10/13/14

Opening Nov 1st ~ The Verdant Valley


I'm having a show.

A visual journey of pastel and oil.

Plein air and studio pieces

of the Willamette's verdant valley.

~Brenda


www.brendaboylan.com
www.artelementsgallery.com/

9/24/14

Never thought I'd say it, but...

I knew the summer months were going to be a fast-paced rush into the Fall, and they sure were, and boy am I glad it's slowin' down!  I can't believe I would ever say "I'm looking forward to the Fall", being a summer-time sun-loving kind of spirit, but the Fall comes with studio painting time and perhaps more of a routine. What has happened in the past 3 months? A LOT! So I think I'll keep this post pretty short albeit image heavy. So here goes....

June 7-Sept 7th, Oregon Historical Museum's "Clink, a Taste of Oregon Wine" show and exhibit. The show just ended but it was a great exhibit with wine tastings and stories of the history of Oregon's production of grapes and it's wine industry.
"Sentinel's Domaine"  24x24" Pastel  $2,200

June 25-July 10th, Yamhill Lavender Plein Air Festival:  Lovely lavender inspired great summer outings with palette and paint.

"Lavender Lodge" 12x12" Oil
Honorable Mention, Yamhill Lavender Plien Air

July 20-27th, Door County Plein Air Invitational: Beautiful scenery and weather, great artists, bowling, and a live auction. I am hoping for a repeat next year!
"Hardy's Garage" 11x14" Oil  Sold

"Farmer's Field" 11x14" Oil  Sold

"Morning Birches" 8x10" Pastel  Sold

"Clark Park Dock" 10x8" Pastel  Sold

On the easel "To His Koy Mistress"  16x12" Pastel

August 7-9th, Portland Art Museum Plein Air Invitational-Paris in the Parks: Two solid days of painting finished up with 1 solid day of showing. Met some interesting people in all levels of society within the parks.
No citations...yet

"Street Notes" 14x11" Oil

"Walking Amongst Towers" 14x11" (cropped)

"Sunrise on the Hawthorne" 11x14" Oil

August 17th, Arts Council of Lake Oswego Garden Party Paint out: What a treat to paint to live music with people who are involved in the fine art industry. I like how the champagne glasses twinkle.

"Garden Party" 8x10" Oil  (cropped)  Sold

August 24th, Villa Catalana Paint Out:  A painting day with 20 other plein air artists on a Spanish style estate, all decked out with a lotus pond and winery.
"Contemplation Pond" 16x12" Oil

Then about a month ago, I got notice that "The Blue Line" received the President's Award at the Pastel Society of America's 42nd Annual.  So I went to NYC last weekend with my husband to take in some sights and to receive the award. What an honor. Then while I was writing this post, I got news that this piece was selected to hang in the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio. After it returns home, it will have traveled a total of 6,630 miles. Pretty ironic for a painting of a street car.

"The Blue Line" 24x24" Pastel  $2,600

Pictured here with PSA President Jimmy Wright

Then the good news keeps on getting better! Just a few days ago I got notice that his piece below, "Stopping Point" was awarded "Best Pastel" in the Bold Brush August show. Artist's Happy Dance!  It will be hanging in the Beaverton Art's Mix, or "BAM!" this coming Sept 30-Oct 12th.

"Stopping Point" 20x16" Pastel  

So with all this activity one could clearly understand why my blog postings have nearly stopped. I still hope to establish a better pace of posting now that the Fall begets a regular schedule. My routine has already started to settle down just a bit as I prepare for a weekly Pastel Class Series hosted by the Oregon Society of Artists.  These classes will be a reflection of my intensive workshops, but at a much slower pace so the students can take their time with each concept. So there you have it. My crazy, fast paced summer is finally coming to an end.

Well, that's all for now.
~B

7/16/14

Thoughts on Plein Air Events and re-cap of LGPA.

About a month ago, I headed down to sunny California to participate in The Los Gatos Plein Air and am finally journaling about my experience of the event. WARNING...this is a LOOONG post!

