11/30/17

Little Gems | 8x10's | Studio Sale


Rarely do I have the opportunity to host an open studio sale, but I am at a point where I have a little time on my side AND I am highly motivated to make some room available in my studio for new work. 

The good thing is ... you get to benefit from it!  

Below is a small sampling of what I have listed on my website, priced to move. Free shipping to any address in the Continental US. All pieces are unframed.

Click HERE to shop.











10/26/17

Clip of the Crop 11x14

(11x14" oil on linen)

Being out in the sunshine painting a beautiful scene with bold color like this makes for a fulfilling day. This piece was created with an accompanying 3-part video short in order to share with you an inside look at my process. Jane Bell Meyer of The Mission Gallery has conceptualized the idea of presenting several plein air artists painting for three days in a row.  It's quite a kick to see how each artist conveys what they see, where they are, and how they communicate it in paint. 

Here is my very attempt at trying to tape myself at the easel, not very easy and not an Oscar winning moment either, but you get the gist.  Enjoy!


Watch HERE.

5/22/17

Lloyd via Pearl 16x20"

"Lloyd via Pearl" 16x20" Pastel

Hadn't shared this one yet cuz I've been so busy with family stuff... graduation, and my folks visiting. It's been a fun week of celebrating and more, and now back to work today. Weather is looking too good to be inside, yet much to do that has piled up in the studio. So I'm finally getting this one out there. Worked on it during the rainy months here in Portland. I came upon this scene when I made a wrong turn and ended up with the perfect moment to shoot a pic from my car dashboard as the trolley was stopping. Loved the lights and the atmosphere of the scene. 

5/15/17

I have a new workshop to share with you!



Offering a 2 day "Pastels en Plein Air" workshop. Come join in a fun and highly educational plein air pastel workshop for all levels of painters. Plein air painting has its own challenges and advantages, offering quick studies to beautiful finished works in just a few hours. Get to know the best practices, methods, materials, and how to select a scene that will cement your solid foundation of plein air painting. We will focus on how to build a painting through design, values, shapes, and color to jump start your plein air journey. Brenda will offer a brief demonstration each day to help you focus on the essentials of plein air. Additionally, there will be personal advice at your easel and we will wrap up each day with a group discussion/critique at the San Clemente Art Supply.


Brenda is a Signature Member of LPAPA & the Pastel Society of America, and has been an instructor at the 2nd ,3rd, and 6th Plein Air Conventions.

Dates: 8/26/2017 - 8/27/2017
Pre Demo date: 8/25 at 4:00pm

Tuition:  $275

Register through San Clemente Art Supply and Framing (patience please...class may not yet be listed)
or visit Brenda’s workshop listings at https://brendaboylan.com/workshops

Contact Heather Raposo to register at scaclasses@scartsupply.com
949-369-6603

3/11/17

The Fall Line, 24x24"

"The Fall Line" 24x24" Pastel ©Brenda Boylan

Urban scenes continue to inspire me because of the activity, lights, and pops of color. I Portland, OR., where I live we have a metropolitan transit system called the MAX.  There are several routes that travel throughout the various areas of the central region often crossing bridges, and sections of town. Some of the the routes are identified by the color of the trolley.

In this particular piece, I focused on a triad color scheme of orange, purple and green with a dominant warm color temperature. Because it was a Fall scene, I chose as the dominant hue.  Look closely and you might see hints of orange in the street.  

1/23/17

Afternoon Adagio, 20x16"



It is with great anticipation that I post this new piece "Afternoon Adagio. You see, I will be sending this piece off to Atlanta for the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational. It is a rather new event located in Atlanta, GA. and boasts a large following in a very short period. I will be 1 of thirty plein air artists that will gather from across the US to paint for Olmsted, and as part of the event we are required to send in a piece for the Collector's Preview Gallery. I am so excited to be a part of it! Since the weather has brought us snow I kept inside my studio and created something warm and summery.

The Collector's Preview Exhibit will be at The Booth Wester Museum in the Bergman Gallery, during the month of March, 2017.

1/11/17

Modifying an Open Box M for Oil

I don't know about you, but when I go out to paint on location I am all about putting paint down as soon as possible. When a scene calls out to be painted, setting up your gear needs to be quick and streamline. When equipment has more that 4 steps to setting up, it gets nerve-racking. This could include setting up the tripod and attaching the box to a tripod, squeezing out the pigment, and setting out the brushes and turp, The sun is your clock in plein air, and so a simple and speedy set-up is important. 

