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.