The photographic reference for this pastel painting came during a train trip from Rome to Venice and I know it was from north of Florence, but I am not sure how far north. The entire trip was wonderful for seeing the lush fields and vendor carts. This is my homage to them.
This was the beginning of the piece, prior to a water floated underpainting.
I took many reference photos out a bus, ferry, taxi, or train; often times it was out the other side of the transportation. This one was like that through a bus's window into a glowing Campania valley.There were so many levels and layers to the landscape that I chose to use a different style to show it. Call it elongated pointillism ... over a watercolor underpainting on UArt 500.
Okay, I did manufacture the cloud, so Naples Sun is not the only painting with a cloud, but it is the only genuine one.
A pair with Naples Fresh, Naples Sun depicts several buildings which could boast of laundry billowing in the breeze and drying in the heat. It also has the pleasure of having my only cloud in the whole series. Anyone looking at my blog knows how I love to paint a cloud!
Naples is a port city. It reminded me of an old woman with beautiful bones, but past her time. The living accommodations also seemed to limit space for appliances ... to my benefit. There was laundry everywhere!
The reference photo for Linee Electriche was taken early one morning as we traveled by bus from Rome to Naples and Pompeii; it is from the Campania Region.
There are many sorts of lines, not all hold laundry. I especially like that this painting shows adjacent electric towers, one with lines closer to a mountain ridge and heading deep into a valley. Just like laundry lines, they run every which way.
From a photo I took in Burano, Italy, a small island known for their lace industry, colorful houses, and fishermen, this pastel painting is a play on what colors you'll find in Burano. Instead of the emphasis being on a colorful house, the emphasis is on the colorful laundry I found there instead.
All referencing my own photography from August 2011, some of my paintings for this exhibit are charming miniatures which have nothing or everything to do with laundry! The photo basis for this one came from our trip the airport, which is primarily accessible via water taxis, beautiful wooden powerboats which zoomed along within these structures as guidance.
The painting's title salutes Venice's origins, the marshes, which still exist at its edges.
My first Featured Artist exhibit at The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill St in Occoquan is called "Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy" and runs from December 6 through December 30.
You are invited to my opening, which will be officially from 1-4p on Saturday, December 10, and will feature Italy-inspired food and live violin music. Unofficially, the reception will begin before noon; come around 11:30 to get your free ticket in the Occoquan $1000 in gift certificates drawing at noon.
The exhibit marries my two loves: I use my own photographic references as the basis for pastel vignettes of this highly intimate subject, laundry, found hanging in southern, central, and northern Italy. It's been a labor of love, so come out and see this collection of pastels.
Come by the Workhouse in December for the continuing W-16 Associates Small Works ShowS. Yes, that "S" means the show will change over each month and the next time is on December 7.
Sales can walk, so we will back fill to keep the gallery freshly stocked. Come early, as these little pretties go fast. Check out the new gift shop in W-16, too, which also features small works as well as other gift items created by Workhouse artists!
Visit The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill Street in Occoquan for well priced Small Works decorating trees and table tops galore beginning November 15.
Hours are Tuesday-Friday 11-4, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 12-5.
The Town of Occoquan will hold their Annual Tree Lighting at 8pm at the Town Hall on Friday, November 18. Begin across the street beforehand at The Loft for a special Open House from 4-8pm. Light refreshments will be served.
Here's a sampling of a few of my pastels which are on display:
These beautifully framed pastels are perfect for teacher's gifts and other small, but meaningful, occasions.
Don't miss the Annual Small Works Exhibit at The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill St in Occoquan!
Here are a few of my mixed media minis in their cuter than cute heart frames...
Watch for my pastel minis in a few days, plus look at the Workhouse for more!
At only $12 each, these mixed media minis make incredible gifts for friends, family, teachers, neighbors, and Secret Santas alike. The show begins on November 15 and runs through the holidays, plus there's a special holiday reception November 18 from 4-8pm.
Come by the Workhouse in November and December for the W-16 Associates Small Works ShowS. Yes, that "S" means the show will change over each month, beginning November 9 and December 7. Black Friday, November 25, is another big date to remember with demos and children's activities.
Sales can walk, so we will back fill to keep the gallery freshly stocked. Come early, as these little pretties go fast.
Check out the new gift shop in W-16, too, which also features small works as well as other gift items created by Workhouse artists.My Lemon Duo (4x6, pastel), as well as Plein Air notecards, are found in the Workhouse Gift Shop.
Pastel Scarlet Marsh (4x6 on the new Richeson rust-colored pastel surface) is among my first submissions for the W-16 Associates Small Works Exhibit in November. I've had an obsession with marsh scenes lately:
For the first time, I have bin pieces in photography...
Liz Haywood-Sullivan is the juror. She will host a demo Sunday morning, then the opening is from 2-5p on Sunday afternoon.
