Friday, August 29, 2014

Irondequoit Creek In Summer

Irondequoit Creek in Summer  -  pastel, 8x10"
This was the second of two paintings done on Aug. 27th.  My easel was set in the same spot for both.  I just looked in different directions.  Economy of time and energy is a good thing.

The creek looked cool and inviting, but I had time restrictions to deal with, so I kept at it until it was time to pack it all up.

As I worked, several groups of people with kids stopped by to look.  I really enjoy talking to people about my work - especially kids.  They are genuinely interested and love the beautiful colors of the pastel sticks.

By the time I had finished the two paintings, I was beat.  I am always amazed at how tired I get at the end of a good day of painting.

Pastel, 8x10"
available

It's Cooler in the Shade

It's Cooler in the Shade  -  pastel, 5x7"
Well, it was at first, but as the day wore on in Channing Philbrick Park (formerly Linear Park) in Penfield, it became unbearably hot and muggy.  The good news it that it made the distant trees appear even blue-er.  I love those distant blues. And I love the dappled light that shone through the trees.  That's what caught my eye in the first place.

This was the first of two paintings done there that day, and honestly, I almost gave up on it half way through.  I felt as though I had gotten lost and had to really stop and reassess what was going on in the painting.  Stuck it out though and was able to pull it together.  Definitely more of a challenge than I expected.

Pastel, 5x7"
available

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chasing the Clouds Away

Chasing the Clouds Away -  pastel,  8x10
It's funny.  I tend to go to a place I like over and over again, painting the same scene several times until somehow, I am satisfied.  This is the case with Northampton Park recently.  I love the light and the scenery there.  This is the second one done there in the last couple of days.  I will probably go back again soon.  Haven't gotten my fill of it yet.

The scene was kind of wild and woolly, shaggy and over-grown - just the way I like it.  I hate things neat and trimmed.  The atmosphere was thick with humidity and it rained on me a couple of times, but it didn't matter.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

Spring Evening

Spring Evening  -  pastel,  9x12
Spring had sprung finally when I set out to do this stream painting with all of the subtle greens around it.  However, I didn't anticipate all of the hungry, newly-hatched mosquitoes that were swarming the place.  Usually mosquitoes don't even like me and pretty much tend to leave me alone, but apparently I was going to be the main course tonight.  I dealt with being bit for as long as I could stand it, but finally had to throw in the towel for the day.  Finished up in the studio.

Changes

Changes,    pastel  8x10
I hate to say it, but a change is coming.  The trees and vegetation know it as colors begin their slow and steady change to the colors we love in autumn.  Of course that also means that winter will be here soon.  The older I get, the more I hate the long dreary days of gray around here.  As a result, I will spend as much time as I can at places like this, soaking in the warmth of the sun, enjoying the beauty of the day.

Pastel,  8x10  available

Early Morning on Buck Pond

Early Morning on Buck Pond      9x12 sold
This studio piece was commissioned by a dear friend of mine for her mom.  Her mom had recently settled into an assisted living facility. My friend thought it would be nice for her mom to have an original piece of art depicting a favorite place of hers - "up along the ponds".  I am very familiar with the area, as it's one of my favorite places to paint.  In preparation, I took tons of reference photos and walked around the area looking for inspiration at different times of day. I also did 3 other studies before I sat down to do this final version. .

I think due to all of the prep work done ahead of time, this painting came together very smoothly.  I am very happy with the results and hope my friend's mom will enjoy the scene in her new home.

pastel, 9x12"  sold

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Shameless Plug...

Over the years, I can't count the number of times I have had people ask me if I teach pastel anywhere.  Unfortunately, I've always had to tell them "no".  Besides doing demos or the occasional workshop, I haven't taught on a regular basis.   However, due to a wonderful set of circumstances,  I will be teaching this summer!

I will be teaching a class on pastel painting for East Irondequoit Community Ed. Classes begin on Monday, July 7th and which will run for 5 weeks. If you would like more info, please click on the link below, then click on "Summer Community Education Course Offerings 2014.pdf ". My class is listed on page 6. You don't have to live in Irondequoit or even know how to paint to have fun exploring this great medium. Come and have fun! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

May Morning

May Morning  -  pastel,  16"x 12"
I actually did this painting a couple of years ago, but never finished it.  Some-times I get bored, sometimes a painting doesn't come together the way I envisioned.  Often, I will set something like this aside for awhile and see if I can improve and finish it later.  Well, this one took quite a bit of time to come back to. While started on location, this would not be considered to be plein air.  Too much work done in the studio.

