Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stillness Before Dusk, 20 x16 -sold

Stillness Before Dusk, 20x16" Pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

   This scene is one I have painted before (Mud Creek) and will probably paint again as it has many interesting features that can be varied to create different moods.

   I learned many things in the process. After I thought it was done, I let it sit for a while on a shelf.  Although I was happy with my original sketch, some things did not seem right.  There was too much pink  and too much open water that was competing in color with the sky.  Some elements other than just color were needed in order to guide the eye to the focal area and to offer resting spots before getting  there. Perhaps some lily pads or grasses? Back to sketching  and problem solving.  Thus, the clump of dark grasses in the foreground. Darkening the foreground water on the right also helped to create the feeling of more depth.

   Lessons learned : 1. Be receptive to listen to what the work is telling you. My sister-in-law just gave me a great idea: talk to your work as if it were a living thing. You are likely to hear what your brain is telling you. 2.  Allow yourself time to let the painting rest so you can correct any problems. The goal is to be really happy with  the results.

   I entered this painting in the Bold Brush competition for Dec. If you like it vote for it here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Adirondack Stream, 7x5--sold

Adirondack Stream, pastel on Ampersand Pastelboard by Adriana Meiss

I survived the weekend!  On Sat. I went to bed in the early hours of the morning, framing the painting above, that I had included in promoting the festival to everyone on my mailing list.  Why was it then the last one left to be framed?  I cannot answer that myself. Too many things were going on and it's obvious that I was not thinking clearly...

That same morning, on my way to the fest I had the feeling that it was going to be one of the worst events simply because I had not heard it advertised on the radio station of the previous year--instead, another similar event was being advertised for the same day.  Well, it turned out to be one of the best! I'm happy so say that nine paintings were sold, among them one that I had shown many times before at other events, and I still had faith in finding a home for.  I saw old friends, met new people, and got the chance to talk to some about the wonderful pastel medium.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meadowbrook Pond, 7x5

Meadowbrook Pond, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

Anyone visiting my studio and seeing the work in progress that's sitting on my shelves would notice right away that I'm a season behind. Maybe it's just that painting winter scenes makes me cold... well, there will be time for that.

This little pastel is one of the many that will be for sale at the Plowshares Craftsfair & Peace Festival this weekend. This will be my 4th year there.  If you are in the Syracuse, NY area, take the time to visit, shop and have fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spring in the Adirondacks, 7x5

Spring in the Adirondacks, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

     This little pastel basically painted itself after a short break from the dust.  Paintings that "happen" this way always have a special spot in my heart. I get back to my pastels expecting a struggle and instead everything is smooth sailing.   The reference photo was from three years ago and it's been on top of my studio table, moving from one spot to another. Finally it was time to paint it. 

But was it really how it happened?  I've been reading Incognito a book about how the brain works by David Eagleman, and basically he says that most of our actions are processed in the brain way before we put them into action.  Is looking at a photograph for quite some time --for  weeks or months, a good way to start a painting?  Has my brain been painting this scene without my being aware of it?  Eagleman's book seems to infer that.  Maybe that's why most of the paintings in the "bad pile" are those started on impulse...  I hope this is food for thought, in the meantime, I'm going to tape some reference photos on the studio walls so that my brain can start the process...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sailboat at Sunset, 10x8"

Sailboat at Sunset, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

In August we took a dinner boat trip with some friends on Skaneateles Lake, and of course I came back with lots of reference photos to paint from. This is one of them, and hope to post new ones soon. I'm taking this painting and another one to Gallery 54 next week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Moody Day, 11x14"

A Moody Day, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

Another painting in the exhibit at the Edgewood Gallery, which will run for two more weeks.

This painting is based on two different references. The background with the barn was from some friends' adjacent property that for a long time I've been wanting to paint it. The only problem was that I didn't want a manicured lawn in the foreground and I didn't know what to do instead. Then, I saw another reference with the blooming tree and immediately I knew the two would go well together.

I had almost everything worked out, but spend several weeks figuring out what else to do in the foreground.  At the end the opening of the trees in the middle ground suggested a path and I was satisfied with the way it turned out.  There is something about fog that I find very appealing, and one of my goals is to do a series of paintings on this subject.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fading Light, 9x12"

Fading Light, 9x12" pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord, by A. Meiss
    It's been very busy around here but not because I'm painting. It seems that preparing for the show took so much energy away from me that I have not touched a dusty pastel since. I've started to feel the need to paint on a regular basis once again and to encourage myself a little bit, I went to get some beautiful flowers to start a few small sketches.... at least that's the plan for today...

