Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pastel Demonstration

I was very inspired by Wednesday’s demo by Liz Haywood Sullivan.  So much so, that I immediately went to work painting.  I had wanted to paint all week anyway, but finding time is always a problem in my world.  Finding inspiration is not. Luckily, my granddaughter spent some time at the babysitter’s and with her grandfather, allowing me some uninterrupted time to complete this painting and to photograph it as I went.

First, I decided to reuse a piece of Wallis paper which I had painted on a few years ago, with less than mediocre results. 

I brushed it off, leaving a ghost image on it.

Using a sketch done from a photo I took last spring, I blocked in the basic shapes.

I laid down the darkest and lightest areas first.

Then, using alcohol and a brush, I liquefied the pastel in those areas, making large areas of solid color.

From there, I began to actually paint, putting down many light layers of pastel.

And after some tweaking, the finished product. 

"The Last of the Snow" 
12" x 18"

It felt wonderful to get something accomplished and I have to admit, I think it came out pretty well.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Liz Haywood-Sullivan Demo

I was fortunate enough to go to a pastel demonstration by Liz Haywood-Sullivan last night.  This free event was sponsored by the Rochester Art Club and was a great opportunity to see how Liz creates her beautiful pastel paintings from start to finish.  She generously shared her painting technique with us, explaining every aspect the process as she went.  Despite stopping to explain what she was (Photo credit: Suzi Zefting Kuhn)                   doing and why, as                                                                                    she continued to paint, Liz was still able to finish her painting in just about 2 hours.  The finished product was stunning and it was very for exciting to see the image emerging as she completed each step.  It was a wonderful experience.

I want to thank Rochester Art Club for opening this to the public and to Suzi Zefting-Kuhn for posting the notice about it on Facebook which is where I read about it.  By the way, Liz has written a book about pastel painting which will published by NorthLight in the very near future.  Look for it!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Millennium Marsh

On Wednesday, February 13th, I did a pastel demonstration for the Suburban Rochester Art Group. I do enjoy doing demos, even if it's still a bit unnerving for me to stand up in front of a group and discuss what I do. I guess my love of pastels and painting en plein air helps me to over-come my fear. I usually get a lot of great feedback and I'm always happy to be able to share my knowledge with anyone who will listen.

The demo I did was based on some photos I took this summer of Montezuma Wildlife Refuge's Millennium Marsh. The view overlooks the marsh and the day I was there it was hot and sunny. A beautiful day, with just enough haze to make things interesting. The demo went very quickly – about an hour of painting time. When I was done, the painting was pretty loose, but I was able to convey that value is more important than anything else in a painting.  It is painted on a piece of Wallis paper which I had done a painting on once before.  The original painting had been unsuccessful so I had wiped it out and I reused it here.   Once I got it home and in better light, I decide to work on it a bit more.  The pictures are of the piece after the demo and then after some refinement.   I like seeing them side by side.