Saturday, December 31, 2016

Three Late Etudes

New Oats 1 - 7x5



New Oats 2 - 7x5





Windy Morning, 5x7


These three small studies are ink and watercolor with pastel.  They represent my final work of 2016.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Morning Reverie

Pastel, 9x12 on UArt

As the morning fog rises from the pond and reveals the colors and forms of the trees and grasses, I find myself drawn to remember and reflect on all that is good and peaceful.
Looking back over 2016, I set for myself the challenge to select my one favorite painting for the year and describe why it’s my favorite.
“Morning Reverie” 9x12, is my choice for the following reasons:
1. It represents a scene I love and to which I had a distinctly visual and emotional reaction.
2. Painting it forced me to make design and color choices based on values, temperature, and form rather than old habits of color and perceptions.
3. The result communicates a feeling about a time and place rather than a picture of a location.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Late Showers

Pastel 9x12 on UArt

Demonstration done at GNGallery.  In the late afternoon, the brief showers move quickly through the marshes bringing out the deepest colors. 

Last Visitors

Pastel, 9x12 on UArt

In this view of the beach through the dunes, I wanted to capture the color and warmth of the end of the day.  Even as purple and blue creep into the shadows, the open sands and the drifting clouds radiate the memories of a sunlit day.
To purchase this painting, click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Estuary, December Afternoon

Pastel 9x12 on UArt

This painting was done plein air at Guana Preserve.  The high, mid-afternoon sky and hazy sunlight over the estuary washed the color from the marsh and trees as it muted the contrasts in values.  For this study, my goal was to capture a true rendering of the scene and atmosphere of the afternoon.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Storm Break

Pastel, 12x18 on UArt

This sunrise view of Jacksonville Beach was inspired by the breaking cloud of a passing winter storm front.  The wind is up, mist shrouds the distant shore, and the surf is till choppy.  At this moment, the sun has broken through to paint a streak of the beach with color an promise.  
I used mostly Terry Ludwig pastels for this painting.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Patty Etude, 1

Umber Pastel on Gray Paper, 14x10

This is my first portrait sketch of my wife Patty since about 1969 - I don't know what has taken me so long.

Self Etude 2

Self Portrait - Pastel pencil on drawing paper

I did this etude from a photo while watching TV - a diversion from the distraction.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hazy Morning

Original work - Dec. 2016

Rework - July 2017

Pastel, 8x12 on UArt

This is another painting in a series exploring the broad horizons and muted values of the Guana River Estuary.  This painting was begun as a validation of color and design for a larger work, but I am pleased enough with the result to sign it and let it stands on its own.

Hazy came off as dull and boring, so I added color and punched the values.

I reworked this painting July 26, 2017.  I added color to the clouds, sky, and water and changed the temp of some of middle ground to repeat the pinks and reds.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Estuary, December Morning

Pastel 9x12 on UArt

This painting was done plein air at Guana Preserve.  The high, mid-morning sky and hazy sunlight over the estuary washed the color from the marsh and trees as it muted the contrasts in values.  For this study, my goal was to capture a true rendering of the scene and atmosphere of the morning. 
To purchase this painting, click here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Rain Cloud Rising

Pastel, 12x9 on UArt

This painting was done as an exercise in values during the Stan Sperlak workshop.  I drew the concept from an experience of watching the summer thunder clouds rise over the marsh.  Before they become great towers, the smaller clouds have already begin to bring rain across the distant hammocks and grass.
To purchase this painting, click here.

Coming Through the Fog

Pastel, 9x12 on UArt

This painting was done as an exercise in values during the Stan Sperlak workshop.  I drew the concept from an experience on a foggy morning beside a pond near my house.  The pine trees on the near side seemed to be marching out of the fog while the distant trees remained as hints and suggestions in silhouette.
To purchase this painting, click here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Self Portrait 1 - Exercise

Self Portrait - Pastel 24x18 on Gray Paper

Exercise - first effort

This is my first effort for homework - Kevin Arthur Pastel Portrait Class.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Slice of Light

Pastel, 9x12; Demonstration at Georgia Nick Gallery, 11/12, 13/2016

I painted this view of the salt marsh and estuary as a demonstration of pastels for Georgia Nick Gallery.  A good number of people came by, and we kept the conversation going.
On Sunday, I added a few "touches" and changed the name to emphasize the reason for painting this scene.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Standing Alone

Pastel, 12x9 on UArt

Using the view of a pond near my home as my inspiration, this is an impression of a singular pine that dominates the corner.  In the early morning, it stands apart from the rest of the trees showing its colors with pride.