   On opening night at the Edgewood, four paintings were sold, yeah! For the one above, which is in the exhibit,  I played with the original reference photo for  while, and ended up flipping it because it offered a better composition. I know it is very simple but I found it very challenging to paint, mostly because I wanted subdued colors in general, and had to fight the tendency to use brighter ones where they were not really needed. The scene is from the Otisco valley.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Brooding Sky, 13x13"

Brooding Sky,  13x13 pastel on Pastelmat by Adriana Meiss

   On Tuesday I delivered 17 paintings to the Edgewood Gallery for the Play on Light exhibit which opens today. I was still framing that very morning--talk about rushing! Of those, 14  are new ones, that even though I have posted them here in the last months, have not been exhibited before.

    The last month in particular was very productive. Knowing that the deadline was fast approaching  made me work even harder. Several times I started working on scenes that  were not part of the original plan, like the one above. Luckily for me, some worked out, but two others did no make the cut so I had to put myself back on track and continue working on the larger pieces. Now I have 6 paintings left to finish ....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Autumn Warmth, 10x8"-Sold

Autumn Warmth, 10x8" pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
 This pastel sat on a shelf for a long time, not because I thought it needed a lot of fixing but because the painting process went so well and the painting looked loose that I couldn't help it feeling that it was too good to be true. It's very hard being objective when you fall in love with your own painting.  I did find a few things and ended up pushing back the distant trees. I framed it yesterday and guess what, now that I see it here I've noticed that there are two trees on the left and two tree masses on the right... oh well!  This is a revisited scene and I know I'll give it another try some other time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

End of the Day --Reworking an idea

End of the Day, 9x12" pastel on Wallis paper by Adriana Meiss

    I tried fixing so many things in the painting from the previous post, but the more I worked on it the worse it got. The grit of the board was gone in some areas and even though I tried applying pastel grounds, some dark shadows couldn't be covered with light pastel.

    Very frustrated, because I wanted a painting with lots of yellow for the show, I started this new one, using the same reference. I still got into trouble in some areas simply because in my hurry and desperation I didn't "think it through"  before starting so I had to do that halfway into the painting and change gears. The hills in the distance for example, were an afterthought that was needed to break the tree barrier and give distance. I know this one doesn't have the same mood of gold evening light but I like it.

   The other one, I had to wash it off completely--believe me, it hurt. I applied a mix of grounds and pumice to restore the tooth of the board so it can be reused.  I'm a little bit angry at myself for having ruined something that had some good things but  for the moment, an "Aglow" painting is still in the works in my head.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aglow, 9x12"

Aglow, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss

This painting is based on the same shed of two posts ago, but his time I wanted to play with the yellows of the sunset on the trees.  The foreground bush was an afterthought as I felt something was needed there to give  more balance to the scene. I'm still debating about it's shadow...

This one will be included in my exhibit next month. My goal is to have 15 new paintings and I'm almost done.  I have 4 large ones almost finished, and one that I haven't started yet that I've been ruminating in my head for some time. In general, I'm happy to see there is cohesion in the selected work.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Art by the Lake -en plein air painting

Sheds, 12x9" pastel on Colourfix paper by Adriana Meiss

Yesterday was the Art by the Lake at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown. My friend Vicky and I participated as plein air painters. There were also fine art vendors under a huge tent and I was impressed by the quality of the work.  We had all day until 4:00pm to paint to our heart's content, but the heat and my heavy set up (why do I always carry more than I can handle?) were a factor in my not being able to produce more than two paintings.

Not being familiar with the area, it took me half an hour to find the best locations to paint. Also, because it was so hot, I wanted to paint under the shade of trees.  What to paint first? Here I had to estimate or foresee how the light/shadow patterns were going to change in the next two hours and decide whether I should wait till the afternoon when the light might be more interesting. At first sight, I was tempted to paint the lake but the water and the sky being of similar value meant problems so I decided instead on the sheds.

Path by the Lake, 9x12 pastel on Wallis paper by Adriana Meiss
At about 11:30 am I started my second one, Path by the Lake. At this time the shadow pattern changed considerably but only in the distant path so I was able to work without major problems.

