Monday, December 7, 2009

Decompressing from a Christmas Art Sale or the Struggles of a Somewhat- Starving Artist

Frosty the Snowman and Me at Old Fashion Christmas


I think I'll need to get my cholesterol rechecked after Saturday's Old Fashion Christmas. I know I must have gained at least 10 pounds from simply smelling those funnel cakes all day. My art tent and display were right across from the food vendors, a mix of a deep- fried and deep, deep- fried food items; the endless funnel cake line definitely reminded me that conquering hunger is always a priority over buying art.
My ice-covered car shivered and sighed early Saturday morning when I was loading it up at 6:45 a.m. and heading for Castroville, the site of my art sale extravaganza. The outdoor thermometer read 24 degrees as I added another box of sale items to the back seat. I think I broke some kind of record by choosing the coldest day in South Texas for jumping into the outdoor arts festival market. Thank goodness I had already purchased a tent and heater from Academy! But, until I set it all up, I'd just have to suck it up and get on with it! I could barely see the car for all my exhaling frosty breath as I huffed and puffed in and out of the garage and to the car. Finally, I trekked on down Loop 1604 and then headed southwest on Highway 90 to Castroville. Whew! With a gallon of coffee to fortify me and my car heater on full blast, I could feel my foggy brain starting to defrost.
Seeing the once familiar sights on Hwy. 90 push by as I sped down the country road, I reminisced about my former life as an English teacher at Medina Valley Junior High. After teaching there for 17 years, I had some vivid memories of the ups and downs of a classroom teacher. However, most of those memories were happy ones so I was hoping to see some old friends and former students at Old Fashion Christmas and have myself a mini-reunion of sorts.
Although the day started quite early for me in San Antonio, the sale didn't start till 9 a.m. And, as the day progressed, I shed layer after layer of clothing. I believe it went up to 52 on Saturday. Being on the sunny side of the festival and up against all that food, I decided my booth location wasn't all that bad afterall. Another plus for me was that I was straight across from the town's church on Houston Square. I could look up and see colorful stained glass windows and the wreath-hung double doors and immediately feel uplifted with Christmas Spirit. More good things happened as the day went by. I did see old friends and former students. In fact, some of my former students actually bought my art. It felt like an Oprah-like "full-circle" moment for me!
My life's book has many chapters. Going from teaching to creating and selling art has one common element. I'm still trying to reach out and make a difference. I always thought that witnessing kids growing through learning was one beautiful and creative process. I'm hooked on things of beauty and creativity. I'm still striving for those indelible moments.
Old Fashion Christmas . . . Old Fashion Me! I imagined, as I packed up my car to head on home on Saturday, a Jimmy Stewart-like scene on Houston Square. Rushing around hugging folks from my Past that I will always love and care about, I reminded myself that "It's a Wonderful LIFE!"
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a 2010 New Year that gives you wings!!!
--Cindy

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Dance of the Northern Lights-- New Painting

The Dance of the Northern Lights
12x16 image
Pastel Painting by Cindy Morawski
December 2009
B-r-r-r-r-r!!! When I think of cold, I normally don't think of South Texas. But, believe it or not, we have a real Cold Front in our Alamo City, giving us near freezing temps and a forecast of snow this week. Let it Snow...Let it Snow...Let it Snow. The last real snow we've had when the city was immobilized because we had enough to make a snowman was back in '85. I remember that because I had two snowdays off from work! And, I did build a snowman in my front yard with the help of neighbors and friends.
When I think of COLD, I also think of the Northern Lights. That's why I chose that as a recent subject for painting. It had all my favorite elements: trees, sky, stars, and intense colors. Pastels lend themselves to great pigment values.
This landscape measures 12x16 unframed and is currently for sale. Please contact me if you're interested either in the original or a print. You're welcome to come by for a closer look in my home gallery at 8603 Waldon Heights, SA, TX 78254. Contact: 210-522-0706 or cski02@sbcglobal.net.
Stay warm! ---Cindy

Monday, November 30, 2009

OLD FASHION CHRISTMAS in Historic Castroville, Texas

Happy Holidays!!!


Please Join Me
In Historic Castroville
for the 26th Annual
OLD FASHION CHRISTMAS
Saturday, December 5, 2009
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
On Houston Square
Over 250 Vendors & Entertainment
Eat, Drink, Shop & Enjoy!

