Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Fields

A pastel from a slide taken somewhere in England in 1984. If this was the US, these fields would probably be growing houses now, 25 years later. I got to use some of the pastels I'd ordered which came today. New colors and new pastels are so exciting! This painting is 14" x 20" or thereabout.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


. . . or are they rhododendrons? I took the photo inspiration for this pastel at a Philadelphia-area arboretum a couple of years ago at a paint-out. It's pastel. Complicated and large (14" x 20") and less than half way through I wondered if I was crazy even to try it. I don't know how to do a very specific drawing on sanded, pastel paper, so I kept getting lost in all the petals. I invite critiques. As usual, you can see a larger, more vibrant version by clicking on the one here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Philadelphia Water Color Society Members' Exhibition

Each of the last few years PWCS has had a members' show in addition to the large, prestigious, hard-to-get-into Anniversary Exhibition. The members' show is juried from the painting itself rather than from slides (or digital starting this year) so only those close enough to the venue are able to enter. Nevertheless, this year the members' show had almost 120 entries of which only slightly more than half could fit in the gallery where it's being shown. AND I GOT IN. As always with PWCS, the show is "works on paper" which includes all watermedia, collage (with some restrictions) and pastel. I entered this collage, made of paper I made myself from shredded paper waiting to be recycled. When I first did the collage, I used string, which you see here, but later I made more paper and rolled it to be the "string" because one of the collage restrictions is that all elements must be of paper. The collage itself is 22" x 30"; a full sheet of watercolor paper. Now, if only I could get into the Anniversary Exhibition! It's coming up this summer.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Daffodils . . . again

As I painted the pastel version, I wanted to do the blossoms large, so this is on a half sheet, rather than the quarter sheet sizes of the other versions. I painted the background blue with watercolors, then did the flowers over the blue, so maybe this is technically a mixed media painting. I think the center of the bottom trumpet needs to be a bit darker. This is the last pastel for a while because I started a watercolor today.

Monday, April 6, 2009


After those snowy paintings, I decided it was time for spring to arrive, so I dug out a photo of daffodils for inspiration. The daffodils in my garden are not quite blooming. I did it first in watercolor and then pastel. making no attempt to make the drawings identical to each other or the photo. As I worked on the watercolor version, I kept thinking of an AAMilne poem from When We Were Very Young entitled Daffydowndilly. So you don't have to look it up, here it is:
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead."
As always, I invite critiques . . . and you can see better versions by clicking on the small ones here.