After lunch I took a long break to see the American Impressionism exhibit and to talk with vendors and other plein air painters. Then at 3:00pm, the  lake looked just perfect for painting: deep blues an greens. Although the water wasn't smooth I swear I could see the pinks of the big clouds reflected on the water. I hurried across the expanse of lawn to get my gear but by the time I reach it any little energy I had in me had left me. It was time to call it the day.  The area is so beautiful that it's in my list of places to visit again and explore with more detail.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Moving Storm-Setting Sun, 10x8"

Moving Storm-Setting Sun, pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord by Adriana Meiss

The shed in the painting is an old garage surrounded by conifers, that never fails to attract my attention whenever I drive by.  When I was ready to paint it, I knew I had to modify the reference photo a great deal because of the problems with composition it presented: 1.There was a barrier of trees behind the shed, blocking the sunset. 2. Two thirds of the scene was a solid mass of green, yet I felt it was the right proportion in order to give an idea of distance.

Creating an opening was easy, but what to put behind it? I used my artist license and created more hills, thus giving me the chance to use aerial perspective. The grass, I have to admit, was the the area that took me the longest. I had to look at Richard McKinley's paintings to get an idea on how to deal with it. Sometimes there is nothing like a challenge to get you going!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Variations on a Theme

Finger Lakes Vineyard, Adriana Meiss--SOLD
  A while ago, while fixing and old painting done on location the possibility of painting some other scenes based on that one came to mind ( see here). I liked the idea of middle ground with the path disappearing into what seemed to be a valley, and I also wanted to experiment more with yellows and oranges. The ones below are the two resulting paintings, but once you are having fun with something you just continue and that's how Finger Lakes Vineyard  above came about. While the reference is from the recent trip to Canandaigua, the color scheme is the same as that of the two previous paintings.
  I like it a lot since it doesn't have much detail. My plan was to trim most of the sky area, but I found a frame that seemed perfect for it and I ended up extending the edges instead. It sold at the Lavender Festival this past weekend!

Henneberry Field #1, Adriana Meiss

Henneberry Field #2, Adriana Meiss

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Evening at the Park, 5x7"

Evening at the Park, pastel by Adriana Meiss

    Two weeks ago I took a one-day workshop in oils at Stone Quarry Hill Park with George Van Hook, a NY artists whose wonderful work was being exhibited at the park. I had worked in oils a long time ago, but because I was self taught, there were big gaps on my knowledge of the medium.  I thought it was about time I learned the basics the right way.

    I loved the workshop and came back home with two paintings that although were not ready to frame, captured the atmosphere of the place. One of them provided me with enough information to paint the pastel you see in this post. Painting it was very enjoyable, mostly because it was in pastels, but also because by then I felt familiar with the place and knew what mood I wanted it to have.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Intersection, 9x12"

Intersection, pastel on paper by Adriana Meiss
    A few years ago my daughter and I went on an exploring trip to neighboring Madison county, mostly to see the numerous windmills that dot the area.
    This view of a half hidden barn captured my attention, but it wasn't until very recently that I finally had the chance to paint it. I pushed the colors to give the idea of a warm afternoon.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Canandaigua Plein Air Competition

Roses on Main, pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord 9x12" by Adriana Meiss

Yesterday was the last day of  the Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition in Canandaigua, NY,  my first en plein air competition event. I'm still exhausted but it was worth it! Not only did I produce four decent paintings--three of which sold yesterday during the award ceremony and sale, but I got also an invitation to show in the Finger Lakes Gallery! I couldn't ask for more...well, it would have been nice to win an award but after seeing some of the great work I realize that there is a long way to go.  Other pluses were the chance to meet other artists, some whose work I have admired for some time, and seeing all the work produced in one place.

The painting above was my first one in the early morning. My friend Linda and I were heading to Sonnenberg Gardens but the place was not open yet so we painted in the surrounding area. For this scene I kept on thinking how Lois Griffel would had painted the fence and that kept me from giving it too much detail.

I Love Roses, pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord 12x9" by Adriana Meiss

 Painting #2 was at the entrance of Sonnenberg Gardens. The plan was to go to the Japanese Garden, or the Rose one, which we had visited two weeks ago, but the profusion of color in this area captivated us, besides, it was noon and we where looking for a sheltered are from which to paint.

Fast Moving Clouds, pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord 12x9: by Adriana Meiss--SOLD

Day 2 was cloudy and threatening to rain at any moment. My friend and I went along the west side of the lake looking for a location that would allow us to paint aerial perspective. We ended up at the south end of the lake in Woodville and settled for this peaceful scene.