**************************************

I'll be in Booth 239 near the corner of Angelo and Paris Streets.
ART is a gift from the Heart!!!
I'll have original framed and matted paintings, plus prints, art cards, ornaments, and bookmarks.
Hope to see you this Saturday for Holiday Shopping!!!

---Cindy

Monday, November 16, 2009

HOLIDAY ART OPEN HOUSE

"Cozy Christmas"
(Recent Painting featuring my cats, Birdy and Mattie)

HOLIDAY ART OPEN HOUSE INVITATION
Gallery Viewing, Creative Art Gifts for Sale, Holiday Refreshments
Sunday, November 22, 2009
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
MORAWSKI FINE ART
8603 Waldon Heights
San Antonio, TX 78254
(Braun Station West off Bandera and Braun Rd.)
Phone: Cindy Morawski 210-522-0706

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inspiration from Lost Maples

Paul and our British Lab, Phineas
Fall's Reflections


Pond on East Trail at Lost Maples Natural Area


Checking out the Local Foliage!

I'm still thinking about the dazzle of the sun on the canyon's creek and the purple-red haze on the soft, tall grasses along the trails at Lost Maples. There was every shade of autumn there. It was all good. And, it was nature at its best. If you're looking for inspiration, you might consider a day or two at Lost Maples Natural Area near Vanderpool, Texas. It's about an hour and a half's drive northwest from San Antonio. If you go through the small towns of Bandera and Medina along the way, you might also pass by a cowboy walking a buffalo or an apple orchard that stretches into forever. Once you head out of San Antonio and into the Hill Country, the drive won't disappoint you at all. Some of the landscapes are simply breathtaking.


Paul and I went tent camping and hiking at Lost Maples last week with our two dogs, Phineas and Rusty. The weather was so good that we nearly forgot our brutal summer. Cool, dry days and crisp, clear nights that let one see the stars, made me want to pinch myself. It seemed too good to be true! I took the camera with me every time I headed out of the campsite. Inspiration was everywhere I turned. Now, all I need to do is pick, plan, and paint a landscape. I'll let you know later how it goes . . . Happy Trails! ---Cindy




Monday, October 26, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough . . . Painting Mt. Rainier with Pastels

Northern Exposure at Mt. Rainier

Ain't no mountain high enough . . . I can hear Dianna Ross belting out one of my favorite Motown songs on my jamtown player. Listening to music helps me paint. What an equation! Photos + Music + Pastel Paints = Landscape Painting of the North Face of Mt. Rainier. What can I say; it works for me. After my friend Anna returned from a vacation in the state of Washington with photos and journaling, I found out I couldn't resist the sights of the Emmons Vista Park Trail and the north face of Mt. Rainier. Having to postpone traveling for awhile due to lack of funds, I decided to live vicariously through Anna's travels and soak up the northwestern outdoor beauty through her. By the way, thanks, my friend!! I enjoyed painting this vista by underpainting with hard pastels first. Next, I started with the middle ground and then worked on the foreground, and saved the sky for last. I used a combination of my hard, medium, and soft pastels for the last layer while working on the design, shapes, and details of my composition. I created my painting on 12x16 sanded paper. I plan to mat and frame it with either a 14x18 or 16x20 frame.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please either e-mail or phone me for more details. E-mail: cski02@sbcglobal.net or phone-- 210-522-0706. Happy Trails!!! --Cindy


Saturday, October 10, 2009

You're Invited to San Antonio's ARTASTIC!




***** Falling for ART could be the Perfect Answer!!!! *******
Keep Sunday, October 18th OPEN!
You're INVITED
To Attend
ARTASTIC!
A Fine Arts Festival
Presented by
Temple Beth-El Sisterhood
Sunday, October 18, 2009, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Temple Beth-el
211 Belknap Place
San Antonio
FREE ADMISSION
...featuring over 30 artists,
live music,
wine tasting, food and chocolate, too...
Hope you can join me. I'll be located in booth #25 with my ART. I'll have all sizes of original paintings, matted prints, and cards too.
See you soon, Cindy









