Sunday, September 20, 2009

CTPS Challenge Painting

Here's a piece I knocked out quickly so as to have something fresh for the CTPS challenge painting at the meeting yesterday. I didn't expect to make the meeting but we ended up getting back from our trip a day earlier than originally planned so I was able to go. Since I woke up early and then started fretting that I didn't have a painting for the challenge, I popped out of bed and made one. This one was from one of my vacation photos. The challenge was to draw water. The photo of this creek at the bottom of the trail to Hanging Lake had both still water illuminated by bright sun and also rushing water bubbling over rocks making it even more of a challenge. My husband says this is one of the best ones I've done so far, so perhaps I need to get up in the dead of night and throw pieces together really fast (only kidding). The challenge painting concept is a really good one. Each month the group sets a challenge for the next meeting. Every one who wants to play tries to create a pastel painting to address that topic. It's a wonderful way to stretch yourself doing things you might not otherwise undertake. At the meeting we each show our piece and discuss it and accept advice on how it could be improved. Next month is an abstract or non-objective piece. That is a huge challenge for almost all of us. It's easy to look at abstracts and say how easy they are to make, try making one and you'll see that it takes far more skill than it looks like to come up with a piece you'd be willing to hang on your wall.

My First Award

Exciting news! While I was away on vacation a pastel painting I had entered in The Austin Pastel Society's North West Gallery Show actually won a Merit Award!!! Wouldn't you know the one show opening I couldn't attend would be the one in which I got an award. The idea for "Twilight's Last Gleaming" came from a photo I shot through the window of the car as we were leaving the Central Texas Pastel Society show at the Cultural Arts Center in Temple. There was an incredibly beautiful sunset that night which I really wanted to try to capture. Now I'm really pumped and eager to keep painting and improving.

Refreshed from vacation!

Just back from a 2 week vacation with several new paintings to show off. Colorado was beautiful and so was Santa Fe. I took in the American Impressionist Exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art and was lucky enough to fall into one of their free artist demos. Lee Rommell was demonstrating oil painting en plein air (actually the demo was outside but she was using a photo for reference so, it wasn't really a plein air demo although it was billed that way). Labor Day weekend in Santa Fe also meant we got to enjoy a huge art fair which covered the entire central square. Talk about perfect timing! Newly inspired from a day and two nights in Santa Fe we traveled on to Glenwood Springs where I pulled out my own plein air kit and completed the four 8x10 paintings you see here. I also did a couple of watercolor post cards which I mailed off and didn't keep copies. If you got one you know what they looked like.