"Approaching Fog" 16x12" Pastel
This past week I gave a pastel demonstration at Sequoia Gallery to a group of 15 students on my pastel painting process. The focus of this particular demo was the use of a dry under-painting. Most of my works are started with a wet underpainting of pastel and turpenoid, or pastel and alcohol. Both have their benefits and disadvantages. However, with the dry method, you can use a pastel to block in the under laying colors and then brush it out to with a paper towel to completely cover the paper surface. This is great because the paper is dry and you can immediately begin working your idea out with waiting for the surface to dry. The disadvantage of this method is that the pastel dust gets EVERYWHERE! Anyway, this painting is from a photo source from which which I had painted plein air last summer. The sun was rising and the low lying fog was glimmering in the early rays of light, casting a soft rose light upon all that was in it's ray.
This demo was a teaser for my upcoming Pastel Punch Workshop this coming February 8~10th at Sequoia Gallery. For details on the workshop, visit my website HERE. Class size is limited to 10 students, so register soon to avoid wait listing.
"Winter's Neutral Command" 8x10" Oil
Gratefully, it has been unusually sunny for the past 5 days here which has caused the temps to be pretty c c c c o l d. It was hard not to notice the cooler colors and provocative long shadows of winter. Being the fair weathered plein air artist that I am, I had to try just this once to paint out in the frosty weather to to see what I thought of it. With winter painting you can expect to wear layers and layers of clothing. Standing in a spot with direct sunlight can be a problem for your eyes and palette, but it sure makes for a warmer experience. By the end of the painting session, the temps had risen to a near 31 degrees and so I was comfortable removing my woolen caps. The water had a beautiful thin layer of ice and for the first time I was able to witness the unusual sight of a goose "walking on water".
This is one of two plein air studies I worked on and honestly, I'm not sure if I am truly satisfied with it. Even though the sun was out, I think these winter colors are dull and boring...unlike my first impression of the day. I suppose I love color more than anything in a work of art. Perhaps I should try this cold weather painting a few more times to get a true evaluation of the colors of winter before giving it such a harsh criticism. Either that, or stay indoors with a space heater and a cup of tea and honey.