New for the New Year

I started a new pastel painting yesterday and hope to finish it before the week is out. It will depend on how busy I get.

Right now I’m trying to decide if I should use an alcohol wash (my normal thing to do at this step) or just proceed with the next layers of pastel. I’ll do a little experiment on scrap paper to see how far I can push the pastels without melting in this first layer and then I’ll decide. The only reason I hesitate to use the alcohol is that there are more sharp edges in place than I normally have at this point, and the drawing is pretty good and I don’t want to confuse myself.

My husband helped me get this still life set up in our sunroom. It is arranged on a library table that actually belongs to my sister in Colorado, but until she gets the bucks together to have it shipped, I’m going to take advantage of having it in this wonderfully bright room to make up a series of still life settings. Developing good composition in my paintings is another goal I have for 2017.

The little blue cloth under the items is a small sampler of Bronson lace that I wove this fall. I’m also hoping to incorporate more of my weaving in more of my paintings this year even if all you see is just a small edge.

We started out in the morning with  our coffees and the little wooden Buddha statue. Slowly, we added items, rearranged things, took things out and when he finally fetched me an old brick to set the ceramic elephant statue up a bit higher, I declared it perfect except for the sunlight. Throughout the morning and early afternoon I kept revisiting the room until I got those wonderful shadows raking across the set up and was finally satisfied with the whole scene.

Later in the evening, I entered the room to find that the orchid had started to bloom. I guess it is happy there. I’ve not decided if I will leave the orchid in the painting simply as buds or go with the blooms.

Right now, it doesn’t look like much of anything. I’m working on my usual Uart 500. This one is mounted on a board (similar to matt board).


First application of pastel after the initial sketch



Next to the reference photo



My reference photo




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