Monday, October 5, 2009

Art for Sale this Saturday, October 10th

Art for Sale!!!
Shopaholics unite! Braun Station West's Garage Sale is this Saturday, October 10th, from 9:00 till 5:00.
*******************************************************************
If you're looking for something different, like something new, new ART, come by my place. I'll be selling my original art via the BSW Garage Sale in matted prints, framed prints, and art cards in my backyard by the alley. My address is 8603 Waldon Heights. Look for a gray brick house at the corner of Queen Hts. and Waldon Hts. If you're coming down Tezel from the clubhouse, turn right onto London Hts. and then take the 2nd left onto Waldon. I'm at the end of the street on the left-hand side. I'll also have some neighborhood sale signs to guide you.
_________________________________________________
Plus, if you mention this e-mail, I'll give you a free Art Card! (Your Choice!) Hope to see you this Saturday. Come check out my Art for Sale!
_________________________________________________
HAPPY SHOPPING!!!
--Cindy

Sunday, September 27, 2009



INSPIRE'S ON FIRE
"emerging artist awards reception"

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, 6:30 - 10:00 pm
The Terrace at Valero
One Valero Way



After the Rains: SOLD!

Sold! Both of my juried paintings have now gone to good homes. "After the Rains" sold prior to the reception and "Lost Maples" sold at the Inspire's on Fire: Emerging Artists Awards Reception last night at Valero's Gala. One of the gala's events included a Silent Auction while the Art was on display. With the band's music jamming the song "Celebrate Good Times," I noticed a reason to celebrate. My second painting had just been sold through the auction for my asking price. Yeah!

With my husband Paul and my Texas Pastel Society friends, Maria Lopez and Cathy Geib, we managed to have fun and collect accolades as well. The Pastel Medium came through with flying colors for well-deserved awards going to fellow-pastel artists, Maria and Cathy. Way to go, ladies! Gourmet appetizers, fine wines, and a great band also helped contribute to an unforgettable evening. Thank You, Inspire Fine Art Center! We're all looking forward to more good times and inspiration through you.





Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Early Snow in Ellwood: A New Pastel Painting

Early Snow in Ellwood

First Moment of Snow!

Joy! That's the feeling I had when I experienced my first moment of snow last Thanksgiving! It had been a long time since I'd even seen snow, and here I was feeling it on my face. The moment seemed to stretch into an eternity of slow-moving childhood memories of sled rides, snowball fights, and crisp, bright scenes from the past that came all in a rush of excitement. I grew up with snow in Pennsylvania. But now that I live nearer the equator in San Antonio, Texas, snow is a novelty and a treasure from my past. Since I was visiting my family for Thanksgiving in Ellwood City, PA in 2008, I expected turkey for our big meal, but what I didn't anticipate was a snowfall the day after the holiday. That was a gift!
In my recent painting entitled "Early Snow in Ellwood" I tried to capture the excitement of snow through the lingering warmth of a late autumn in reds and golds, the newness of snow through a diffused palette of light blues and lavenders, and the woodsy landscape from the western Pennsylvania countryside. My completed pastel painting is an 8x10 on pastelbord, and it will soon be listed and available through my online gallery: http://www.cindymorawski.com/.
The changing seasons never disappoint me. The chill in the air, the sudden quiet, and then the first snowflakes as they fall gently from the sky all add up to a delightful moment. Nature provides. See it with fresh eyes and enjoy!
PS: Please write and tell me about your adventures with snow.
--Cindy

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Falling for Autumn! New Landscape Paintings

