This month, the challenge was hosted by accomplished soft pastel and landscape artist, Paula Ford. Please go take a look at her art blog to see her pastoral paintings of Tennessee and countryside of the southeastern part of the US. The photos provided were those she took, and represented the four seasons. In spite of the fact that: 1) winter is not my favorite season; 2) my first and true love is the western and southwestern landscape; 3) I generally prefer to use my own reference photos. Not only do they have personal relevance to me as to the location and what in particular inspired me to take the photo, but I also know what the light, shadows and color was all about and can correct for such shortcomings in the photograph. I was nonetheless quite drawn to her photos, the winter and spring in particular (spring has a big barn, and I love old buildings and barns!). I love the sense of quiet and stillness winter brings, and Paula's photo captured the essence of that, along with providing things important to me for an interesting landscape - open space and variety.
I had originally planned it as a loose, rather quick study, but it didn't go that way. I found myself getting caught up in the fun detail of the sky, trees and water. Plus, it was good practice for doing water reflections and stands of evergreens. It turned out better than I expected.
I have a ton of projects in mind for paintings, but this was a nice change and I found it not difficult to be inspired to paint it even though I've never been to Old Forge, NY.
"Winter in Old Forge, NY"
11x7 pastel on 400-grit sanded paper