Reflections...

Two more seasons have flown by, and moving house, building an addition (still), taking some writing classes, and ordering frames and art supplies have been bookended by painting.  The 9th annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival was this past August.  The nearly week-long event was spectacular again this year.  The photos below, are from a couple of days of painting at the event.  Now that I live in the Adirondacks year-round, painting here is even more wonderful than it was before.  It would be easy to think I'd take it for granted, but seeing the daily changes without the effort of traveling back and forth to another home as made it so much more accessible and enjoyable.  

The Adirondack Pastel Society has had a number of workshops and events this summer as well.  I was honored to be given an award at their 3rd Annual National Pastel Exhibition for my painting "Milkweed," and I was thrilled to take a portrait workshop with Corey Pitkin.  I'm hoping to do more portraits, I find them challenging and intriguing.

My new studio will soon be open--and I need to get to work in it!  Picture of the finished studio to follow (when it's done!), but here's a "getting there" photo.  The plastic "curtains" on the window--I'm not sure I'll be able to live w/o them once the insulators take them down!  Ha.    I'm looking forward to enjoying the natural light in there this winter.  

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Spring, Finally!

Spring comes slowly to the Adirondacks.  Mid-way through the second week of May we watched the snow fall on the trees whose leaves were still (wisely) too timid to come out.   Now we have a riot of greenery, and lilacs, while just a few hours south in the Northeastern Corridor, the lilacs have had their day, and the lilies are going to be in their glory.

While all this is going on, I'm planning a farmhouse/apple blossom painting, and working on a blown milkweed painting--out of season, yes, but I don't question my muse.  It's about color, form, and value.  Somehow I've been drawn to subjects with a wealth of chaotic grasses behind them.  They are challenging.  You don't want to tell too much, yet be authentic.  It would be easy to be messily impressionistic, but the textures, and the direction of the background grass tells part of the story.  In addition, it is in such contrast to the frothy, showoff-milkweed that more detail is warranted--at least to my eye.   

This is being worked on a charcoal-colored sheet of Pastel Premiere, one of my favorite surfaces to work on, and I'm using Terry Ludwig soft pastels, with (in the early stages), some fixative, a few paint brushes, and a hairdryer.

Finished.  "Milkweed"  Pastel on Pastel Premiere.  16 x 13  

Finished.  "Milkweed"  Pastel on Pastel Premiere.  16 x 13

 

MIddle stages.  Maybe one more day on the easel.  Pastel on Pastel Premier.  Terry Ludwig pastels.

MIddle stages.  Maybe one more day on the easel.  Pastel on Pastel Premier.  Terry Ludwig pastels.

Blown Milkweed, just on the easel.   Pastel

New Painting!

Yesterday I decided to work on another painting for my "Water's Edge" show, and did one of my favorite 2:1 ratio sizes, this one is 24" x 12" and will be matted and framed in a gallery frame.  I'm excited about it.  I used some Terry Ludwigs and Dakota Art Blue Earth pastels on PastelMat, and the work just flowed.  It's title "Adirondack August."

Adirondack August
Source: AdirondackAugustSusanWhiteman

April 23, 2016

It's been a busy day, working on the new website (the fellow who runs my current one is leaving the "artist's website world" behind).   Thus, on a day when I should be painting....    Tomorrow I have to frame the painting that shows on this page, just finished yesterday.  It's called, Old Wall, New Spring," and depicts a scene not far from where I live.  A structural anomaly in this neck of the woods, I've passed by it for years, and have always wanted to paint it.  The juxtaposition of the old stones against the pale spring colors speaks to me of the passing of time, and endurance.  An elegant old wreck of a wall, the darkened doorway beckons us, to what, we don't know, and that is part of its charm and mystery.