Friday, April 5, 2013


                    ©Sally's Bouquet, Pastel, 17 3/4 x 18 1/2 inch, St Germain

                           ART NOTES

When Sally posted the bouquet of daffodils  her hubby gave last year, 
 the nuances of the yellow spoke to me so much
that I asked for her permission to paint them
It only made sense to follow the direction 
of the flowers in the vase.
I was struck of the simplicity of a subject at home,
 with at the same time a very complex design.
Since my approach with pastel is more representational, it takes more time. 
From the background you see that I paint several layers on top of each other
using the cross hatch technique
Looking closer, you can find more colors than just green and yellow!
Even grays and browns are in here!
This was a lot of fun:)
What I like best about this rendition is that
 this bouquet unequivocally says "Spring!"
Linking with

Monday, March 11, 2013



Pier Cafe is close to the well known Coronado Bridge in San Diego.
Where you see the umbrella is the entrance patio,
connected to the busy board walk ,
entertained by mime artists, and bike carriages

It was a hot day, so I sat in the shade of a little building
on the side of a small outside platform, on my fishing stool,
with a backpack with my art tools, next to me.

A policeman came by and looked at me, my backpack, and my stuff.
Was I gonna jump, or did I have a concealed weapon?
When he was gone, I smiled, because it finally dawned on me
that he was checking if I really was just painting!

The challenge with this painting was to express the ambience of that moment.
In reality the siding on the building was a nostalgic and rustic faded brown,
but the windows looked super modern.
Since I wanted an idyllic look, I decided to use the long side,
had to extend the rocks side - not there in reality. 
This way it thrusts and points the scene upward to the sky.
I choose for warmer colors on the restaurant and the rocks
to match the sweltering hot day
I emphasized the rocks to lead the eye of the viewer into the painting.
Otherwise the restaurant would have looked as a cut-out,
appearing out of "nothing."

The sky reveals the cross hatch technique, a common technique used
for the pastel medium. Great for the Kitty Wallis paper with a lot of "tooth",
so I could put enough layers on it. (the more tooth, the rougher the paper
feels like fine sandpaper)

Our world
Green Day
Sky Watch

Thursday, January 17, 2013



The year is still young, so I thought to show you
my first attempt of painting a baby, 
one of my grand children,here "Four Days Old." 
Last year Sept. he went to Kindergarden, 
and did not want to go back home!

The measurements with babies are different -
their heads are 1/5th of their height. 
 shadows give form to the face 
and make the cheek and forehead look larger

The color of the "Little Boy Blue"
 was still very red at the time, and his limbs long! 
He's laying on a round green inflatable pillow.
which was a perfect backdrop
 for the fiercely red of the face. 

When attempting a new subject 
I often venture out in pastel. With this  painting medium,
which is like colored chalk sticks (am not referring to light colors)
I use my drawing skill as a safety blanket :)

my next new venture would be to paint a child 
between 6 and 12 years old


Thursday, December 6, 2012


For Alphabe - C
For This or That

This snowpatch was of a photo we made during our hike.
The mountains surrounding Big Bear Lake go up to 9000 feet
 and is about 2 1/2 hours away. Probably closest place
 to find snow around January.
It's a hike with spectacular views, not well known by tourists,
so the only ones we see are locals. 
It was too cold (for me) to really do
any serious work with pastels plein air.
In the beginning, I thought I had started too complex of a project,
keeping track of  all the shadows and twigs.
I didn't have Photoshop yet at that time,
so I couldn't blow up the details of this scene,
with many more colors than you can imagine,
like sienna, lemon yellow, orange, red, and
any thinkable nuance of blue, grey, and black.
I remember well, I worked on it every afternoon
at the same time in my living room,
when the light coming from outside was at its brightest.
After it was done, it looks deceivingly simple, doesn't it?

 PS Sorry, I didn't realize the word verification was on, I put if off now:)


Sunday, November 18, 2012


For Artistique
For Midweek Blues
For This or That
For Alphabe - B
For Floral Friday Foto
For Green Day

I was on a trip through Europe years ago where hubby drove a lot of hours
and I was bored, so I didn't look forward to the trip back.
I asked our East Germain host if they had an art store in their town
and bourght a small sketchbook with rough pastel paper and a box of six pastels.
That box of 6 Rembrandt pastels tells you then and there
I knew nothing about pastels!
I didn't know you had to layer the sticks to make nuances in a color. 
When the opportunity came, I bought 13 more in the next town!
But no, I didn't like it. It was not for me.
I missed the goeyness of the oil
or the watery sheen of the watercolor.
this going back to first grade!
So, it took 2 years, before I tried it again.
This is one of the first pastels -
about favorite roses from my yard
my guestbook and my favorite bear
I used in the therapy room for my child-patients.

Now I love pastels as a way to use my drawing skills more
 than I do with oil or watercolor.
Kitty Wallis paper is like sandpaper. To say it more technically,
it has "tooth," which means that the paper
can hold more layers than when it would be smooth paper.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Needless to say, I love elephants!  Especially the ones that roll in red dirt.

I painted, but Jose Hernandez took the beautiful  pic 
on his traveling blog of the real thing! 

 This is how I started.

 By the way,
if you are a beginner, please do not start out painting from a photo!
 On location (plein air), 
is how you you learn to measure things with your eyes, 
and relationships between colors. It will make the difference 
between becoming a mediocre or a good painter:)

Almost finished, but it lacks "something" 
that makes this animal look like he is  home in his environment.

In the first pic you'll see what I added.

Don't hesitate -
Any suggestions I can give you
to make your paintings better or more "out of the box"
write me:)