Showing posts from October, 2011

Harvest Time

"Harvest Time" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Paper
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Back from a hiatus, and in the fall mood...

I used good old Arches watercolor paper for this piece, and blended my chalks using water. The color scheme was supposed to be red, gold, and green based colors, but I had to add a bit of purple for emphasis. It's a scene from our trip last year to Lavender Hill Pumpkin Patch in Fallbrook. I always spend a little too much time hovering around the different types of pumpkinsand gourds, snapping as many photos as I can for later paintings. I guess you could say that I share my toddler's excitement when it comes to the sight of pumpkins.

This was the first piece I painted in the last couple of weeks that I felt like sharing. I'd intended to paint through a trip up north and continue painting on return; unfortunately, it took me a while to jump back into my routine. Taking a break gave me a chance to get a fresh perspective on my art, and now I'm back in…

A View of Dusk

"Dusk in the Grove" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Paper
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It's hard to tell which is a more inspiring time to paint: dusk or dawn. Not being much of a morning person, most of my paintings take their inspiration from dusk.

In "Dusk in the Grove," I used a picture taken on my phone as reference (had to set the screen time out to 10 minutes so I wouldn't go crazy). We were visiting friends in Fallbrook, and my daughter had grown squirmy. This led to an outdoor walk, and we followed a sulky black cat through the trees. I was actually trying to get a photo of the cat for my daughter, but it had managed to disappear. I like pictures of shaggy, unmanicured grove trees better than the well-maintained kind, so I snapped one for future reference.

This painting shows what I love most about living in Fallbrook: each piece of property has its own agricultural charms, and as the light fades to the west, there is a sense of peace and anticipation o…

Out in the Cold

"Sleeping Under the Clouds"
9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
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It was another lucky moment: the little one was asleep in the car, the rain had stopped, and things were just dry enough for me to grab my materials and sit outside and paint some of the striking clouds passing through Fallbrook.

I sketched the land portion first, then turned my attention to the sky. I worked quickly, my fingers cramping a bit in the cold. Thanks to the steady wind, the clouds sped along, changing lights and darks but remaining purple and blue. Once I had them fairly well blocked in, I went back to the land, a part of Fallbrook known as the "Sleeping Indian" (supposed to resemble one sleeping on his back, presumably). I always looked for this landmark as a child, since it often meant we were getting close to my grandmother's house in Fallbrook.

I honestly don't know how people work with wet pai…

Autumn Colors in California

"Pumpkin Pair" 4.5 x 6 in. Chalk Pastel on Paper
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I found this little pair at the pumpkin patch in Fallbrook last year. They looked so cozy together, I had to take a quick picture.

Fall is a great time to be outside in Southern California. Most of the time the weather is clear and warm without the stickiness of summer. The intense light makes for great photographs and paintings, as it casts extra dark shadows and highlights all the bright colors of our beautiful surroundings. The air is also cleaner now than it is in the summertime, which means sharper visibility of all the surrounding hills and mountains.

I was relieved that my daughter passed these two pumpkins by last year. I would have felt bad if she decided to separate them and take one home.

A little fun I had with watercolor and pastel last year:
"A Fauve Goes to the Pumpkin Patch"

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