Demo from today's workshop ~ Jars, 9x12

"Jars", 9x12" Pastel on sanded paper. ©Brenda Boylan

Teaching Pastel Punch! Workshop is a total rush. Well into day 2, enjoying students and trilled by their progress. Today was the best of all ... alla prima style with my studio tomato timer, about 12 minutes. This could be habit forming. My intention was to loosen up my students and to have them create a work with great energy. So, what do you do to loosen up? Yoga? Deep breathing? Jogging? Beer?

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"Curbsides" headed to Butler Institute of American Art

The Butler Institute of American Art

This news deserves it's own post and may be duplicate news from my previous post, but I have reason to blow my horn! Woo Hoo!

"Curbsides" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper, ©Brenda Boylan

Back in August, "Curbsides" was entered into the 39th Annual Pastel Society of America Juried Exhibit and was accepted! So I sent it out on a visit to New York City for the month long show at the National Arts Club. They (the jurors) liked it so much that it won an award, but that's not all, there's more! Just yesterday, I received notice that it was invited to hang at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. A museum with the likes of Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keefe. So this little guy will be getting more mileage than all my trips out to Sauvie Island. Pretty nice little feather to put in my cap i guess, heh?

There are times when you wonder if all that hard work at the easel makes any difference. Well, let me be the first to tell you that it really does. :)

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Plein Air work + Some more good news!

"September Symphony" 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

The weather conditions here in Portland have been incredible and, like any plein air artist, I push everything aside to go out and paint NOW...especially when the weatherman predicts rain within a week. I'm working on a high from all this color, I tell ya. No time for the computer, cooking or doing laundry, because this girl needs her time out to create. So posted here are works from the past 7 or so days, with a bit of good news at the end. Above is my favorite from the painting marathon of Pope Lake in the morning hours.
Read on...

"Rentenaar Barn" 8x10" Pastel on sanded paper

On Sauvie Island, (my favorite place to paint in the fall) just off Rentenaar Road is this barn that has a dusty, rusty color. I painted this one before and posted it in the previous entry here. Yes that's the same barn, but different view and day.

"Pasture Dike Divide" 8x10" Pastel on sanded paper

Then continuing on down Rentenaar Road, over the dike is another place jokingly called "Africa," deemed by my fellow plein air artist Kat Sowa. The day started out overcast with soft edges and cooler colors, but the sun eventually warmed up, and gave way to mellow shadows and autumn color.

"Pope Lake", 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

Then back over to Pope Lake for a second try at this scene, but painted in a quick 45 minutes.

"Challenging Sundown", 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

Lastly, I painted at Youngberg Vineyards just outside McMinnville, OR., after tasting some of the regions best Pinot Noir. It was quite the drive out there with stops along the way, but
I found this to be the best of all. The spectacular sunlight was beaming from underneath the oncoming low cloud cover, giving a dusting of warmth on top of the Oregon White Oaks as the sun retired from the day.

So it's Monday and raining here in Portland, but good news can remedy any dreary day. Today, another email came in from the Pastel Society of America and I quote:

"Congratulations! Your painting, 'Curbsides,' which is currently in PSA’s 39th Annual Open Exhibition been selected to be included in a show at the Butler Institute of American Art. At the end of the PSA show in New York, your painting will be wrapped and held for transport to the Butler. Tentative dates for this show are December through January. Kindly let us know by Friday, September 30, if you would like your work to be included in this show."

And I replied back, "Are you kidding? Absolutely YES you can include it!"

This little guy is racking up the mileage, eh? I'm definitely going to open a bottle of Pinot with my husband tonight to celebrate. Humbling, yes, but happy!