Pier 1, pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord  9x12" by Adriana Meiss--SOLD

Back in Canandaigua we went to the pier to have lunch and decided to paint the colorful boathouses under a still cloudy sky. Just like the previous day, there were lots of artists painting. I wanted a different view from what I had seen other people paint so I settled on this scene. I did not look that difficult to me until I realized that I had spend one hour just painting the roof tops and checking their angles and their line up with each other.

All in all it was wonderful and it whetted my appetite for more vents of this sort!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Peaceful Night, 10x8" - Sold

Peaceful Night, 8x10" pastel by Adriana Meiss
This painting happened by chance. I had painted a sunset with very warm pinks and yellows, some trees in the foreground and a field of daisies in the middle ground. I wasn't that sure of the results and after looking at it for several days I just did not like it anymore so I took it to the sink and washed it off.

A ghost was left on the board and fearing that some of the tooth might have been lost, I applied micaceous iron oxide to the board. This liquid acrylic produced by Golden, dries as an iridescent gunmetal color due in part to the mica particles. It did not completely cover the previous ghost, but that was to my advantage because the idea of a night scene immediately came to mind. This piece became a conversational piece at this weekend show when people commented on the sparkle of the night sky.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dragonfly Heaven, 9x12"

Dragonfly Heaven by Adriana Meiss

    I am so happy to have finished this painting that for months sat on a shelf in the studio. A dead tree in the middle of the pond had kept me from working on this one. I debated whether  to move it to the right or to the left, making it the focal area or to not include it at all.  As I remembered the day I was at this location and how at peace I felt listening to the insects and the wind I realized that the dead tree wasn't important; all it needed was a mood that invited the viewer to be there. I hope it will strike such feeling in people.
    This is on Rondaxe Road, Old Forge, NY. The road divides the pond in two, so there are nice views on both sides.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The View from the Green Bridge, Old Forge, 10x8"

View from the Green Bridge, pastel by Adriana Meiss

I was in Old Forge this past weekend to see the opening reception of the pastel exhibit at View Arts Center, and to take a portrait workshop with Alain Picard.

While there, some friends wanted to see how I painted on location and for that purpose we went to the Green Bridge, which offers nice views in both directions. The "demo" was very short, perhaps half an hour, and I pointed out the most important aspects of painting outdoors: 1. select the subject,  2. Make small sketches first to determine the right composition and what the focal area is going to be,   3. pay attention to color temperature and values,  4. block in the main masses, and finally 5. provide some detail. I like to work as fast as I can so that the changing light conditions do not tempt me to make too many adjustments to my painting. This is the original piece:

en plein air, View from the Green Bridge

In the studio I continued working on it and did some minimal changes to the composition.  What took me the longest was giving the idea of a swift current. I realize that the freshness the original had is gone, but I needed to bring it to a level  I felt comfortable with.
About the workshop, all I can say is that it was very informative to see the 2-hour demo Picard did the day before the workshop. I tried to approach the portrait as if it were a landscape, but one thing  is sure, you won't be seeing portraits in this blog anytime soon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Last Year's Grasses-Green Lakes, 18x24"

This painting will be at the St David's Celebration of the Arts which runs this week only.

I had started it last year but had to put it away when it was 80% done because I had to prepare for an art fair;  I knew that if I tried to finish it in a hurry I was going to mess it up.  Anyway, I finished it last week, in time for the upcoming show.  It's a nice feeling when you finish a piece without looking at the reference material and you know (o think that you know) exactly what needs to be done.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Starry Night in the Adirondacks, 7x5"

Starry Night in the Adirondacks by, Adriana Meiss

This recently finished painting was done on an impulse from a photo reference taken during daytime.

I have never painted outdoors at night, but I do go out then very often just to see the colors and to take mental notes. It only takes a few minutes for the eye to get used to the darkness. Then I ask myself  how many colors can be easily identified.  It always helps me to imagine myself painting and looking for a particular color in my pastel box. The house that was red during daylight, is it now blue or purple? What color does white take in darkness? Whatever the answer is, in my experience some of the colors need to be exaggerated just a little bit, and you do not necessarily have to rely on black. The darkest areas in the painting above were done with dark blues and dark olive greens.