Available

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Blue Haze' revisited

Blue Haze - 6" x 9"
Recently I've had to move all of my paintings and supplies to a new location - my house!   Things are a bit topsy-turvey right now as I find a place for it all and redesign how I will use what was once my family room.  I think it will be a good decision once the dust of moving so much stuff settles because I will be able to work where I live.  Hopefully life's obligations will not prevent me from getting some work done.

As I looked over what I had, I discovered a lot of paintings I had done some time ago.  Some were good, others, not so good.  Some are candidates for reworking, based on what I know now as a more experienced artist.  So I will try to see what I can do to improve them.

This is the first painting I have re-worked.

The second image is a photo of the original painting. The first is a scanned image of the reworked painting which accounts for the sharper image.

I put a distant hill in the background to give it more depth, added a lot more detail, wider value range and a wider variety of subtle color in the correct values.

I really like the way it came out.

You can click on the photo to see more detail.





6"x 9" unframed, unmatted
Available



https://www.etsy.com/shop/ColetteSavage

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Windswept

"Windswept" -  8x10  pastel 
This little tree, bent by the wind, was standing all alone and unprotected in an open field.  The day I was there, the wind chilled me despite the intermittent sunshine.  I really liked the bend in the branches and the shape the tree took on from years of being exposed in that breezy spot.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Change of Weather


Change of Weather  -  5 x 7"  pastel

I was out painting this morning on a beautiful day with bright blue skies. This is the second of two paintings. Gradually, the clouds came in, the temperature began to drop and the wind really picked up.  Wasn't sure if I was going to get this done before I got really chilled.


I usually scan my smaller pastels for my own records.  I have noticed the scanned images don't look as nice as the real painting or the photographed image.  Not sure why.  The scan seems to catch every weird thing on the page and make it look even weirder.

So I put up a photo of the same painting as it appears under glass and framed.  Looks much better in the photo!

Summer's Over

Summer's Over  -  4 x 6"  pastel
The title kind of says it all.  Went up to the beach and no one was there.  That's the way it is here by the end of September.  The beach was pretty anyway.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quiet Day on the Marsh

"Quiet Day on the Marsh"  4x6  available
I was out walking the other day in an area I had painted before, but this was from a completely different vantage point.  I took a ton of pictures and of course, because I was out exploring, didn't have time to paint on site!  The next day, I painted this based on what I had seen.  Beautiful area.  I'll have to go back.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Looking Through

"Looking Through"  5x7  pastel  SOLD
Sometimes I just need to paint, but for whatever the reason, can't get out.  This is the product of one of those times.  I used a photo as reference, but the way I use a picture is as a reminder of the scene - not as something to copy. I sketch in the basic composition, rearranging things as I see fit, note the basic values and where they are, then make it up as I go.  If you ever see me do a demo using a photo reference, you would notice that I don't use the photo very much at all. It gives me a chance to really use my creativity.  SOLD

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Field of Wildflowers

Field of Wildflowers     5"x 7"  pastel  SOLD
I spotted this amazing field of wildflowers while out and about one day.  Even on that over-cast day, the intensity of the color and the size of it made it appear to glow.  I stopped and took a bunch of photos since I was short on time, took them home and painted this later in the day.  I also took some time to look them up the flower on the computer to see what it was.  It's wild mustard.  Now, I have seen this stuff growing around here before, but not in such a large area.  It really was spectacular.
SOLD

Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer Cornfield

Summer Cornfield   4"x 6"  SOLD













Today I had the opportunity to paint on the property of my friend Karlene.  When we got there, she gave us the grand tour - complete with all kinds of lovely scenes, making it hard to choose just one!  After a delicious lunch of BLTs, salad and cheesecake with fresh berries, we headed to the location where we had left our gear, set up and painted.  There is nothing nicer than talking and sharing the joy we have in the natural world with other artists.  It was a great way to spend a beautiful day!  SOLD

4"x 6"   pastel

Walk to the Beach

Walk to the Beach    4"x 6" pastel  AVAILABLE
We have had some wonderful weather, which  is really great since I am on my vacation!  I have been taking every opportunity to get out there and to paint outside since I know how long winter can be around here.

Yesterday the weather was a bit iffy with rain predicted for the afternoon.  I got a late start - around noon, but headed to the Irondequoit Bay outlet looking for a spot to set up.  This little path to the beach caught my eye.  Luckily, I was able to work right along.

