"The Bend" 4x5

I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel from a very busy 3 months. After the 'Taste of Art' and Portland Open Studios, I'm finally able to rest a bit before the holidays. There is much left to do, as an artist never rests!
Whew! So, in the next few entries I will post a few of the demos I did at my Open Studio a coupla weeks ago. This particular scene above has been painted before, and so I did it again for fun and also because it lends itself well with simple shapes for a demo. Quick was the key here, and so it took about 25 minutes to paint this little cutie. I'll be trading "The Bend" at the Northwest Pastel Society (NPS) Annual Painting Exchange and Potluck this coming weekend.


Taste of Art celebration

Me and Jayne Scott at the black tie event.

Last night was the Taste of Art celebration that I mentioned in one of my earlier blog entries. The evening was a fundraiser for The Beaverton Arts Commission and hosted two artists, Andrew Loomis and myself. A guitarist was there to perform for us and a silent auction kept us entertained. The generous hosts Steven and Megan Thompson had a delicious spread of gourmet food prepared by the host himself. The photo above is of me and the Beaverton Arts Commissions Executive Director, Jayne Scott.

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Found a "Title" to new work

We have a "winner"! At my Open Studio and from the 2 title submissions on Dusty Fingers, I have finally selected a title for the waterlily piece that was posted on Oct 13th! The title is "Lily Dance" and the entry winner is P. Franks of Portland. Mr. Franks will receive a 12 x 12" giclee' print of the piece, but before that, I will need to get it photgraphed and color corrected to match the original. There were a total of 38 entries and all were great suggestions, but this one stands out! Thanks Mr. Franks and thanks to many of you for all the submissions!


Open Studio~Sunday

After 2 full days of demonstrations and talking about inspiration, I'm really tired but flying high! It was a huge success! We counted about 200 visitors over the course of 2 days. Really striking me the most over the whole event is the repeat visitors who continue to visit over the years and I get to know them a little better every time. Precious and kind, these visitors stike me as truely genuine. Thanks to all of you who attended and toured! Here is a shot of me in my studio demonstrating my painting process for a visitor.


Open Studio~Saturday

Well, today went very fast. I was expecting low attendance because of the weather prediction, but despite the intermittant rain, we had a tremendous turnout! Figuring 120 in all for a Saturday and it was a steady flow, which makes for better interaction with my guests. The best thing about an open studio is the people! Strangers and dear friends come out and I feel truely blest to have the validation from them all! Demonstrations throughout the day amounted to 8 new small paintings. Here I am demonstrating a quick 20 minute painting. I will offer them up for sale on ebay, and will post them here for all to see. I'm excited for what tomorrow brings!


Ready For Open Studios!

I am soooo ready for my Open Studio! Here's where I do all the demonstrations from my easle and drafting table. All my pastels are set to go, my art is out on display, and the house is cleaned! All I have left to do is buy some wine and M&M's for my visitors to nibble. In the next few days I will be uploading my small demo paintings to Dusty Fingers and offering them up for quick sale here on this blog.


Still "Untitled"....22x24

OK, so I set this one aside and figured it needed adjustments. After letting it rest, I came to realize a few things needed to be removed. Guess if you can figure out just what is gone. I will be offering this image on a 12 x 12" giclee' print to the best title suggestion, including the suggestions I receive during my Open Studio this weekend. If you want to test you "title", then post your title on this blog for your entry. I will contact you if your title is selected. Thanks!

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Getting Ready....getting set.....

Portland Open Studios is just around the corner! The East side is this coming weekend, then it's my turn on the West (Oct 20~21st). I'm right on schedule with all the preparations. I finished pricing new works and hanging the pieces in a respectful manner today. Here is a shot of the living room, the view in which the visitors first see. I'm very excited this year because I have so much new work, both plein air work and studio work. Please join me at my studio from 10:00~5:00 both Oct 20th and 21st!

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Creative Literacy Project

"Lazy Black Cat" 9x12"

Last winter, I collaborated with my friend Debra to come up with a childrens book through my publisher. She came up with the theme line, and I developed the illustrations for it. She named it "The Adventures of Fat Black Cat". It is now offered up on the net through a wonderful organization called Creative Literacy Project. What is so special about this project? A child is guided through the process of authoring their own book using the themed and illustrated books that are designed to encourage literacy. A child can select one of the books, dedicate their book, write their own story throughout the pages, and have their author's profile displayed in his or her own book, and then have it published! Take a look!

The illustrations were developed with suggestions by Debra and created in pastels measuring 9 x 12". The framed originals now hang in my own children's rooms.

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What is pastel?

So just what is pastel?

As put by the founder of the Pastel Society of America, Flora Baldini Giffuni writes:
"Technically, pastel is powdered pigment, rolled into round or square sticks and held together with methylcellulose, a non-greasy binder. It can either be blended with finger and stump, or left with visible strokes and lines. Generally, the ground is toned paper, but sanded boards and canvas are also popular. If the ground is covered completely with pastel, the work is considered a Pastel Painting; a Pastel Sketch shows much of the ground. When protected by fixative and glass, pastel is the most permanent of all media, for it never cracks, darkens or yellows.

Historically, its origin can be traced back to the Sixteenth Century, when Guido Reni, Jacopo Bassano, and Federigo Barocci were notable practitioners. Rosalba Carriera, 1675-1750, a Venetian lady artist, was the first to make consistent use of pastel. Thereafter, a galaxy of artists, Delacroix, Manet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vuillard, Glackens, and Whistler, just to list the more familiar names, used pastel as finished work, rather than for preliminary sketches.

Degas was the most prolific user of pastel, and its champion, for he raised it to the full brilliance of oil. His protege, Mary Cassatt, introduced the Impressionists and pastel to her wealthy friends in Philadelphia and Washington, and thus to the United States. Today, many of our most renowned living artists have distinguished themselves in pastels, and have enriched the world with this glorious medium."

Flora Baldini Giffuni, founder of Pastel Society of America