas

Spring Garden Mix

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Spring Garden Mix, 18H x 24 inches Oil Pastels on 80 lb acid free

Spring Garden Mix, 18H x 24 inches Oil Pastels on 80 lb acid free

BlossoMania

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

BlossoMania, 12H x 16W Oil Pastels, using Oil Blending and Glazing Medium on paper

BlossoMania, 12H x 16W inches Oil Pastels on 80 lb acid free, painted with Oil Blending and Glazing Medium.

I’ve been admiring the round masses clumped on the Plum tree branches in our neighbor’s back yard for a week or so now. Yesterday and today, pink swirls in the wind…

Petals are falling, the sky is blue
They cover everything, old and new
If I sit too long, I’ll be covered too!
~

Plum Blossom Mania, Original size 18H x 24 inches Oil Pastels on 80lb

Above: the finished piece, which was cropped from the original size (left), 18H x 24 inches. Blogging always reveals a different perspective. If I had not cropped the original (left image)  in order to post details here, I might never have recognized that the cropped portion is quite complete, and I’m satisfied with it after only a few hours of work.

I still recommend taking work past  its prime once in a while, a decision best made when there’s a lingering sense dissatisfaction with it. In order to  push a painting’s boundaries and your own to see what’s possible, honesty is key, and making the call is different each and every time. Have a look at work from afar or from photos or blogging, and take breaks often!

 

Celosia – work in progress

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Celosia, April 19th in progress, 18H x 24W inches Oil pastels on 100% cotton paper

Celosia, April 19th in progress, 18H x 24W inches Oil pastels on 100% cotton paper

I felt as dissatisfied with this piece today as when it was tucked away a month ago, so with nothing to lose, I jumped back in and threw more color around. I splurged today and bought about 40 new oil sticks, and highly recommend the ”Sennelier” brand. Wow, they are so intensely colorful and creamy-beautiful to work with! There is no contest as far as quality, compared to any of the other brands I’ve been using. Tomorrow: the plan is to continue building and removing colors, but not so much that they become muddled. I’m loving the colors – an unusual palette for me.

Celosia, 18H x 24W inches Oil pastels on 100% cotton paper, in progress

Left, March 22nd, 2013, Day 4 in progress

Reminiscent of retro sofa fabric, now that I see it on-screen! Usually leaving page space showing through to create light and brightness, this time I colored the entire page yellow before starting. Adding white did not help brighten areas much, but did muddle colors, helping some flowers recede. Much of the pure color as seen in the early versions has been covered up or removed, but will be re-added cautiously. The style has also gradually changed to more of a Representational/Impressionistic one. To finish, there will be more scrutiny, and fewer emotional responses before adding or removing anything else.

Celosia, 18H x 24W inches Oil pastels on paper, Stage 02 in progress   Celosia, 18H x 24W inches Oil pastels on paper, Stage 04 in progress   Celosia, 18H x 24W inches Oil pastels on paper, Stage 06 in progress

March 20th through 22nd; Days 1, 2, and 3

Zinnias

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Zinnias, 24 x 36 inches graphite on paper, finished

Zinnias, 24 x 36 inches graphite on paper. Using an eraser just as much as the graphite, marks are initially roughed in to fill the page with enough smudges and dark tones to work with; some removed, some detailed. Initial plans were to create a drawing with about 4 inches of grey tones bleeding into a colorful central square to be drawn and painted with watercolor pencils, similar to Chrysanthemums,with borders more defined. However, I got lost in the fun of drawing, and too much graphite would muddle colors. In future I would simply outline the subject lightly first, then add colors, gradually filling in tonal details afterward. Back to the drawing board!

Flamboyant Tree flowers and seed pods

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Flamboyant Tree flowers and seed pods, 9 x 12 inches oil pastels on paper

Flamboyant Tree flowers and seed pods (Chapala, Mexico), 9 x 12 inches oil pastels on paper. I started this before ‘Deciduous Forest’, posted previously, so finished it while the resist medium dried.

Northern Delights 04

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Northern Delights 04, 12 x 16 inches watercolors on 120 lb cold pressed premium paper

Applying resist medium 1. Northern Delights 04, details 2.

Northern Delights 04, 12 x 16 inches watercolors on 120 lb cold pressed 100% cotton paper

1. Applying resist medium 2. Watercolors, a limited palette, were also dripped down the page, and colored pens add more details

Sumac

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Sumac 12 x 16 inches oil pastels on paper

Sumac 12 x 16 inches oil pastels on 140 lb W/C paper

I’m so tempted to go back into this and make it bolder, but am going to quit while I’m ahead. This piece has a base of watercolor crayons, which I hadn’t heard of before and was excited to try. With expectations to complete a piece today, I wasn’t too impressed that the rough crayon color marks remain on the page, and the colors are weak. With more experience, those properties can be used to advantage, but not without an open frame of mind toward experimenting….so oil pastels are layered, then scratched away using fingernails.

 

Fields of Flax – Rowley, Alberta Canada

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Fields of Flax, 12 x 16 inches watercolors on paper and digital painting

Fields of Flax

Rowley, Alberta Canada, 12 x 16 inches watercolors on paper and digital painting, preliminary study for larger acrylics painting

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