Joy of October

Hardwood's Lost and Found

Door County

Imagine me as Odie, the dog character in the "Garfield" cartoon strip. Drooling, excitedly jumping up and down, very, very happy!! That's me when I think of AUTUMN. It has always been my favorite season and always will be. The cooler temperatures, the vivid tree foliage, the crunch of leaves, the promise of a harvest, and the sweet perfume of a change in the air-- all contribute to my love of Fall. The sheer cheerfulness of a Halloween pumpkin can make me feel like a kid again. Buying gold and claret colored mums for our home's entrance brings magic to my front door. Just the thought of all that trick-or-treat chocolate puts a shiver down my spine. With cooler weather, I can also plan a camping trip to Bastrop or a long hike at Lost Maples Park with Paul and my friends. Plus, although I don't consider myself a TV junkie, I can look forward to the new fall line-up and the end of summer reruns. Yes, the feeling of hope is triumphant for me.
Wanting to take advantage of that manic high I've got going, I can't wait to also get out my art supplies and get some painting started. Although Fall doesn't officially start until September 22nd this year, I wanted to get an early start with some new landscapes. I started in August with my tribute to Door County, Wisconsin, by painting "Joy of October" and "Door County." A couple of years ago, Paul and I visited family in Wisconsin in October. It was an unforgettable trip with lots of photos, food, hikes, and laughter. The natural beauty of Door County took my breath away. The colorful woods, the misty lakes and wetlands, and the small town festivals contributed to my falling in love all over again with Autumn. I based my above paintings on photos I'd taken of scenes from the Northeastern Wisconsin landscapes I viewed and appreciated.
Joy of Autumn and Door County are 8 x 10 landscapes on Ampersand tinted Pastelbord. The still life of Hardwood's Lost and Found is a 5 x 7 on Pastelbord as well. All are ready to hang with completed complimentary matting and framing. Joy of Autumn is already sold, but the others are price-listed online and ready for purchase. So, even if you're not a complete and utter fool for Fall like me, I hope you have a good Autumn. And, if you are from San Antonio, you all deserve some cooler and wetter weather this season!
I'll leave you with an excerpt from Robert Frost in his verse entitled "October."
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all. . .
Release one leaf at break of day,
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Enchant the land with
amethyst,
Slow, slow!

AUTUMN GREETINGS and GOOD WISHES!! --Cindy

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Finding my Roots at the North Antrim Coast of Ireland

I am a blend of cultures. First of all, I am an American. I was born and raised in the United States so I am a product of the American culture. When I lived in England for three years while teaching English at a DOD school and I traveled through Europe, I was rarely mistaken for anything other than an American. My British friends told me that they could tell I was an American at least 5oo yards away. I had that cheerful, open look about me. I dressed in brighter colors and had a more casual appearance than most of my UK neighbors. I talked louder and laughed more than a lot of the natives. It was obvious that I was an American. Second, I am a Scotch Irish descendant. I have known that I was Irish since I was a little girl. I remember an Irish great aunt grabbing my cheeks and pinching them. Hey! A little too hard. And then exclaiming, "Aren't you a wee one!" Relatives visiting our farm when I was a child would be speaking English, but they sounded different. Sometimes I could barely understand them due to their thick Irish brogue. They reminded me of the leprechauns on the TV commericials for Lucky Charms. I found it endearing. I began to notice my roots. I took comfort in the fact that I belonged to a large tribe that had migrated to America, but was still out there in the Old Country. I knew that someday I wanted to go to Ireland and look back over the sea to America and consider my beginnings. Well, it took awhile, but finally I did it! At age 54, I flew to Belfast, Ireland with my cousins, rented a car, and headed north to the Antrim Coast. After stretching my legs from the car drive, I slowly headed toward the coastline cliff. Drawn like a lemming to the edge, I parted the tall grass and peered out at the ocean. Although, unlike a lemming, fortunately I didn't take a leap, but I did stand there for awhile and reflect on the natural beauty of my surroundings and then considered the wonder and mystery of "who" I was. I felt a pull like the ocean's undertow. It was a full circle moment for me. Feeling a lump in my throat and the tears pooling in my eyes, I sent out a quiet message of gratitude to all my Irish family, both past and present. I am a blend of cultures and now I think I understand.





The above pastel painting is a tribute to Ireland, and it's entitled "Finding my Roots at the North Antrim Coast of Ireland." (Oh, my, I know, a long title!) It's painted on a 16 x 20 Ampersand Pastelbord with soft pastels. Plus, I framed it in a wide, gold gallery-style frame for hanging. It's online price is $250. And, if you happen to be Irish, I'll give you a 10% discount. Although, unless you're family, I might need a little convincing! I painted this in my studio from a series of photographs that I'd taken from my trip two years ago. This is the painting I have wanted to do from the start, but put it off. I wanted to get it right. I like the bold turquoise, the soft greens, and the texture of the cliff and rocks. I'm glad I have a product of this journey. It's a reminder of something I value. Whether or not you're Irish, I hope you'll consider purchasing this painting for your home.

Cheers! --Cindy

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Painting to Counteract the Heat: "Blue Ice at Cold Creek"


After Bill the weatherman on Channel 5 announced that San Antonio broke another of a blistering series of over one hundred degree record breakers, I decided that if it wasn't going to cool down outside then I was going to try to cool off with my imagination. Exercise #1: Think Arctic Circle and polar bears! No, somehow I kept thinking of all that fur on those bears and that made me all the hotter. Exercise #2: Take long, cold showers. Oops! Bad idea. The water police might come a'knockin' for, afterall, we are now in Stage 2 of water restrictions due to the drought and hot weather. Exercise #3: Paint a winter landscape with snow and ice. Ahhh! Yes, that was the ticket. I put the ceiling fan on tornado speed, planned my winter composition, and proceeded to select all my soothing and cool colors.

