I spent the day at my new studio doing this companion painting to Colorado morning. This time I decided to use alcohol to give myself solid color in the shadow areas. The result was a really dark underpainting! I began by putting hard pastel in the un-painted areas, then moved to Giraults and soft pastels. I started with the same aqua for background mountain and road, which didn’t work real well as the road had to be darker. But a little of it shows through and I like that. I struggled with the dark, particularly the area under the trees. But it’s probably easier to lighten than it is to fill in a lot of little orange holes! And I’m pleased with the way it came out. I kept feeling that it needed warmth and the last thing I did was to brush burnt orange into the foreground and the shadow area behind the fence. Really liked it! I decided to add the two poles and the wire at the last moment as well and was glad that I did. Would love to hear your comments! Let me know if you are having problems. email@example.comNow, to get ready for England!
Here are three images of my studio with the new tables and hanging system and 14 of my paintings on the walls! These are some of my favorites and it’s so wonderful to have them hanging in a space where people will see them, instead of being stacked in our guest room. The Walker hanging system arrived on Wed. and John spent much of yesterday getting it installed. I’m hanging pictures on two walls. Hope to have a window cut into the right wall (will look into corridor that leads to gallery and teaching studio). This Sunday it is supposed to rain and I plan to be there doing a companion piece to the painting on the easel. I LOVE using my new box and having carts on both sides. I have a high chair that I station at the right place where I can step back, sit, and evaluate. The tables will hold unframed paintings during openings and can accommodate 6 students during classes and workshops. I am really excited about this space. We are going to be introducing Third Thusdays in Sept. and I”ll be there on the 19th and hope that those in the area can come by. I’ll be in England from Aug. 24-Sept. 7 so no blog posts then. But hopefully, I’ll get a painting done Sunday and can send it to you. We are having gorgeous end of summer weather here–hope it’s equally nice where you are! I want to mention that it’s wonderful not having any spam from the blog, however, I haven’t had any comments either! If you are having problems, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you!
Friends–I finally dealt with the spam problem on this blog. It means that you will have to identify those funny letters when posting a comment, as will new subscribers. But it will keep the Asians, the drug companies, the viagra dealers, and Ralph Lauren from bombarding my email account! I currently have over 3800 spam messages awaiting my approval! My concern has been that in my haste to rid them from my inbox, I would miss a legitimate post from a real live pastel artist! I hope I haven’t missed any of yours. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully, it will make life more managable at my end.
In other news, 2 96″ tables came to my studio today (well, John and I had to drag them up from the back door). This is going to allow me to give 6-person classes and workshops, as well as extensions to the classes in the big room. And for the two openings a month, I can push them against the wall and use them for unframed work. Next week my new hanging system arrives and I’ll have paintings lining the walls! It will be so nice to get them out of their (seemingly permanent) resting spot in our downstairs bedroom!
I spent today at my new studio with a 20 x 24 sheet of prepared Rives and a black and white photo from Colorado. This was taken near Salida on an early morning walk with very strong light and shadows. I toned the paper with burnt umber light–I wanted it to be more neutral and I really liked it. Then decided to start with hard pastels to lay in the shapes–something I didn’t do with the others. I found this to be a good way to start and have included the photo. I worked slowly from hard, to Girault, and finally to soft. Used a lot of Unisons and Schminckes, and Ludwig blue violets in the road. I had a CD player and listened to Bach and Welsh folk music! I really enjoyed being there in my own little world. I also filmed my new box so you can see the beautiful array of colors. At the top are the hard pastels and below them the Giraults. The soft are arranged the way I have my large box at home, with 7 columns for the various hues and the last for grays. Having all three kinds of pastel in one box is REALLY nice! So handy. And the pastels are so clean and beautiful.
I’m still not sure about this picture! I did it on Saturday and worked on it more yesterday. Decided to share it with you for your comments. The original photo is all light greens with yellow in the distant field. I decided to use more earthy colors, mixing warms and cools in the marshes. The foreground was a real challenge. Very busy in the original photo. I did one version and brushed it down. Put a warm orange on to simulate the original tone, sprayed it with fixative, and went over it with color. I tried to keep it simple and not too distracting. But I liked the yellow flowers that were in the picture. They tie the distant yellow to the foreground. I started with more of a tree in the dark area and really hated it! So I brushed it off as much as possible and changed it to a bush and like it much better. Lesson to me: get your composition figured out before you jump into it! I teach this to others but I’m always eager to get to the painting. The sky and water are a light violet with some warm aqua and light red violet. They look kind of blah in this image! I thought about using a more bright day blue sky, but I kind of like the quietness of the violet. Would welcome opinions. Yesterday I cut the foam for my box and filled it with pastels. I got out my boxes of Schmincke and Great American and Unisons and put lots of colors in that I’ve never touched! Tried to get as many Ludwigs in as possible (never got a complete set of these). There’s also a separate row for the Giraults and hard pastels. It’s beautiful and it will be carefully transported to my new studio this morning. I told John yesterday that I was doing things backwards. I should be keeping the new box here and using my large Heilmann box to take to the studio, as it closes and is transportable! But the new box was designed to fit on my cart and I’m sure it’s going to be great. Will send a picture.
Last night was the opening of an abstract show at the Capitol Arts Network (CAN) and the first time for me in my studio. I signed the lease on Thursday and we moved in an easel, two carts, the card table and a shelf that we found in the basement. John spent all day yesterday getting the shelf up. I placed four of my most successful plein air paintings on it (actually, I have very few others!). This week he made a pastel box for me that will be placed on top of the cart to the right of the easel (a chef’s cart from the Container Store that I got marked way down!). I had to steer people into the studio as it is somewhat hidden. But I’ll be getting a window to the corridor installed that should make a big difference. I hung my painting “Yellow House in Winter” in the hall just outside the door and that was a good draw. Most importantly, I had very positive feedback from the people who came. They loved the Taos pictures and the two Sepowet paintings. This is a new undertaking–and an expensive one!–but I’m hoping it’s going to work. I want to teach more and I can give small workshops or extensions of my classes in my studio. I will be ordering two long tables and the Walker hanging system. At last, paintings that have been hiding in my basement can be on the walls here in public view. And it’s really, really nice to be able to show unframed brand new work, something I’ve never been able to do. So I’m excited. I hope the place will really take off and I hope that I’ll enjoy painting and teaching in this new space. But for today–a rainy, quiet day–I’m going to begin a new Sepowet picture in my home studio.