While I am also wishing to share with you a bit about the process of participation, I will be using the Los Gatos Plein Air as my model and what to expect, and perhaps offer up a few pointers for those who are curious on how they work. Los Gatos Plein Air is still my personal favorite plein air event. I say this because it is so much of a reunion of friends, family, and collectors who come out to say "Hi" as well as the familiar landscape from my childhood that evokes a sense of belonging. I have painted for dozens of plein air events over the past 7-8 years that have given me many great experiences, and exposure from which to write a novel, but this one I return to year after year. It is run by the incredible Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club.

Each event has it's own personality unique to the area and culture of the region. First of all, there are the simply organized, non-juried, fun community events that are run on a shoestring budget by a small grass-roots volunteer group. These events offer up a loose and relaxed pace, with the opportunity to paint alongside all levels of artists.  I would consider them the hidden gems of plein air. These community events often offer the opportunity to hang the work in a park, a group center or even perhaps in an old stable for a weekend. It's that simple.

The juried shows offer a varying level of participation. From my experience, the level of artist is equal to the level of sales and award purses, if available. For example, if an event that has beautiful scenery to paint from, but low sales and awards, the event could potentially die out or attract less experienced participants. These events are still worth it simply for the joy of painting as I often consider this level of event to be sort of a painting getaway with like minded artists. Potentially, the artist's expenses may not likely to be covered with no, or low sales, which is why I'd nearly consider it a painting getaway. An artist has to weigh in the expenses of gas, car rental, food, housing, and perhaps the shipment of gear, commissions and the cost of a flight can make participation a gamble if there are low sales. This has happened to me and it's a ego crusher I tell ya. Unless you have sales, well then, I'd say it's definitely a great event much like Los Gatos Plein Air.

Then there is the level of plein air events where some 150+ eager volunteers are all serving for a higher cause, offering large prize purses along with high volume of sales that attract the attention of a higher end competitive artist, which in turn attracts the higher end collector. It is a win-win situation, making for more competitive entries than there are spots available.

Finally, there is the level of plein air event where the artist is "invited" to participate. There is no jurying process, there is no application fee, there is simply a "yes" or "no" approval by the artist. My guess is the event organizers search these artists either by plein air participation, publicity and marketing, national exposure or gallery representation. I'd consider an invitation to be a huge honor and privilege because the artists are sought after professionals and the event is marketing to their distinguished collector base. Usually these events are much like the level described above with all the support along with the artist recognition.

So back to Los Gatos....   I flew into San Jose, CA. a few days ahead of the event to allow myself time to acclimate and scout out my areas from which to paint. This often saves on painting time and frustration of where to park, paint and pee. Yes, the 3P's are a must in this industry, but I digress...  Juried events usually start off with a canvas stamping on the back of your panels. Some events don't even care to stamp a canvas, while other events use the dated stamping process to prove that the piece was actually painted during that particular event. It also serves as proof that you are a juried artist in the event. Los Gatos provides host families for those artists who have come from a great distance. This is such a welcomed relief on many levels because it reduces costs for the artist, as well as offers up an opportunity to know a resident and learn a bit about the area. All of my past hosts have been wonderfully supportive and exceptionally helpful and generous with their homes.

Day 1 
Tuesday
(2 paintings)

Los Gatos stamps all the artists canvasses from 8:00 am till 12:00 noon at the Los Gatos Art Museum. After a brief hello to the organizers and getting any last minute information and goodie bag, all the artists are unleashed to create their works for the next 4 days. I hooked up with Portlanders Kat Sowa, Anton Pavlenko, Yer Za Vue, and Yong Hongzhong to paint for the day. We started out in the southeast bay area, where Calero Resevoir and farmland scenes are abundant. We painted by a pioneer barn, the Coleman Barn, but mine turned out to be a dud! I mean it was a stinker, which sometimes happens right out of the gate.

The Coleman Pioneer Barn

I figure 3 out of 10 paintings will make the cut, so I recommend stamping more panels than frames available. Pictured below is the second stop of the day, located above the Santa Clara valley, hidden under some California Oaks that offered protective shade.