Many plein air boxes on the market are clam-shell design, and in my opinion are the most efficient type of pochade box available. The clam shell box I like most is the bomb proof Open Box M. I love it's simple design, but over the years have despised the fussy hinge system that seemed to get caught up in my backpack and took 6 twists to adjust into position. If I could eliminate 6 twists down to 1 twist, that means a bit of fussiness would be eliminated. It may seem nerdy to have to go through the trouble of changing out the hinge system, but I am all about simplification here.  

Here is what I did to ease the set up of my already well used box:


The Open Box M with the hinge system. Each side has 3 wing nuts to adjust.  As you can see, the wing nuts stick out on the sides of the box and they often get caught up onto other equipment.


All the fussy hardware was impractical, so I removed the hardware and replaced with the two piece system that I picked up from Judson's. 


Guerrilla Painter Replacement Lid Bracket for 102 Series Boxes can be found in the Do It Yourself section HERE.


Your local hardware store can help if you don't have the tools or the know-how with woodworking and set-up. Most times I have found that the guys in the hardware store love problem solving and this one proved to have a few challenging sessions. One of the challenges was to allow room for the black knob to clear the glass on the inside of the wood wall.  In order to do that, we had to completely replace the old glass mixing surface and install a new piece with a cut-out clearance area for the knob. Use a dremmel tool to cut a notch out for the knob. Finally, we attached the hinge system and now it opens and closes with just one twist.

Have you ever adapted or streamlined your equipment to aid in your production? If so, please share.

1/7/17

Cattails, 14x14


"Cattails" 14x14" Oil on canvas panel (plein air)

Brrrrr. It's winter alright. Here in Oregon we are being treated to the coldest temps in a long time. Makes me wish for the heat of summer, but I think I'd even settle for mild temps of Fall. I painted this scene last October at the edge of a swampy wetland on the property of a horse stable. I went there to paint horses, but came home with a cattail painting.  Subtle greys, inspired with a hint of warm and cool colors.

1/1/17

Winterglow, 9x12

"Winterglow" 9x12" Oil

Winter. Well I tell you, it is either cold outside or raining. Take your pick, Oregon has some crappy weather in the winter for plein air artists. However, if you can find your way outside while the rain stops or the sun shines, then by all means take that opportunity to paint. We recently had a dumping of fresh snow up at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and the snow reports have been nothing short of "perfect".  So my family and I went up for a snow day. They get to ski, and I get to paint, and it was my first time painting in the snow. 

Plein air setup with a sun-shield

The snow is beautiful in the sunlight, with glittering color and shifts of light, however that sunlight can really burn you up with all the reflective light.  I clipped on a car shield to my easel to protect my eyes from the glare and eye fatigue. I think next time I'll bring a black tarp too, to stand upon so that the brightness of the snow is not reflecting back up at me.

Overall, I had a great time painting in the snow and plan on more opportunities to do so again.

12/8/16

A Lite Meal, 9x12

I am really enjoying teaching pastel. I think it's because my demos are much more looser than a long term studio piece that I tend to grovel over. Having a crowd behind me makes me work faster, with pure intension.  Here is a piece on watercolor underpainting.

I started out with a sketch. I had to use a blue hard pastel because it was the only midtone value I had in a hard pastel. Funny though, as it seemed to resist the watercolors.

Blocking in the values

Added in the light values and midtones. I tried not to overwork the details 
because they can easily kill a piece.

11/19/16

Taking Risks

As a painter, I often take risks. It is what moves me forward as an artist. I ask, why wouldn't I try something new? Well, to prove a point, one wouldn't grow from doing the same thing over and over again now would they? So I take risks. I also live for the moment. I love the experience of doing things that others would find silly, challenging, or perhaps a bit dangerous. I think I get this perspective from having lived a life full of health challenges that pose a potentially shorter life expectancy. Perhaps there is safety in knowing I lived my life with no regrets, and so I do things that are a bit over the edge as in this fine example of painting on a railroad track.

