Color Stance, 11 x14"

"Color Stance" 11x14" Pastel on sanded paper Sold

Thursday was a hot one to be out plein air painting on Mt. Tabor. This time around, I found a spot that would be shaded for the entire time. Looking at the treetops and gathering where the sun was headed, I predicted well for that much appreciated shade. I also took photos of the progress of this one so you could see how it came together.

This is the under painting stage. Quite a mess, I scumbled pigment that was primarily blues and bright oranges. I then used a foam brush and applied turpenoid to the pigment so the paper was saturated with color. Looking a bit abstract? Yup.

After the turpenoid dried, which it did in moments due to the hot air, I began to block in my colors. Blocking in the values of darks, medium ranges and lights helps me to keep ahold of this constant dance.. I loved the play of color and almost stopped right here, but NOOOoo!

Adding more elements to the shapes, gathering information as well as editing what's before me. I was struggling with the colors on the road. They were warm and cool at the same time. Where's that perfect pastel for shade?

At this stage, I'm beginning to paint quietly. Here I am taking time to adjust the value relationships and deciding if my focal point is not competing with the other elements.

Finished! "Color Stance" will be on show at the Mt. Tabor Plein Air booth this weekend.


Field Inquisitions 9x12

"Field Inquisitions" 9x12" Pastel on sanded paper

Something about the farm keeps me coming back to this particular scene. Since I have painted it several times, I can almost do it in my sleep. This one particular piece is what I painted for one of my lessons with my student. The underpainting with one singular color, but in 2-3 different values. This one has a pink underpainting. I really like using warm colors for my underpaintings, sometimes using bright colors of orange, mauve or a cool pink. This one is for sale through PayPal for $250 unframed, $4. shipping to US only.


Mt. Tabor Plein Air Paint Out & Exhibit

"Saturday Market" 9x12" Pastel on sanded paper

Over the course of July, there have been an abundance of opportunities to Plein air paint in organized events. This past Saturday, I was at the Beaverton Farmers' Market painting for a group called Artists Against Hunger to raise money and awareness for the Oregon Food Bank. I painted this busy and very colorful piece of the bustling market. Now, if any of you know by now, I am not a figure painter. At least for now. But the market was filled with shoppers and the color was bright. This one has an orange underpainting...I like the colors, but an considering working a bit more on the figures. Who coined the phrase that an artist is never happy with their work?

"Mount Tabor Path" 9x12" Pastel on sanded paper $350.

For the week of July 25th till Aug 2nd,
Mt. Tabor will be covered with artists...crawling like ants in the 102 degree heat looking for a scene to paint. Hopefully the heat won't deter us artists over the course of this event or cause any of us to get heat stroke. I am planning on going out one more time on Thursday to paint before the heat gets too thick, and on Sunday I will be demonstrating pastel from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Concluding the paint out participating artists are invited to hang their plein air pieces of this beautiful park in the provided tents. A portion of the sales from this weekend will benefit Mt Tabor Park. This one will be offered framed, in the tent provided by Muse Art & Design, for $350.


Paint-Outs and Abouts...

"Sitting On Saturdays" 8.5x10.5" Pastel on sanded paper

Last Saturday, July 18th, I participated in The Hillsboro Paint-out that was hosted by the Glenn Viola Walters Art Center. It seemed to garner quite a crowd this year than last year, so I was told. Micheal Orwick, Gretha Lindwood, Patty McDermitt, Carrie Holst, Patty Gifford, Bev Kindley, and more were out to paint something fun as we registered and began to paint shortly after 9am. There were two categories in which to enter: Tableau vivants and Townscapes; the city's Saturday Market. Robert Gamblin was our judge and at 2pm we waited in the Walter's lobby for a small reception to cool ourselves off from the 90 degree weather. Gamblin selected pieces that represented the spirit of Hillsboro. I was awarded an Honorable Mention for this small and busy piece, "Sitting On Saturdays", for which I received a $25 gift cert for Art Media. Can you say..."art soooplies?"

This coming Saturday, July 25th, again I will be painting out with Artists Against Hunger, a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank. We will be at the Beaverton's Farmers market painting our hearts out in the heat. Come stop by to see sweating or, uh, fainting artists as we catch the flavor of this popular market. Oh, and 30% of all art sales will benefit the organization from 8am till 2pm!


NPS International Show "Kitty Wallis Award"

Receiving the Kitty Wallis Award at the NPS Int'l Show.

My trip up to Tacoma was a bit rocky at first, although sometimes good things happen despite the ride. My friend Amanda Houston and I were nearly killed on the I-5 corridor as we were slowing down in the fast lane. A car came skidding out of control from the next lane over and swerved to hit the car just before us. Shaking us up, we were thanking our Guardian Angels for the remainder of the ride.