Here is my painting spot with the view of the Santa Clara Valley, looking eastwardly.

The finished piece, sorry for the bad photo.  
"View from Red Clay Way" 8x10" Pastel  (Sold)

That evening the LGPA had an Artist Reception and Mandatory Orientation at the Los Gatos Museum. Most events offer an orientation to get up to date guidelines and changes, suggested painting locations, judging, hanging, and everything you would need to know about the event as a participant. Usually this information is provided prior an event through email communication, but it is always a great way to gather and answer any questions before the meat of the event sets in. It also provides a great opportunity to meet the organizers, reconnect with artist friends as well as meet a few benefactors.  After the orientation, artists may chose to go out and enjoy a meal together or head out to paint some more. Either way, the hours of work are exhaustive. Getting up early to paint a sunrise and staying up long after hours to catch a moonrise into a nocturne are when the best light is available. Lack of sleep is the norm, as well as everybody else is running on adrenaline to keep ahead of the clock. I have often suggested there should be a reality show for these events with all it's drama. Now, wouldn't that be interesting?

Day 2
Wednesday
(3 paintings)

One of my pre-scouted locations, I had decided to paint the view of the valley as seen through a vineyard. So, I headed up to Mountain Winery with my friend and artist participant Tonya Zenin. We had the direct sun on us as well as being up higher in the atmosphere which means plenty of sunscreen. I recommend the spray on sunscreen as you won't have to wipe off that greasy film from your hands as well as application is a snap. Tonya and I painted the very same scene, but with completely different interpretations...as well as a few really great laughs about artistic life.

"Mountain Vineyard View" 11x14" Pastel  (Sold)
Honorable Mention

After this painting, Tonya and I went and ate some lunch and then we went back out to do an urban scene in downtown Los Gatos.  

Painting "Vintages" store front.

I have found that painting on the hard cement can injure your back and hips. One simple solution is to purchase a foam fatigue mat at Home Depot and tape the edges all together to make a double mat. It really does help to keep your back and hips from injury. I fashioned a tape "handle" to make it easy to carry to your painting location. I don't have one here in this picture, but I swear by it while painting urban scenes back home.

Partially done "Dressmakers Form" and in the direct hot afternoon sunlight made for a challenging scene. I loved the vintage dress form, but the shadows on it were bouncing all around. I chose to eliminate the shadows altogether, but I was not completely satisfied with my results.

After a quick snack, Tonya and I wanted to catch some late afternoon lighting, and I had wanted to return to a site where I had painted once before. I loved how the afternoon light warmed up the oaks on the distant hill as well as a lot of dramatic shadows and light.

Painting up on Larga Vista Road right off of Blossom Hill.

"Blossom Hill" 14x11" Pastel  (sold)

Day 3
Thursday
(3 paintings)

Fatigue is setting in, I'm getting into a groove, and I have had some success with my work. Hooray! Today was an urban day for me, and so I set out to one of my favorite spots, Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company. I have painted this scene before and return to it every time with a different interpretation. This time around, I had asked one of the customers if he was planning on sitting for at least 20 minutes, and so he agreed to, but honestly, the caffeine either was doing a great job on me, or he was just wiggly and not a great subject to paint. Regardless, he continued to remain there long after I was done so I was able to gesture him into the painting. I wanted to get the feeling of activity in this piece as this coffee shop is a busy stop for many Los Gatan's.


"Starting the Day" 16x12" Pastel  (sold)

After this piece, I carried my gear over towards the house of John and Sue McSorley, the hosts of the Artist Luncheon. They live in the downtown area, close in and are one of my favorite folks to visit with. Every year, they and the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club host this event in their yard, providing a fuel stop, rest stop, hydration from the sun's heat and much needed shade. It is a great opportunity to gather with the other artists to compare notes, share painting locations as well as time to mingle.