It didn't take long to see that a change in the weather was coming - very quickly.   The wind picked up and the temperature dropped 10 degrees. I managed to get it done and take a few photos before the rain began.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hundred Acre Pond

"Hundred Acre Pond" - 4"x 6"  pastel
When I was a little kid, my mom and dad would often take us to Mendon Ponds Park for a picnic and to swim at the beach located on one of the ponds.  I drove out there to look for a nice beach scene to paint and to reminisce a bit.  Well, guess what!?  No beach!  I could see where there had been one at one time, but grass had pretty much taken it over.  Probably the victim of county budget cuts or some other stupid thing that makes cool stuff go away.  I was disappointed, but I still have the memories.

This little painting was done on the other side of the pond from where the beach area was.  It really was a perfect day for painting.  I sat at a picnic table in the shade and enjoyed the light breeze that came from the west.  I pretty much had the place to myself.  I don't know what that purple flower was in the foreground, but I really liked it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day at the Beach

Day at the Beach I - 4"x 6"  pastel  SOLD
I am fortunate to live only a few miles away from Lake Ontario.  The lake is very important to anyone who lives around here.  It's really a beautiful place, even though pollution has been an issue here for as long as I can remember.  It's still very lovely, especially on a hot summer day.

Day at the Beach II - 4"x 6" pastel  SOLD
Today I grabbed my gear and a blanket, sat down in the shade on the beach looking toward the west at Durand Eastman Park and painted "Day at the Beach I", then turned toward the the east and painted "Day at the Beach II".  I even put people in them.  (Most of my paintings look post apocalyptical)Didn't have to fight with my easel either.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Both paintings are pretty small - 4"x 6" actually, and they look like old fashioned postcards to me.  I really like the fact that they fit right into a little ready-made frame.
SOLD


Sunday, August 04, 2013

Distant Blue

Distant Blue 5"x 7"  SOLD
Beautiful weekend - cool and sunny! Wanted to paint. Couldn't get out to paint.  Needed to paint! Still couldn't get out!  Getting down to the end of the weekend - got out finally!  Managed to get a keeper done (along with a "Not your best work, Colette." painting).  I will work a bit more on the second one, but this one looks good enough to post.  It's a little one, but will fit right into a standard-size frame.  I like that!
SOLD

5" x 7"

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sackets Harbor Plein Air Festival

Sackets Harbor, NY hosted a great plein air festival in mid July this year and I was luck enough to attend. The town and harbor are very picturesque with loads of old historic buildings, boats in every shape and size, friendly people and a very artsy main street.

I decided to camp to save some money, and my son and his girlfriend joined me at Wescott Beach State Park. The weather started out very hot and humid, making me thrill every time I had to get into my air conditioned car to drive someplace.  However, the weather changed drastically when a cold front came through in the wee hours of Friday night, scaring the day-lights out of us as the storm slammed into the eastern end of Lake Ontario, bringing incredible thunder, lightning, wind and rain.  Thankfully, I'd had the foresight to bolster the poles on the tent earlier in the day or I would have been sleeping in the car because the tent never would have survived.  By the way, although Wescott Beach is a very nice park, the camping area is more like a parking lot than a camping area.  The sites are too close together, right on the park road and with no buffer of any kind between sites.  We were literally right on top of our drunk neighbors who were up too late, who spent the rest of their time shooting off fireworks (illegally, of course) and swearing at the throngs of kids they had brought along for the "fun".  But I digress...

Back to painting.

"Cascading Colors" 9x12
The town is very scenic and I managed to get 3 descent paintings done.  Although 3 isn't a lot, I was pretty happy with it considering never having been there before and the whole camping experience. I did spend a lot of time sight-seeing.  I also had a very nice time going out to dinner with a group of other Rochester artists who had come to paint in the festival, talking to the locals and taking in the scenery.  Here are the paintings and photos of the scenes that inspired them.

I would definitely do this festival again.  Not so sure about camping though, but then again, you never know.




"Haybales at Dusk" 9x12













"Parade Watchers" 9x12



Monday, July 15, 2013

Scam Again!

Well,it's been a while, but I got another scammer email.  This is how it went:

Hello,
These  particular artwork of yours that you have for sale, is it still available,if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about
it.
Regards,
Amy Bacon

And this was my reply:

Awesome Amy! 
So glad to hear from you.  The detailed price of the particular artwork of mine is $4,000,000,000.00.  Any questions?  Please feel free to contact the United States Attorney General's office.  I am sure they would LOVE to talk to you!
XOXO

LOL!  Effin idiots. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Walking In July" and "Summer Splendor"


       
    
Walking In July - SOLD
 I am always on the look-out for little out of the way places that  pique my interest and which really grab my attention. I found this  little spot in a small local park and I really liked the way the path  just disappeared into the woods.  I didn't even bother grabbing  my easel.  Just sat on the ground to paint. Walking In July" was  done yesterday after I got out of work. That's one of the  benefits of working summer school - half days!

