Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter landscape series - River Path, pastel

After what seems like an eternity on my easel, I finally have something to show...

River Path
12x12 inches - pastel on black cardstock
© S.Johnson
I expected to finish this last Thursday.  Then, I decided I didn't like the original effort, done on light brown cardstock.  It was well into Thursday, and I was much further along when I decided to bail on this version than what you see in the photo, which was shot at the end of the first session.

I originally took the photo below intending to show it as an in-progress for the finished piece, just for kicks.  Working from memory for the second session, when I finally turned my laptop on to view the reference, the colors I had chosen for the grasses were off.  Wrong temperature, wrong value...just plain wrong.  Plus, I thought the whole thing just looked anemic on the lighter paper.

So, I started again on a piece of black cardstock, and worked from the original painting for the first part, vs. the photo, for the final version - similar to working from a plein air study, I guess.  The final version subsequently resembles the reference photo even less - a good thing.

I probably would have had it finished then on Saturday, but my sister came up to spend the weekend, and of course, nothing got done on it.  The storm that rolled through the region yesterday delayed her departure for a day due to dicey road and driving conditions, so after she left today, I sat down and motored through the rest of it.

So, here we are, 5 days later, and it's finally done!

The primary reason I wanted to have this ready to post on Thursday is so I could share the link to a blog post in a timely fashion by Antonia and Fabio DueAlberi  featuring their interview with me.  Antonia and Fabio are fellow Etsian shop owners, and that is how I came about meeting them online, and discovered their blog.  When they inquired if I would be interested in being featured on their blog, I happily agreed.

Please have a look at their blog, linked above, featuring their wonderful floral and botanical photography.  Their collaborative efforts produce beautiful and unique images that always make me ask:  "How did they do that?"  I certainly couldn't create photos like theirs, which makes me appreciate their work all the more.

Oh yes - here's the link to their interview last Thursday with me.  Thank you again, Antonia & Fabio, for your generosity and support of fellow artists here in the blogosphere!


  1. This painting really pops off the screen, the contrast is great. Is this all that's left of the snow, I thought you had 18 inches or so?

    I enjoyed reading your interview, I think it came off quite well.

  2. Thanks, Dan. I was drawn to the contrast (and the shadows, of course!) during the walk when I took the photo. Actually, the reference photo was taken a few days after the pre-Xmas snow; we only got about 3-4", I think. I went earlier last week, walked down this same path, and the snow was 100% melted...

    The storm we got 3 days ago gave us 7", though - woo!

  3. This piece is really lovely, Sonya. I love seeing your process photos, too. As always, very inspiring! Stay warm, okay?

  4. Love the shadows! Great composition - very nicely done!
    Congrats on the great interview, too ;-)

  5. i'm so glad you stuck with it because it turned out great. Nice detail and design. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This piece and the previous "Winter Reflections" both have a wonderful, intimate sense of place. Well done, Sonya!

  7. Hi Darla, thanks so much for your comments. It is actually suppose to be close to 50 today - the snow is melting fast!

    Thanks Debbie - the shadows were what grabbed my attention, along with the path, in this photo. I love painting shadows on snow! I'm glad you enjoyed A&F's interview ;).

    Hi Sheri - thank you kindly. I liked the composition and other aspects of the painting, so I felt it was worth starting from scratch to make a better version. Thank you for stopping by!

    Hi Don, thank you for your thoughtful comments. You are a master of the winter western landscape, so your comments mean a lot.

  8. I just LOVE the way you paint shadows on snow. It looks cold and beautiful! You are a master of snow!

  9. Hi Crystal, thanks - what a sweet thing for you to say! I guess it helps when you like painting a subject so much :).

  10. Thank you, Sonya, you are so talented!!!

  11. Aw, that is sweet of both of you to say! I think much of it is just perseverance and doing lots of painting.


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

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