Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Four Mat Framing Job

How many times do attempt a project before you give up? I was going to simply cut a mat for a pastel and pop it into a frame that will be going into an exhibit on Monday. I've cut many of my own mats, so usually it is an easy process. Tonight I ended up cutting FOUR mats before I got a good one. First, I didn't allow for the correct overlap, the next time the blade didn't cut all the way and when I was removing the waste, the face paper ripped. I figured I needed a new blade, but had no idea where they were. I moved a couple years ago, and although I have lots of storage, I still don't feel like things are organized (obviously!). So, I just flipped the blade over. Too bad it was a dull side also.... but no, I didn't bother to search for the new blades..

On to mat number three, where somehow, I flipped over the mat when I cut one edge. That means the bevel on that one edge was facing to the backside. I gave it one last shot and finally got it right!! Then the process of hanging the pastel on a backing board, cutting another larger mat for a spacer underneath to allow for dust to hide behind (yes! I had three already cut that could be trimmed to work), getting the glass clean (why does it take some much effort to get the glass spotless?? After I got everything put into the frame, as usual, I had to remove everything back out of the frame at least 3 times to get that last speck of dust stuck on the glass. Last thing was to put a dust cover paper on the bakc. Once, again, I had no idea where mine was. Gheez, you'd think I'd be more organized. I ended up using a nice white bond instead of kraft paper.

After all that work, I figured I should at least let you see! This is the plein air pastel from a couple weeks ago at Scioto Park. The colors are a bit subdued in this photo and the mat is white.

This painting is now hanging in the McConnell Arts Center, Worthington Ohio, exhibit "Celebrating Worthington" from now until August 19th. Opening reception and awards on August 9, 6-8pm.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Plein Air Saturday–Lobdell Reserve

We painted today in a remote, quiet place – Lobdell Reserve near Alexandria. No sound of traffic - just the sound of the trickling creek, woodpeckers and happy birds. Most of us painted down in the creek bed. The water was a deep reddish brown from iron in the rocks. Hard to paint that color for it to read correctly in a painting!

This week, I had finally found the setting on my camera that was causing me big headaches and turned that off. My photos today seem very true. Finally!

I was interested in this dark shadow on the wall across the creek. I did a quick 5x7. The light was changing quickly.

My painting is hard to understand if you don’t know the scene.

I walked back to the car to get my water bottle, and saw this view down the lane from the parking lot. I decided to work on a value painting using Ivory Black and white. I like this painting much better then the first one.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Tease

Dear Oil Paints,
You know how we had that talk this week about taking a break. You must have somehow known about my lovely day yesterday with Pastels, as this morning when I looked at my email there was a message there from you teasing me about how much you want to be in my life!

The plein air artists and staff at the Park of Roses event a couple Saturdays ago voted and the final tally announced. That painting we created together at our romantic day at the Park of Roses was chosen to win THIRD PLACE!
Maybe there is somehow we can work on our relationship if we can put in many hours of work.....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Plein Air Saturday–Scioto Park

It was a perfect day today. The temps were very comfortable, there was a slight breeze, and a few of us were sitting along side the river in the shade. I was working with pastels today on PastelMat paper. I had put my camera in my backpack, but unfortunately, my memory card was still in the computer at home! I used my cellphone camera. Once home, I realized that my cellphone camera was set to fluorescent instead of auto white balance. You can see below, that the color is way off.


I was happy how my painting turned out:


River Rocks, 9x5, pastel on PastelMat

After I left the group, I continued to have a nice day. I stopped for lunch then browsed at a couple consignment shops, and finally a couple yard sales. I found some closet shelving units for $2 each, and at my last stop I found something I was really looking for - FREE on the curb!

Nice day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dear Oil Paints...

Dear Oil Paints,
We've been spending pretty much every Saturday morning together at the parks since spring arrived. I've really tried to make our relationship work, but it's been a struggle. I tried mixing it up in the hopes that we could blend our personalities into a happy, pleasing composition. We start out each Saturday fresh, with the hopes that things won't get to the same spot where things just get into a muddy tearful mess. But it just isn't clicking with me right now. Perhaps it is time to take a break.

I need to tell you that my first love Pastels called today and asked to stop by this evening. I've been putting off his advances as I really wanted to make it work with you. But he talked me into giving him a chance, and  came by about 7 this evening. I have to say, it was just like old times. We were so happy and everything just flowed. He made it so easy to just pick up on what he was thinking and every caress on the paper was smooth and silky. It felt SO good. I made him stop early - after only about an hour, even though I could have done more. I really wanted to take my time and not mess it up this time. 

I really want to give him a chance this coming weekend. I hope you aren't hurt, but you and I need to take it one Saturday at a time. I am sure you and I will get together again soon, but I just can't keep my hands off of Pastels. I hope you understand.......

 Spring Green, pastel on PastelMat paper

I'm really loving using the PastelMat paper. I started this one with an under-painting softened into the paper with an alcohol wash as shown below.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses Festival

Today was the ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ rose festival at the Park of Roses. Our plein air group was invited to paint during the event and compete for prizes. The weather was perfect and there was a very big crowd.

I found a view I really liked that showed dappled sunshine on the path behind some pink Camelot roses.









A nice couple admiring my painting.


Camelot Roses, oil, 8 x 10, Arches Oil paper mounted on board

I attempted to paint very loosely and try not to fiddle with it much. Once I got it home, I felt it looked a bit messy up close. But I’ll leave it as is. I tend to go too far and really mess things up and forced myself to stop.

It was getting pretty hot, and I decided to get out of the sun for the second painting and moved over to a bench in the shade.

I liked the red tri-colored beech tree in the distance (behind the blue umbrella) with the same Camelot roses in the front. Yes, the visitors blocked my view, but I am used to this by now.


I got my easel set up and in the picture below, you can see the composition I have outlined in red.


Instead of doing a regular thumbnail, today I used the Notan style of sketching to decide on a composition. You can see the small piece of paper on the left side of both paintings.



Beech Tree with Roses, 6x6, oil on canvas board

I was pretty beat, so I packed up my stuff and took a stroll around to see my fellow painters. There was about 30 painters today, which is at least double the amount of our normal Saturday painters. Must have been the chance for awards that brought out the larger group. I only took a few pics and headed home.


Saturday, June 02, 2012

Plein Air Saturday–Orange Twp Park

Today, we painted at a nice little township park I discovered a couple months ago, very close to my home. The Orange Township Park has two small ponds along the bike trail. I was intrigued with the smaller pond and the little log shelter on the far side of the pond.



Because it was very windy today, I setup with the shelter at my back. I loved the scene looking to the east, with the sun peeking through the trees across the pond, and through the smaller bush to my right. I hurriedly setup and got painting before the light changed.









I was very happy how this painting turned out and I forced myself to stop before I messed it up.

I then took a walk around the park, chatting with the other painters. I went down to the larger pond and watched Tom paint, and right at his feet were two tiny Mallard ducklings. They were oblivious to us, and were busy bobbing around and dipping under to feed. (Baby duck butts! How cute is that??)