Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back in my Pastel Days

Hidden Falls
Pastel on Paper

I thought it might be fun to show one of my pastel paintings from quite a few years back.  This was before I took up oil painting.  I used to love painting with soft pastels.  I loved the immediacy of the medium and the glowing, rich colors.  But at that time, my studio was a tiny little room in the back of our basement.  It had nice light with two windows.  I would sit and paint for hours and be very content.  The problem was the pastel dust.  I was literally inhaling it.  Then one day I decided to go in a completely different direction and taught myself how to work in oils.

People still say, ooooh I loved some of the pastels you painted.  Why don't you do it anymore?  Well, that was then and this is now.  And there's something about using brushes.  Guess I just found a new love.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things I Learned from Lucy

Lucy was a wild puppy when we got her at 6 months old.  She lived with my brother and sister-in-law for a short while.  They had gotten her from the animal shelter.  We think originally she was a Christmas puppy, but whoever had her couldn't handle her.  Then my husband's brother gave her to us when they had an elderly relative living with them.  Again, too wild.

She was almost too wild for us.  One time she broke my foot when I had her on the leash walking through a forest area.  She didn't mean to.  She just wanted to run and my foot twisted.  For the next two years we constantly walked her and threw the frisbee.  We tried to wear her down a little.  No such luck.

Then one day, she started calming down.  Her true personality shined through and she completely wormed her way into everyone's hearts.  Here's what she taught me:

Be tolerant.  Even with the ungrateful cat.

Chase coyotes off the property.  We need to protect our loved ones.

Wag your tail when you see people you like.

And most of all, never pass up the opportunity to have a good time, like chasing the ball, swimming or playing frisbee.

We had to put Lucy down Monday evening. She let us know that it was time.  I'm sure that right now she's in heaven being a totally wild puppy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Facing West

Facing West
Oil on Linen

This painting is finally completed after lots of layers of glaze and opaque paint.  It requires many, many sessions of back and forth with the layers, examining the effects between drying times.  This is the painting I did from a photograph taken right outside my front door as the sun was going down.  That is to say - it was inspired by the photograph.  You can check it out here.

I'm gearing up for my solo exhibition at the Glen Ellyn Public Library for the month of September.  I have quite a bit of wall space to fill up and I wish I had more tonalist work done at this point.  But it looks like it's going to be half of my tonalist work and half of my impressionism work.  Hmmm.  I hope it doesn't look too strange!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Farm Field Sky

Farm Field Sky
Oil on Linen

The tree line in this painting is taken from a photograph I took at my brother-in-law's farm.  There is a field next to the farmhouse.  The crops are rotated there - one year corn, the next year soybeans.  In this painting, the crops have been harvested.  The farmers come in with huge combines and the job is done in a very short time.

I'm still working on those changes.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Oil on Canvas

While I've been enjoying reading about everyone's painting adventures this summer, I've turned to my studio and realize I need to reorganize.  So this is what I'll be doing in the coming weeks.  Not only am I reorganizing my studio, but I'll be reorganizing my blog and website.  I'll talk more about that later, as the changes actually happen.

For me, the start of the new year is autumn.  When I was a kid I loved getting ready for school and planning for all the new starts and a fresh slate.  New school supplies, clothes and shoes.  Seeing friends again in a new way.  And what better time is there to make plans and mull things over than in the lazy dog days of August.