Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Drawing Practice

I'm taking some time off from painting.  It feels really strange, but I need some vacation time.  And I want to hang out with the kids before school starts, I have a lot of paintings to frame, and I need to get things done around the house that I've been neglecting.  I'm forcing myself to stay away from the easel for a while, because otherwise I won't get anything done.

Since I don't have any new paintings to show, and likely won't for another month or so, I thought I'd show you a quick one I did a while ago just for drawing practice.  Of course, it's not perfect, but that's the beauty of doing something just for practice.  I don't have to try to make it perfect.  I take it as far as my mood allows, then it gets thrown into a box.

10" x 8"
Soft Pastel on Suede Matboard

I hope the remainder of your summer is excellent, and I will see you in the fall.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying Pan Pastels

To tell you the truth, I've never been tempted to buy Pan Pastels.  Part of what I like about soft pastels is a tactile thing - being able to hold them and blend with my hand, painting with nothing between me and the paint.  I didn't think I would like Pan Pastels (if you don't know what Pan Pastels are, click here to find out).  However, since I recently received them for free (my award for the Pastels USA show) I took the opportunity to experiment with them.

I started with a sheet of Pastelmat paper.  This support seems perfect for the Pans.  There were lots of tools included, so I pulled out a large oval sponge and spread green all over the paper.  It was awesome!  It took just a few minutes and didn't require the blending that my other pastels would have needed.  Using the other tools took a bit of getting used to, and was a bit awkward for me.  Sometimes I liked the results, sometimes not.  Of course, I had to supplement colors from my existing pastel stock.  I found I could use the tools with softer pastels (like Terry Ludwigs) in the same manner as the Pans, but it didn't work with my Mount Visions.  However, the tools blended the Mount Visions just fine on the paper.

Turns out, I liked the Pans much more than I thought I would.  I particularly liked being able to cover a large area so quickly and easily.  I wouldn't want to use them exclusively, but I think they are a nice addition to my existing stock of pastels.

19.5" x 27.5"
Soft Pastel on Pastelmat

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pastel Society of America Exhibition

My painting “Sweet” was accepted into the Pastel Society of America’s 38th Annual Open Juried Exhibition for “Pastels Only.”  This was my first time entering the competition, and I’m thrilled to be among those who were accepted for the exhibition.  I understand there were well over 1200 entries and only 160 paintings were chosen, so this is a huge honor.  I have seen some of the quality work that was declined, and feel incredibly fortunate to be included.
The exhibition is being held at The National Arts Club in New York, NY from September 7 through October 2, 2010.  Please see the Pastel Society of America’s web site for details.

9.5 x 12.5"
Soft Pastel on La Carte

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Guitar Player in Pastel

I finally finished the pastel I've been working on.  This one was uncooperative and a bit of a struggle to paint, but overall I'm happy with the results.

27.5" x 19.5"
Soft Pastel on Pastelmat