Color Field I (study), 6x6

"Color Field study", 6x6" Pastel on sanded paper SOLD

Here is the second study of the 3 farm series. I'm really, really liking this one and I have decided that I will keep this one for my own personal reasons. The feelings I get when looking at this painting of my Grandparents' farm are that of my youth and longing to belong, the smell of the cut crops, the colors, and true fondness..... It makes me feel good. Isn't that what art is supposed to do? Having that connection to a piece of art, when it creates a bond, and feeling of great pleasure to the eyes is the reason why I paint. This is what it does for me.

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Crimson Swale (study), 6x6

"Crimson Swale, study" 6x6" Pastel on sanded paper SOLD

Oh, the colors of autumn... you can almost taste it! If the colors of the season could be translated to culinary vernacular, to a particular taste, I'd say they are nearly caramel, or cinnamon. Maybe some of that cheddar cheese for those bright yellow trees! But I digress. Here is a beautiful scene with exaggerated reds and delicious burgundies. The sky compliments the waterway, telling of a late afternoon. $75.00, unframed.


Summer Field (study), 6x6

"Summer Field, study", 6x6, Pastel on sandpaper

My grandparents were farmers during the Great Depression and for many years after. When I was a small child, my Mom and Dad would take the long drive from California to Creswell, Oregon to visit my Grandparents on the farm. Visiting the farm was a special time for us...allowing the time to unwind, play in the bales of hay, swing on the hammock, and discover grasshoppers. Getting dirty was a part of this ritual. This scene is the current view from the farmhouse, looking South. It is a late July afternoon and the summer is just showing it's muscle in elevated degrees. I painted three of this scene, each a bit different from the other. Here is the first of that series. $75.00, unframed.


Autumn Sedge (study), 6x6"

"Autumn Sedge, study", 6x6"

This past week, I've been wrapping up (or at least trying to wrap up) from the aftermath of a great Open Studio. There are thank you notes to write, deliveries to make, and general clean up of the house and studio. Throughout the two weekends I produced about 35 or so small 6x6" demonstration paintings. In the following weeks I will be putting the finishing touches to these pieces and posting them and offering them up for sale through PayPal. This one, "Autumn Sedge", was previously posted and now it's done. It's up for grabs if anyone wants it! $75.00 Unframed.


Final weekend of Portland Open Studio.

Demonstrating to a small crowd...

After five years of opening my studio to the public, I have decided that this will be my last Portland Open Studio event...at least for a while. Portland Open Studios has given me many wonderful opportunities and has provided me the chance to share my work with so many friends and new visitors. I'm thinking that I'd like to focus my creative activities towards state and possibly national gallery representation, possibly start teaching, or maybe volunteer with the NPS at some level. So, be sure to stop by this last time on October 18th and 19th for an inside look at the inner workings of my studio processes, view my current body of work, discuss inspiration, methods, motivations, and all that entails my creative processes. I will be providing 20 minute demonstrations throughout the day. Please do come by and enjoy the creativity and enthusiasm for one last weekend.

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Studio Demo's for day #2

Pastel demo #3, 5 x 5"

Pastel demon #4, 5 x 5"

Day 2 of Portland Open Studios and I'm half way there! Here are 2 more demonstrations that I completed before a group of visitors. Each small demo takes about 15-20 minutes to paint. It's a little like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time, but instead, you are painting with a palette of pastels and an easel before you AND a crowd to talk to while explaining every step of the way....over and over again. A huge benefit from this is that I now know and have explained several times why I under-paint, what pastel is made of, and why I don't spray with fixatif. Many questions from the curious all walk away better understanding just what exactly pastel is. Are you still wondering? All I know is that it's FUN, FUN, FUN!

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Portland Open Studios 2008 Demos

Pastel demo #1, 5 x 5"

Pastel demo #2, 5 x 5"

Today was Portland Open Studios....and I'm thrilled to say I painted 12 small demo pieces! We had a great crowd of visitors, some staying for nearly an hours' worth of demos. I was telling one of my visitors that sometimes it's hard to do this year after year, but what has kept me in this program is the validation of my vocation. Every person who walks through my front door gets an inside look into what makes me tick. They compliment, appreciate, and are inspired to paint something of their own. The appreciation from my visitors is really where I feel it. This is why I do this year after year. However, I have decided to put the brakes on Open Studios for next year or so and take a rest. I'm burning out and would like to try other venues of marketing my work. But for now, I will have my doors open for the tourists for this weekend and next. Now, when the application comes out next year to apply for the Open Studios, will I stick by my word?.....

