As this blog will also become my own retrospective reference, I wanted to catch up on posting some early work. There is precious little of it, actually, so it won’t take long. Setting up for the photos and reclaiming images from frames I had hoped to never move is the toughest part!
Last Spring 2008 I attended some group art lessons under the eye of Pastel and Oil Painter, Rick Rennick here in town. Shown here is the second piece I ever painted. Beginners luck! It is a copy of an Alan Bloom garden photo from a spring 2008 issue of Garden Design magazine. I wanted an image that would make me learn how to get different shaped marks from my pastels, and how to get the darks really dark. (This photo is darker than reality, the victim of inadequate studio lighting and a poorly balanced monitor for digital color adjustment.) Rick likes working pastels on sued mat, so that’s what I have been using so far. Its advantages are in being nearly dustless, easy to carry around, and needing only the faintest of fixative sprays to hold the final layers still.
I was terrified to begin this painting. Because I was literally copying a photo, I rendered from top to bottom, left to right, so the image was 90% finished as I moved across the page. This did help boost my confidence to keep going, so maybe it was a good thing to copy a photo after all! I realize now that this was a work flow not suited to actual painting. Still, I was quite pleased with the result. It’s a bit stylized, which was a surprise to me. Resembles embroidery perhaps, but I had fun and am not embarrassed to have it seen. Since it cannot be shown or sold, it lives on the foyer table under a lamp.