Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Balloon Saloon

Balloon Saloon, 9 1/2 x 7 3/4, Pastel on La Carte Paper

Here is my latest contribution to the Virtual Paintout, for September. This months paint out location is Manhattan and it's been fun poking around the city. It's also been an opportunity to have some people in my paintings. I have always liked the urban feel of some art work and I'm delighted to have an opportunity to develop some of that feeling in mine.

Most of my training, experience, and skill has been with oil painting; although I dabble in other mediums. I have recently taken a fancy to pastels though, and I plan to attend the IAPS convention, in New Mexico next year. The reservations have been made and classes have been signed up for. I hear it's a great opportunity to mingle with other pastel artists and study with very skilled pastel artists. It is supposed to be a very exciting event.

I have another project waiting in the wings and I need to get started on it. The project I am getting ready to start will be a little different than the paint out. Actually MORE than a little different! It is going to be an abstract painting, for a Swap-Bot Challenge. This challenge starts with 3 random colors (I draw from my crayon box) and I can also use one of my choosing. I must then create an abstract painting using only those 4 colors.

Well.....I really lucked out with the colors (can't say what they are yet, in case my partner looks in on my blog), so I know I can make a nice painting. I will tell you it will be a square and I have already designed it on my iPAD. When it's finished and has been mailed off to my partner, I will post it. I don't want to spoil her surprise.

Until then, I hope you enjoy Balloon Saloon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Somewhere on Broadway

Here is my latest contribution submitted to the Virtual Paint Out.

Broadway Food Vendors, Soft Pastel 9 1/2 x 6 1/4, Sue Bowen

I have really been enjoying the pastel paintings, as a nice change of pace. This painting ended up being cropped a bit, at the top. Adjusting the size, after the fact is one of the luxuries of working in pastel, or on paper, versus an oil painting on a panel; which is how I usually paint.

There are a few disadvantages though, for me, as an artist, and the use of pastels at real paint outs. The largest obstacle for me is the framing and the abbreviated time, to deliver the finished product, to the "wet painting sale". The sale and shows are normally held within a couple of hours after a paint out ends. Typically, the artists deliver their work framed and ready to hang; although the oil paintings are still wet. There is usually a reception and the public is invited to the show. They have the advantage of checking out the latest art and purchase a piece of art work "hot off the easel". Often, they may have stopped by and watched you paint some it.

Oil and acrylic paintings are much easier to place in a prepared framed. I'm not experienced enough with the framing issues of pastels, to frame them myself, on location that is. I always like to deliver my best efforts, so it may be a while before I take soft pastels to a real paint out.

One paint out I will especially miss this year, is the Out And About Paint Out, held in Norfolk, VA. It's an awesome experience, unbelievable art and, and out right good time. The event was founded by a local artist, Karen Kinser. I'm placing a link under my favorites, so please check it out. It's an event that is well worth your time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In search of the perfect place

September's Virtual Paintout is on Manhattan Island and I have spent the past few days looking around for just the right spot to paint. There is so much to see that I have forgotten a few times just why I am dragging that little Google guy around. NYC always amazes me with those wonderful, endless canyons of tall buildings.

I finally choose my first location and I am moving along quite well. If only I could figure how to get my selected scene from Google and into my photo editor, I would be happy. I have not had time to figure that part out yet. So the temporary solution is not so different than if I were actually painting on location. I simply do a thumbnail sketch. Usually my thumbnail sketch is just for me to decide where key elements will be placed. In the case of Manhattan, it's what can I simplify, or reasonably leave out, and still come away happy. I want to capture the vibrancy of city life without the painting being too busy. That is not an easy task.

This time I have given my thumbnail a new twist. I did it using my iPad, then e mailed it to myself and printed it out, as a reference. Although I have several art applications on the iPad, the one that I choose to use, for this task, was the simplest of all. It is called Color & Draw, a Tipitap Application. This latest application is for my favorite 3 year old to use, when she stops by, but I really like the drawing part of it. I doubt that I will color and the color choices are very limited, but I did use color in my sketch. As it turns out, it was very helpful to have a second reference. I am hoping to finish it up soon and I will post it then.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Another interesting challenge

Swapping can be a lot of fun; especially when it's with Swap-bot. A friend turned me on to the Swap-bot site when it was just starting up, so I one of the original members. Whenever I have a little spare time and need a little fodder or inspiration, I turn to Swap-bot and join a swap.

The Swap-bot site has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and is now a pretty sophisticated site. A far cry from it's origins. Please check my sidebar for the link and take a look for your self. There are all types of swaps available. I personally love the post card swaps and trading of excess goods, to use for making collage, art journals, cards and art mail. It is so exciting to receive a package, with unusual postage, from a foreign country. When I carry my mail to the post office, I always ask for "real stamps". It's because I know swappers love them.

I recently signed up for an art challenge to paint a small abstract painting. The rules state I must use three randomly selected colors, plus another of my choice. There is a pretty long turn around time on this one. It's not due until November, but I have already started. I'll wait until it's mailed off to my partner (I don't want to spoil her surprise) before I post any other details of this swap.

If you are a lover of snail mail and love to have your post box filled with fun, you must visit the Swap-bot site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roanoke Island, NC

This painting is of a sweet spot on Roanoke Island. I can't help but love the beauty of the abundant trees and marsh lands that NC offers. Roanoke Island is high on my list of favorite painting places. The island is charming and so are the locals.