Saturday, June 26, 2010

Channeling Georgia?

I set out this morning to do something I never do. Create a large pastel abstract. I had no idea what I would do when I started out. I just grabbed a large sheet of pastel paper, my largest pastels and started playing with it. My color scheme was somewhat limited by the large pastels I had on hand, but I did supplement a bit with some regular sized pastels. I was surprised by what came out of it. A very colorful somewhat Georgia O'Keefe-ish painting. This was a major departure for me. I usually know exactly what I'm going to paint when I start, and I never use a whole large sheet of paper on one painting - I simply don't paint large. It was strange after the first few marks were down everything just flowed. I new exactly where to go with it even if I didn't know what "it" was. Just another exercise in stretching my horizons - but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I must learn to do it more often. Sometimes when I try something new it just lands in the trash bin, but this one I may hang onto to remind myself to try something new from time to time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Portrait on Demand

Friday a friend at worked asked if I thought it might be possible to do a portrait of her for her upcoming 50th birthday in 2 weeks. Yikes! I haven't done a portrait in quite some time. She had seen the small oil portrait I had done for a mutual friend of her recently departed father, painted using the funeral program photo as my reference since I had not met the gentleman in life. It turned out fairly successful and his daughter was very pleased with it. Presented with a very small photo on the birthday party invitation, I thought I'd take a stab at it in pastel since my pastel work tends to take less time and lately has been more successful. (I know I haven't posted anything in almost a year, but that doesn't mean I've been totally idle - I've been plugging away in pastel and oils - even taking a wonderful 3-day plein air workshop last weekend with Chuck Rawle and assorted PAA members). This morning I got up, guzzled some coffee and printed out the photo small and then enlarged to about the size I thought I should paint it. After a couple of false starts I decided on a piece of dark blue Canson paper. Several hours in, I was beginning to like it. I took a break for lunch and laundry and then got back to it for a couple more hours. Now I was really thinking I'd nailed it fairly well. I went off to visit Mom for a while. Back at the easel I decided to check a few measurements - oops! I was way off on a couple. Time to adjust and rework. Now I really am beginning to like it. Even Steve (my toughest critic) seems to think I got it. What do you think?