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Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily

Summer is winding down and so are the Lillies in my flower garden. Before they were gone I painted a Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily in pastel. They are beautiful Lillies! Here’s a peek in the garden:

Stargazer Lillies

This is the second year of growth for these Mona Lisa Stargazer Lillies so they haven’t spread much. Their fragrance is mild compared to the Orienpet Lillies I shared in my previous post. The Lillies are a vibrant pink with splashes of deep red and are relatively low growing.

I picked a lily and put it in a small vase and it looked so cute I just had to paint it. I placed it under a strong light source and used some pan pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix paper to start. The pan pastels perform really well on this paper but hard and soft pastels not so much. I am not a fan of pan pastels because of the extreme softness and I’m not able to achieve the more finished look I prefer in my art. So, I used soft pastels to finish the painting and it was a bit of a challenge due to the roughness of the paper. Here’s my little still life set up:

Pan Pastels and Stargazer Lily

The light source is just above and to the left. I use the table to sort out the pan pastels since there’s plenty of room. I took a photo of the lily before I began painting because the flowers wilt pretty quickly, and used both the photo reference and the actual flower for my painting information.

Stargazer Lily Pastel Painting

Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily was painted on white Colourfix pastel paper and is about 8.75″ x 8.75″ in size. The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original painting. I can see where I might want to rework the foreground a little bit and bring the yellow hues into the right side of the painting some more. Otherwise I think this piece came out lovely!

Thanks for your time in stopping by! Much Love ~ Rhonda!

  • Stargazer Lily Pastel Painting
  • Poinsettia Pastel
  • White Lily Pastel Painting
  • Chives Pastel
  • Late Morning Orienpet Lily pastel painting
  • White Orienpet Lily Pastel
  • Bearded Iris pastel

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Late Morning Orienpet Lillies

These last few weeks I’ve been working on and off on a few pastel paintings of my Late Morning Orienpet Lillies. Mine are of the Alusta Hybrid variety. This year was spectacular and there were around 12 stalks of plants, since they spread every year. Here’s a pic of the garden in full bloom:


Late Morning Orienpet Lillies

The flower garden is mostly bulbs and there are three rose bushes and a Clematis vine. The Late Morning Orienpet Lillies put on a beautiful show for about two weeks and the fragrance is out of this world! So every year I make a painting that captures their essence and beauty. This is the first pastel painting of the two Lily’s painted:


White Orienpet Lily Pastel

“White Orienpet Lily” Pastel is painted with soft pastels on light green PastelMat paper and is about 6″x9″. The Lilys have short stems and when they are put in a vase they tend to lean to one side of the vase. I chose a 3/4 view for this piece and just depicted the top edge of the vase because of the way the Lily was situated.

 Late Morning Orienpet Lilies

This is the second pastel in the series and I chose a front view for this piece. “Late Morning Orienpet Lily” was painted with soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix white paper. The Colourfix paper is a new paper for me and I do not care for it. The surface is so rough it chews up the pastels quickly! Then it doesn’t hold many layers very well so I struggled with this painting a lot.

I painted a watercolor underpainting first and that all worked well. Then I used pan pastels to bring in some initial colors and the paper works great with pan pastels. But that’s about it. It even chews up the pan pastel sponges. I’m not a huge fan of pan pastels because they create very soft looking imagery. I need to play with them a lot more to see where they will be best used, so I used them sparingly on this piece and opted for my soft pastels instead.

I am pleased with how both paintings came out especially considering the struggles with the new paper on the second painting. I focused on being “playful and loose” as some artists would say, even though its not really my style. I think I was able to pull it off and I like the overall look of both pieces.

The Lillies are gone now. They are the highlight of our summer and all the neighbors come by to admire their fragrance and beauty. This year I found out what their true name is, Late Morning Orienpet Lily after doing an extensive search online. I always just called them white Lillies, even though they aren’t completely white. They are mostly an ivory white with yellow inside and light green on the outside along the veins leading to the stem. When the sun shines on the petals in just the right way, the ivory hue looks like a brilliant white. I just adore these flowers and am always sad when they are gone.

I’ll be back soon with a Stargazer Lily painting. Thanks for taking time to read my post! Much Love ~Rhonda


  • Bearded Iris pastel
  • White Lily Pastel Painting
  • Poinsettia Pastel
  • White Orienpet Lily Pastel
  • Late Morning Orienpet Lily pastel painting

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Pink Roses Pastel Painting

My flower garden is in full bloom with rose and Lillies of all sorts! It smells so wonderful and all the colors are a treat for the eyes! So here is my first floral painting of the year, called Pink Roses Pastel Painting.

Last week I picked some of my pink roses and brought them inside to enjoy, because they were suffering in the heat. It was really hot outside, in fact unusually hot for our area. We have been having some extreme hot temperatures for the last few weeks, so I have stayed inside! I’m not a fan of extremes in temperature, especially heat. It was the perfect time to do some still life paintings and pink roses made a great subject! So I thought.


Pink Roses Pastel Painting

It’s been awhile since I have painted floral genre and I’m out of practice. Needless to say this pink roses pastel painting was a challenge for me. As I look at the photo of the painting, I see lots of areas that could be improved, but I’m going to leave it as is and call it a learning piece.

I used wine Pastelmat paper that was 9″x12″ in size and soft pastels. After blocking in my sketch I set out to paint and after a few hours I was really unhappy with the way things were going. I took the paper off the easel and threw it in the trash. After taking a break, I came back in the studio and took the painting out of the trash and taped it back on the easel. I decided to use a brush and water to paint out what I had done, and create and under painting. Taking out my frustrations on the painting with water was great fun. I left it to dry and called it a day.

