| 28 February, 2018 17:12
If you're feeling bored with your art, sometime a change in scenery can be very inspiring. Here are some photos of a painting trip to Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley with the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico. Spectacular mountains and great painting buddies!
High Plateau View, 8" x 6" pastel
On a high plateau along Box Canyon Road.
| 13 November, 2017 14:01
I recently took a workshop with Richard McKinley. He likes to work in a high key range and has very few dark pastels in his box. Here's a few photos from the workshop showing his watercolor underpainting and the finished studio piece.
Watercolor underpainting for the studio demo.
Finished studio demo.
This is the palette he used. He likes to work in a high key so there were very few dark pastels. Richard has the ability to talk while he demos and has so much information to share! He's a truly gifted teacher!
| 16 September, 2017 09:26
There is a new gallery section on my website called Small Works. These pieces were all done as part of a "30 paintings in 30 days challenge." Most of them are either 8" by 8" or smaller. I had a lot of fun with these during the month of August and they were done from photographs or memory. Because the intention of these pieces was to experiment, I felt free to do some color variations. Let me know what you think - and thanks for checking in!
| 24 March, 2017 15:35
The Monday Painters group that I frequently paint with has a show of 50 paintings that can be seen at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Monday - Thursday from 9am - 2pm. I have two small plein air pieces in the show. The church is located at 431 Richmond Pl, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. The show will be up until the end of May. Stop by to see paintings of places in the Albuquerque area where we meet! If you're inspired to paint with us when we begin painting again in April, please let me know.
| 07 March, 2017 19:21
For the past six weeks, the Nature Artist's Guild of The Morton Arboretum has sponsored a Winter Encounter. Members were invited to submit a photo to the Guild's blog of a finished or unfinished work of art on a weekly basis. I managed to do one pastel sketch and three plein air pieces. To see my work and the work of other Guild artists go to: http://natureartistsguild.com and click on Winter Encounter. The blog also has current information on Guild events and shows.
Thanks for checking in!
| 23 February, 2017 19:34
Registration is now open for the workshop I'll be teaching at The Morton Arboretum on April 7 and 8. It's listed as: "Visiting Artist Series: Value and Color in Landscapes."
Learn why value is essential to accurately capturing a landscape. In this two-day pastel workshop, visiting artist Laverne Bohin will show you how to use the correct value and to notice the subtle shifts of value that exist in the landscape. Develop your sensitivity to a color's value so you are better able to separate it from it's hue. During the one-hour lunch break on Saturday, visit the Nature Artists' Guild Spring Exhibit in nearby Cudahy Auditorium for some inspiration.
Visit www.mortonarb.org to register or call 630-719-2468. Hope to see you there!
| 30 January, 2017 17:25
Color and Value workshop
The next workshop I'll be teaching is on April 7 and 8 at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. We will do a number of exercises exploring the relationship between color and value as it applies to landscape drawing. come with an open mind and prepare to be surprised. See the workshop page on this website for registration information.
| 24 August, 2016 22:35
Tomorrow, I'll ship three new images to Plum Bottom Pottery & Gallery in Egg Harbor, WI. "Spring Fantasy" is a combination of water color and pastel.on watercolor paper. "Summer Breeze" is soft pastel on Wallis paper. I really enjoyed that surface but it is no longer being made.
A "Familiar Friend" was inspired by a birch tree growing on Plum Bottom's property. It is an older tree and has seen better days but I love it's character. Instead of using traditional pastel paper, I brushed a pastel ground mixture onto 300 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper. When the pastel was applied to this rough surface it emphasized the brushstrokes of the dried pastel ground. This is a different direction for me. Let me know what you think of it!
All three pieces are smaller sized, matted and ready to be framed. They also can be easily shipped. Because many people like to choose the frame to complement their decor, I've been trying this format with Plum Bottom.
"A Familiar Friend", 10" x 6.5"
Hope you're enjoying the last days of summer and thanks for checking in!
| 01 February, 2016 22:12
It is so easy for the mats used in traditional pastel framing to become soiled during shipping, As far as I know, the major shipping companies have no way to move framed art without turning it upside down, sideways, etc. This can dislodge the small pastel particles which then settle somewhere on the usually white mat or the glass. Ugh. Once this happens, the frame needs to be opened and the particle removed from the glass or mat. Then the whole framing package, artwork, mat, backing board, glass and dustcover has to be re-assembled. Because of this, I've been slowly trying to switch to a plein air frame which requires no mat.
PSNM's new video shows how to frame pastels with or without using a mat. The video, titled "Framing Techniques", is available for viewing on the their website. This is a great how-to video for anyone who would like to frame their own pastels.To see the video go to: www.pastelsnm.org. Click on "Videos" and then choose the last video at the bottom of the list. It is numbered Volume 2, Number 1. Three signature members of PSNM share their tips on framing techniques. It's worth watching.
| 26 January, 2016 17:45
I don't know about you, but I enjoy watching videos of other artists at work. Many of the videos available on the web are short, 4-5 minute video's made by individual artists to promote their work. As mentioned in the last blog post, I recently joined the Pastel Society of New Mexico. At January's monthly meeting, three members of the group shared their thoughts and methods on framing pastels. Not being familiar with the Albuquerque area, it was very informative and helpful for me to learn about local sources for framing. It was also taped and at some point in the future will be available for viewing on their website.
There are a number of previous demonstration videos on PSNM's site. Many of them feature individual members sharing their techniques and one is about photographing artwork and preparing a digital entry. If you want to enter national shows, preparing digital entries is a way of life now. Go to www.pastelsnm.org and click on "Videos" to see the selection. A cold winter evening is a great time to listen to other artist's discuss their work and learn something new!
