Monday, February 23, 2009



I mean it, GET OUT! Sometimes you just have to get out of your studio to get a fresh perspective. This post has nothing to do with pastel painting per say but does have everything to do with feeding your creative mind. I recently had the opportunity to attend a quilting retreat at The Retreat House in Rockport, Texas. Quilting is something I am absolutely fascinated by. The gorgeous patterns created by small pieces of colorfully coordinated fabrics is mesmerizing and an art in itself. I have traveled to Houston, Texas to attend the International Quilt Festival numerous times and have even begun several quilt projects of my own. Unfortunately, however, that's usually as far as it gets. I have never been to a quilting retreat but intrigued by the thought of 4 days of solitude to work on whatever unfinished quilting projects I felt like working on (and in my pj's if I so desired), I decided to go. What an incredible few days it turned out to be. Surrounded by numerous talented quilters who were tremendously inspiring and were never short on encouragement, I sewed to my heart's content. My enthusiasm was renewed, and not just for quilting. Once I got home I found I was equally enthusiastic about getting back to work in my office and starting my new series of paintings. I didn't even find a need to get irritated at my husband. I felt like I really HAD taken a chill pill.

I realized how important it was to get away from my old grind and do something I enjoyed that was totally different from my norm. Somewhere in the change, I found renewed enthusiasm and excitement that had sneakily escaped my familiar work environment . I was refreshed and even anxious to get started again, with renewed energy, a second wind. If you are an artist with your own business, you know that it is easy to get way over absorbed in the workings of your business. Take a break. Get out and do something totally different for a few days that you love. The results will absolutely amaze you and make a tremendous difference in your attitude, your enthusiasm and probably even your energy level, and all for the good!

Where have you gone when you "got out"? What have you done that was totally different from your normal day to day? I'd love to hear about your places of escape.

One last note. If you are looking for a place to have an artists retreat or workshop, consider The Retreat House in Rockport, Texas. It is an excellent place to relax, create and participate. Clean and beautiful inside, scenic and relaxing outside. You must keep this on your list of possible locations for future events.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Out Of The Closet

Out Of The Closet

This is an image I started working on last year but had to put aside in order to finish a different series for an exhibit. As you can see, I have the under painting in place, which I do in watercolor on watercolor paper. At this stage I try to develop my values and get all the dark areas established. I also add subtle color through out that will ultimately peek through the final layers of pastel. It is this interaction of layered color that sparkles through and creates images that come to life. You will see what I mean as this painting progresses.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monsters in the Studio

Monsters in the Studio

Much like the closet you hurriedly open and hurl your tennis shoes, racket and sports bag into then slam the door shut before it has a chance to come crashing back out again, such has my studio become in the last few months of 2008. Due to new unforeseen responsibilities in my life, my studio has taken the main brunt of the
kayos swirling around me recently. Nothing horrible, but things happen sometimes that we just have to rein back in and get control of. Thank goodness for new beginnings! The first thing I did was to purchase a nice big filing cabinet. When I researched prices, however, they were totally out of my league. Almost by accident, I stopped by an Office Furniture Express store and found a used 4-drawer, lateral filing cabinet in excellent condition for the same price as a brand new one half the size. I saved close to $400 and was ecstatic to say the least!!

I've got to say, ALWAYS consider "used" when planning a purchase. You will be amazed, as I was, at the savings you can find without sacrificing quality.

I will post a "before" picture of my studio soon, but only when I can show the "after" photo as well. Some monsters in the closet are just too scary to look at until you've gotten control over them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Art Educator Days

This past Saturday was Art Educator Days at the Rockport Center for the Arts in Rockport, Texas. It's an event that is specifically created for Art Educators. A variety of classes are coordinated and offered so that Art Teachers can get ideas and information about interesting things to teach in their art classes. It is a tremendous event and I am glad to be a part of it.

Here are some of my student's finished pieces that were created in my "Pastel over Watercolor" class at the Art Center this weekend. What a great group they were!
One more thing. They created these paintings with a very limited palette of approximately 10 pastels.