"Summer Splendor" was done this morning after I dropped my daughter off at work.  I hated to make that trip without making it productive by doing a painting.  Now I need a decent map to find out where else I can go that's near her job.  I really like this particular location - lots of nice scenery.  And everything is so lush from all of the rain we've had.  I plan to head back there soon.  Both paintings are 6"x 9", unframed.

Summer Splendor - AVAILABLE
                                      
Both paintings were on the same piece of paper.  I cut them apart after they were done.
            

Monday, July 08, 2013

Summer Marsh

Summer Marsh - 9"x 12"  SOLD
Been a very rainy summer.  I have a week and a half off between the end of the school year and when summer school begins. I try to paint and focus on art things, but getting out to paint was beginning to look doubtful due to the weather.  I finally got out on Friday and did this one between rain storms.  I hope I can do more over the rest of the summer, weather permitting, of course!    SOLD
9"x12"

Friday, July 05, 2013

Shady Grove

Shady Grove - 9x12   Available
I don't always finish the paintings I start.  There's lots of reasons why; other things have to get done first, I lose interest, I never really liked the subject, there are problems with it I can't resolve right then...  I never toss them out, though. I just set them aside in the hope that I will finish them someday.

This is a painting like that.  I started out going gang-busters on it, but became distracted.  I was working in a small town and had lots of people stopping by to talk.  I really like to talk about my work, but it's hard to paint and talk at the same time.  Eventually I just quit.  I had enough of it done to show people what plein air was all about and that was enough.  I set it aside and rediscovered it several years later (yesterday).  I realized it had a lot of potential and decided it was time to finish it up.

Can be seen at the Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery in Canandaigua.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Values in Painting

Finger Lakes Farm  - 12x18  pastel  SOLD
Yesterday I presented a workshop for the Genesee Valley Plein Air Painters, a very dedicated bunch of painters who have a love of painting outdoors like I do.  The theme of the workshop was how to use value to improve one's paintings.  Value is the range of dark (black) to light (white) and everything in between.

I am very in-tune to value in my own work and feel that once the correct values are established, the rest of the painting comes together more easily.

For this demonstration, I had to work inside from a photo due to the possibility of rain.  I worked over an old unsuccessful painting which had virtually no value range.  It's no wonder it was unsuccessful.

I drew in the basic shapes with a pencil.  Then using 5 values, blocked in the painting with pastel - black for the trees, dark gray for the grassy fields and barns, medium gray for the driveway, lighter gray for the sky and white for the roof of the barn and silos.  That's it.

Next was color.  I went right over the value sketch with color in the same values as in the value layer.  I used a variety of colors in each value.  This can be done only because each of those colors are of the same value as the grays, black and white which I initially used.  If I put down a color which was not in the correct value, it was was glaringly obvious, making it easy to correct at that point.

I gave everyone a value-finder which I made to help them to see value without the distraction of color.  Then they were given the chance to do value sketches and at least one finished painting before ending the workshop with a critique and ice-cold drinks provided by GVPAP.  I really enjoyed myself and was very pleased by the results of the workshop.  Everyone's paintings had a beautiful range of value that seemed to show a better understanding of how of value can make for a better painting.    SOLD

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival

I was recently a participant in the Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival, held in Canandaigua, NY. In spite of the challenge of terrible weather, it was an amazing event and I would happily do it again.

I had to work on Wednesday and didn't expect to make it to the artist's reception at the Pat Rini-Rohrer gallery that evening because it was my daughter's birthday. But despite that and other crazy stuff going on at home, I made the mad dash to Canandaigua in time to have my paper stamped and to pick up the info packet and goody bag. I also got my key to the college dorms at Finger Lakes Community College, took a look at the suite (very nice), met my roommates (also very nice), and headed back home to pack.

Thursday it rained all day. It was unbelievable. The one thing that I can't deal with as a pastel artist is rain. It will totally ruin a pastel. So I packed up the car and waited for the rain to stop. But it didn't stop. More craziness at home thanks to one of my kids, make me unsure if I should even think of leaving home, but for the sake of my sanity, I finally left for Canandaigua late in the afternoon.

Once I got to the college, I unloaded my gear in the rain, then went to see a demonstration presented by our judge, David Lussier, at the Inn on the Lake. Very nice demo, complete with hors d'oeuvre and wine. Met up with some old friends and had a very nice time. Back to the dorm and to bed.