The next morning I turned on the easel light and was surprised to see that the painting could be salvaged and I could see a path forward. So, again, I played with textures and edges and ended up enjoying the process. I worked on staying loose and not blending the pastel.

Roses have always been hard for me to depict in a painting so now the challenge is on! I’ve got to figure this out! Pink is also a difficult color to portray especially in pastel, so maybe I’ll try some of my other roses that have red and orange in them. For now, I’m taking a break from roses and will sneak up on them another day.


Currently on my still life table is a white Lilly from the flower garden. I’m painting it in pastel and it’s coming along okay. The flower smells wonderful!

White Lilly

I’ve painted these Lillies in oils mostly, and created one pastel last year that came out great. I’m haunted by these beautiful flowers and every year I have to paint them. They only last a few weeks, so now is the time to capture their beauty, if at all possible.

I’ll be back soon to show you how the painting turned out. I hope I don’t wreck it! I am struggling with what color to make the background. White isn’t going to work, so I’ll have to invent something. I was thinking I’d make a high key painting by placing the flower on a white background, but now I wonder if that was a good decision. I’ll need to play around and see what happens.

Much love ~ Rhonda

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A Plein Air Adventure

This past weekend was just beautiful and perfect for a plein air adventure. We loaded up the boat with all our gear for a day out on Lake Pend Orielle which consisted of fishing rods, pastel gear and lunch.

We left early before the weekend crowd hit the lake, and launched during a sailing regatta which was so much fun to watch! It was wonderful to see all the colorful spinnakers as the sailboats headed downwind to the first buoy.


Sailing

After watching the sailboat race for awhile, to which I took lots of photos for future paintings, we headed out to find a spot to beach the boat. We came to a place on the lake called Granite Peak and found a beautiful lagoon where we had the place to ourselves. It was time for lunch so we broke out the cooler and made some delicious sammies.

After lunch, I rounded up my plain air pastels and accompanying gear and found a nice spot on the beach to paint a beautiful scene, while my husband fished.


Plein Air painting at Granite Cove

Plein air painting with pastel

I took the mini pastel box so my pastel was small, approx. 6″x8″. I used grey PastelMat paper and a variety of soft pastels. It’s hard for me to use such a small amount of colors on a painting, and longed for my big palette back in the studio. The next day, I revamped my colors in the box and hopefully now have it worked out to the necessary landscape colors I need for my next adventure. As you can see, why would I need so many pink colors? Beats me! Those are now gone and I added in more greys and browns.


The scene and mini pastel box

I love the lime green color of the water as it reflects the trees and then how it blends to blue from the reflection of the sky. It’s like eye candy to me! At one point my husband moved around to a rock on the bank in front of me so he became part of my painting. He had a great day fishing and caught six trout within the first hour! I had a great time on my plein air adventure too!

My depiction of the scene isn’t exactly like it was, but I feel I captured the essence of the landscape. This painting is titled Granite Peak Pastel and will become an addition to my series called the Beauty of Idaho. Here’s the finished piece:


Granite Cove pastel

The reason for the name of this area is all the rock walls of granite. There’s also a lot of granite rocks on the beach and in the shallow lagoon. The trees on top of the granite outcrop are leaning over from all the strong storms we’ve had this year. There were a few fallen trees laying on the top of the granite wall. I am always amazed that trees can grow in such rocky areas. Further up the mountain is a cave where someone long ago did some mining.

I think I will tackle a sailboat painting next and see how that works out. I recently purchased some pan pastels and am looking forward to trying them out. I’ll share my experience with them in my next post. Until then, thanks for stopping by! Please hit the like button so my posts can move up in the algorithm stats and more folks will be able to see these blog posts! I really appreciate it! Much love and Blessings! ~ Rhonda

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Chives Pastel Painting

This week I took a break from my landscape series to create Chives Pastel painting on PastelMat paper. I planted chives in the greenhouse last year and now they’ve tripled in size and have beautiful purple flowers. I cut a small bouquet and brought them in the studio to use as a reference before they are gone.

I honestly don’t know why I planted chives because I really don’t use them in my cooking. I like chives on baked potatoes every once in awhile, but that’s all I know to use them for. I guess it’s the pretty purple flowers that I really like most of all.


Chives Pastel Painting
Chives Pastel

Chives pastel painting is about 7.5″ x 10.5″ and painted on dark grey paper with Terry Ludwig and Unison soft pastels. I laid in the initial drawing with hard Nupastels and used a chamois to smooth out the background underpainting. Once all my underpainting was complete I used the soft pastels to build up the flowers. The vase was just a combo of all the colors smoothed into the shape of the vase and then highlights added at the end to define the shape.

It all came together rather easily but I’m still finding holes in my palette with respect to sticks I still need. I think to my self, “I need this dark color here” and go to my box to see if I have what’s in mind and no stick! Bummer. So earlier this week I made another order for more sticks! Once they arrived I made color swatches of each one in my sketchbook to make reordering easier later on.


New pastels

Can one actually ever have enough pastels? I don’t know. But opening a box of brand new pastels brings me back to childhood when on the first day of school, each student would find a brand new box of crayons, a new pencil, books and paper at our desks. I loved opening the box of crayons and seeing all the shiny new colors. I guess the art monkey found me at a very young age! I still remember finger painting in kindergarten and thinking that was the most fun a kid could ever have.

Well, that’s all I have to share this week. I hope you have a fabulous weekend, and I’ll be back next week with another pastel painting to share. Thanks for stopping by! Remember to hit that like button so my posts can move up in the algorithm rankings! Much Love ~ Rhonda


Note: If you click on each image above you’ll be able to see a larger single image in a Lightbox effect which is pretty cool!