"Tassles" 10x8" Pastel  (sold)

My next piece was painted mid-day, so I was happy to work a dress shop called Tassles that offered little shadow transitions. However, I was again in direct sunlight and getting hot and sun exposed so I had to take a few breaks to hydrate and apply sunscreen frequently. What I enjoy most about painting urban scenes is the general public seems to be, well, interesting. Many are curious, some could just care less, while there is the occasional walkie talkie. Beware of urban painting if you would much rather have silence. On the other hand, it provides a great way to share your love for art as well as it offers the general public a view into an artists creativity.  I have painted this shop once before and have come to enjoy the shop owner, Coco. She has been a sweet familiar face to see every time I paint the town. 

Late in the day, I returned back to my host's home to begin the process of framing pastels. It is a daunting chore. It also gave me some quiet time to be indoors to cool down from the sun and re-group. While participating in these events, it's always good practice to schedule in some down time. Something I do little of, but when I do, it's possibly the most rewarding. A smart, heathy snack, a nap, and a tall glass of water works wonders. 

That evening a few hosts and their artists had been invited to a bar-be-que by one of the Rotarians. These people know how to entertain! Plenty of conversation, food, and drink was offered. After we had all filled up and visited for some time, a few artists had decided to go paint a nocturne in downtown Los Gatos. 
"Haute Bride" 10x8" Pastel

We set up around 10:00 pm and worked our night magic on the streets. It's interesting to see the change of street activity from dawn to dusk and deep into the night, but Los Gatos is a pretty safe place. While out painting en plein air, always evaluate your surroundings. Safety is a must for a painter who may become engrossed into the painting process, especially when there are pedestrians who are not "always there" or missing a few screws. We were up until 1:30 am painting. Some of my high school friends even came out to watch me paint so there was plenty reason to be out late. I returned back to my hosts house just as they were returning from a wedding, and I hopped into the shower and was in bed by 2:30 am.

Day 4
Friday
(framing day)

When the schedule of events is published to the participating artists, I always plan on a day of framing or at least divide it out as I go along. When I do frame throughout the span of the event, I usually plan it during the mid-day while the light is the least attractive. It gives me time to settle down, focus, as well as get the most difficult part of my job done. Framing pastels is not an easy chore and this is why you will see very few pastels in plein air competitions. I have made it easy on myself by pre-assembling the glass, spacers and wiring long before I leave my home. Depending on the distance of the event, I may have to ship my frames and gear at great expense ahead of time, and other times the frames come along with me in my car. For long distance events, I use Optium Acrylic Museum grade glasing because of it's anti-reflection, weight, scratch resistant and anti static qualities. It also has a price three times the average cost of glasing. I love the stuff because I don't have to worry about a broken, chipped piece of glass to replace on location and the weight and handling is not a worry.  I ended up framing 7 pieces plus we were allowed to bring one studio piece from home. I had 8 total for sale and it was looking like a solid body of work. Framing all my work in like-style frames gives the appreciating public the feeling of consistency, or a story line...like it was created by the one artist.

Around 5:00, each artist turned in one favorite piece at the VIP Gala. After that, it was celebration time!

The Friday night VIP Gala had plenty of room to move about and the work was displayed with integrity. One display panel per painting with it's own light to illuminate each work made for nearly 50% of the pieces sold. There was adequate, delicious food and the general flow of the Gala was welcoming and roomy. Everyone had a wonderful time. Less tickets were available for purchase, but at a higher price that perhaps this created room for more serious collector attendance.  Each artist selected their favorite piece out of the 32 pieces submitted for the prestigious "Artist's Choice" award. Sorry I do not have the information on the piece, but it was my favorite one for sure!

Attendees Tonya Zenin (artist), John McSorely, Tina and Clay Goodman.

At the VIP Gala with Portland artists Yong Hongzhong, Kat Sowa, Anton Pavlenko, Yer Za Vue, Me, and then welcomed photobomber Timothy Tien on the far right.

