Friday, August 30, 2013

Aren't they lovely!  Stopped by a couple of yard sales earlier in the summer and found these - all jumbled together in a ziploc bag, totally covered in grey dust so that I could barely tell what colour they were....but for the HUGE outlay of.........................10¢.................yes that's right, just one thin dime for all that colour and possibility!

I have to confess that up to this acquisition I was not a fan of soft pastels - too messy and I didn't really know what I was to do with them after a lifetime of mixing paint on a palette, but since I have been working extensively with coloured pencils I have learned a thing or 2.  It took me a couple of hours to clean them all - I started with a good shake in a tub of rice but that didn't seem to see much results when they were sooooo dirty, so I ended up wiping each one down with a paper towel.  I have no idea what brand or what quality they are, some are harder than others, some are very soft and smooth but for starting out and having some fun they are all that I need.

What I need now is some reference material to work from...almost all of my photography is close-up shots of flora and fauna and I certainly could learn to render those with pastel as many do but mmm.....I would really like to be able to loosen up once in a while from the uptight precision that I normally paint and just go with the flow on something different - maybe balance the uptight side of my brain with a looser, softer approach and play with a few landscapes.

I'm going to have to start carrying 2 cameras with me when I am out and about - one for any birds, bugs and butterflies that are going my way and another to capture some nice scenic views!

....another confession....I spent some time on-line studying the work of a few pastel artists who's work I admire and I did attempt a copy of one of their pieces - just to see if I liked it and could render something even "similar" to their work. You know what...I had FUN and my attempt wasn't half bad if I say so myself, in fact I can't wait to see it framed up and hanging on my wall!  I won't show it to you, it was just for me as an experimental piece.  However, I will definitely be looking for a few nice places to either work en plein air or to get some scenic pics to work from. After working so close up for so long I am now craving a wider, more expansive view least some of the time :-)

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Canadian coins
The September issue of Colored Pencil Magazine has been released and - Canadian coins - has been included in the special Canadian edition!  The editor found the piece through my membership with CPAL on Facebook and sent me a request which unfortunately ended up in my "other" message folder. I rarely remember to look in that file ( I know some don't even know it exists) so when she didn't get a reply she thankfully took the time to track me down last minute.  They actually used the piece twice, once on the index page and again in the gallery of work by Canadian coloured pencil artists.

Thank you so much Colored Pencil Magazine!

here is a link to preview and purchase the September issue:

Monday, August 26, 2013

just a few photos from the summer

As usual it has been an extremely busy summer for me and I haven't had any time in the studio at all.  I usually have the camera fairly close by when I am working in the garden or when we are out camping and have quite a few pics to sort through. I seem to have better luck finding the time to get things posted on my Facebook pages when I am busy so it is past time for me to get things updated here in blog land.

...and you know that summer is starting to draw to a close when the anemones start to flower!
Red-spotted purple butterfly
Butterflies in the garden have been few and far between this year, we have just had our first Monarch feeding on some flowers in the last few days.  We usually have a few of the "Admiral" variety around throughout the season, this one has a few scratches and a chunk missing from his underwing.

spider web 

a pretty pink Gerbera daisy in the morning light
3 photos from early June
Swallowtail butterfly on lilac

Clearwing hummingbird moth

Meadowhawk? maybe....I'm not up on my dragonflies

In June we visited the Mountsberg raptor centre and I was able to take some really nice closeups of a variety of captive birds.  All of the birds at Mountsberg have a reason for being there, mostly due to an injury of some sort.  It was a hot sunny day when we were there and the 3 yr old bald eagle was really enjoying his shower.  
Please visit my Photography page for more pics of the birds at Mountsberg.

 They also have a small farm with a variety of rather tame animals as well as a lake for fishing/swimming and picnicking and some very nice walking trails as well.