Autumn Tracks 8x6" Oil on canvas panel

A good painting friend and I decided we'd go out to paint by the Beaverdam in our town of Beaverton (Oregon"s state animal) at daybreak. When we met up, my painting buddy already arrived and was up on the tracks that cross over the dam. As the sun broke, it was so beautiful. All the Fall colors were glowing and the light was clear, but it was the tracks that made for a pattern of curves and light reflecting from the sky exhilarating.

As seen from my point of view

A perspective not often thought of.

So, I had shared this image on Facebook and someone commented that we could be arrested for trespassing on railroad property. Well I guess jail time is not that fun and so this was the first and last time I'll do this ever again, but at least I can say I did it!

11/17/16

Pouring the Foundation, 9x9

"Pouring the Foundation" 9x9" Pastel on Paper

When I present a pastel workshop or class series, I love sharing new ideas and materials that I have experimented with my students. Here is one example of a pastel piece that was painted on a navy blue Canson paper using the lumpy side.  I enjoy using the lumpy surface because it sort of feels like the sanded surface that I am so enamored with. I use the side of my pastels to lightly glide over the texture, allowing the pits to remain unfilled. It gives it a funky look that sort of looks like I painted it on a window screen. It worked well with this particular subject as I loosely conveyed the activity of this scene, leaving the viewer to "fill in" the rest. 

10/30/16

Snuggle 6x6"

"Snuggle" 6x6" Oil on Gallery wrapped canvas

This past weekend I was invited to paint a few 6x6's at my local Blick Art Materials store as a promotion for the upcoming Audubon show. I had taken a few snapshots of a white duck at the local park with hopes that I would someday paint it.  Well, that someday happened and had such a great time painting it. I started out with a warm underpainting of transparent Indian Yellow and then just started in. I wanted to work the warm and cool colors in so that it wasn't just a boring white duck. I'm thinking it worked.

This cute little piece will be available in the 6x6" show at the Audubon Society of Portland's Wild Art's Festival that will be held at Montgomery Park on Nov 19-20th  Doors open at 10:00am, but I hear there will be line of people waiting outside an hour early just to snap up these little gems. 

Montgomery Park is located at 2701 NW Vaughn Street, PDX, OR.

10/20/16

Why do I do it?

"Wave Watchers" 9x12" Oil on canvas panel

"Tethered Blue" 9x12"  Oil on Canvas panel 

All checked into Hotel Boylan for some much needed rest after a crazy and exhausting fun time in Laguna Beach Plein Air
You may ask; why do I do it? 
So many crazy things can happen in a painting event, it could easily become a reality show. For example, while heading to the airport I once again forgot my meds, only to rush back home and realize I had them with me all along, and yet, I miraculously made my flight. Then I got pushed by a cute little sneaky wave while crossing some rocks on the Keyhole that scooped up my panel and lunch, and the surf tried to swallow my flipflop. Finding appropriate bathroom facilities was partly creative and partly embarrassing too. I tell ya, guys have the advantage. I was yelled at by a homeless person for painting on their turf. I must have looked the part with my ragged clothing and gear on my back, and eating between long intervals of creativity only to find that lettuce, beans and rice is the only thing I can eat (fun being next to me). The worst part was when I was turning in my competition pieces I had lost grip and dropped one of pieces face down in the gravel parking lot, only to find a scratched and dented frame. I wept with grief, but my gal pals Suzie and Aimee hugged me and offered support with a few touch-up supplies. Oh the drama of it all.

Painting the canal with pastels on Balboa Island at sundown

But it's the scenery, experiences of painting with great artists, and the laughter while painting a view  while your tripod is nearly sliding down a dusty dirt hill towards a patch of prickly pears, discussing art, and the common threads taking hold on my heart that keep me coming back to the circuit. Somehow I function on three hours of rest each day because I am so excited to get up again to face another opportunity to paint something new and meet new people. Perhaps I do this to create another funny memory and to make another person happy to own my work. Or perhaps it is the big sparkly Gala at the end of a week where being celebrated for what we do keeps me coming back. 

My friends top left to rt: James McGrew, Jennifer Diehl, Zufar Bikbov. me, and Anthony Salvo
after a painting session on the hill.

Though it all, many ask how I do it. Well, I've noticed over the past four painting events that the stress is hard on my health and is also hard to manage while traveling. For this reason I am looking forward to some down time to regroup in my studio to recreate something bigger from my small summer studies....and perhaps rethink my artistic path. 
And so that is why I do it.