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Early Harvest, 16x12

"Early Harvest" 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper. ©Brenda Boylan

Here's a plein air piece I created back in early August on Sauvie Island. I had it sitting in the studio for a few weeks now and finally resolved the piece. While painting this, I was stretching my creative juices and 'going graphic' with the field. It had large swipes of red and purple rows, dragged down to the bottom of the panel, and it was COOL. After I returned from my day and took a look at it in the evening, it was like a hangover...or more like the 'morning after' feeling and asking myself "what the heck was I painting?" Maybe I'm getting bored with realism? I really love color and especially the quality of mark making that pastel offers when a broad stroke is swiped across sanded paper. Should there be a day of color play? I'm thinkin' so.

In a couple of weeks I will be teaching my Pastel Punch! workshop and I am really looking forward to it. I have much to share and I'm hoping that I don't overload the group with too much information, so I prepared an outline/syllabus to keep the me on track. But to be honest, I will probably learn more from them than they will from me. Oh, the beauty of teaching. Can't wait!

Also, a little bit of horn tooting here....I received notice a few days back that two pieces accepted in the Visual Arts Showcase, ones I've posted before: "Cafe' Seating" and "Bolts of Lavender". The show will be held for two weeks at the Beaverton City Library, so if you are in the area, come on by on the opening Gala. Info to the right in Upcoming Events----->

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Remainderings, 16x12"

"Remainderings" 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper. ©Brenda Boylan

...and here is a close up of the trees. Click on image to view detail.

I live in the outer suburbs of Portland and in this location comes crowded living spaces and congested traffic. You know the areas where they have been untouched by the plow that are few and far between? I look for these spaces with an eagle eye to see if I can pass it off in a painting. In my community there is this grove of trees that grows untouched by corporate development that offers a pedestrian trail for the local office employees to stroll on their breaks. It sits across from a movie theatre and strip mall with noisy traffic passing by. It's great to have these little green spaces close by to plein air paint. The last time I drove by this spot, the City Maintenance was mowing the wild grass, and just a few yards distance I saw a coyote standing in the newly cut grass observing the mower. It's nice to know there is still wildlife in this area, but they are few and far between.

In light of what September means to you, this month marks my 4th year of blogging. Where did the time go? Here is a link to my very first, yet very boring post. I hope you've enjoyed the anecdotes and adventures as much as I have enjoyed posting them to mark my progress. I thank all of you who have been brave and kind enough to comment on my posts, to those of you who who just like to drop by for some virtual refreshment, and to those new followers, welcome! Many thanks!

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Backwood Oaks, 10x8 + show news.

Backwood Oaks, 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

Just back from the Pacific Northwest Plein Air art reception at the Columbia Center for the Arts. The energy was high and so were the temps. It was great to see all the work that had been created over the 5 day event and all was hung so beautifully. This year's plein air artists worked hard in the high temps, some not so grateful that summer had finally arrived in Oregon. As for me, I'm glad for the warmer temps...this coming from a California gal, but still can't wait for the Fall colors to come. I entered into the gallery reception and was greeted by an honorable mention for "Road to Mosier". Can you say "SMILE"? This year's juror was plein air artist Jim Lamb. Thank you Jim!

On our way back home from the show we took a circuitous route, via the family farm in Creswell, OR. We passed on the eastern side of Mt. Hood with it's fires and yellow smoke, stopped off in Bend for a cold drink and then back in towards the Eugene area where Creswell greeted us. I painted this one (above) from the yard looking south. Loads of smoke in the air made for some hazy color.

Me next to my work "Road to Mosier"

Then more newsworthy news...

Last week I was called by the Pastel Society of America office to notify me that my piece "Curbsides" won the Pastel Society of Hawaii Award in the 39th Annual PSA show. I'm really humbled by this placement as it hangs in the National Arts Club alongside the likes of Daniel E. Greene, Jimmy Wright, Barbara Groff, Duane Wakeman, and more. I am torn that I will not make the awards ceremony this time because of the many bowling balls I'm juggling right now. What a trip that would be though, eh?

"Curbsides" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan

So, to put it straight, it's been a really great week. Woo hoo!

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