Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

See additional work on my website

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Across the Street, Pastel Plein Air Demo

Sunday, July 8,2007

On Sunday, I painted at Peppers. I did a demo in pastels. I never decide ahead of time what to paint. I was going to set up under one of the tents, but it looked like it might rain again, so I painted on the porch. I looked across the street and painted the empty lot and the trailer, uh, manufactured homes across the way. It was a good day. Very slow visitor wise. A few people showed up to watch me paint. One artist remarked that she really enjoyed the day and learned so much. She said, "Oh, thank you, Jo. This was like a free workshop." That makes it worthwhile.

Our dear friends, Gen and Charlie, came up the hill from Truth or Consequences. We visited and went to dinner with them in Socorro, 27 miles down the hill toward their home. We ate at the Ranchers Steakhouse which was the old Roadrunner. It was very good, we would recommend it. All public businesses in New Mexico are smoke free now. Is that great?


I put an under painting with pastels and water on Art Spectrum Colourfix pastel card, 9 x 12 inches. I put on some red and blue and then brushed it with water. While it was drying I did a couple of small rough sketches to see if I wanted the houses closer or have the mountains show more. I chose the latter.

I use the harder pastels to start and also to blend some of the edges. I blended with my fingers on the sky. Sometimes I don't blend at all. Pastels are brighter without blending as the crystals of the pigment can shine and reflect more, blending softens the colors. I start landscapes with the sky, blending several different blues. The sky is darker at the top and lighter as you get near the mountains. Then I put in the mountains and work forward. I tried to have warm colors in the shadows and cooler highlights as the sun was pretty high when I started.

I always have red in my trees to compliment the greens, evergreens especially. I let part of the under painting show through. Because of the atmosphere, landscapes are usually cooler and paler in value in the back and get warmer and darker as you come forward in the painting. This gives depth to the painting. The focal point has the lightest lights and darkest darks.

I finished up with some soft pastels and a signature. It took about four hours, but that included breaks to talk to people, have a glass of wine and visit. :)

If you have any questions about a technique or painting, make a comment or drop me a note. To purchase one of my plein air paintings before they are framed, including this one, drop me a line. They are just $100 including shipping charges and taxes (for Texas customers).

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los NiƱos. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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