Day 4
Saturday in the Park
(Sale day, judging)

Up bright and early, we had to deliver and hang our body of work in the park. Each artist has to fill in all the paperwork:  Inventory number, title, size, medium, contact info, artist name and price. I like to do this logistical work ahead of time while I am framing because turning in the work is often a chaotic and confusing time, so mistakes can happen. The Saturday sale was smooth and very well attended, and the weather cooperated too!  In years past, we have had torrential rain, baking 105 degree heat, and more baking heat. This year the weather was definitely Californian!

My piece "Mountain Vineyard View" (above) gained Judge Paul Kratter's attention, awarding it an Honorable Mention as well as my friend Tonya's Vineyard piece too!  

Happy with Paul's decision! It's never ever an expected outcome,
but sometimes ya just gotta take the punches with the petals. 

In Summary

What I most love about painting in this event is the generosity of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club members. I also must give credit to the community that supports the event, the scenery, the returning collectors and friends who drop by while I am there and of course, the weather. So many great memories are made while painting for plein air events, weather they are non-juried community gatherings or high end juried competitions. Most importantly, I thank you for your endurance reading this far and I'm hoping that you enjoyed my report and small offerings of advice on participating in plein air. Next week I'm off to paint in Door County Plein Air, for an invitational plein air event. I have never been there, but I expect it will be another great adventure!

It's been quite the journey.


~ Brenda

6/9/14

Mixing it up! Built Up, Casting Shadows, francesca's, and The Creamery

Built Up, 12x12" Pastel

Still have an immense amount of work to do in the studio that has nothing to do with painting, but everything to do with upcoming shows and competitions, so there is no recent work to share.  In the meantime, here are a couple of pastels I worked on a few months ago that have been entered into two separate shows. I'm hoping they both get in, but having been a judge and been judged, ya never know what they will pick from day to day. Anyway, I still like them and find a lot of joy pushing the colors or working on unusually rough surfaces like the one below.

"Casting Shadows" 9x12" Pastel on reclaimed Wallis paper

This piece was painted on a used piece (reclaimed) of Wallis sanded paper. I will take a painting that just didn't turn out and will wash away the pastel pigment that retains a subtle ghosting on the paper. Sometimes a reclaimed piece of Wallis will offer a most unusual effect. Here the sky has a darker underpainting. It worked out great because the sky was ever changing with threatening clouds moving in fast.

"francesca's" 14x11" Oil on canvas panel

Back in mid-May, I plein air painted for one weekend for the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts "Chronicle Show". The Arts Counsel of Lake Oswego planned a plein air event to chronicle the city and had asked 30 artists to paint the parks and urban spaces. The "paint out" was a two-weekend event with selected locations. I decided on downtown Lake Oswego and here is what I painted. "franchesa's" (above) took two sessions to complete as it was pretty complicated.  The one below, "The Creamery" took nearly 4 hours to complete, that's including time with visitors and chit chat with fellow artist Jennifer Deihl at my side.
"The Creamery"  12x16" Oil on cavas panel

The LOFA Chronicle show information is posted in my "events" in the right column.

Following the paint out weekend, I flew down to Carmel to paint along with 50 other artists in the Carmel Arts Festival, so I didn't get to paint both weekends for the Chronicle. :(  Not a bad deal though, because Carmel is such a beautiful area to paint! More to come later.....

5/27/14

Getting back on track

Gosh, I've been offline now for nearly 3 months and so much has happened with no time to recover and replenish my energy.  Moving into the plein air season means a lot of painting outdoors when the weather is cooperating, especially in Oregon where rain is the main deterrent.  I took a trip down to California to paint the desert in the Palm Springs area and Monterey CA. with a couple of fun and adventurous painters Michael Orwick and Thomas J. Kitts. We three packed ourselves, our luggage, and painting gear into a Prius with a top box and ventured on to paint. I didn't expect to, but I  truly fell in love with the desert. It was quite a different scene than what I was imagining with coral and sage colors in the early morning to orange and soft blues in the late afternoon light. We discovered the best times were the starts and finishes of each day, making for long working hours. Here are a few paintings from the desert.

