Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pastel Painting Classes

Last summer I began to teach pastel painting through Irondequoit Community Education.  I have presented it in the fall and winter session too.  It has been a wonderful experience which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I am glad to announce that I will be teaching it again this spring, beginning on April 20th.

This class is geared toward all skill levels and encompasses a wide variety of subjects as they pertain to pastel painting.  It is a fun learning experience and if you have ever wanted to try pastel, but weren't sure how to get started, this will be right up your alley!  I include everything I can think of, starting with choices in paper and pastel brands, techniques and how to apply pastel, all the way to how to frame a finished piece.

If you'd like to learn about this exciting and versatile medium, I hope you'll consider taking my class.  You can call Irondequoit Community Ed more info at (585) 336-3014, or take a look at the course catalog online at (scroll down the page until you come to the link)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sultry Sunset

"Sultry Sunset" - pastel  8x10
The winter has been brutal this year.  Never-ending snow and the temps have been in the single digits for what feels like weeks.  There is no place left to put the new accumulation of daily snow.  I needed a break from it all, so my mind wandered off to a late summer evening where the humidity is thick and juicy, making the distant trees look blue.  The weeds are tall and dry, grasses are still lush.  The sky is a warm salmon pink.  Off in the distance crickets chirp.

I know those days will be back again before I know it.  Six more months to go.

This painting was done from my imagination in the studio.  Too cold to go outside.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!

"Lakeview" -  11x14", pastel    
Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery, Canandaigua, NY
Holy cow!  I have a lot shows coming up over the next month and a half.  Been working like crazy and been painting up a storm.  I like being busy, so it's all good.  I might just relax during January though.  I think I'm going to need it!

Here's the list of shows for the rest of November and December 2014.

Livingston Arts
4 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris, NY 14510 - just east of Letchworth
This boutique-style show and sale is held in the New Deal Gallery.
Now through Fri., November 11th -14th, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Thurs., November 13th, 12:00pm - 7:30pm
Saturday, November 15th, 11:00am – 3:00pm
For more info go to

Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery
71 South Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424
The gallery is filled with incredible art as well as holiday items.
November 15th – January 4th    

Show and Sale at the Mall at Greece Ridge Center
Suburban Rochester Art Group
Located in the Mall near Macy's and Old Navy
Fri., Sat. and Sun. - November 21st – 23rd

Morgan Manning House
151 Main Street, Brockport, NY 14420
The beautifully restored mansion hosts this annual holiday show and sale just in time for the holidays.
Fri., December 5th,10:00am - 9:00pm and Sat., December 6th 10:00am - 5:00pm

Greece Olympia High School, 1139 Maiden Lane, Rochester, NY 14626
I am supporting my alma mater by participating in this show for the first time.  I'll be in the cafeteria, Booth #49
Saturday, December 13th, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pastel Painting Classes

I probably should have put this in here a long time ago, but better late than never.  I am teaching a class in pastel painting starting this Monday, September 22 at Irondequoit Community Education.  I will cover all things to do with pastel. We will meet for 5 weeks.  If you are interested, please click on the link below or contact me at  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Summer Vacation Paintings: Up-Close and Personal

Thought you might like to see the paintings I did over the summer individually.  Click on the images to see them even larger.

"Spring Creek" pastel, 9x12
"Chasing the Clouds Away" pastel, 8x10
"Marsh View" pastel, 5x7
"Marsh Memories" pastel, 5x7
 "Pond Study" pastel, 4x6
"Changes" pastel, 8x10
"Cool Day at the Beach" pastel, 8x10
"Beach Walkers" pastel 4x6
"It's Cool In The Shade" pastel , 5x7
"Irondequoit Creek in Summer" pastel, 8x10

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

What I Did On My Summer Vacation 2014

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
This summer was really wonderful for me as an artist.  It was beautifully cool for the most-part, but pretty rainy.  Despite working at summer school, I still got out to paint as often as possible and was motivated to do some studio work when I couldn't work outside.

As a result, I managed to get a lot of work done, and even framed!  This is a photo of  the cumulative work from over the summer. I am very pleased by the volume and quality of the work. I am also a bit down in the dumps because I am back at school and my time and energy will be devoted to that.  I wish I could keep the momentum up, but realize that won't be possible to do both.

I will keep plugging away at it though, and will paint as often as my time and energy will allow, even if summer vacation is over.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cool Day at the Beach

Cool Day at the Beach  -  pastel, 8x10"
Well, summer is definitely winding down around here.  In a couple of days, the kids and I will all head back to school.  It's been a great couple of weeks and I was able to paint as often as I wanted to.  Truly felt like heaven to me.

The day I painted this was beautifully clear with a cool breeze coming across the lake from Canada.  Those distant  clouds came marching closer and closer until they filled the whole sky.  It didn't matter.  The colors of the sky and the water were fantastic; rich and pure.

Unlike some days when I head up to the beach in the summer, it was pretty deserted.  Only a few souls were brave enough to go into the water.  Most people there were content to just hang out on the sand.

Later, after it was dark, I decided to do a smaller version of the same scene based on the painting I did en plein air.  Both were such a joy to paint.

Beach Walkers  -  pastel, 4x6"
"Cool Day at the Beach"
pastel, 8x10"

"Beach Walkers"
pastel, 4x6"

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"

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"

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,    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.


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

Saturday, October 26, 2013


"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.

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  SOLD
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.

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!

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:

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
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!

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.