The POWER of Pastel

This week I have a secret ... Well, maybe not a big secret. I have been talking about it for a while now, but I am writing a book! Over the years, artists have told me that I needed to do it since they have taken my workshops and then said that I have warped their...

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A Swan is Born

Just like giving birth to triplets, a painting is not born all at once ... Last week I was a bit sassy talking about all the things that can get out of control when starting a painting, so it is only fair to show the meandering path one recent painting took and all...

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Demons

It is Halloween and since I have been talking about scary topics like divorce and botox, let's talk about an even scarier thing... starting a new painting. Gulp. It can fill ya full of fear. But if the hope is stronger than the weakness in your knees, you can approach...

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The Joker

Recently I was teaching a workshop and talking about the bone structure around the eyes.  For some reason, this lead to a discussion in the class on everyone’s need for botox….hmmmmm…. I have a hard time watching the news anymore. No, not from all that political noise...

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The 1700

Over the past few weeks I have had the honor to serve as one of the "Jurors of Selection" for the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) International Web Show. This means that I was asked along with two other artists - Jacob Aguair and Brenda Boylan...

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China

When I grew up my mom only used her china dishes for “good occasions.” Christmas and Thanksgiving usually. I thought they were so beautiful and even as a young child I could appreciate the care she took with them. But recently I have decided that every day is a good...

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Tangled

Since I consider this blog to serve as a diary, not only of my artistic journey and discovery, but also how my personal journey affects my art, I need to speak of the sabbatical that I have taken from my work and blog over the past 2 months. Above is a photo of some...

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Coat Hangers

Using diagonals or “armatures" became very important to me about 12 years ago. I found it was like taking coat hangers and finding ways to carefully hang the "coats of my designs" on them. Since I have been talking about the use of diagonals to enhance a painting, I...

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Diagonals Rock!

Just like using color harmonies, planning compositions can be a complex issue. And if anyone knew how to plan out composition, it was Vermeer... One of the reasons we like to look at paintings is that reality is filtered through someone else's vision. Painters select...

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Dolphins

Commissions of animals can be complex. So much to think about! This is Phin. A commission from a mentoree and it is quite spectacular. Look at all that texture! But maybe too much texture? Phin is named after the Miami Dolphins and so the artist wanted to know if it...

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Snap To It

Now let's put color harmony knowledge to work. I love taking a painting and then making it “snap” to a color chord. I have gotten a bit off-track with all the analysis of color harmonies, so let's go back to paintings from mentorees... Here is another lovely painting....

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The 5-Chord

I had a harder time finding a painting based on a 5-color chord from Sorolla, and this one below may even be stretching it a bit. Some of the violet seems to run to red-violet. He mostly seemed to use 3 or 4 color chords, especially triads in the primary hues, but...

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Quad Chords

Going back to Sorolla as our master of color, we can see he knew the value of using more than just 3 colors in his paintings. There are 2 “chords" that use 4 colors instead of 3. The first combination consists of rotating every 3rd color around the wheel.  (thirds...

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Harmony

So last week I touched on how to use color harmonies in a painting. Since then I have had requests asking to talk about color harmonies some more, so this week I thought I would take a break from mentorship pieces to show how a true color master, Sorolla, used color...

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Time for Color

Another way to add “wow” to a painting is through effective use of color harmonies. They can give big impact to a painting with just a little bit of planning... Here is the original from another lovely artist. The thing that is fighting for attention the most here is...

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Hat Trick

Just because an object looks a certain way, it doesn’t mean it has to be painted that way... Here is another painting that I think has so much going for it. His face is beautifully done. There are so many subtle shifts in color showing clear form and structure and he...

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Relationships

While on the topic of finding the focus in a work, I guess I need to mention that a focus doesn’t have to be one spot or even one thing. The focus could even be intangible- like a relationship between 2 things….. Here his another beautiful drawing that crossed my path...

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Focus

Sometimes finding a focus in a work is as simple as asking yourself, “Why am I painting this image?” Once you have that answer, the journey then becomes about finding ways to channel that intent. Here is a beautiful pastel painting from another one of my “mentorees.”...

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Mentorship

One of the best things I have found about teaching workshops and working with artists is that it has honed my ability to zero in quickly on the essence of an image, finding what a painting is saying whether the creator is aware of the conversation or not … I was...

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Birthday Girl

Well,  I did it.  I made it to half a century on this earth….. Today is my birthday!  Best wishes to any Taurus birthdays out there!  And what do you do when you turn 50?  Well, in my case I ran away to Canada this past weekend with my best gal-pals and got a tattoo....

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