Stay warm and thanks for checking in.
| 03 January, 2016 14:06
After not blogging for awhile, I’ve been looking for a new way to communicate what has been happening during the past few months. I always wonder if anyone is reading this blog and if I have anything worthwhile to say. The start of the year gives me an opportunity to begin blogging again and share some (hopefully) helpful information with you.
Recently, I saw a demonstration done by pastel artist Margi Lucero during the Pastel Society of New Mexico’s National Show. I have always admired her work and wanted to see how she creates a loose, but realistic image that accurately depicts the color of the landscape. She began the pastel by blocking in large shapes rather than beginning with a line drawing. That helped to keep the looseness. But the part of the demo I really connected with was when she couldn’t find the color she wanted in her pastel box and simply said, “that’s pastel.” I can relate to that as I am spending the winter in the Southwest and have been frequently frustrated not having the “right color” when working plein air. The color of the earth, vegetation and sky are all different from the Midwestern landscape that I’m used to drawing. The strong Southwest sunlight seems to wash out the colors and make them less intense.
I often preach during workshops that using the correct value is more important than having the right color. Margi also mentioned this during her demo. But there was something comforting in hearing another artist express the same feelings about pastel colors. Unlike oil painting, where the desired color can be mixed, pastels can be layered or applied next to one another in order to obtain certain color effects. It seems like more work, but can create exciting, unexpected color combinations and has forced me to better understand color. Watching Margi’s demo helped ease my frustration about not having the “perfect color” in my pastel box and to focus more on values.
I still might buy a few new pastels, or better yet, splurge on one of those large sets of ‘Southwest colors.” But for now, I’m going to stop fussing about the correct color.
Demonstrations are a great way to learn something new or see a technique by an artist you admire. But during Margi’s demo, it was her casual comment that stayed in my mind and helped me focus on what is really important in pastel painting. Have you experienced the same feelings about not having enough pastel sticks and the "right color?"
| 17 February, 2014 18:14
If the temperature is in the 20's and the sun is shining, it's warm enough to do some pastel sketching in the car. I was able to do that yesterday. But today is a good day to stay inside and watch the snow fall. Lucky me.
But winter is a good time to plan, and I've been scheduling classes/workshops for the warmer months of the year. I'll be teaching this spring at The Fine Line in St. Charles, Cantigny Park and The Morton Arboretum. Also, the Peninsula School of Art in Door County, WI has accepted my proposal to teach there again on June 30, July 1 and 2. I have a few new underpainting techniquest that I would like to share with studetnts. See the Workshop/Events page for more information on these classes.
And I'll be participating in Cantigny In Bloom 2014, an art fair that takes place on June 14 and 15. I've never shown in this fair and am looking forward to it. Cantigny Park has a beautiful garden in addition to the McCormick mansion and a WWI museum.
And right now, it helps to think about gardens and seeing the color green again. Stay warm.
| 27 January, 2014 16:16
Like other parts of the Midwest, the thermometer reads close to zero right now and it's supposed to stay cold for awhile. What's an outdoor painter to do in this kind of weather? I really don't enjoy working from photographs and it's too cold to paint outdoors. So I've decided to paint some small studies from an upstairs window in our house. Two of them were done in Grahams Walnut Oil Paint and the third in soft pastel.
Let me kow what you think!
"Snowy Day" was done in late afternoon on January 19. It had been snowing all day and all the colors had changed to a soft gray. The visibility was very poor but I loved the muted colors.
"Clearing Skies" was done the next day. It wasn't a totally sunny day so there were no definite cast shadows. The light and dark sides of the tree trunks were visible and the colors were brighter.
"January 27" was done in pastel when the skies were mainly clear. The light colored building behind the trees was visible so I included it in the scene. The "scratchy" look of the tops of the trees was made by lightly stroking the pastel over paper that I had primed with Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels. Because I didn't smooth out all the brushstrokes, there were bumps and ridges that helped to create the small branches at the tops of the trees.
During the next "Painting Landscapes in Soft Pastel" class at the Fine Line in St. Charles, I'll demonstrate how to use the Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels to make your own unique pastel painting surface. For those of you who just want to wait until the weather warms up, there will be a Wednesday night session starting March 19 to April 30. Until then, stay warm!
| 21 December, 2013 17:21
It’s the time of winter solstice, a day often overlooked amidst the holiday hustle and bustle. But I like to mark the moment by remembering that the winter solstice is an occasion for awe and wonder and a challenge to faith. We have passed the year’s earliest sunset and now begin to move towards longer daylight hours. It takes a while to happen, but as a gardener and plein air painter, I know that we are moving towards the light.
With that hopeful thought, I wish you a warm and wonderful holiday and all the best in 2014!
| 11 September, 2013 12:40
As many of you are aware, in addition to doing fine art, I am an avid gardener, landscape designer and teacher. At this time of year, our garden is overflowing with delicious tomatoes. So I couldn’t resist setting up my easel and doing a quick study of “Carmello” tomatoes as they were ripening on the vine. The challenging part about doing this painting was trying to show the habit of the vine in addition to the red tomatoes. I didn’t want to do a painting of them just sitting on the kitchen counter. I wanted the viewer to feel the sinuous, complex curves of the plant while still being aware of the bright red fruit.
Vegetable gardens are a great place to be at the end of summer. There is a feeling of completion and wholeness as the summer winds down and we move towards autumn. One of my former students specializes in designing French potager style kitchen gardens. You can see drawings of the gardens at www.tinakoralgardens.com. In addition to designing, Tina also was a driving force behind “Gardenworks”, which is a volunteer-led project working to relieve hunger in DuPage County, IL by providing families in need with vegetable gardens and coaching. I hope all of “Gardenworks” vegetables flourished this year.
Now it's time to pick those tomatoes.