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:

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.