Palms in the Morning

Pastel, 9x12 on UArt

I am always inspired by views of the salt marsh in the early morning.  The gold and pink of the sky washes the grass with color and paints reflections in the water.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Pine, First Light

Pastel, 12x9 - Timed Study

For this view of a pine tree that stands alone on the pond, I selected the view in the early morning as the first rays of sun light begin to paint the trees.  The foreground is in bright light, but the distance still lies in mist and shadows.
This was done as a timed exercise - 20 pieces of pastel for 40 minutes.  When the timer went off, I stopped.  I think it works for this piece. 
To purchase this painting, click on the link "Pine, First Light"

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pine on the Pond

Pastel - Plein Air, UArt 9x6

This small pond is guarded by a number of tall, stately pine trees.  This specific tree  stands apart and it caught my attention as it stood in the hazy morning sun at the corner of the pond.  The wind from the north ruffled the water and muted the reflections.  A few scattered clouds kept the day cool and made the work delightful.
To purchase this painting, please see my web page - "Pine on the Pond"

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Timed Study 04, Piney Point

Timed Study 3 - Piney Point, pastel 6x9

Standard "Rick's Rules" for this timed study - 22 minutes with 16 pastels + 1 pastel pencil.  I did this study on UArt 400.

The concept and motive for this study is a drawing of a pond near my home.  It was raining, and the muted tones accented the design.  I plan to do more of this concept in other light and color with more contrast in color, temperature, and value.

I permitted myself 25 minutes to mount the paper, do the drawing, and select the palette.  First the charcoal drawing with corrections...





Then most of the charcoal is removed so that the "ghost" remains.

 


Finally I chose this palette used from the study, set my timer to 22 minutes, and began.

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Timed Study 3 - Two Silos

Timed Study 3 - Two Silos, pastel 6x9

This is my third timed study - 22 minutes with 16 pastels + 1 pastel pencil.  I did this study on UArt 400.

This is another study from the same subject I used before.  I changed the design a little but kept the same concept from some drawings and photos I brought back from my last trip to Iowa. This is the "concept" area with drawings, photos, and the previous painting.



The concept and motive for this study is the pair of old silos that stand unused beside the steal and aluminum grain bins. This is a "between times" in Iowa; some of the fields are still too green to harvest, but other fields are already bare.

Here is the palette of pastels I used for this painting. This selection forced me to make choices based on value and temperature rather than expected hue.





With those colors in mind, I did a drawing on the paper with vine charcoal to test the concept and correct anything that seemed to need more work.  Once I was satisfied, I removed most of the charcoal with a kneeded eraser.


With the preparations finished, I set my timer to 22 minutes, and set to work.  I like the result of this study much better than the previous one, and I may dress it up a little and sign it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Timed Study 2 - Harvest Begins

Timed Study 2 - Harvest Begins, pastel 15x24 cm. (6x9.5)

This is my second timed study - 22 minutes with 16 pastels + 1 pastel pencil.  I did this study on Pastelmat, a surface that I haven't used for some time.

For this study, I ventured outside my comfort zone of beaches and marshes and returned to my roots. I developed the design and concept for this painting was from some drawings and photos I brought back from my last trip to Iowa.  In addition to the timed study exercise, I wanted to text color and value in this composition for use in a larger work.


The concept and motive for this study is the pair of old silos that stand unused beside the steal and aluminum grain bins. This is a "between times" in Iowa; some of the fields are still too green to harvest, but other fields are already bare.

Here is the palette of pastels I used for this painting. This selection forced me to make choices based on value and temperature rather than expected hue.

   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Timed Study 1 - Rain Coming

Timed Study 1 - Rain Coming, pastel 6x9

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of timed studies in Pastel.  The plan is to limit the time for painting based on the size of the paper - 4 minutes PLUS 1 minute for each 3 square inches of the paper.  In this case the paper is 6x9 - 54 square inches; 54 / 3 = 18. So 4 + 18 = 22 minutes.  It may sound complex, but it works for me.  I also limited my  palette to 16 pieces of pastel, an arbitrary number that seems to be enough to do the work but small enough to make me think about my choices.