The trick about night scenes is to make them believable enough. Just look at Rene Magritte's painting The Empire of Lights: cover the bottom part and you have a daytime sky, cover the area of the sky and you see a night scene, yet the whole scene seems to be so real...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mud Creek, 7x5 --SOLD

Mud Creek, original pastel by Adriana Meiss

Every time I'm driving on Rt 481 N I always try to slow down when I reach the area where the highway crosses Mud Creek--just a few miles before the exit to Rt 31. Both sides of the road offer great views to paint, the problem is that there is no space for parking, that is, unless you have car trouble or decide to risk getting a fine.

The time I took the reference photo for this painting was such a beautiful fall evening  and I was lucky enough there wasn't much traffic; most important, there were no highway patrols either. I'm not advocating taking risks specially when driving, I simply like to be ready if the opportunity presents itself. Countless times I have let other cars pass me by with the hope of getting a chance to take a good reference photo. I have one particular pot I would like to photograph but the traffic has made it impossible so far. My camera is always ready just in case.

This painting will be for sale at the Onondaga Art Guild Spring Show and Sale this weekend at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 400 W Yates St East Syracuse
Sat 28th, 10:00am.-4:00pm
Sun 29th,12:00pm - 4:00pm
You are invited!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Orchard Gate, en plein air, 11x8"

 My second outdoors painting of the year, the gate to our orchard. Last year I had attempted to paint this same view only on the other side of the gate, and my aim had been the blooming peach tree behind the leafing apple ones. However, I had started by painting the old house in the background first and got so carried away that I ended up giving it so much detail. By the time I added the peach tree I couldn't pull it off. Angry at myself because this wasn't the first time it had happened, I took a brush to remove all the pastel I could and washed the board. 

For this one it was the light on the tower-like structure and the adjacent building that called my attention.  It was painted in early afternoon but went through some tweaking in the studio.

 Some good news: I have been accepted into the Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition in Canandaigua (June 8-10) so I'm very excited about it and a little bit scared too since this will be my first plein air competition. One more reason to get out there and paint!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring, 8x8"

I always get the impression that spring passes by so fast. By the time I'm into "outdoors painting mode" the trees have lost that beautiful and delicate minty green. 

It's been too cold and cloudy to paint outside lately so this one was from a reference photo of my neighborhood that I took a while ago. I purposely tried to paint loose just giving a few hints of dwellings.

This piece and fourteen other new ones will be in the OAG spring show and sale at the end of the month.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The View from the Kitchen, en plein air, 10x8"

The first en plein air painting of the year always seems to take so much effort to just get going. Part of the reason is that I don't paint outdoors in the winter time, so it takes some time to set your mind in the right frame to accept the changing weather and the getting used to carrying your box, easel, and supports here and there. Then when the nice weather arrives, gardening and other chores compete with painting. 

This painting represents the first step even though it was painted from the kitchen on a cold sunny afternoon. I have wanted to paint this scene for some time because I have always dreamed on converting the carriage house in the background into my perfect studio space--too bad  it belongs to my neighbor!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Improving Frames

In this post I just want to share something that I do to make some ready-made frames look better. 

When a  frame is too dark or dull for a specific painting I use Rub'nBuff, which is a wax metallic finish that comes in different colors in small tubes. I apply this paste to the inner edge of a frame in order to make it look like a fillet. 

The picture below shows some of the colors I use, from L to R: Gold Leaf, Antique Gold, Grecian Gold, European Gold(greenish), and Autumn Gold (reddish).

The steps are as follows: First, I isolate the area to be highlighted  with painter's tape, making sure that the tape is positioned correctly.

I apply a small amount of the metallic paste (Antique Gold in this case) with a cotton swab, pushing it hard so that it gets into the edges of the moulding. I do the same thing with the inner side of the frame opening. making sure the application looks even. The paste/wax could be applied with your finger or a soft cloth, but I prefer the cotton swab method, and as a precaution, I also wear disposable gloves.

Once the whole area is done, I let it rest for a few minutes before removing the tape. It cures really quickly.

And this is how the frame looks with a painting:
Country Lane, 5x7"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Front Yard, 12x16"

I'm very happy to say that this paintings was recently juried into the National Northeast Pastel Competition at Old Forge, NY. 

Generally, the View arts center holds a Walkabout hosted by the juror of awards the day after the award ceremony. Last year's juror, Lucy Petrie, decided to have a more interactive walkabout and had the crowd divided into small groups. Each was given a list with some important points to consider when looking at a given painting. While each juror has his/her own way of determining whether a painting merits an award or not, for me it was very informative to see what where some of the factors she had taken into account when making that decision. Framing was one of them. A frame that calls too much attention to itself, or one that doesn't enhance the painting in any way, or even one that has seen better days (and believe it or not, there was one like that!) will detract a lot from the painting.