After sketching in those refreshing green trees in the background, I jumped right into the blues, lavenders, and whites of the icy mountain creek and snowy fields along the meandering water. Brrrrrr! It was starting to work; I was already feeling my inner thermostat plummet. Next, I reached into the back of my closet and pulled out a sweater. Mind over matter! Art can create more than just a cover for a hole in the wall.
If you're interested in a winter landscape, this painting is currently for sale. The pastel painting is an 8x10, framed in beautiful burl wood with a 3 inch gallery-type frame. It's painted on sanded pastelboard as well. The list price is $85. Please feel free to contact me if you're interested. And, all you Texans, let's pray for a serious cold front!
--Cindy

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Checking out Pastel Paintings at the Butler Institute of American Art







BUTLER INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN ART
524 Wick Avenue
Youngstown, Ohio


One day when I was online, I discovered a museum named the Butler Institute of Art. It not only had a familiar sounding name, but it had an ongoing pastel painting exhibit in one of its galleries. Butler seemed familiar because I grew up not far from Butler, PA. After looking at the collections through a virtual tour, I was surpised to learn that it was the first structure built specifically to house an art collection of works created by Americans. I wondered to myself where this special place was located. After scrolling down on the website, I was shocked to see that it was only a short distance from where I grew up. However, it wasn't Butler, PA. My childhood was spent living in Enon Valley, PA. The Butler Institute of Art's location is in Youngstown, OH, and only about a half hour away from my original home. I knew then that when I next visited my Pennsylvania family, I had to go pay respects to this worthwhile art museum.

As a result, this month, I flew home to Pennsylvania to celebrate my Mom's 86th birthday. While in Pennsylvania, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and go visit the Butler Institute. I arranged to go to Youngstown with my friend Jean during the third week of August. The place did not disappoint me! First of all, the architecture of the building showcases beautiful large windows to let the light pour in. In addition, with over 20,000 individual works of art in various galleries, there's enough art to keep one busy for hours of study and appreciation. Three personal highlights for me included seeing Sam Liberman's pastel exhibition. I toured it with my longtime hometown artist friend, Jean Clark Henry. Unfortunately, we missed the complete show by 2 days, but we still saw enough of it while the museum personnel were taking it down to really appreciate his pastel landscapes. His exhibit was in the Giffuni Gallery and featured mostly paintings of landscape and nature, my favorites. My second highlight was seeing the 73rd National Midyear Juried Show. Pastelist Sean Butler's work Last Stand was included as well as Kimberly Moore's pastel entitled Niagra Sunrise. In regard to my third highlight, it had to involve the Butler's permanent collection of 19th and 20th century landscape paintings by American artists such as Winslow Homer and Albert Bierstadt. Those were a big WOW!

While reflecting on American art, I also had a wonderful day discussing it with my good friend Jeannie. August 19th was the day Jean and I toured the Butler. It was a groovy day I won't soon forget.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Windcrest Hosts Texas Pastel Society


Windcrest August ART Scene






Artist Friends: Lucy, Cathy, Lisa (photo on left) === Gallery Viewing (above photos on right)


Artists and Instructors: Mary Johnson, Mary Lopez, and Dianne Reeves







Displaying my Landscapes (left photo)
Yum! (right photo)



RECIPE for SUCCESS



What's a recipe for Success in Art? One part Texas Pastel Society, another part City of Windcrest, a pinch of Takas Park's Civic Center, a cup of Jazz, and a mixture of food and conversation! That equaled a tasteful art reception, exhibit, and sale that took place on August 7, 2009, from 7 to 9 p.m. Artists from the Texas Pastel Society displayed fine art with painted portraits, landscapes, still life, and animals at Windcrest's Takas Park the weekend of August 7 - 9. Windcrest will continue to host TXPS in the future as well. Our first meeting after our summer break will take place at the Civic Center on Tuesday, September 1, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., and there will also be future art shows hosted by Windcrest. Windcrest and Texas Pastel Society-- What a winning team for the art community!

































