My First Open House!

Hello my Creative Friends!

It has been a while since I have posted. I have been really busy painting and preparing to attend a town-wide Christmas Open House near me.

I have painted approximately 30 paintings, designed notecards from those paintings, experimented with new techniques and materials, learned how to package and display my pieces, and more!

PHEW!  That was a lot of work, but I have enjoyed every minute of it… 🙂

Here are some pictures of my booth set-up as well as a slideshow of the pieces I will be selling.

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And if you want to see my paintings a little closer, here is a slide show for you.

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I hope you enjoy it, and that your holiday season is Merry & Bright.

Take care and Merry Christmas!

~Rhonda

 

What’s On My Easel?

Hello Creative Friends!

Today I am sharing what is on my easel. In fact, I just put the finishing touches on it and signed it. 

Here it is!

“Brave Winter” assorted soft pastels over acrylic ink on Pastel Premiere sanded paper, 4×4 inches

Hope you enjoy this one and are making time for your own creativity now that autumn is here.

Till next time,

~R

Pastel Painting: “Nesting Behavior” with progress photos

Hello Friends!

Summer is almost done and we are starting up homeschool next week, so I wanted to take the time to post my latest piece along with some thoughts and progress photos showing my process.

I definitely had a different mindset for this one. 
I was aiming for something a little looser, less refined. More impressionistic, I guess.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂 

 

FIRST MY REFERENCE: I took this photo in my front yard. 

Reference Photo

I think the photo is beautiful. But that’s a problem for me because as beautiful as this photo is, I am NOT into copying for the sake of realism. It’s just not my style.

As I grow and change as an artist, I find that I enjoy leaving some things to the IMAGINATION when I create a piece. I am not a camera and my eyes and brain don’t see the same way a camera lens does!

I also think it’s important to leave room for the viewer’s imagination—to suggest some things and let the viewer fill in the rest.
This approach INVITES rather than CONTROLS and let’s the viewer engage with the art.

 

PROGRESS PHOTOS & PROCESS

After selecting my reference, I began to do some expoloration—probably more exploration than I’ve done to prepare than for any other work!

First, I did a simple charcoal study to get a feel for the subject and composition…doesn’t look like much and isn’t meant to!

Vine charcoal sketch

Next, I did a simple line drawing for use on my larger paper.

Simple line drawing

Once I had a feel for the subject, I uploaded my sketch to iPastels to do a more in-depth monochrome study.

Monochrome

Now I was ready to move on to a color study. In the original reference (top), if you look closely you can see lots of green from the vegetation as well as yellowish reflected light. I wasn’t too keen about either, instead preferring to leave the background abstract and focus on all of the beautiful neutrals of the dove.

Completed Color Study

After completing the color study, my next step was to play around with the background. 

Remember, I wanted something loose that wouldn’t compete with the bird itself, so I uploaded the above image into iPastels and tried out different backgrounds…a real time saver and easy way to compare backgrounds side-by-side without wasting materials! 

I finally decided on the top right (blueish) background, and tested it out on the bottom left corner of the photo.

Background Choices

With my color and value studies to guide me, I began my painting on Pastelmat paper using a variety of soft pastels.

 

 

By the time I got to the stage in the above photo, I knew I needed to let my painting sit for a few days so that I could look at it with fresh eyes later.

So….after many days of life getting in the way 🙂 , I made a few white board notes of things I might want to change.

Refinement Notes

And Finally, the finished piece:

“Nesting Behavior” 5×7 Pastel on Pastelmat

Sorry this one was so long, but thanks for coming on this wonderful artistic journey with me!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave your comments in the comment section.

See you soon and stay creative!

~R

Remembering Spring – Line & Wash

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Well, here we are in the middle of autumn with Thanksgiving just a blink away.  The birds who fly south for the winter are well on their way.  I don’t know about you, but last winter was sooooooooooo long that I developed a real appreciation for spring, sunshine, longer days, and the return of our friends at the bird feeder.

So here is my ode to spring–an American Robin sighted in our pasture way back in spring of this year.  Here’s hoping that this winter will be shorter and without any “polar vortices”!

Winsor & Newton watercolor markers, Micron Pigma ink, and water brush in 8 1/4 x 5 Moleskine sketchbook.

Watercolor Markers: “Watchful Papa”

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This little sparrow was a lot of fun to draw and paint!

I was drawn to his slightly grouchy expression which I managed to photograph through the window of our home.  He warily watched me as he sat guarding his family’s nest from the top of a birch birdhouse hanging on our front porch.

The initial drawing was done with a Pigma Micron pen on Winsor & Newton watercolor marker paper.  Then I used Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers and a waterbrush to add colored washes.