We soon arrived at the American Art Company and settled down quickly with the sight of our pastel peers. What a great group of people. Our juror, Greg Biolchini, PSA, judged the event and had many positive things to say about the pastel movement. Surprisingly, I was rewarded the "Kitty Wallis Award" for my piece Satin Slopes!

Since the near death event on the freeway, and my sister's death, I'm beginning to feel that the award is not as important as my journey and how I get there. Don't get me wrong here, what I'm trying to say is that the journey is where the joy is, not the end result ie: awards, publicity, fame etc... I am grateful to be alive and a practicing artist. I get so much joy in sharing my work, my skills and hopefully, in the end it will make a difference. Making a mark with my life.


Bastille Day Paint-out

"Saturday Pentanque" 12x9 Pastel on sanded paper

"Bastille Day Bistro" 12x9 Pastel on sanded paper

photograph by Carla Axtman.

Last Saturday, I spent time at the Bastille Day celebration in the Pearl District of Portland. They sure did make me feel like I was in France, with the waiters' race, the musicians, and Pentanque players....and the food! Oh, the food! I started out with these Pentanque players (French version of Bocce' Ball) and was soon circled by many onlookers as I painted. It doesn't bother me one bit, for I really love to visit and share my work with the curious at heart. I never was that great with figure work, so I just tried to get the general gestures of these people. At the cafe there were probably 8 different people sitting during my time painting, but those that made it in this piece were there long enough to get a seat. The lady in the red top and blacked out sunglasses gave me some vin rouge on the house. Now that made my day! Vive' la France!


New Header

I have a new header.  Yes, this is still B. Boylan, aka Brenda, you know the pastel artist?  Yeah,  that's right.  I've been working on it in Photoshop for some time and finally got to finish it and post to my blogger layout.  I've got my website under renovation too and it will have this new header to keep the continuity of design.  Eventually, the background color will be changed to white, to give it an updated, refreshing look.  But not until I get the website finished will I do that.  Then on to my business cards...

Tomorrow I'll be at the Bastille Day celebration painting plein-aire. Location is listed in my sidebar to the right.  A little Paris in Portland without the jet lag.


Edge of Summer, 11x16

Edge of Summer, 11x16" Pastel on sanded paper

For the 4th of July weekend, my family gathered at the farm for some time to decompress after our tragedy. I was glad we proceeded with the plans to get together because we needed to start our lives forward, acknowledging the sadness. Going to the farm means time stands still and it takes only a few minutes to settle down to a slower pace. This was a much needed visit for those who could make it.

I love the sounds of the air...if there ever were sounds in the air. I mean the birds, bugs, and the whisper of the grass in the breeze. I brought my plein air box and knocked out 2 pieces just prior dinner, while the kids played ball in the grassy plot next to me. This is the stronger of the two pieces, looking again towards the edge of the property. I'll post the other one here soon enough. This one has a pastel under painting with a turpenoid wash of pink, blue, and yellow. It looked strange in the beginning, but as my sister stopped by my easel periodically, she saw it come alive.

The next day was the 4th and we started out in the morning with the town-run pancake breakfast in the park. The money raised from this goes towards the fireworks show for the next year. After breakfast, everyone walks over to line the streets with their chairs and waits for the F-15's to pass over prior the parade. I love it when the loud roar of the engines runs down my spine! After the small town parade, we go back to the farm and eat...eat...and eat some more until we are plumb full. At dusk, we go over to the town's High School football field and wait in our fold up chairs for the fireworks show. They do a spectacular job! It's truly a quintessential 4th, kinda like the one you'd see in the movie Sandlot.


Coming home

The southern Montana landscape at dusk.

I've been gone.  Since the news of a family members' death, I have been gone both physically and mentally.  My husband, kids and I drove 2,800 miles last week for both sides of the family, for both sad and joyous reasons.  The funeral in California, and a reunion in Montana.  A blessing to be with them all.   Since my return to the studio, I now want to clear out all the stuff around me.  I want to quit waiting for "this" or "that" to happen.  Like getting the cobwebs removed in my surroundings and life.  I don't want to wait anymore. Observation:  Each one of us manages death differently from the next. 

During our long drive through the West, I took several snapshots of the local scenery, both landscape and city scenes.  I brought my plein air supplies only to be left in the car.  That's ok, because I've got my trusty camera always on hand.  Above is one of many interesting light and cloud formations I saw as we were heading north in Montana.  There seems to be a repetition of shapes in both the clouds and the hills.  When I was young, I thought that our giant God walked in the clouds.  I reasoned how he was to stand on the tops of the clouds without falling through.

I gave my first lesson with my new student.  She is a joyous person and so excited to learn.  We only spent one hour, but it was fun.  There is much to share with her and am lucky to have this outlet.  The secret is, I will be learning more from her than she from me!  But in different ways.  She will learn how to paint with pastels, and I will learn how to walk the talk.  I'm back home and life is good.