2008 was a great year for me and my art. I entered the year desiring to take chances personally. With the mantra to respond more with a yes than a no, I was able to grow many ways as a person and an artist.
Not a good winter painter because I prefer working outdoors, the year started off slowly. From this, I've learned how important it is for me to be engaged in a class through the cold months. Choices need to be made in the coming weeks, choices which include, gasp, working from a photograph. Humbled, I feel like I am bragging when I say how very exciting it is actually have choices in pastel classes!
Getting back on track in the Spring, I took a Sara Linda Poly en plein air workshop; I worked one day in soft pastels and one in oils. Manufacturing opportunities to drive in the mountains, I painted diligently all Summer and into the Fall. To keep me busy as the weather cooled, I took the nude figure pastel class with Ginger White Hergenroeder at Workhouse Art Center, a place near to my heart, literally three miles away. Her style is unique and expanded my tool kit for painting.
Also in the Fall, I began my blog, backfilling paintings in to reflect the days they were created. I also began framing my work instead of "painting to a pile," which I'd done for years. Although I consistently felt serious as an artist, I'd never before felt the desire to share it or do anything with it. Now I'm interested in the community it brings as well, me joining six art organizations this Fall. The level of support and activity in this area is tremendous and I treasure it.
This year I worked from a trusty French Companion, a French Easel, a Mabef lightweight easel, a Sketch Box, an aluminum table easel, a Roz Bag, and, drum roll, now I have purchased an EasyL Pro, which is in transit. You'll be the first to know when I put it to use. I think I can declare my house completely full of art (and camping) supplies when it arrives.
A shutter bug, I also have over 125 folders of pictures I've taken this year, each having one to 2000 photos in them. Besides having a growing son to document, I love having the references even if I do not use them traditionally.
My goal for 2009 is to continue painting the Lorton area, both in pastels and oils. In addition to this Pohick River reflection from last week, I've painted the Barrett House Meadow locally. These are just a few of the places I've pictured and mapped for en plein air locations in this area. Specifically, I will paint the Workhouse and other prison grounds, Occoquan Regional Park, and the Gunston peninsula. And I want to do them in each medium.
I have two trips planned for the year which will help my Roz Bag earn more frequent flyer miles. I look forward to the misty Northwest and the naturally air conditioned MI Upper Peninsula.
One very personal goal involves extolling the beauty of pastels, an often under recognized medium. I believe that the Commonwealth of Virginia is much too large an area to not have a single formal or recognized pastel society. If you believe that as well, please write here or email me. Of course, I do not intend to take away from any other nearby pastel society, as they are healthy and well established. My sincere desire is to promote pastels in Virginia in galleries, with pastel educational and en plein air opportunities, with pastel exhibitions, and for pastel artists themselves.
All my best for you in the New Year. I appreciate your visits and support.
Work-In-Progress? - This is about 8" x 11" and was intended to be the preliminary pastel/watercolor underpainting for another attempt at a pastel painting of wild field flowe...
6 hours ago