The exhibit runs through November 20. Stop by to see my entry, Central Green, which is of the area adjacent to the Workhouse. It's a real honor to be exhibiting among this talented group of pastelists.
Co-sponsored by the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association and Springfield Art Guild, Dying to Get In is an artistic look at cemeteries for the sake of cemetery preservation. The exhibit is housed both in the SAG gallery and in the Springfield Mall hallway outside.
The Opening, a costume party, is in the SAG Community Room at Springfield Mall on Friday, October 28 from 6-9pm. The exhibit will be up through November 19.
St. George's Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, VA
metallic ink photograph
This month, I am Featured Artist for Springfield Art Guild at their Springfield Mall location near JC Penney and the Information Booth. It's only appropriate to have a full show of photography, as I am now a juried Photographer at the Workhouse Arts Center! Gaining this exposure (ha!) had been a long journey and I am thrilled to be able to primarily focus on and show both pastels and photography, plus whatever else I might mix in.
My Featured Artist exhibit at the Loft in Occoquan will be pastels based on my photography in Italy and my Featured Artist exhibit at the Workhouse next June will have one wall of each medium. It has been a long time coming and I look forward to marrying the two media in my efforts to exhibit. Please look to my photo blog for more examples.
NOTE: The exhibit will continue throughout November as well.
Begun with a watercolor underpainting en plein air, I sought to keep it loose and to preserve the watercolor feel while applying different thicknesses of pastel and pastel pencil.The pretty fringe of grass is what interested me at the outset, but I really like the orange offset by the blue. Begun the same day, Glow used a different underpainting technique.
Birdhouse at Burke Lake
soft pastel with watercolor underpainting
I will not only answer questions about "How'd She Do That?," I'll actually demo it, too.
The Flexibility of Pastels and Relating Them to Your Media
Pastels are not just for pastelists anymore. See Bonnie Ferguson Butler demo numerous methods of underpainting for pastels as she begins paintings using four different media. An underpainting is a layer of color applied prior to the painting itself. She will show three methods of using pastels under pastels as well as watercolors, oils, and acrylics under pastels. The secret is using sanded supports, which allow for wet applications and getting pigments into the tooth of the paper or board.
Fairfax County artist and published biochemist Bonnie Ferguson Butler is a juried artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton and The Loft Gallery in Occoquan, who enjoys experimenting with art techniques. Approaches that utilize her vast collection of art supplies make her happy. While her emphasis is en plein air painting, she also enjoys photography, which are often works that began as reference materials, but wind up deserving on their own. Award-winning and active in the local arts community, she maintains blogs devoted to her art and her photography and is Founder of the Pastel Society of Virginia, which meets twice monthly in the Springfield Art Guild Community Room.
Attend this informative demo at Fairfax Art League's monthly meeting on Saturday, October 1 at their Village Gallery at 3950 University Drive in Fairfax near the library. The meeting begins at 10a.
Celebrating 25 years, The Loft Gallery in Occoquan is the co-op home to 21 talented professional artists. I am thrilled to have begun our association this earlier year. My page and gallery on The Loft's website has been created and you're welcomed to check it out. Although I have blogged for many years, really applauding the merits of that presentation style, I appreciate how concise a gallery can be, too, so go there for more bang for your clicking and viewing buck.
In breaking news, I will be featured artist at The Loft beginning December 6 and running throughout the month, plus the collection will hang until the end of February. My theme will be "Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy," to honor my pet photography image, laundry.
Labor Day was a special day for the members of the Pastel Society of Virginia. We installed 29 paintings from eight pastelists for the first group showing of pastels in Virginia, plus we had about 60 guests, many of whom voted in our Terry Ludwig People's Choice Award. Adults and children alike took voting very seriously.
The exhibit is located in the Community Room of Springfield Mall and is hosted by Springfield Art Guild.
Much of my work is done en plein air, French for "in the open air." People often associate it with the Impressionists, but the move to paint outside preceded them by a number of decades. The trend to appreciate landscapes as a genre at all was new for the time.
Several characteristics contribute to the distinctive beauty of en plein air painting. They are generally smaller in size in order to be able to capture a scene in a single sitting. Because of the time limit and environmental factors such as the sun and shadows moving, they often lack extensive details and might appear slightly fuzzy or unfinished. Lastly, they tend to have a freshness and spontaneity which makes them impossible to compare to traditional and methodological studio work. That said, my own studio work tends toward the same feel as en plein air, which then identifies my overall style: softness with an edge.
My aim when painting en plein air is for alla prima paintings, which roughly translates for me as "what happens outside, stays outside." It adds another level of difficulty to the work.
These are some local places for landscape painting; most are within an hour of the Beltway. Look here for the complete album, a couple hundred views from my photography collection, which are mapped here.