Saturday, August 1, 2009

Art Cards Available Now with 15% Discount




ART CARDS and More

Hey, everyone's trying to save $$$$ these days! That I understand. This week (August 3 - 9) I'm offering a 15% discount on my Art Cards. You can use them for a greeting or a note. They are also suitable for framing and at a very affordable price, just $3.oo each. And, with this week's discount, only $2.55!


Here's a chance to save some money, buy some cards, and help support a local artist . . . read on for more information:
  • 5 x 7 cards on Strathmore acid-free paper, print of original signed art on front, blank on inside, envelopes included.
  • Sets or Individuals: 4 for $12 or 6 for $18/ $3 each.
  • Set Themes: Irish Memories, Animal Friends, Seasons, Your Choice (Make your selection from the website gallery and specify on order.
  • Christmas Cards: Plan ahead!

If you're interested, please e-mail me cski02@sbcglobal or give me a call: 210-522-00706. Thanks!! --Cindy











































Oh, what a night! ARTZ '09 Reception in Schertz, Texas

Stella (left)

Mime











Paul and Cindy


ArtZ '09 Hightlights


I'm the kind of person who never wins a door prize. What $$$ I spent in Vegas, stayed in Vegas. And speaking of Vegas, I can almost hear Sinatra reminding me of my lousy luck with his jazzy number, "Luck be a lady tonight!" Well, that all changed with a night out in Schertz, Texas.

Oh, what a night! The ARTZ'09 Reception held at the Schertz Civic Center on July 30, 2009 from 6 to 9 p.m., brought out the best of everything . . . beautiful setting, great entertainment, wine and cheese along with other delightful nibbles, and of course, lots of fellow artists. From the moment I walked in the door, I knew my luck had changed. From the mime with the moving dessert table to the echoes of soft guitar music, I was enchanted. Stella Marroquin, a talented artist and coordinator for the first ArtZ show in Schertz, helped make this all possible. In good company, I also mixed with fellow pastel artists from the Texas Pastel Society: Rita Kirkman, Cathy Geib, and Wanda Meadors. It was a night to savor and remember. A true cut above the ho-hum average. Thanks go out to the Schertz Area ArtZ Council as well. As Ed Sullivan use to say, "A mighty big show!" Indeed. Way to go!
--Cindy Morawski, Landscape Painter





























Monday, July 27, 2009

Video: Irish Landscape Paintings by Cindy Morawski

video


In July 2007, I traveled to Ireland with my husband Paul and some of my American family to attend the Nesbitt Reunion outside Belfast. I had already met my Irish Cousin Robena before, but I hadn't met my other Irish relatives. So with passport in hand and a feeling of anticipation that had come after years of yearning to see the Old Country, I flew from Newark to Belfast. After renting a car, we started our journey by touring Northern Ireland. The reunion was still a week away. One of the trip's highlights included a beautiful drive past sheep grazing along the coastal highway. We were headed to see the magnificent Giant's Causeway of County Antrim. After the family reunion, my family headed west to Sligo, home of poet and writer, William B. Yeats and more awesome landscapes, castles, estate gardens, and waterways. At Rosses Point, I remember gazing out at the harbor and wondering what it would have been like to set sail as an immigrant years ago, leaving everything you know and love behind in order to start a new life. It couldn't have been easy.

While I stayed in Ireland, I took what seemed to be at least a million pictures. Later after I returned home, my first project was in sorting them all out. Paul and I then proceeded to make a couple of videos from our movie camera and my digital camera. We shared those with the family at the next reunion which was held the following summer in Pittsburgh, PA. Meanwhile, I was chomping at the bit. I couldn't wait to get started with painting some of the scenes I fondly remembered from our trip. So, I started out with the grazing sheep and then moved on to water and ships. All the paintings are done with soft pastels.

The video with this blog features some of the paintings I've created of the Irish landscapes and set to the mood music of Enya. One of my paintings that's currently for sale at the Inspire Fine Art Center this week features a painting of Ireland, "Memories of County Antrim." Please feel free to stop by the Inspire Art Center on 1539 E. Sandalwood in San Antonio for the exhibit.

May the Luck of the Irish be with you always!

