Autumn Birch Walk

Strangely I started this composition in oil pastel last fall and didn’t finish it since I didn’t like the paper; I also found that I didn’t find oil pastel suitable for landscape painting since the colours aren’t subtle enough. I had put it down and forgot all about it until I took a minute to look through my reference images for autumn themed paintings, and decided to use the old reference for a new soft pastel.

The colours don’t seem to be as bright this year, probably due to the dry summer, so I decided to tone the colours down in this one and make is more impressionistic. It seems that every landscape artist needs to attempt birch trees since they have such lovely bark although they aren’t my personal favorite. I hope that I managed to create a bit of depth in this painting which is something that can be difficult to do with woodland compositions; I also focused on conveying life energy and movement by using the pastel marks to create harmony with an almost musical quality.

I also used the white Wallis Professional paper which is indeed wonderful but not a toothy as the Belgium Mist and neither is as thick making it more likely to tear if you aren’t careful when removing the tape from the edges.

Autumn Birch Walk

Autumn Birch Walk   

Soft Pastel on Wallis Paper   12×18″

Curry’s Art Auction for Dystonia

I’m happy to announce that I have two pastel landscape paintings that have been included in Curry’s Charitable Art Auction benefiting Dystonia to be held at the Liberty Grand in Toronto on October 25, 2011.

Springtime Reflected

Springtime Reflected

Late Afternoon Along the Grand River

Late Afternoon Along the Grand River

The whole story can be read here:

http://www.mississauga.com/what%27s%20on/article/1219086–art-auction-celebrates-100-years

You can see the other excellent artists who have been selected here:

https://www.currys.com/generic.htm?ECINFO=AUCTIONPREVIEW1

As well as the online art gallery:

https://www.currys.com/generic.htm?ECINFO=ONLINEGALLERY

Lakeside Sunset

Living near Lake Erie has given me an appreciation of the beauty and sometimes violet nature of the lake, but it’s always been the sunsets that are the most dramatic. For some reason I never seem to have the camera with me at the right moment so when I saw a friend post a picture of a sunset along the lake on her Facebook page, I just had to ask her if I could use it. Thank you Tracy!

I also tried a new surface with the Colorfix Supertooth paper and like it well enough since it allows for a couple more layers of pastel and it has a much softer texture; however, it doesn’t go as far as Wallis Paper. Pastels include the usual Unisons and Ludwigs and the under drawing was done using Faber-Castell pastel pencils. I also used a few of the very warm colors in the Ludwig Plen Air set to make those shadows in the foreground vibrate. I probably took the greatest amount of time trying to recreate that dramatic sky leaving me to wonder why something as soft and simple looking as a sky can be so complicated. This must be the smallest pastel work that I’ve done yet and have to say that it’s great to have a piece that I actually like that isn’t so large and didn’t take so many hours to complete.

Lake Erie Sunset

Lakeside Sunset

Soft Pastel on Colorfix Supertooth Paper 9×11”

The Green Walk

I think it’s funny how artists always say that it’s bad to use too much green in landscape paintings and yet green is one of Nature’s dominate colors;  seemingly, the color of life. It’s is also one of my favorites (perhaps it’s the gardener in me) therefore I decided to break with conventional wisdom and paint a landscape using green as the dominate theme. Sometimes you just need to do things the way you want since art begins with the artists and it is an expression of those artistic desires. I worked from a picture that I had taken near the Grand River in late spring before the terribly dry summer really kicked in so perhaps this is an expression of what summer needed to be instead of what we got.

I used Terry Ludwig and Unison Pastel on Wallis Belgium Mist paper.

Click to Enlarge

The Green Walk, Soft Pastel on Wallis Paper, 18×12”