Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Tricks - Wherein I try out a new artistic endeavour

Many years ago, while still living at home in England with my parents, I enjoyed painting.  Nothing fancy, you understand.  Just using reference photos to do small painting of English cottages and rural scenes for my own personal enjoyment.

I've never had any formal art training, other than the basic stuff learned while taking my Art "O" Level (G.C.E.) at school.

Then I got married and moved to the U.S, and art just wasn't part of my life anymore for many years.

Since then, I remarried and my current husband introduced me to the world of digital art. This worked out great because we had opened our hearts and our home to a number of long-haired felines who like to get into everything. I could only imagine what a mess it would create if a cat went blundering through my paint pots while I was in the middle of something.

Working on my computer, I can just turn it off when I'm done and not have to worry about having to "cat proof" everything.

I'm very happy with my digital art and photography, but I've often wondered if I could actually still create art with more traditional media - watercolors, oils, pastels.

Earlier this week, one of my Facebook friends Judy Adamson, who is an artist living in Wales, posted a link to one of her old blog posts: Five Simple Steps to Painting in Pastels.

I was inspired!  It looked like fun and I realized the cats wouldn't be able to knock over any pots of paint or water.

So this morning after breakfast, Eric and I found ourselves in the art department at the local hobby store, perusing their offerings.  I quickly picked up a pack of pastels, a pad of pastel paper, a kneaded eraser and some tortillons.

Then I started  wondering where on earth I was actually going to do this painting with pastels.

My "studio" is pretty much taken up with my computer, books, binders and assorted other stuff. So where would I put an easel?  Would I just paint on the dining room table?

My questions seemed to be answered when I saw this easel.  It holds art supplies inside and was of a size that could easily fit on my desk - I would just need to scoot my iMac back a bit when using it. 

When it's not being used, it could be stored safely away and could even come on the road if I feel like doing some work "en plein air".

Here's a photo of it setup in my studio.  I'll probably have to get some better lighting in there but this is what I have for now.

I spent much of the day putting pastel to paper and had a blast  (I didn't realize at the time that I could have set the easel to a lower angle for pastel work - shows you what I know)

The work in progress is shown below.

Not a masterwork by any stretch of the imagination, but hey - I'm still learning what angle to put the easel, so what do you expect? LOL.


Artists Network - Pastel Art Techniques

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