Tuesday, March 27, 2012


"Bruce"  (pastel, 7x5 inches) 

It's been quite a while since I've attempted such a very solid black cow. The lighting of the photo reference is key to making a good painting. I liked how this one looked mysteriously dark with the back-lighting.

Friday, March 23, 2012


"Inky"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

I love how she looks like a white cow that got almost submerged in a pot of blue-black ink. Some even splashed on her face!

Inky is with me this weekend at the Bayou City Art Fest Memorial Park in Houston.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


"Fuzzy"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

Fuzzy is with me this weekend at the Bayou City Art Fest in Houston.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012


"Major"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)   sold

This one has a very roundabout story to the name-picking.

I started Major on Friday at the Artscape art fair in Dallas. But I wasn't really in the mood that day to paint, so I quickly just got down a few basic values and colors to show that I was 'working' on it, and left it sitting out with my pastel box as I like to do, to show people what pastels are and how they work. Besides the lines of the drawing, I had a couple of darks in the coat, some blue shadow and yellow and ivory lights on the face, a hint of red on the ears, nose and neck, and 2 swatches of green background color.

Well, a lady comes by in the afternoon and asks if I would sell this one, pointing at my unfinished cow.
"Well, yes, when it's finished" says I.
"No, just like it is. I like that look. It looks finished!"

I was so caught off guard that I completely fumbled the rest of the conversation. I don't even remember exactly what I said, but she went away, and I was left with this unfinished (?) cow. Even had I been in the mood to finish it that day, I was now set adrift in a sea of uncertainty. I also liked how it looked at that point, and this was confirmed by a few other artist friends who I shared the conversation with. They all agreed that it could be finished.

With another friend I confessed that I did like it just how it was, but was unsure if I could pull off such a great change in my style after having attracted a following with my current series in the current style. I would have to make style changes slowly.

He laughed and said "Just start a new series; call this 'Unfinished Cow #1'"
I laughed. But I kept thinking.

Well, I couldn't bring myself to touch it all weekend But I decided that it did need to be finished to a point that was closer to my current work, so I did that today, and here it is. I am happy. I was able to keep a degree of looseness that is one step closer to that "unfinished" cow (which, unfortunately, I neglected to get a photo of!)

So when it came time to name this one, I wondered if I could find out what 'unfinished' means in another language. With some Google searches, I found out from one site that "unfinished' in Japanese is 未完 but it didn't show how it was pronounced; on searching for this, another site it had it as Chinese, pronounced mei jyun (not yet complete), which immediately made me think 'major', and it clicked as suiting this cow just perfectly!

But I can still consider it my own personal joke about the Unfinished Cow.

Major will be with me at the Bayou City Art Fest in Houston this weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


"Diamond"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)

Diamond will be with me in Dallas this weekend at the Artscape Art Fair at the Dallas Arboretum.

Below is a demo in photos, that I was very conscientious about getting a shot after almost every color! Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012


"MacKenzie"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)   sold

I thought this one looked kind of Scottish, so I gave her a Scottish name. MacKenzie will be with me this weekend in Dallas at the Artscape Art Fair, March 16-18.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunset #51

"Sunset #51"  (pastel, 8x8 inches)   sold

This was my fourth and final demo of my workshop last weekend. At lunch times, I would put my iPad in the middle of the table, showing a slideshow of my artwork, and several students admired my sunset series. I hadn't done one in a while, but was game for a demo. This was from the same set of photos that I used for my very first sunset painting ("Sunset #1", of course! Which I did in a D. Larue Mahlke workshop.) This time, I was brave enough to attempt the water reflection.

Below are some progression photos:

This is as far as I got in the demo. I finished it today. I promised one student I would take progression shots of the remainder, but there really wasn't much left. (OK, actually I just forgot to!) But here's a description from here: I smoothed out from this point with a bit of plastic bag over my finger, then added just a few more blues and oranges and yellows to the water, smoothing with the plastic as I went. I also adjusted some colors in the sky and broke up the cloud pattern on the right side a bit, as I felt that the one middle cloud was too solid across the sky. I did not use the plastic bag blending on the final layers.

I will be framing this by Wednesday this week, to take to the Artscape Art Fair in Dallas, next weekend, March 16-18.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Park Trail #12

"Park Trail #12"  (pastel, 8x6 inches)  sold

Here is my third demo from last weekend's workshop, this one on Friday morning. I decided to show how to work a scene from a reference photo to fit a different size and orientation. See the progress photos below:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


"Marshmellow" (pastel, 7x5 inches)  sold

This cutie was my second demo of last weekend's workshop. By popular demand, the students wanted to see another cow painting after lunch. Below is the progress of the demo, which took about 45 minutes. I finished Marshmellow during the afternoon, at the request of one of the ladies, who just had to take it home with her!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ruby (and the workshop)

"Ruby"  (pastel, 6x6 inches)  sold

This one was my first demo on Thursday morning at my "Pastel in Miniature" workshop in Rockdale. (She didn't have a name when I painted her, so I assigned that task to the student who purchased her later that day!)
It was a small group of students, but 'quality over quantity' should be my new motto. What  great bunch of talented ladies! Everyone enjoyed the workshop and I had great feedback. The Rockdale Chamber is already expecting me for next year's Tejas Festival!

One of my students generously volunteered to take some photographs of my demos; here's "Ruby" in progress: