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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!

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Poinsettia in Pastel

Merry Christmas!

Recently, I purchased a few poinsettia plants to decorate for the holidays. They are displayed in the living room and look so festive! I just love Poinsettias.

I also treated myself to a large order of new pastels! I finally got some rich reds that my palette was lacking. This haul of pastels is my Christmas gift to me.

Pastels and supplies

See the lower center small box of pastels with all the tones of red? That box inspired me to paint one of the Poinsettia plants and I had a great time doing so! Here’s the finished piece, “Poinsettia in Pastel”, which will be framed as a 5”x7” and used in the future as part of my Christmas decor…

Poinsettia  Pastel
Poinsettia in Pastel

Here’s a photo of the studio still life setup:

Studio  still life setup

My poinsettia plant is a bit thin in the leaves department because I almost killed both of them! The poinsettias are on the fireplace hearth where they don’t get my constant attention and I forget to check them daily for water. One day, I happened to look at the fireplace and both Poinsettias were wilted! “That’s just great”, I thought!

I rushed the plants into the kitchen and gave them long drinks. One perked up right away, the other was too far gone and lost most of its leaves. The one in the studio is the Poinsettia that survived the best, so I thought I’d better paint it before it’s gone, cause I just might forget to water them again.

All my shopping is done, and gifts have been shipped. I baked some Christmas sugar cookies using a new recipe off the back of the flour bag. Let’s just say that it was a wasted day, sadly. The recipe was awful and the cookies reflected that! We stomached a handful of them and threw the rest in the trash. Even icing didn’t help. The recipe called for sour cream and it just didn’t work. Yuck!

Well, that’s my excitement for the week! After the holidays I’ll be sharing the bird series in pastel that I’ve been working on. Here’s a sneak peak:

Red Cardinal Pastel
“Red Cardinal in the Snow”

(The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original paintings.)

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’ll see you next year! Much Love ~Rhonda

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New Work ~ “Bearded Iris Backside”

New Work ~

This new work entitled “Bearded Iris Backside” describes the back of the Iris where two buds were growing out of the stem. Why did I paint the back of the Iris? Well, viewing a flower from all sides is one of my favorite things to do before deciding on a view to paint. There are so many interesting parts to a flower and most times, the back is just as interesting as the front. Hidden behind this flower were two buds that I never saw until I turned the Iris around, upon cutting it in the garden.

The Bearded Iris had grown crooked in my flower garden and wouldn’t stand straight in the vase. So, upon turning the Iris all different directions, I discovered the buds made a more interesting story and I let the Iris be the backdrop to the buds.

Iris in a vase

The Studio Set up ~

Originally, when I placed the Bearded Iris into my vase, I didn’t add any leaves. The vase is too small to hold the thick stalks of the plant. Further into the painting I decided the composition needed the addition of leaves. You can see how there isn’t a good balance of the elements.

Iris painting in progress

Here is the point when the decision was made to add a single leaf from the Iris patch, which would add flow and balance to the composition. As the last bud was wilting I added a few leaves for reference. The blue tint to the vase is from the addition of water soluble fertilizer. I have discovered flowers last longer with this addition, and that adding an aspirin or some sugar to make flowers last longer is an urban myth.

Iris leaf added to painting

Finished Painting

The painting was done alla prima on an 8”x10” oil primed linen panel, using a tetrad color palette. Because the buds opened so quickly photo references were used to complete the piece. (The original flower set up wilted before the painting was finished.) Here is the finished painting:

Iris Backside oil painting
“Iris Backside”

This new work, “Bearded Iris Backside” oil painting, will be varnished and framed when it’s dry. Afterwards, the painting will be posted in the gallery under Floral Paintings. I’m super pleased with the results and had a wonderful time painting it.

Please note: the Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original painting. The watermark is for online purposes only.

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“Teapot” Original Oil on panel

Teapot

 “Teapot” is a 6″x6″ original oil on panel painting.

I used a limited palette of whites and greys to portray the subject.

The black frame with silver liner, makes a very dramatic statement.

This painting may be small, but I love the way it commands attention!

Signed by the artist. Certificate of Authenticity included.

Please note: The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark will not be on your painting.

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“Latour Creek” Oil Painting

A few blog posts ago I shared my camping adventures and a Plein air painting I started during that trip; you can read the post HERE.  I started “Latour Creek” oil painting in the dark and scary forest, next to Latour Creek,  where my attention was drawn to the dappled sunlight highlighting various parts of the forest, especially the creek. Sadly, I had to finish the work in the studio because of the mosquitos attacking me while I was painting. Work has been progressing slowly, on “Latour Creek” oil painting to which so far, I’m very pleased with the results.

There have been a few revisions as is typical of the editing process.

Here are my first set of revisions:

Revision 1 of Latour Creek oil painting

Did I write all over the painting you ask? No. I used a photo editing app to write my notes. I can easily see my mistakes once I’ve taken a photo of a painting. Funny how that works. I guess it’s the same as looking at one’s work in a mirror; the mistakes will be more noticeable.

 


I fixed all my edits and then rephotographed the painting which showed me I am not finished.

Here’s revision 2:

Revision 2 of Latour Creek oil painting

You can see by my edits where I feel some elements need more refinement.  More spectral highlights on the grasses need to be added and the edges of the foreground rocks need some softening. The mid-ground tree on the left needs more attention to define the shape. The tree needs some splashes of light on a few branches, to show the dappled sunlight.

I always set a painting aside for a while, not just to allow the layers to dry between sessions, but to come back with a fresh eye. This painting is a complicated scene and is taking a bit longer to finish, but that’s okay. Painting is about the journey and the enjoyment of the process, so for me, I don’t mind if it takes longer to finish a piece. It’s like reading a good book; we don’t want it to end. Right?

Every time I look at this painting, I’ll always remember what if felt like to paint this scene. I can still feel the coolness of the air and hear nothing but the quiet of the forest, and the babbling creek as the mosquitos buzzed around my face. That’s what I love about Plein air painting the most; the memories!

Much Love ~ Rhonda