I am more than happy to learn that this painting has been accepted into the 2017 International Association Of Pastel Societies, (IAPS) online juried show. I don't know what criteria the jurors used to select this painting but composition may have played a part.
We have been discussing composition in the class I teach in beginning pastel. I wish that I had had more instruction in how to create a painting with good composition. So that is why I try to teach this early on in a beginner's experience.
One thing to consider is "point of view." This painting looks down on the subject rather than composing it from a straight on point of view. This does not necessarily make it better or more interesting, but is something to consider when looking at a subject. There are also "leading lines" (the spoons) and "repeated pattern" (the rims of the cups) that contribute to the success of the composition.
Maybe I will win an award, but probably not. There are so…
"I smell the flowers blooming, opening for spring
I’d like to be those flowers, open to everything"from "Bird Song" by the Wailin' Jennys I was surprised to learn that I won an award at the Vermont Pastel Society's juried show this past week. The Judge was Doug Dawson, an important and revered contemporary pastel artist. I was just happy to get in! This painting, "Open to Everything"won the Pastel Society of Cape Cod Award and I am very honored. Mr. Dawson said that he liked "the simple direct strokes and the way the artist exploited the surface quality
of the board." Did he know that this was a disaster painting that I washed off and re-surfaced with clear gesso and repainted? Sometimes I think these master pastelists are wizards! He was right, I was responding to the rougher quality of the surface and because I had already failed at my first attempt, I allowed myself to paint more directly. Almost defiantly! This painting has won other a…
"It doesn't matter what color you choose, as long as you have the right value!"
It makes sense to most, but I do understand that it is a difficult concept when you are first learning to paint.
In my last class I asked my students to predict what the color of the sky would be in a painting based on a black and white photo. The answers varied, based on the value they were looking at and the sky color that made sense to them.
Below is the photo without the colors that I chose for this composition. Notice that there are four values. The sky is the lightest value and the ground is the second lightest. The distant hills are a medium dark and the upright trees and bushes are the darkest.
What would guess the sky color to be?
It could be anything... yellow, pink, blue, orange or violet as long as the value is correct. This composition could probably be done 100 times with different hues, but would look the same in black and white as long a…