I started the project with a simple line drawing on paper of the subject. I am careful at this stage to make sure the proportions of the drawing are the same as the pastel paper I plan to use.



The next step is to draw the basic image/design on the pastel paper with vine charcoal.  I like vine charcoal because it permits me to make corrections and/or erase any part of the image easily with a gum eraser.  



Once I'm, satisfied with the placement of objects and layout, I reduce the charcoal drawing to a "ghost" with the eraser.  I don't want any of the black charcoal bleeding through into the image.



With a concept in mind, I then select my palette keeping in mind the self-imposed limit of 16 pieces.  I make my selections based on color values within families keeping in mind whether the result I want is warm or cool.  For this painting, I selected 2 shades of blue,  3 shades of purple/mauve (warm), 3 shades of green (warm), 3 shades of yellow, 2 orange/pink shades, and one piece of white (warm) which leans toward yellow.


With the paper and pastels in place, I set my timer to 22 minutes and start working.  When the timer goes off, I quit.

As a last caveat, if the timed work has promise, I reserve the right to go back later and "finish" the painting.  I haven't yet decided what to do with this painting.

After the Rain 2

Pastel, 9x12 on UArt

The late summer weather comes in from the northeast, and as the showers come and pass, the rain leaves the salt marsh awash in pristine color.  The wind leaves the water ruffled without much reflection which accents the color and shadows of the marsh.
To purchase this painting, please click on the link - "After the Rain, 2"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Joy in the Morning

Pastel, 9x12 on UArt

The marsh in late summer is a blaze of green especially in the morning after rain.  The whole vista is an exuberant celebration of joy and wonder.
To express this view and make it believable requires the use of judicious touches of purple and orange.  I also added a few strokes of red/brown which makes the green-on-green marsh grass come alive.
To purchase this painting, please click on the link - "Joy in the Morning"

Monday, September 12, 2016

Late Summer Estuary

Pastel, 6x9 on UArt

In this view of the salt marsh estuary, I have used a familiar scene and changed the composition and elements to create a different mood and scene.  This began with a couple of pencil sketches from which I developed this color/value study.  
In the late summer, the salt marsh is almost blindingly green. I need to mute some of that green, but I find that using the complement of green, red, to reduce the "greenishness" of the marsh is too harsh.  In this study, I have toned down the green by using its near complements, orange and purple. 
To purchase this painting, please click on this link - Late Summer Estuary

Friday, August 19, 2016

Marsh Nocturne

Pastel, 12x9

As the moon rises over the salt marsh, it floods the world with soft, blue light.  The heat of the day and the bluster of the passing showers are forgotten, and the tall pines stand silent watch beside the still waters.
To purchase this painting, click on the link - "Marsh Nocturne"

Monday, August 1, 2016

Nocturne in Blue

Pastel, 6x9 on UArt

The full moon paints the dark clouds with light from within.  As Moses wrote, this is "the lesser light to rule the night" (Genesis 1:16).
This painting began as a study in composition.  I am trying to incorporate Edgar Payne's composition patterns that work with the unbroken horizontal lines of the Florida beaches.  My first efforts have been with what Payne calls the "steel yard" composition which is a balance between large and small vertical elements on opposite sides of the painting.  In order to simplify the elements, I selected a moon-lit night scene.  I wanted the clouds to form the two important structures and the reflection of the moon to serve as the fulcrum on which the elements are balanced. 
"Nocturne in Blue" - sold the day it was painted.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Estuary Summer

Pastel, 14x18 on Wallis



The clouds have passed again today without rain, but there is a possibility the clouds on the horizon could build and come in later.  The summer has stretched into a succession of long, hot days taking some of the green freshness from the marsh grasses.  As the sun lowers in the west and the shadows lengthen, the slanting sunlight brings out the bronze and reds hidden in the grass and sets the marsh ablaze with contrasts of colors and values.
As a design decision,I added the egret in order to create an object of interest to capture the passing viewer's eye, draw them into the painting, and hold their attention while their peripheral vision takes in the rest of the painting.
To purchase this painting, click here - Estuary Summer.