We were allowed to submit up to three paintings for judging, so I woke up early, as I always do and headed out into a damp, dank morning to paint. I needed to do 3 paintings today to make up for Thursday's wash-out. I noticed a very nice scene as I was putting my stuff in the car, and since it was threatening to rain, I set up my easel in the parking lot of FLCC and painted this.  One down two to go.


Thendara
I headed down the east side of the lake, aware that it could pour again at any minute. I found this little park off East Lake Road called Deep Run. Two other artists were set up there, but I set up, too. I got about half way done when it began to sprinkle. I ran to the car, grabbed a plastic drop-cloth and some clamps and clipped it to my umbrella. I sat under my make-shift tent working as the rain continued until the umbrella took a dive.  I figured I'd done as much as I could in the conditions. Two paintings done.  


Not good weather for pastels!
I put a lot of miles on the car looking for a spot that was sheltered and still had a good scene.  I should have just done a car painting like a lot of my fellow artists did.






High Tor - West River Access
I drove on to the southern end of Canandaigua Lake to an area called High Tor, a beautiful flat marshy area.  I parked in the access for the West River which runs through High Tor. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes where everywhere, so I took refuge in the car. I was glad I did because it began to rain - again! The scene shows a distant hill shrouded in mist and clouds with the foreground being the duckweed-covered inlet surrounded by trees. I like the hill, but it's hard to visually understand that you're seeing algae not grass, so I may change it so that it looks more like there is some water showing through. Three paintings done.


Ready for the show
Later, I met some friends for dinner and had a really nice time, headed off to the dorm to frame the work from the day then crashed for the night.  Up early again on Saturday to drop off paintings at the carriage barn at Sonnenberg Gardens, then into the city to stake out a rain-sheltered place to paint from for the “quick-draw” competition. The quick-draw had to be done within a specific 2 hour time period and within a certain distance from Main St. The painting was just so-so and I hope to do some adjusting to it later.

Skies clearing -finally!
The painting I did of the scene
I went back to the dorm afterward and caught a nap. Afterward, I headed out to paint again. The rain had finally stopped and I found shelter (just in case it rained again) in Kershaw Park at the northern end of the lake. I listened to some awesome music being played at a party in another section of the park while I painted. It was great.

I got cleaned up and headed to Sonnenberg Gardens for the Preview Party and Sale. Holy cow! I have never experienced anything like it in my life. The art was fabulous, as was the food, flowers, wine, music and everything else about the party. It was completely catered by a local restaurant called Nolan's and was free to the artists and a guest. I have never been treated like royalty, but I think this is what it must feel like. Awards were handed out and we all had a wonderful time.


Sold
Sunday, the last day of the weekend dawned with clear sunny skies, so I headed out to Rt. 12 to paint the incredible overlook there.  

Afterward, I got back to the dorm, packed up and went to Sonnenberg again for the exhibit and sale which was open to the public. Once again, everything about it was top-notch. It was one last chance to talk to fellow artists and share this incredible experience. I went home tired, but very glad I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Clara's Lilacs

Last fall I sold several paintings depicting local scenes of Rochester to a lovely lady I have never had the opport-unity to meet.  She is not from Rochester, but her husband is.  She buys the paintings as gifts for him so that he can have a little bit of Rochester with him, even though he doesn't live here anymore.

She asked me if I have ever painted the lilacs.  Rochester is well know for it's lilacs, but I never had.  Well, this year is different.  The lilacs this year were spectacular!  I HAD to paint them.  So, I picked a big bouquet of them and went to town.  It was wonderful fun and here's the painting.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pastel Demonstrations - Sunset Marsh


Sunset Marsh - studio piece   Sold
Sunset I - a demonstration

































Sunset II - a demonstration
Over the past couple of weeks, I've done two demonstrations.  The first was for the Batavia Society of Artists and the second was for the Penfield Art Association.  

In both demos, I used the same reference material.  The references I used were photos, sketches, on-site observation and an actual painting of an area that's fairly close to where I live.  I visit and photograph the scene often, in a variety of weather conditions.  I really like the scene, but it's along a roadway and isn't the kind of spot where I would just set up and paint on site.

Anyway, I was pretty interested to see all three paintings right next to each other for comparison. I think both are decent, especially in light of how quickly I painted the demo pieces (about one hour each), plus the fact that I was talking and explaining what I was doing at the same time. I may try to refine them and come up with a more complete painting, but maybe not.  I really like the looseness of each one of the demos compared with the studio painting although I see some things that would improve both of them.  We'll see.