Forthcoming Spring, 10x8, and Trilogy recap

"Forthcoming Spring, 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

The last post I was headed out to the Allison Resort for a Quick Draw and boy was that a lot of fun!
This event was everything I thought it would be. Once I set up my easel and roamed the room to meet the other artists, I set out to paint on demand for about 2 hours with the help of a little complimentary Pinot Noir. The companionship of the 17 other artists was motivational as we chatted and joked while making art. Midway through the painting, the gracious guests arrived and watched the artwork come to it's final mark. The MC came around and asked a few oartists to describe their work, adding to the excitement and noise level.

With my work in progress, "Crimson Symphony", 22x22" Pastel on sanded paper

Painting and sipping wine alongside artist Michael Orwick

Soon enough, we were given the 15 minute warning to finish up. While the guests gathered into the dining area the artists made their final strokes of genius and then framed their finished work for the oral auction. (Imagine how one frames a large pastel behind glass in 15 with a little vino? ...but I digress.) Then all the artists gathered with the guests for some incredible cuisine pared with more delicious wine. Oh my, more wine! By this time, I'm feeling pretty special...well...that is because the Allison prepared my dinner "gluten free"! Yeah!

The auction began shortly after the dessert and as the finished art was presented, each artist was able to go up to the mic and share a little about their work. It was nice to be able to hear each artist's take on their work, so unique in every way. Afterwards, I finished off the late night with a little sobering after hour art conversation at McMinamen's Pub with Thomas Kitts and Scott Gellatly. After all was said and done, it was a great experience and I do hope to be included once again.

The rest of my week was spent painting and readying for my trip down to Los Gatos Plein Air. Here are some warm-ups from Sauvie Island in the meantime...

"Spring Swale" 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper

Painted on Sauvie Island, 'the' Portland artist gettaway, near Steelman Lake...and below, this little piece is located just across the street from a strip mall in Beaverton.

"Meadow Harmony" 9x12" Pastel on sanded paper

So, the next time I post I will have driven a 1,310 mile round trip all for the sake of Plein Air. I'm wishing to share my experience with you along the way, but only through my facebook fan page, and that is only if I can score some WiFi. We'll see!

Until then...

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Tualatin Waterway, Art opening, and more!

'Tualatin Waterway', 8x8" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

Painting out with Scott Gellatly at
Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge. (photo by Susan Jensen)

'Fieldways' 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

Went out to a new painting location called the Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge. It is a beautiful area located between King City and Sherwood, Oregon that has walking paths, waterways, lush fields, bird sanctuary and wildlife galore! The perfect place for a nature lover. I was able to plunk out 3 pieces in the short stay I was there, but still feeling a little rusty after the winter's grip.

'Midday Haze' 6x8" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

This one was painted with an orange underpainting of pastel and turpenoid. I loved the color intereaction when I added the blue on top. The colors just vibrate!

Then on Saturday my family and I took the 3 hour drive up to Tacoma, WA. to attend my opening at The American Art Co. It's a beautiful, well established gallery chalk full of impressive work from the Northwest. I'm so proud to be the newest member of this gallery. Here I am with all nine pieces up on display for the first time as a collection. Nice job, eh?

A place to present my work at it's best! American Art Co. in Tacoma, WA.

At the end of the evening with Gallery owner Tammy Radford

My next event will be this Friday evening, participating in the Trilogy at the Allison Inn located in Newberg, OR. I will be one of eighteen selected artists who will create a work of art while the guests get to sip delicious wine. When we have completed our work we then enjoy a winemaker's dinner with the guests followed by the oral art auction. Framing the piece will be tricky this time around and I have taken every step to ensure I use my time effectively. This event benefits the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Special Olympics.