---Cindy

Monday, July 20, 2009

Discovering Mitchell Lake, a Pastel Landscape Painting



Did you know that there's a 1200 acre natural area located south of San Antonio? It's called the Audubon Center at Mitchell Lake. It includes a 600 acre lake, 215 acres of wetlands, and 385 acres of upland habitat. You can find it at 10750 Pleasanton Road in San Antonio off South Loop 410. It's open to the public on the weekends from 8 to 4 and only costs $2.

I discovered Mitchell Lake last summer. I found beautiful landscapes with water, grasses, trees, and birds. And, I didn't have to drive hundreds of miles to get there. I took my camera and enjoyed photographing the scenes of nature. Later, I sketched some of what I'd photographed, but didn't get around to painting a scene until this summer. Sometimes, it takes awhile for creativity to perk or simmer.

I painted my landscape entitled "Discovering Mitchell Lake" on a sanded Art Spectrum Painting Board that measures 12 x 16 using pastels. By accenting the foreground with the dark purple grasses, I also showed a contrast with the lighter values of the lake in the mid-ground and the trees in the background.

Our world continues to amaze me with its natural beauty and loveliness. By painting landscapes, I get a chance to appreciate nature and to also interpret it through my view as an artist.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

September on the Island, a Landscape Painting


What's your favorite children's book? I have several, but one at the top of the list points to my love of horses. I remember reading Marguerite Henry's MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE when I was a little girl. I became caught up in the adventure of the wild pony swim and the Chincoteague's Volunteer Fire Department's Pony Auction in July. I imagined riding a wild pony on Chincoteague Island in Virginia as a child. The thrill of horse taming, the lure of the island's water and trees, and the adventure of going somewhere new made a big impression on me. It was one of those books that I kept rereading throughout my childhood. I wanted to travel there when I was a kid, but it just never happened. So, later, as an adult, when I had a chance to visit Virginia, one of my most cherished stops was Chincoteague. The ponies are still there, and so is the beautiful setting. Magic revisited!

This recent painting brought back the memories of all of that. When looking through my Virginia travel photos, I noticed one that looked promising in terms of composition. The wild bird in the foreground taunted me to get started with the painting. The vivid colors of fall helped me kick it up a notch. I worked on the water's reflections and shadows in order to breathe some life into it as well.

This landscape painting entitled "September on the Island" was created with soft pastels on a 5x7 sanded pastel board. I think it would look good in an easel or matted and framed for the wall as an 8x10. Either way, it's for sale at $40.

Hope you'll write and tell me about your favorite childhood book or getaway.















Saturday, July 4, 2009

Painting Farm Animals

Got Cow Paintings?



Have you ever had the urge to moo at a cow? I wonder what they'd try to do in imitation of us? "Yakkety-yak!?" Cow
was the first word my younger brother Kenny spoke as a baby. Growing up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm, speaking the word cow as your first word, made a lot of sense. My first word was dog, but I was more into eating and drinking all things associated with dairy, then wanting it as a lifestyle. I knew that I didn't have what it took to be a farmer. Because I have an intense love of chocolate chip ice cream and I've always loved animals, I'm a huge fan of cows! In fact, recently, I felt compelled to portrait paint a Brown Swiss named Penelope and to paint a Holstein cow in a pasture landscape scene. Penelope belongs to my cousins Bill and Jim Reichert, and she lives on their dairy farm in Portersville, Pennsylvania. The second painting is a composite of more cow photos I had also taken on the Reichert Dairy Farm. Most of their milk cows are classic Holsteins, the black and white ones known for their huge milk production.
In reference to the art side of all of this, I painted my cows with soft pastels on sanded board. They measure approximately 11x14 in size. Hope you find my art moo--ving! And, I hope you think of the cow, the next time you're swigging down that cold milk for breakfast.



























Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Desert Blooms



Seasons of the Southwest

Fresh Air and Desert Blooms are my latest pastel landscape paintings. They are minis in size (5 x 7)and could be hung as a pair or set. With nature in the spotlight, I wanted to capture the colors and light of the Southwest's desert by showcasing its flowers, grasses, and vivid skies.