"Skirts" 12x9" Pastel 

This piece was painted in Indian Canyon, an area that is sacred to the Native Cahulla tribe. It hosts many types of palm trees that nurse off of the streams that spring from the San Jacinto Mountain range.  The colors of the palm skirts range from orange to grey, purple to pink and almost any color you can see. This was a magical piece to paint.

My setup.

"Desert Breath" 8x6" Pastel

This piece was painted in a 30 minute race to catch the setting sun's last glimmer. It was probably the most exciting and favorite piece to paint in a long time. Unfortunately, this desert floor is slated for a housing development :(

We woke up at 5:30 to catch the sunrise on the San Jacinto Mountain Range.

"Color Cast" 12x9" Pastel

Just after the sunrise, all the colors immediately go flat.

"Evening Wash" 9x12" Pastel

Another one of my favorites, because of the warm and cool colors used to portray the evening's last hint of light, I painted this as the sun was setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains. The light was incredible in the desert and was so happy to experience such a tender display of color. The mountain range took most of my rendering time because of the subtle nuances of light on the range. The foreground wash area just happened to fill in so immediately. Ya gotta love that when that happens.

Then off for a full day of driving to Monterey, Ca for the Plein Air Convention.

The Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) provides a great time to reconnect with painting friends from past competitions as well as making new connections along with tons of learning. I love this event and the energy it has. Again, I was asked to go on stage and offer up a pastel demonstration. Although I was fully prepared for the demo, I didn't get "staged" in time and then tripped up on the staircase. My side tray of selected pastels all fell to the floor and made for an Academy appearance. It did rattle me a bit, but I recovered and continued as best as I could.  Here is my demo, titled after the spill.

"Tripping Pond" 12x16" Pastel

Demoing onstage

One of my pieces from the 700 artist paint out painted at Point Lobos State Park

There is still so much more to share about my past adventures, but I'm guessing you have read this far and are ready to tune out. I may be a bit sporatic at best, to post more regularly, but like I said the plein air season has me outdoors chasing the time allotted for me to create. 

Thanks for sticking with me. ~Brenda

3/19/14

Arriving on Tenth, 20x16

"Arriving On Tenth" 20x16" Pastel

Gosh! So much has happened since I last posted, I can't even begin to blog about it all. The happenings and goin's on's seemed to have slammed me all at once with shows, upcoming plein air events, paint outs, and competitions.

First of all, I am thrilled as punch as well as deeply humbled to have received notice that my painting "Arriving on Tenth" was juried into the IAPS 24th Annual show. I now have to get it framed and shipped to Boston before the May 10th opening at Vose Gallery. Now is the time for me to get my calendar all coordinated so not to miss a delivery deadline.

I also will be heading down to Monterey next month for the Plein Air Convention to demonstrate a 1-hour pastel painting. It sounds almost impossible to create a nice work of art under the tight time condition, so I have been preparing for "as quick as can be" piece. Although there is no way possible to finish a piece in front of so many on a stage, quiet resolution and relationship with a piece is not a priority for such a situation. So, I just practice the piece several times to make sure I don't disappoint my audience. I am planning on creating an urban piece like the one above.

Add to that the fun two workshops I have planned and a few exciting plein air events that all add up to a very busy summer. Then, and only then, perhaps I will take a vacation from myself and finally allow myself a bit of rest and rehabilitation with my family.

Here is the line up:

3rd Annual Plein Air Convention
Event Dates: 4/7/2014 - 4/11/2014
Workshop Dates: 5/2/2014 - 5/4/2014

Carmel Juried Plein Air 2014
Event Dates:  5/15/2014 - 5/18/2014,



Event Dates: 6/20/2014 - 6/22/2014

Door County Plein Air Invitational 2014Event Dates: 7/20/2014 - 7/26/2014

Solo Show: The Verdant Valley 
Event Dates: 10/30/2014 - 11/22/2014

2/18/14

What Pastels Do You Use?