Auction recap, Red Blueberry Rows, 16x12

Red Blueberry Rows, 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

A huge success for the MHCCF Auction last Saturday night. Here is my piece that I painted at the event before 450 attendees. You may ask, 'Weren't you a bit stressed?' No, not really, and that is because I prepared for it. Giving me the comfort that all will run smoothly. I do this by pre-painting the subject (days or even months before) and having all my framing ready for the art, including the glass, backing and wiring. You've probably seen this one before and that's because I painted and posted this scene plein air last fall. In recap, it was a great event with many admirers and a lot of fun with artists Michael Orwick and James McGrew.

1/2 hour into the work...the crowd was just beginning to fill out.

Once the auction ended, I began framing the piece only to find out that the work was off by 1/8" and wouldn't fit into the frame. I ended up having to take the piece back home to adjust it, but that was nice because I was allowed more time to make sure it was framed with care. Next time, Brenda, check to see if it fits first! Augh! Anyway, I also donated a larger piece that was offered in the live auction. You can view the finished piece here.

The winners Robin and Loretta with my larger piece, 'Reflections on Blue' 21x30"

Now, a little about auctions and art:

If you donate your art, the law will only allow you to deduct the cost of materials for taxes. This doesn't fare well for artists, but then again I suppose the IRS is trying to keep us from over pricing our donations based on a perceived value.
Another thing to consider when you donate is that you might ask for a reserve on your piece. These charities may not like it, but really, there is no way else to secure that it's final bid will even match the value...and this could be really bad for business as an artist.
And finally, one more issue with auctions. When donating, ask if you can get a percent of the sale...kind of like a gallery commission. Again these charities will not like this, but if you can get a percent, say 40/60 or maybe even 50/50, then at least your efforts will not be lost. Otherwise, just 'give' and feel good about it.

There is almost no financial benefit to doing auctions except for the fun and the rewards of giving. Just maybe the rare chance that someone will like your work so much that they just HAVE to contact you! I don't think this happens very often, but there is always the likely chance it could. So before you say "Yes" to an auction benefit, ask yourself why you want to do it, and you will find the answer from within.

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Larkspur Overlook, 8x8

Larkspur Overlook, 8x8" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

The Northwest finally had some spectacular weather for ONE DAY! Wow, it was so beautiful that a few plein air buddies and I took a 1 hour drive to Catherine Creek, WA. to paint the wildflowers in bloom. The blue Larkspur was beginning to show it's color along with some beautiful low laying pink flowers and sunflowers too. I've never been to this location and was happy to spend such a day there painting in the warmth and surrounded by great views. Catherine Creek is right on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, across from Hood River, Oregon. Then it was back to overcast today. Yuck!

I'm excited for this Saturday's quick draw at the MHCCF's auction event 'Springtime in Paris'. I've been told there will be around 450 attendees who will see my work in progress which will make the live auction at the end of the evening. Should be an interesting night and will let you know in my next post how it all pans out. My other artist friends Michael Orwick and James McGrew will be painting in the event, so should be a lot of fun!

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Crossing Clover, 24x24

Crossing Clover, 24x24" Pastel on sanded paper. ©2011 Brenda Boylan

In the next few weeks, I will be participating in a few dinner auctions (dates posted in Upcoming Events) that feature artists in a quick draw. In preparation for these events, I usually practice what I'm going to paint. I do this so that I can interact with the attendees and sip some wine all without having to work out the piece, which takes considerable thought.



My photo reference for this piece came from a late spring drive out to the farming area of North Plains, OR. I was out with one of my painting buddies and we have always wanted to paint this glowing field of clover in late spring, but the view is from the driveway of this farmer's field and the main byway. Because of the precarious location, we decided to stop and just take photos. Inso doing, I got my front tires stuck in the moist soil from the recent rains. Digging myself deeper with every turn and using every tactic a blonde driver can think of to release the wheels, the car became very stuck! After a few candid camera moves, a local road angel rescued the car and pulled the car out. Yeah! We were free to roam, but with a very muddied car...and a very perty painting to show for it.

Anyway, here is the announcement of my next engagement (a bit tiny to read, but you get the point).

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