Monday, March 30, 2009

My lucky weekend in Marble Falls, TX

This past weekend I participated (for the 3rd year) in the "Paint The Town" plein air painting competition which is a part of the annual Bluebonnet Music and Fine Arts Festival in Marble Falls, Texas.

They had informed me a few weeks earlier that they wanted to use my painting "A Gray Morning on Main Street" (from last year's competition) on the T-shirt this year. I was thrilled!
Here's my son modeling the T-shirt!

When I heard about the T-shirt, I knew I wanted to do another panoramic scene of main street this year, and was hoping for sunny weather this time...

The day started out cloudy again, so I decided to paint from the other end of Main Street, to have a different view. But luck was with me as well... the clouds cleared off after all and the sun came out just as I started on the buildings!

A reporter (Raymond Whelan) from The River Cities Daily Tribune was covering the event, and he caught me half way through my painting "A Sunny Morning on Main Street." This one got in the paper! (Thanks Raymond!)

My luck didn't end there however -- I had a leisurely dinner on Saturday before the reception, and arrived to heaps of congratulations. --I had won First Place! Wow!

"A Sunny Morning on Main Street" pastel, 6x18 inches

The event is organized by the Historic Main Street Association. More than 40 artists participated in the weekend event, painting around Marble Falls Friday and Saturday. Paintings were turned in Saturday by 5 p.m. and the silent auction ended at 3 p.m. Sunday. Except for the cold front blowing through on Saturday, it was loads of fun! I'm looking forward to next year.

Here are the other small paintings I did the rest of the weekend:
These are all about 5x5 inches

"Shadow Lace" sold

"Eye Candy" available $100

"Salt n' Pepper" sold

"Coffee n' Cream" available $150

Monday, March 16, 2009

Awards from APS

I was thrilled Sunday to be the recipient of TWO awards for my works in the Austin Pastel Society's Juried Exhibition.

"Ian at Breakfast" won 2cd Place Portrait (and a 78 pc Masterclass Assortment of Great American Artworks pastels!)

"Reassurance" won 3rd best in Show (and 72 new Jack Richeson Handmade pastels - the BIG round ones! - Whoo-hoo!!)

(I LOVE the Austin Pastel Society, they always have such awesome awards!)

The show was possibly the best one they've had yet. It continues at the Chase Bank Building Corredor of Art, 7th & Lavaca in Austin TX, through May 2, 2009. To see a preview of the exibited works, click here. To see the award winners click here.

Thank you, Desmond O'Hagan, for being an excellent judge and juror!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Some Results of the Desmond O'Hagan Workshop

As promised, Here are the finished paintings I did over the weekend.

The workshop was good. These two waterlilies were admired by the other students, and I'm pretty happy with how they came out, but they're SO very different from my usual style, it's hard for me to get a grip on my attitude about them. I do like the compositions, which I guess is the main thing. I rearranged the lily pads and inserted the fish in both paintings to create better balance. But the style is so very loose! It's weird for me to see it in my own work!

By the last day, I felt I was finally able to grasp some of Mr. O'Hagan's technique and incorporate it into my own style. I did a couple of landscapes on Sunday. Here's one of my favorites. I like the simple composition, and I was really happy with how the shadows look on the path in the foreground. Also, I just like paths and roads in artwork. I always like to wonder where they go...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Desmond O'Hagan Workshop

This weekend I've been taking a pastel workshop by Desmond O'Hagan, with several other members of the Austin Pastel Society, at the Windburg Art Center in Georgetown, TX.
It's been quite challenging, but I've learned a lot. Mr. O'Hagan has a loose, painterly style, but a style that I've never seen "in action" before. He uses short, varied strokes with the side of the pastel. When seen applied, they all look quite geometric, squares and little rectangles mostly. But as he layers up the values and colors -- voila! -- light and atmoshphere magically appear!
I said to him today, "I don't know HOW you do it! I've seen you work twice and I still don't know how you do it!"

Here's a short progression of his demo from today:














The finished scene! Wow!


Ok, since this IS my blog, I'll post my accomplishments from the past two days:

Here's my first painting on friday almost finished.

Here's today's painting about 3/4 of the way through. I'll post finished photos tomorrow!

Thanks for watching!

Rita

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Studio in progress

For my first post on my first Blog, I decided that a view of my studio would be appropriate.

Lots of things have been "in progress" for me lately, but are coming along nicely: my new website (with FineArtStudioOnline) [click here to visit!] which is practically finished now; an ongoing series of cow paintings, which I'm happy to say I'm still excited about even after more than a year; and ...The Studio! My wonderful husband has been slaving away for months with some weekend help from his brother-in-law, installing wiring and hanging sheetrock, and has made a lot of progress since the beginning of the year. We first broke ground on the building itself (a large storage/workshop at the back of our lot) way back in 2006. The studio takes up about 1/3 of the floor plan. It's been slow going, but there's finally light now at the end of the tunnel!This is the attic storage upstairs (aka: "play room"!) ....I have visions of a studio/gallery "Opening" event, before the kids have a chance to take it over!

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