Friday, November 9, 2012

Back from a blogging and painting break

Because sometimes a break from everything is in order.  I've been caught up in non-art creative ventures that have taken my attention away from painting for a while.  It happens during this time of the year, as I transition from eight months of exhilarating outdoor painting to the doldrums of the studio.

Our area is expecting its first snow of the season tomorrow and Saturday.  So, probably no more plein air work for me this year.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to do this winter, and one thing is returning to oils and working on my drawing skills.  I'm also going to spend more time reading and studying the paintings and drawings of the Old Masters; library books on drawings by Picasso and Michelangelo are sitting on my night stand and I look forward to working my way through them.

In the meantime, here are two paintings done in the past two weeks.  The first is a plein air from the 4CPAP paint-out in Simone Canyon, in New Mexico.   I ended up going with the purple sky here because I forgot to bring my box of sky colors along.

Roadside Cottonwoods - 12x12"
pastel on black cardstock

The second is a studio piece, from a photo taken during our Escalante trip.   The afternoon of the quick-draw event, after I'd dropped my painting off, we drove west of Escalante, to the town of Cannonville, and then headed south along the road that leads to Kodachrome Basin State Park.  This is a view of the Kodachrome area further down the Cottonwood Wash road:

Cloud Over Kodachrome Basin - 12x16
pastel on dark gray Mi Tientes
While at the Escalante Canyons Plein Air event, I was delighted to meet a local area pastelist whose work I've enjoyed since I first discovered it in the past couple of years - Scotty Mitchell .  A few of her paintings are featured in the book Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts, which is one of my favorite coffee table art books.  Talking shop with another pastelist is always interesting, because we all use such different techniques and materials, so of course, I had to ask her what surface she uses for her paintings.  Turns out, she works exclusively on the dark gray Mi Tientes.  Between the chat I had with her, and the studio painting I did - Wash Wall Shadows - on Canson, I was inspired to try this paper again.

I like it, especially this dark gray.  So much so that I ordered a 10-pack of 19x25" sheets from ASW.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.


  1. I quite like the purple sky against the glow of yellow cottonwoods... We see so many flat blue skies here (not that I'm really complaining) that a little variety is appreciated. And it makes the cottonwood sing... which is what autumn is all about in the Rockies!

  2. Thanks Sherrie - I don't do purple skies all that often, but like you, I like a bit of variety from time to time, even if it's born out of necessity ;). And, it's just too bad fall doesn't last a bit longer than it does in the Rockies, isn't it?

  3. I like the purple sky, too, and agree it really made the yellow of the cottonwoods pop! I was just wondering the other day if you had thought of taking up your oil painting again, glad to hear you may do that :)

  4. Thanks Sarah - I was glad that I had the idea to use what colors I had with me, rather than just revert to the usual blues I use.

    Yeah, I definitely need to restart with the oils we talked about, it's good to do "art crosstraining", as it were :).

  5. I love the way you have shadowed the road in the first pastel. I can see the tree off to the left in it.

  6. Love the cloud over Kodachrome. And the purple sky in the first. Look forward to seeing your oils.

  7. Nice article and thank your valuable information and I wish you luck


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