Thursday, December 2, 2010

Carol's Pots
These big pots sit outside a charming chapel in a Mexican style shopping village in Arizona. Trying to capture the morning light, I painted quickly before the shoppers arrived.
Swimming Hole
This quiet scene was painted on-site using only pastels. It is a favorite spot near my home in Arizona. The luminous grasses and the shimmering water were changing quickly. My adrenaline was buzzing as I painted!

Helen's Pots
These delightful pots captured my attention as the leaves and blossoms glistened in the desert sunshine. I had to capture the scene quickly because passersby were starting to ask questions and the light was shifting. 
Redrock Reflections
Cathedral Rock made for a captivating reflection in this peaceful pool. The mystery of the image in the water intrigued me more than the formation itself.
Boys n' Their Toys
  This early morning scene in Mexico apealed to me for several reasons:  
The connection of the big cars to the little cars. I know one of the boys and his Grandma
 looking on and I love the colorful street scenes always unfolding in Mexico. 
The painting is started with a careful charoal drawing making sure that I get the relaxed gestures
of the characters. Next is a watercolor underpainting using warm tones.  As I layer pastels on top I try to remain mindful of the warms andcools, saving the bright light layers for last.

Catching the Sun 
The unaware model is my neighbor in Mexico. We have never met but I have often watched him reading his paper while catching the early morning sun.  In order to capture the rich colors made magic by the low
light I painted a strong "hot" watercolor underpainting with lots of reds and oranges.  I then switched to pastels and built up layers to emphasize the light and the contrasts.  A year later I gave him a matted print and since we had never met he didn't know quite what to make of it.

Curbside Chat
Early in the morning in the winter the men in this small town in N. Mexico meet on the curb in front
 of the ice machine.The lights and shadows are vivid. Starting again with a charcoal drawing and moving on to a watercolor underpainting using earthy colors of mid-value. After switching to pastels I "went to town" with rich colors striving to create a mood and to emphasize the early hour of the day.

Island Boutique
This was inspired by my recent trip to Cuba. It was a hot sultry day in a town known for beautiful handmade linens.  The women are minding a little store and the mood is relaxed.  My main goal was to capture the extremely relaxed body language and the sense of heat.  I was pleased with my "washy" underpainting done in mid-values, so as I applied pastel layers I left a lot of the watercolor showing.  I had fun pushing the temperature of the scene.

Man's Best Friend
Inspired by a visit to Havana to a neighborhood full of murals, graffiti,ceramics, crazy sculptures and a delightful array of colorful characters. This painting stepped away from my usual palette and played with designs and graffiti-art.  The quiet man and dog relationship was enchanting.