Friday, June 30, 2017

Sapling Study

"Sapling Study"  (pastel over watercolor on U-Art, 12x9 inches)  click here to bid or buy

This was my final last-minute painting in the Albert Handell workshop earlier this month. Trees with trunks/branches of any kind are my anathema. So I went into this not really caring how it would come out, just concentrating on observation and trying to put into action some of the techniques we saw Albert use. To stay loose, I thought of it as a "study" only, not a finished painting. I was so into the process I didn't get any shots while painting other than one of the underpainting...

But I kinda liked it when I got it home, so I signed it and will put it on auction for a while...

The watercolor underpainting

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Garden Hideaway

"Garden Hideaway" (pastel, 9x12 inches) $425 framed

This painting will be with me at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair July 20-23, 2017.

The final day of painting in Albert Handell's workshop we went to Santa Fe's charming historic El Ray Inn. Full of lovely gardens and meandering pathways between courtyards, this lush viewpoint was around back somewhere.





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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ellie Mae - a Pet Portrait Commission

"Ellie Mae"  (pastel, 10x10 inches) sold

Ellie Mae was the beloved dog of a good friend's sister. My friend had texted me a photo a while back with a request for a painting. The photo was a download from facebook.
Needless to say, I immediately asked her for any possible clearer file of this image, which resulted in a screen shot of a zoom of the same image. ...Hmmm.
Well, she's a very good friend and one of my top collectors, so I had to try my best.

I wasn't really happy with this, and my friend was wise enough to be a good critic.
During much consideration over the edits that it needed, I somehow scrolled backward through her texts and discovered that she had actually sent two photos of Ellie Mae, and that I had only seen the second one.
This was the first one:
Woah! I felt rather silly having missed it and wasted all that time on a bad photo.

So, after a few minutes of deliberation over whether to try to fix the first portrait, or to start fresh and work from this much better pic, I decided to try something a little different.

I decided to do the fresh portrait right over the bad portrait.
First I wiped off the old portrait right down to the underpainting and re-primed the board with a combination of some old white Art Spectrum pastel primer (that was so old and gooey it took 30 minutes of watering and mixing to make it usable again!) and some of my usual terra cotta and gold primers, until the old dog image became the new!

I kept the flowers because I liked that part.





 (The old white primer needed three layers to cover the previous underpainting well enough to take a layer of the gold..)

 (...and more terra cotta to cover the black parts..) Then re-established the drawing...
 (Here the camera changed from Panasonic to iPhone, and different lighting... otherwise these two images are the same)







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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Garden Gate

"Garden Gate"  (pastel over watercolor on mounted UArt, 10x10 inches) $395 unframed for a limited time

Here's the house across from the rose garden in Santa Fe. I stood right behind Albert Handell and tried to do what he was doing!

This one may be with me at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair July 20-23, 2017.

photo: the gate
watercolor underpainting

My plein air setup



My painting

Albert's painting



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Monday, June 26, 2017

Golden - Awarded at PPSCC!

"Golden"  (pastel, 12x9 inches) $1350

I think I posted this one a while back when she was finished, but wanted to re-post now that she has her first award! "Golden" has won the Terry Ludwig Pastel Award at the the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod annual exhibition For Pastels Only on Cape Cod 2017. A big appreciative thank you to Jacob Aguiar, judge of awards, and to Robert Carsten, juror of selection.
The show continues through July 16, 2017 at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth, MA.

(If she returns unsold from Cape Cod, she might be on her way to Italy this fall! More on that later!)

You can view progress shots of Golden on her earlier post here: https://ritakirkman.blogspot.com/2017/04/golden.html 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Rose

"Rose" (pastel, 8x6 inches) click here to bid or buy

This was another (relatively) quick little plein air during the Albert Handell workshop, after painting a house across the street from the rose garden. (Stay tuned for tomorrow's post!) This was an unusually fresh (for me) watercolor underpainting before I covered just about all of it up with pastel, darn it! I still kinda like it though. At least I got shots of the underpainting...



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Friday, June 23, 2017

Young Tree

"Young Tree" (pastel, 8x6 inches)

A portrait of a little tree in Albert Handell's garden. I did this one quickly right after painting his house. He seemed to like this one best of all my paintings in his workshop. (He did help me out with loosening up some edges and creating more depth.)

Here's a shot of the tree and the washed-in pastel underpanting:





Sunday, June 18, 2017

Handell House

"Handell House" (pastel, 9x12 inches) $390 unframed for a limited time

Unless this sells first, it will be with me at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair July 20-23, 2017.

As the title suggests, this is the home of Albert Handell! I took his garden workshop in Santa Fe last week, and this was my first painting. The light in Santa Fe was amazing, and it didn't get above 83 degrees the entire time. Perfect plein air painting weather!

Albert is an inspiring teacher. The best thing about his demos (besides how magically they progress) is his so obvious enjoyment of the painting process. And when he's not painting he's full of valuable info and insights into the business and creative sides of being a working artist.

Here are some progress shots of my painting:
photo: the house when I started
pastel underpainting washed in with alcohol



photo: The house when I finished. That darned sun kept moving!!

Extras:
Albert's wife Jeanine, waving at my camera as she comes out. Such a lovely and generous hostess!
Albert working on his morning demo in oils, in the studio from a photo. We painted this same building on site the next morning!

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