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A critique of “Miss Chicken”

A critique of “Miss Chicken” provided by Alistair and Cordelia, the studio mascots:

Alistair and Cordelia provide a critique of "Miss Chicken".
Alistair and Cornelia critique “Miss Chicken”

“Alistair, look at that pastel titled “Miss Chicken!”. Blue tail feathers?” “Really?” critiques the lovely Cordelia.

“Well Cordelia, you see this is art not a photograph. Of course chickens don’t have blue tail feathers in REAL life!” replies the ever knowledgeable Alistair.

“The title of the piece is “Miss Chicken” so maybe she thinks she’s hot.” surmises Cordelia.

“Perhaps, but then again, maybe the artist used her artistic license to create a colorful passage that we as the audience would enjoy. What do you think?” asks Alistair.

Alistair and Cordelia critique the "Miss Chicken "pastel

Alistair points out the the red wattle and comb and explains to Cordelia how the red and blue colors make the painting pop.

“You see Cordelia, the saturated colors of the comb and tail feathers balance out the more neutral colors of the main body feathers. It’s brilliant.” explains Alistair.

“Well maybe, but I’m not a fan of chicken paintings, Al. I’m a city girl, you know.”

“I mean the last painting we saw was of a Red Barn, which I’m not used to seeing because I live in the city. When will we see something different?” whines Cordelia.

“Oh Cordelia you jest!” amuses Alistair.

Let’s ignore the studio mascots, shall we?

As you see, my latest pastel is of a chicken. I just had to paint this chicken after being inspired by a video from Marla Bagetta. I love chickens and when I saw her paint this one I had to have one of my own. Of course our styles are very different and I really love how hers came out, but I’m pleased with mine. I took a little break from painting landscapes to do this chicken, which was really fun.

"Miss Chicken"

“Miss Chicken” was painted on Buttercup PastelMat paper and is approximately 9.5″ x 8.5″. I used a variety of hard and soft pastels from Terry Ludwig, Unison and Girault as well as Nupastel. My painting is more linear and controlled whereas Marlas painting is loose and freeform.

I have tried to paint the way she paints and I just can’t figure out how to do it. I thought if I used pastels it would help me to loosen up but this must just be the way I paint. Painting is like one’s signature, and reflects our nature. I’m somewhat of an introvert and a neat nut.

I have been paying attention to this phenomenon for awhile now and have discovered that an artist’s essence and personality comes through in their work. It’s really quite amazing. Just because I’m introverted and neat doesn’t mean anything bad, it’s just me. Some folks don’t like that but it’s okay. We can’t please everyone, right? I think this stems from my upbringing whereby my parents believed children should be seen and not heard. My mother despised dirt and would make my sisters and I pick up lint from the carpet after she had just vacuumed. I know! But whatever, I’m not able to change even though I’ve tried, and at my age its not worth it. But I will pursue a more loose style of painting and believe it or not the pastels are helping in my quest. Mainly, I’m having fun and that’s the whole point!

Currently on my easel is a pastel of a sunset and that’s really fun! In between getting the veggie gardens ready for the upcoming season, and planting my seeds to start indoors, painting has taken a bit of a back burner, but I’ll share as soon as it’s finished.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed “Miss Chicken” as much as I did painting her!

Until next time, much love! ~ Rhonda

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The Sun Drenched Meadow

A few years back I drove past this little farm and the sun drenched meadow had parts of shade and sun due to cumulous clouds drifting by. A part of the meadow was so beautiful and bright with flowers and new spring growth that I had to pull over and shoot a photo. I was drawn to the contrast of light and dark and the red barn in the distance.

This pastel painting is the first in my new series of landscape pastel paintings entitled “The Beauty of Idaho”. The series will include sunsets, mountain vistas, lakes and rivers and more pastures with farms. Idaho is a beautiful state especially the northern area where I live, and so I want to pay homage to my home state.

"The Sun Drenched Meadow"

The Sun Drenched Meadow

Painted on 8″x9.5″ green Pastel Mat paper.

I think the green pastel paper was a great enhancement to the palette and allowed me to use it as a starting point when laying in my colors. I allowed parts of the paper to show through which gave texture to the meadow. On this piece I used an alcohol wash after applying some preliminary color and I can say I am not a fan of this method. The alcohol changed the texture of the paper and gave me some trouble with building up the layers. I won’t be using this method again. I much prefer using watercolor if its necessary, to create a preliminary wash such as on white pastel paper.

Painting the flowers was great fun and I had to be careful not to overdo it! My favorite part in painting the piece was laying in the sun drenched field and creating the shadows made from the clouds. Standing back and looking at the painting on my easel I had a great feeling of accomplishment. The painting seemed to just pop off the easel with vibrancy! I wish you could see it in person, because the photo doesn’t do the painting justice. Photos flatten subjects and one can’t see all the sparkle this pastel has to offer. I think this is why I’ve fallen in love with pastels, the sparkle! Plus, the immediacy of the medium itself and being able to paint intuitively, which suits me the best, is another reason I enjoy pastels.

The Sun Drenched Meadow pastel is available in the gallery. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did painting it! Until next time, thanks for stopping by! Much Love ~ Rhonda