Anyway, these two pieces I painted each in about 15 minutes. They both have under-paintings of a violet purple. The under-paintings really help with the overall mood. I sold 2 demos off the easel today, which was a fun treat for the visitor and myself !

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Brenda gets publicity in The Oregonian!

Pastel artist Brenda Boylan, working at Smith Rock in central Oregon, calls water her muse. The Beaverton artist will participate in this month's Portland Open Studios tour.

Two with open studios owe interest to colors
by Janet Goetze, Special to The Oregonian
Thursday October 09, 2008, 3:00 AM

BEAVERTON -- Color drew both Diane Ahrendt and Brenda Boylan to their art, but the two Beaverton residents find creative satisfaction in different media, which they will demonstrate during the Portland Open Studios tour over two weekends this month.
Ahrendt, 50, has worked as a chemical engineer and in video postproduction. She started weaving because she loved working with the colored yarn. About 13 years ago, she realized glass had the intense colors that especially appealed to her.

A half-finished project remains on her loom, she said, and one of these days she'll return to it. For now, she spends three to five days a week in her backyard glass studio, where the furnace is always on, sometimes at a low temperature and sometimes hot enough to make glass pliable.
"I'm always fascinated by working with glass that is hot," she said, "and I can shape it. ... I think about color first, then the shape -- a plate or a bowl or a vase."

Boylan, 46, worked as a graphic designer for more than a decade, using her artistic talent in a way that guaranteed a steady paycheck. One day she saw a magazine cover, she said, "with this incredible pastel painting. It made me want to try that."

Having previously painted in oils, she began taking classes in pastel, which some people mistake for chalk. Pastel is powdered pigment that is rolled with a nongreasy binder into round or square sticks. The colors are mixed on the paper by overlaying or blending.

Soft pastel, the type Boylan prefers, has the most intense color. She works on a sanded paper, which holds the pigment.

"I love the color. It is so exciting," Boylan said. She also can work in a style that feels freer that oil permits, she said.

After her daughter was born 14 years ago and she became a stay-at-home mom, she gradually found more time for painting. With encouragement from friends, she began showing her work.

She often works outdoors, near the ponds and rivers that are favorite subjects.
"Water is a mysterious element," she said. "It's transparent and yet it holds all this color. It can be fast. It can be slow. It can be clean. It can be dirty. It's alive."

Boylan and Ahrendt are among 98 Portland-area artists selected by a three-member jury for Portland Open Studios. Ahrendt, a former president of the 9-year-old nonprofit organization's board, will participate in Open Studios for the sixth year. Boylan will participate for her fifth year.

Two years ago, board members asked Boylan to teach a seminar to other artists on how to demonstrate their work. One goal of Portland Open Studios, said spokeswoman Bonnie Meltzer, is to provide education about how art is created and who the artists are.

Boylan advises the artists to show the steps required to complete a work, whether it's a painting, a fabric article or sculpture. Sometimes photographs show the steps best, she said. At her studio, she will show paintings in various stages of development. She also will give a 15-minute demonstration of how she works by completing a small pastel painting.

Ahrendt will have a couple of her assistants blowing glass for visitors to her studio while she answers questions, she said.

"The kids, from grade school to high school, have some of the best questions," she said. "They can see the equipment and all that it takes to blow glass."

--Janet Goetze; janetgoetze@comcast.net

Portland Open Studios
What: A self-guided tour of 98 studios in the Portland area where artists
are working in media including photography, sculpture, pottery, painting,
fabric and glass
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and 18-19. Some studios will be open one
weekend, others both weekends.
How: Purchase a $15 tour guide, which also is a 2009 calendar, at Art Me
dia, New Seasons and other locations (see Web site). One guide admits
two adults all four days; free for children and youth through high school.
Information: www.portlandopenstudios.com

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Art Reception at Kingstad Gallery

Me with "View From Center" and an Honorable Mention ribbon!

Me, Celeste Bergin, Carrie Holst, Deb Boucette'

Me with Gallery Curator, Lora Fisher

Last night was the Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters reception at the Kingstad Gallery. This venue is great, the turn out of visitors was fabulous, and the catering delicious! And to my surprise, I won an Honorable Mention ribbon! I didn't expect any awards to be handed out, but when we gathered for a speech from Lora Fisher, out came the awards. Recipients of the awards are:
Best of Show: Celeste Bergin
First Place: Kitty Wallis
Second Place: Micheal Orwick
Third Place: Amanda Houston
Make the date to see this Plein Air show because it is really spectacular. The work will be up for an extended period of time until 12/6/08.

My next show is with the Paint Out Group this Thursday, October 2nd at Art Reach Gallery. Located at 1126 SW Park Ave. Portland. OR 97205. Hope to see you there!