Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm pretending that it's really spring...

Yes, another snowstorm passed through here the 2nd day of spring. Much of the piles of previous precipitation had already melted, and the temperatures are creeping up above freezing during the days, so this won't last long. We did, however, break the 100 inch milestone for winter snowfall records, and it wouldn't be unprecedented to have a few more measureable inches of snow before all is said and done.

The owls have returned--I haven't seen them in the trees, but have heard them and seen them flying around and about--I believe celebrating the rites of spring...Even I, winter-lover that I am, have become a bit weary of this winter. Of course, that doesn't mean that I look forward at all to tornado season...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Warm-up Exercises

I start a pastel class again tomorrow, and decided that I should make sure that I'm not too rusty to draw...since having been in writing mode now for months in the contracting world. Yup, it looks like I still have a few neurons firing in the tips of the old arthritic this 11x14 inch piece with a working title of Raven Haired Beauty. Granted it's a composition based on someone else's photograph--and wouldn't qualify as a totally accurate portrait, but it works for me all the same.

This is a 3-day class spread over three Sundays, one each in March, April, and May, and I took it last year as a "beginner". I'm coming in this year as an "intermediate" student, I guess. Last time I wrote about the surfaces that I most like for working with pastel, I was becoming a big fan of working directly on canvas. The piece shown in this post is on PastelBord, which could also fast become a favorite surface, and I've got some of the Colourfix paper from Art Spectrum to try too. Both have really toothy surfaces...akin to sandpaper. I have to admit that I love the way the pastels just crawl into the crevices. On the other hand, my blending fingers feel like I've been rubbing them on sandpaper--smooth and a little sore!

I look forward to learning something new...and to getting out of the house this weekend to meet a few new people. Now that volleyball season is all over, and the snow frequency has finally dropped to maybe once a week...with maybe just a flurry or two this week...there's more time to do things other than move snow around!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Parting with Artistic Donations

For whatever reason, the post that I wrote yesterday got lost in space. So, I'm here again writing about the donation that I made to Wisconsin Public Television for its annual Arts & Antiques auction to be held in May.

There's something even more difficult about parting with a one-of-a-kind pastel than with a print of a photo...and it's even more disconcerting NOT knowing what kind of home will display the piece. If I sell a piece directly to a person, I can at least do a preliminary evaluation of the adoptive parents...

Here's the description that they'll read "on air" for the piece:

This Giant Panda, drawn in a realistic style using soft pastel on a canvas panel, gazes wistfully off to his left while nestled comfortably in a tree.

Rendered primarily in shades of navy and cream, the panda rests against a pale blue-green sky and tealy-green undergrowth in the distance.

Unlike most pastels, this piece has been protected from the elements with a clear layer of acrylic gel medium and UV fixative, enabling display without the need to hide behind glass. The piece is framed by a rich brown leatherette mat glazed with acrylic in a simple square lacquer-coated birch frame.
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