Friday, February 18, 2011

Pastel Push

I'm challenging myself to paint 12 pastel paintings by the end of February.  It is my way of pushing myself to delve into my new pastel box!  Sometimes when we get new art supplies we have a tendency to wait and hold off until we find the "perfect" paper, or picture, or time to finally even open up the art supplies.

With my challenge...I have the motivation to not hesitate, but rather to commit my time to 12 "starts".  I said I would commit at least one hour for each of 12 paintings.  If I couldn't finish in that time it was okay to go on to a new start.   If I wanted to spend the time to finish the painting...that was okay too.  
Here the first four I've completed. 


Garden Corner  (9"x12" pastel)

Field of Flowers (9"x12" pastel)

Hap-BEE Valentine (5"x 5" pastel)

Even on a Cloudy Day  (9" x 12" pastel)

Guess works!  
The little challenge/trick pushes you to make something happen.  
Then low and aren't waiting any longer for the "perfect" time.  
Instead you just get busy and create.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pastel Passion

 Ready to get my Christmas gift all colorful and messy!  
This is my new pastel plein aire box from

You can see in the picture to the left 
where there are separate foam padded sections
for my pastels to be safely carried around in.

This is a separate section
where you can store new pastel paper
and safely carry home a finished painting.

This is the outside of it with a carrying handle 
and two straps at the bottom 
to carry your umbrella and tripod.  

The tripod will fit into the little hole between the straps.

Pastels I've worked on before deciding to get a
Plein Aire Pastel Box!




Picchetti Farm House

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I put in a fence all by myself!

You need an opening into your art work...
to lead the viewer into your world.

You can see the photo I took on location at the bottom of this picture.  The fence goes all the way across the page. 
I wanted to have an opening into the painting - so I found a reference book with fences in it.  I then cut up some artist tape to test out my new opening 
on the dry painting I had been working on.

Here you can see the tape I was testing to see if I liked the placement.

Next I outlined the tape with a white charcoal pencil.

Then I was able to paint a fence without alot of messing around.
 Putting in a new fence  
all by myself 
was not too hard at all!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Begin It Now!

This is a painting I did for a class. I had to copy the newspaper photo the teacher assigned me.  It was the statue from Michaleangelo's Pieta.  In less than two years Michelangelo carved from a single slab of marble, one of the most magnificent sculptures ever created. His interpretation of the Pieta was far different than ones previously created by other artists. Michelangelo decided to create a youthful, serene and celestial Virgin Mary instead of a broken hearted and somewhat older woman.   This reminds me of the quote below.   What if Michelangelo did not try?
  Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation). There is an elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and  material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. 
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

-Often attributed to Goethe, but is mostly taken from text by William Hutchinson Murray, Scottish mountaineer, 1913-1996 – with a nod to John Anster (how about that for a convoluted attribution!)

*Nice quote from my online class...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Art Research with Students

I love doing research for Art....
this was our field trip to China Town. 
Nothing like the real place to get great reference photos for her upcoming paintings.
Now we are set to go to the studio and work on 3 paintings!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ecstatic about Art

What makes me ecstatic about making art….
  • When I was younger I just loved to do crafts or sewing…..I enjoyed watching it come to life. I still love learning and creating something I can enjoy.
  • Seeing art that moves me…no one real artist…just a picture I had bought for my home – a print – as I stared at it at home I just loved the way the artist had captured the moment of some beautiful flowers growing up the side of a home, and I felt something peaceful.
  • Seeing other people outside painting at the ocean and somehow I said out loud…I want to do that! I want to capture the beauty of the world around me.
  • Opening up my Chirstmas Present and getting to play with the new pastels.
Nothing like new beautiful colors to get you excited to create!
To be continued...something I'm working on...not finished - but added new pastels to it.

  • Visiting both Monet’s Garden in Giverny and Cezanne’s studio ( Aix-en-Provence. I think it blew me away to see the reality of it all. The garden still looks like his paintings with the pathways and boats and beautiful flowers. In Cezanne’s studio in Aix…it was small and unassuming but the real vases and tables he painted so often in his still life are there. They were real and that blows me away that this was just someone painting.
A page from my sketchbook I took on our trip to France in 2006.

The photo on the right was from the trip I took to Giverny. I've been saving this photo since 2006. 
My photo from 2006!
My Value Study for the painting.


  • Just today I was at the De Young Museum in San Francisco ( to see the “Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay” on an art field trip with a couple of my artist friends and wow…seeing the brush strokes up close just blows me away.
Happy to be on our Artist Field Trip!

Yes…I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience these things!

"If you have a dream, even if you don't feel qualified to accomplish it, just try your hardest." 

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Vision Board

I like to stop and take stock of what I'm doing a couple times in the year.  January and probably end of August (that one is due to the school schedules).  It helps me see where I am and where I'm going.  Since I'm a stay at home mom, and don't get regularly "evaluated" like I did when I was working, this self-evaluation is important to me.

My Vision Board & Affirmations 

I'm taking an online class right now that is call Artbiz - Blast Off.  Above is my vision board and affirmations for 2011.  I'm trying to move forward with my art!