 I had a crazy week looking for the perfect frame.  It's so hard to figure from a corner sample if the moulding chosen is the right one. I'll find out very soon...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Moose River in Winter, 5x7"

The migrating flocks of geese are telling us that winter is almost over.  While the thought of warmer weather is more than welcome, I feel a little bit upset for having wasted the opportunity to paint winter scenes during the season. The sole exception  was the one above. Maybe I'll be painting more winter scenes this spring...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Two from One

Queen's Lace Domain, 8x5"--SOLD
Very often I hold onto a bad painting hoping that someday I'll get the right idea on how to fix it. When an artist friend recently stopped by, I asked for her advice on one of those duds. Immediately she suggested to make two paintings out of it.

I think that part of the reason why it didn't cross my mind to do so in the first place must be because it would have felt like giving up on it, and I don't like to do that because that in turn, makes me realize that I made the mistake of jumping to paint a scene without sufficient thought, so I hold onto the idea of a solution, a fix.

Long Road, 8x6"
I didn't hesitate long to follow my friend's suggestion. After all, the time elapsed (3-4 years) had erased some of the feelings I had for the scene. And as a matter of fact, I didn't even look at the reference photo for new ideas.

The original painting:

Friday, February 17, 2012

The View from Henneberry Rd.12x18"

I found this painting in a pile of unfinished work. It was done on location two years ago, and at the time I didn't like how dark the foreground trees were.

Even though they are much lighter now, I'm aware that they can still be lighten some more without the scene losing the late-evening mood. I glazed the distant hills with hard pastels, added ochers to the middle ground trees, and darkened the foreground flowers and grasses to create a better feeling of distance. That seem to have done the trick! I think I'll be working on creating other paintings from this scene.

BTW, La Carte paper is my favorite sanded paper for plein air painting. It's not as hard on your fingers, as other sanded papers, and when you need to glaze, the pastel seems to go so smoothly.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Organizing Events

Sunlit Treetops, 5x7"
A week ago, after talking with an artist friend about the goals each of us wanted to accomplish and things we wanted to do this year, my friend made me write everything down on a notebook, in chronological order.

Then, she suggested that on a separate sheet for each event I included the pertaining information. For example, for an upcoming spring show I had to list the total number of paintings I wanted to have on display, how many were ready to go, and how many more I needed to complete my original goal.

Once all the info was transferred to my large wall calendar, I was able to see more clearly how much time I had to prepare for each event and most important, it gave me a clearer idea of whether my goals could be fulfilled or not. I immediately realized how much time I was wasting and started to paint. The pastel above is one of the seven I painted that week, and I like it so much that I'm thinking on painting it in a larger format.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gathering Lavender, 9x12"

This is actually the 3rd painting of the Lavender Pickers series started last month (#2 is still under evaluation). I thought it finished but the more I look at it the more tempted I am to fiddle with it.

I find that painting a series like this is a little bit scary, mostly because of the fear of becoming too methodical in, for example, painting lavender clumps the same way. I'm hoping to avoid that problem by making lots of sketches first.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lavender Picker, 10x8"

I'm happy to say that I'm back into painting in a serious way.

This one is the first study of a series I intent to do, based on photos I took last summer at the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival.

Most of my reference photos include a lot of people, so when deciding whom to paint I look for interesting poses or garments and if necessary, I add people from other photos or change the way they are facing in order to make a pleasing composition.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sketches to Remember Rosie

Early this year I lost my very dear kitty Rosie due to asthma complications.
The pain of loosing her is still very raw but I have found some comfort in looking at he sketches I did of her. To my surprise, there were even more sketches than I thought I had, and to me, they are better than photos.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Makyes Rd, 7x5"--SOLD

We've finally had our first decent snowfall of the season, but I'm still much into painting fall scenes.

This little pastel sits on one of the two narrow
3 feet-long shelves that my husband installed in my studio for the purpose of displaying small, unframed work. This way, it's easier for me to assess what's really ready to be framed. However, having gone through a period of extreme self-critique, the shelves are already full of erased or washed boards that still show ghosts of previous scenes, and are looking now for something new.

Invitation: If you live in the area, you are welcome to attend the reception to my exhibit at May Memorial Church 3800 E. Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13214, this Sat, Jan 7th from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.