Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bluebird in Pastel

This is a pastel I did from a photo that a friend of mine took recently in San Luis Obispo.  I really don't know if it is a Bluebird or not, it's quite chilly (for a Bluebird) in SLO during the winter.  It took about an hour to complete.  In one sitting I finished as much as I could, then I put it up for the night.  I came back with fresh eyes and put two additional strokes on it and called it done.  I very much enjoy working with pastels, below is another - but very different look at a lilly (in a soup can).  
I joined the San Diego County Pastel Society today!  Exciting to explore a new medium but at the same time I need to be cautious, it's like having another set of clubs, bag, shoes, etc.  Keeping an eye out for too much focus on the materialist aspect, the process acquiring materials, verses the learning and creativity aspects.  I know, 'good luck with that', right!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Penasquitos Lagoon

I did this study last week on location and then I came back to it with a few changes I wanted to make.  With fresh eyes, I made three basic changes and I think this one reads better, has more atmosphere and provides a greater sense of depth.  I warmed up the cloud with a mix of titanium white, yellow ochre and a bit of violet.  I pushed the 2nd row of trees back a bit with purple and blue in both the lights and the darks, subtle but it helps.  And lastly,  added more dark or saturated accents in the foreground.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Penasquitos Lagoon - East View

Looking east, across Penasquitos Lagoon from Torrey Pines beach.  It was a cool day, with a crisp wind.  It was so windy, I knew the umbrella wouldn't last long so I set up right on Coast Highway and lifted the hatchback on the car to block the glare on palette and canvas.   Many artists work from the back of their truck when the conditions call for it, and historically, I believe the Californian painter William Wendt did this so he could paint on very large formats that wouldn't fit on the easel.  Another first for me while painting in plein air.  It was actually very convenient, not having to lug all the gear, it worked out nicely.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I saw these pears while picking up a few groceries last week.  They are beautiful and needed to be painted!  I've been sketching a lot, with the San Diego Urban Sketchers and painting landscapes, in the studio and in plein air - so this was fun as a change.  I feel like still life is something I crave after a while, I guess it's the same craving I get for plein air when I haven't been out for a bit.  But I learned to paint doing still life, it is so foundational for me.