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A Fall Day on the Lake

Happy Fall! I love this time of the year, don’t you? A Fall day on the Lake is the best because all the tourists have left for the season and the lake is quiet.

Last weekend we took the boat out for the final time this year and it was a delightfully beautiful day. I brought my fishing pole and my mini plein air box of pastels, plus provisions to BBQ burgers for lunch on the beach. The temps were in the mid 60’s and there was no wind. The water was like glass.

Fall scene on the lake

Many local fisherman were out catching fish like crazy. We talked to a fisherman who caught a 24 lb. fish! I was lucky too and caught a nice sized trout with my first cast! (My husband always takes the hooks out for me. That’s a pic of him holding my fish.) We debated whether to keep it for dinner or throw him back. We decided to set him free. : )


As we were trolling, I was watching the shoreline and saw a large white animal walking along. I thought at first it was a huge white dog and was just about to say “Look at that weird looking white dog!” but then I realized it wasn’t a dog at all, it was a huge Mountain Goat! Here’s a little video:

How cool is that? Normally the goats are way up in the mountains, but this guy decided to hang out at lake level to our absolute delight!

We picked a spot on the beach to have lunch and afterwards I did a small pastel of the scene. I wanted to say something about the fall colors and the reflections in the calm lake. There was no one else around and the fish were jumping all around us. I may add some fish rings to the piece before deciding its absolutely finished. I didn’t get too fussy with details and so the painting is very soft and loose.

A Fall Day in the Lake pastel
A Fall Day on the Lake

(The watermark is not on the painting.)

A Fall Day on the Lake was painted on brown Pastelmat paper and is approx. 7″x5.5″ in size. I used Terry Ludwigs’ Landscape set of pastels. I think it’s finished, what do you think? Should I add fish rings and splashes, maybe some birds, or call it done?

I think since plein air season is now over, I’m going to work on still life paintings in pastel. My year of pastel focus is almost up. I have really loved exploring this medium and have liked it so much I will continue on and see where it takes me. I’ve found my medium now I just need to find my subject!

Just a last reminder, the Extravaganza end of the year sale will end Oct. 31. If you don’t wish to make an art investment at this time but like my work, check out my other store where I use my art and digital illustrations to create cool stuff.

Thanks for stopping in! Much Love to all! ~ Rhonda

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Mini White Water Pastel

Well, I’m back to share with you a painting I did while on a recent camping trip. I titled the piece Mini White Water Pastel because it is about a place on the river that had some mini whitewater.

I set up my easel next to the water’s edge and had the most delightful day ever! The weather was perfect and there weren’t any bugs. We had the area to ourselves the entire day. It was so peaceful and beautiful.

First, I did a watercolor sketch of the scene to figure out my composition. Then, I made notes about the lighting, background and main colors. After lunch I set to work blocking in my pastel. You can see the hubs off in the distance fishing.

Watercolor sketch
Plein Air painting on Moyie River
Plein Air set up

The day flew by and before I knew it I had lost the light on the whitewater area, my focal point. The sun set behind the trees and the entire river was in shadow, even though it was only mid afternoon. I had to finish the painting in the studio using my reference photos and sketchbook notes, but I was able to block in all the major areas before leaving. Maybe if I hadn’t done a thumbnail sketch in my watercolor journal first, I would have been able to finish the painting on scene. Typical me, I’m a slow working artist. Anyway, here’s the finished painting:

Mini Whitewater Pastel

Mini White Water Pastel was painted on 9.5″x7″ tan Pastelmat paper with soft pastels. I kept the composition simple and painted the rocks loosely so the emphasis would be on the water. I feel this was a successful painting because it says something about this beautiful quiet area of the river; where the water spilled over the rocks, on a sunny blue sky day. : )

Our camping trip lasted two and a half days and we had a great time! It was perfect in every way for a fall trip. The hubs wasn’t successful at fishing but he had an enjoyable time teaching a worm to swim! ; ) Any time spent in nature is always a good day.

Thanks for stopping by! Much Love! ~ Rhonda

End of the Year Extravaganza SALE ends in one week!

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Morning Light Pastel Painting

It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m here today to share with you Morning Light Pastel Painting. This pastel depicts a path in the Giant Cedar forest near Libby, Montana, where we visited last month on a two day trip. The name of the forested area is called the Ross Creek Cedars, which I highly recommend! Some trees are said to be over 400 years old! There are all kinds of nature trails with signs along the way explaining the flora and fauna of the area. You can bring a lunch and sit on one of the park benches along the trails or at one of the many picnic tables.

Giant Cedar Tree Forest

There’s me showing the scale of the trees! Some of the trees were absolutely, unbelievably huge and it reminds me of the giant Redwood Forest in Northern California. We had a lovely time walking through the cool forest and admiring the beauty. We stopped by in the morning which was good because by the time we left it was so busy there wasn’t any parking left. If you are going to visit the area, it’s better to do so first thing in the morning, better on a weekday, if possible.

Looking up a Cedar Tree

So here’s my tribute to that memorable day, done from one of my reference photos:

Morning Light Pastel Painting

(The watermark is not on the original painting.)

As usual I got lost in the details on Morning Light Pastel Painting and so I’m not real thrilled with the outcome. I added the sun rays afterwards, because I felt the painting lacked a focal point. That was a bad idea. I could redo it but the interest is not there. I’ll just keep it in the flat file as a momentum of our trip. I did however enjoy the painting process and used a combination of hard and soft pastels. Girault pastels are quickly becoming one of my favorites and I really put them through their paces on this piece. I think that’s how I ended up getting this one overworked, because it was so satisfying using those particular pastels. Oh well, “chalk” it up to an educational exercise. Right?

It’s hard to believe summer is over and we are getting close to Thanksgiving. This year flew by! I hope you had a great summer. Ours was a bust because of the wild fire smoke that started earlier than usual due to the intense heat that arrived a month early. But we made up for it in September and were able to get in a few camping trips and boating as well. I’ll share one of my camping trips in the next post.

The End of the Year Extravaganza Sale is in full swing over in the Gallery on my website. Nearly everything is on sale with some items up to 50% off. The sale ends Oct. 31, 2021. I will be closing my website at the end of this year, and may just revert back to a regular blog. I haven’t decided. With everything that’s going on and things that may be coming, I feel it’s not a good time to be selling fine art. So, if you would like to own an original painting, and like my work, get it while its price reduced! This will be the last sale of this year. If you would like to extend your payments visit the Payment Plans page for more info.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, much Love! ~ Rhonda

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End of the Year Extravaganza SALE!

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Sale Ends Oct. 31, 2021

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If you are not satisfied with your purchase, simply return it within seven days of receipt. No questions asked. *

(*Restrictions apply.)

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I am closing my website at the end of this year. With all that is going on, I feel it is not the right time to be selling art. This is the last sale of 2021. If you like my work and wish to add to your art collection, this will be your last opportunity to purchase a piece on sale. If you would like to break up your purchase into manageable payments please see the Payment Plans page for more info.

I will still be sending out newsletters if you want to stay in contact. You can sign up for news HERE.

Thank you to all who have supported me during the years!

Much, Much Love and many Blessings to you! ~ Rhonda