Monday, June 22, 2009

"After the Rains" --- Painting a Desert Landscape

Rose Garden in NM
"After the Rains"


I'm still in love. With New Mexico that is. My May trip involved sightseeing, hiking, and lots of art connections in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. One of my stops took me to the Botanical Gardens in Albuquerque. I photographed the various landscape scenes while strolling through the place. When I came home, I used my Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 computer program to build a collage of images. Once I created the composition with the program, I then set up my studio and supplies. I started by underpainting my sketch with alcohol and pastels using a brush. I also used a Colourfix Painting Board by Art Spectrum and my soft pastels to paint the desert landscape. While painting, I listened to a CD that I purchased when I was in NM. The title is "Prayer for Peace" and it includes various Native American artists. I'd definitely recommend the CD; the music is relaxing and beautiful, plus the sales of the recording benefit the World Peace Prayer Society.

I guess, rain has been on my mind ever since I returned home to San Antonio. We're heading into stage 3 of water restrictions because we're in the midst of a nasty drought and very hot weather. Thinking about the way Mother Nature's rains heal and resurrect the land, inspired me to paint "After the Rains." My painting is about hope. I hope the rains will come soon to Texas. With rain, there is life and beauty, whether it's in the desert, in the woods, or elsewhere.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Painted Tribute to Clementine

Clementine loved two things passionately in life-- Costco's Chicken Strips and her daily walks in our neighborhood greenbelt. I rescued her 13 years ago, but in turn, she did the same for me. She taught me all about loyalty, affection, and companionship. Clem was one of those dogs that could look you right in the eye, and then get her way no matter what. On April 23rd, she passed away after losing her battle with cancer. I've been feeling pretty sad about her not being around so I decided to paint her in a way of giving her a tribute. I had a lot of reference photos that I'd taken on holidays, vacations, and so on. I sketched her in the outdoors because that was where she felt the most at ease. I placed her in grass because another one of her favorite things to do was roll in our yard's grass. She would make it look so fun that I felt like rolling around with her. I also gave her a sky big enough to walk into. Now that my painting is finished, all I want to say is this: Clem, I won't forget you, girl. Hope you're now running through fields of tall, cool grass in your final resting place.




Monday, June 8, 2009

Land of Enchantment




New Mexico boasts on its license plates that it is the Land of Enchantment. Since a recent visit to Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque, I can enthusiastically second that motion. I attended an international pastel art conference May 28 - 31 in New Mexico and had many opportunities for growth and fun. One of the highlights was getting to paint with Anne Heywood. I entitled my painting: "Soliloquy." Other classes I enjoyed were Richard McKinley's "Underpainting" and Duane Wakeham's "Creating Stronger Paintings." Thursday's activities kicked off the IAPS Convention with an Australian portrait painters demo and a paint-around that showed off some of the country's finest artists! I can say for sure that one of the best things I took away from New Mexico was inspiration.




The Texas Pastel Society had another festive and successful art reception last Thursday, June 4th at Coppini for the All Members Show. The gallery will also be open June 19 - 21 to exhibit San Antonio's pastelists' paintings. Admission is free. Hope you come to check it out. Coppini is located at 115 Melrose Place, San Antonio. See our website for more info: http://www.texaspastelsociety.com/.




Tune in to KLRN's Blazing Saddles Auction tonight, June 8th from 6 to 9 pm and you'll see two of my paintings getting auctioned off through the Texas Pastel Society's auction board. Look for me when the camera zooms in on the volunteers answering the phones. I'll wave at you! One of my paintings is entitled "Camelback in Scottsdale." Put in a bid and you'll help the art community and our local public television.






Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Artist Corner: Historical Didja Know


In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg." (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint.)

ALL MEMBER SHOW


Heads up on the latest news! Check out my paintings in the Texas Pastel Society's 2nd Annual All Member Show! The show is from June 4 through 20, 2009, at the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts, 115 Melrose Place, San Antonio, Texas. Plus, you are officially invited to our opening reception which will take place on Thursday, June 4th from 7 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours take place on Friday, June 5 & 19, 12 - 4 p.m. and Saturday, June 6 & 20, 10 - 4 p.m. Hope to see you there!

If you need more information about the show and TXPS, go to our website: http://www.texaspastelsociety.com/. I'm an active member of this society. You can access me through the members link on the website.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Has Sprung




I traveled to Johnson City in March and found inspiration at the LBJ Ranch. The Pedernales River dominated the landscape with its beauty. After several photographs, I headed home to paint in my studio. I wanted to capture the newness of the plant growth, the movement of the water, and the softness of the spring colors. I painted two scenes from either side of the bridge when you first enter the ranch, and they are entitled: Early Spring on the Pedernales and Near Johnson City in March.