Southwest pastels

These two pastels were several months back and I am just now getting around to posting on my blog.  In creating both of these, I have decided that I really enjoy making the bright skies.

This first one was out of my mind and I didn’t use photos for reference.  This isn’t really typical of me.  I created it from a story a lady told me.  She shared with me how you don’t always see the positive things when you are in the middle of a bad situation.  She shared how her and her husband were traveling in Southern Utah late one night.  They were driving through the night and their car broke down at around 1 AM.  This was back when there were no cell phones so all they could do was wait.  They ended up sleeping in the car and waiting through the night, thinking “what a bad night”.  In the morning, they were awakened by the most beautiful sunrise in the middle of a valley with buttes and spires all around.  She said it taught them that everything happens for a reason and sometimes you just have to try to find the bright side.  Anyway, I created this pastel for her from that story:



I enjoyed creating that one so much and my husband liked it so much that he wanted to keep it.  So, I told him I would make another one like it for us.  For this one, I decided to use a couple of photos that we had taken many years ago from our trip to Castle Rock Valley, outside Moab Utah.  I used a photo of Castle Rock and a photo of the group of rocks called “The Priest and the Nuns”.  I changed the angles and shading a little but the basic shapes are the same.  Here’s that one and I really like the way it turned out:


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I decided Louie’s music room in the basement needed some more decorations.  I really wanted to paint a bright, impressionist style guitar using acrylics.  I haven’t use acrylics very much but I like the feel and they are easier to clean up than oils.  I really enjoyed painting this one and think it turned out great!



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The purpose of art….

I saw this quote back in March at the Art Jamz studio in Washington, DC.  I immediately liked it and decided to do some bright and colorful lettering with it.  I’m not sure who the quote is attributed to but it describes my view of art well.  It took me a while to do but I finally finished it.  Hope you like it! Forgive the poor white balance in the photo, one day I will learn my camera better.


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Mosaic Table

First of all, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted. Whee….

Anyway, just to catch up, here’s a Mosaic Table that I started around March 2013 and just finally finished! I actually finished the mosaic work last June sometime but didn’t put the epoxy on it until a few weekends ago. So here are some photos of the process over the course of a year:







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I am participating in an on-line art class on  It’s under the Drawing and Sketching forum and it’s called The Classroom.  We’ve been studying perspective and vanishing points.  Very interesting and also challenging.  Here was part of Class 3, Drawing Cubic Objects.  There was a photo provided of a couple of dice.  Here’s my rendition of them:


Of course, it took me a while to get there.  I first drew a rough sketch on a piece of paper taped to a large piece of cardboard.  Like this:


This allowed me to draw the perspective lines out to the vanishing points and get the perspective and proportions correct.    Then I transferred it via transfer paper and finished the shading.  It was really challenging but I was really pleased with how it turned out.  Hope my on-line teacher approves!

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My very first mixed media journal page

I have wanted to try doing a mixed media journal for a while.  I have several books on the subject and have seen some really neat journals on in the Journal forum.  I thought this quote was appropriate for my first page.  I used white Gesso to cover the entire page, then let it dry.  Then I did the yellow, orange, and red watercolors and let them dry.  Then I added the quote in a red Crayola marker (I haven’t invested yet in any really good markers since I don’t use markers very much).  Hope you like it and hope the quote will inspire you to rediscover your inner artist.


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Drawing with Lines

Here’s a good exercise for basic sketching from, Drawing & Sketching, Basic 101: Class 1.  In this exercise, the student draws something using whatever method he/she enjoys.  I chose to draw my hand and I did just a quick 15 minute sketch:

Then, the student draws lines and draws circles using only lines.  (I did this but am choosing not to post here).  Then the student draws the same initial drawing using only lines to made the drawing.  I once again drew my hand and here it is:

If you wish to check out this and other lessons (which I highly recommend), here is a link:

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Pastel of ZZ – catching up from the past….

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted to my blog so here is one to catch up from the past.  I started this pastel of ZZ in late 2011 and finished in Fall of 2012.  I would work on it a little here and a little there.  It is soft pastels on Velvet paper.  Here is the progression.  I apologize that some of the photos aren’t that great.

Here’s the photo that I used as reference:

Here’s the progression of my work, starting with just getting the basic colors in, adding the background, and progressively adding detail and additional colors.

Here’s the final picture where I added the last little details (note that he has whiskers now):

I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression. It took me a long time to do but I think it turned out well.

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Cherry Blossoms

I finished this one a few weeks back and am just now getting around to posting. I finally splurged and bought myself a set of 200 Mungyo Gallery Extra Soft Pastels. When they arrived, in a beautiful wooden box, and I opened the box, I immediately looked at the array of pinks and thought “I have to draw the cherry blossoms”. So I found a photo that I (or maybe my friend Jan) took at the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2010. It was perfect. I have never considered myself a floral artist or ever particularly liked drawing or painting flowers, but the texture and colors of the cherry blossoms amazed me.  And I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to put on paper what I saw and remembered.  Hope you enjoy!

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Kino Bay Sunset & Tree Silhouette in Pastel

During the month of March, I was blessed to have my Aunt Nell (an artist) visit.  She is a very talented oil painting artist but she wanted to learn to do pastels so she asked me to show her.  She had a beautiful photo of a tree silhouette and sunset from Kino Bay that a friend of hers had made.  So, we did the following pastel together.  They both turned out fantastic and here’s mine.  I loved the colorful bright sky and really enjoyed doing it.  The tree took a long time but I think it turned out pretty good too.  This was done in soft pastels on a 16″ x 20″ piece of Velour paper.  Disregard the blue painter’s tape at the bottom, it was windy when I took the photo and I didn’t want to crop out the bottom that much to post.  Hope you enjoy!


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