Pictured here is a full box of Terry Ludwig Vibrants (front and center), The Most Requested Violets (bottom center)  and a small glimpse of my pastel box at hand (upper left)

Often while I am out painting with my pastels, or while teaching a pastel workshop I am asked the question of what brand I prefer.  I have tried perhaps a dozen brands and have honed into my favorites, although with the popularity of this medium there are bound to be many more brands being created over time. I think brand selection, hardness to softness has a lot to do with one's personal style of working and mark-making. For me, I prefer the softer pastels for my technique because I have grown accustomed to their characteristics. Perhaps I am missing the boat on this one, but others like using the harder pastels for the preliminary stage of underpainting, blocking in, or setting values. For me, I just use a dispersed pigment of Createx, or perhaps I will use a quick, thin block-in of pastel and wash it down with OMS or Turpenoid

It only goes without saying that experience and experimentation are key to one's own personal style. Over time, I have gravitated to Terry Ludwig Pastels as my all time favorite brand. Let me mention that I am not getting paid to write this up, or getting any sort of kudos for mentioning this brand, as I am only giving my opinion here. The square shape is perfect for the way I work, often because they have a flat side for filling in color. Also these square shaped pastels have sharp, crisp corners that allow for more detailed line work for tree trunks, or other skinny marks. They are versatile as well as soft, but not too buttery, as well as the pigmentation is rich. There are a few other pastels that I prefer over others, but just as long as they are in the "soft" category of all things pastel. That would be the Unison and then the Sennelier brands. When students sign up for my workshops, I provide a supply list and offer up some pastel brands that will give the student a great start on working in pastel. It's when a student decides on getting a "student grade" of pastel, then they become frustrated with it's limitations. Trust me when I say that higher quality pastels will be more money, but you will get farther faster with them too. So give yourself permission and get the quality you deserve.

So before you sign off, I have to shout out a bit of shameless self-promotion here. If you have always wanted to get yourself off to a great start with pastels, or wish to gain more in-depth knowledge of the medium along with practical techniques and exercises, I have put together two pastel workshops in March and in May that are now on the calendar HERE. Hope you can come join me.

All for now,
B

2/16/14

Nautilus Know-how, 6x6

"Nautilus Know-how" 6x6" Oil

I'm continuing my fetish with the 6x6" canvases as I seem to sell them almost a quickly as I paint them, which isn't such a bad deal. This one by far is my favorite because of the complexity of colors, although all of the 6x6"s continue to hold close to my heart. This time around I payed more attention to lost and found edges of the shell. Softening edges has always been a challenge while at the easel, but when it's done right it really adds so much more interest for the viewer. Setting the shell up upon a table, it was well below eye level, so I searched around the studio to find something available that could be used for the prop. A couple of books laying around would solve the height issue and these two had just the right hints of the same colors in the shell making them an instant "plus" for this piece. Hope you enjoy.   

2/9/14

Workshop in May set!


It's not often that I teach a workshop because of my crazy and whacky schedule, but when I do I hope to offer a jam-packed, info-infused workshop experience. Listed on my website are two upcoming pastel workshops for the Spring season geared for the beginner to intermediate pastelist.  Pastel Punch! and Pastels Inside & Out offer about the same type of information, but the Inside & Out workshop offers a day of painting outdoors as well as everything possible about pastels, including a bit on properly framing this dusty medium. I love sharing what I know and what I have learned over the years as an artist...it's when we give our society that spirit of artistic resonance and continuity.  So if you have the desire, come sign up for one of these info packed sessions as I offer only a couple each year.  Oh, and I almost forgot! You can learn a lot about pastel painting at the Plein Air Convention and Expo in Monterey, CA this April.  There will be several sessions presented by world class pastelists such as Clark Mitchell, Jan Mcgraw-Teubner, Richard McKinley, Urania Christy Tarbet, and Lorenzo Chavez to name a few and as well, I have been asked to demonstrate a 1 hour pastel session on the Demo Stage (April 8th)
"Asilomar Overlook" 8x10" Pastel

Pastel Punch!  $325.00  March 22-24 in Springfield, OR
Pastels Inside & Out   $300.00   May 2-4th in St Johns, Portland, OR.