Wednesday, February 20, 2013

White Out Wipe Out

Long Ride Home, pastel, 8 x 5"


Visibility Zero, photograph
Pastels were a nice easy way of getting back into the studio, no fuss, no mess. I quickly discovered though that I have a lot more to learn about working with the tools of the medium; the class I took last summer wasn't enough. I did not like how the pigments dried out my hands.I didn't particularly like the (expensive) Wallis paper. I did not like how quickly the crayons were eaten up by the paper and do not see myself ordering any more expensive sets. A limited palette would be just fine.

 I did like that I just popped open boxes and there the colors were, there were no solvents involved, (though I did try using rubbing alcohol with this one), and the clean up was quick.  I used this photo I took of the flash snow storm last Saturday as a reference. It's not  really suitable for a painting. (no color, no action), but I was just looking to get back into the studio and get my hands dirty.  It has been a long time.


My Poor Baby, BB photograph
Harsh weather can spoil a girl's day.
All the photographs I took last Saturday turned out fine.  My little pastel study turned out okay too. My car did not.  A flash snow storm caught Ellis and me between a rock and a hard place last Saturday. We went into a slide, we had to ride out. With no breaks and locked steering, it was either hit the SUV or drive through a mailbox into a rocky ditch? We tried for a piece of open driveway in between. The squeeze was too tight. The SUV took my bumper, my wheel well, my headlight, my hood,  Ellis' self confidence and my independence for a couple of weeks. The accident was an Act of God. Wrong place, wrong time. Freaky weather. It had been a dry, clear, sunny day when we left for lunch. It was white out conditions when we came out of the restaurant--great for photographing, not for driving.
The irony was this  car  never leaves the garage when
snow is in the air.

The Fanatic, photograph

School Crossing, photograph










28 comments:

  1. Ik vind het heel mooi geworden warme aarde tinten lieve groetjes Danielle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Misschien te warm? Terwijl ik begon aan de sombere zoek foto wilt kopiëren, belandde ik meer geïnteresseerd in het mengen van de pastel kleuren op het papier. Mijn papier was niet groot genoeg om complementaire mengen in de de donkere grijze dat was dat weg die dag. Plus somber winter scènes zijn echt niet aan mij.

      Delete
  2. What a frightening experience for you. I'm not surprised it knocked Ellis' confidence. So pleased you're OK though. And the pastel is lovely. It captures the cold light beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really. When I first used a lot of gray, the painting was colder and lifeless--much like the photograph. I can't stand the cold and I can't stand lifeless. Painters like color, so I pushed it. I'm going to try it again today. To get closer to the photograph, charcoal maybe the medium to use? --But I want to get a feel for pastels and mixing colors on the paper.

      Delete
  3. Linda!
    I am so sorry about the accident. Hope you both are okay! Always something in this adventure we call life!
    On a happier note, the photographs are fantastic! The pastel is even better! I love the wildness and color in this piece! Very, very dramatic and exciting! Great use of the medium!
    Again, I am sorry about the accident and thank goodness you both are all right!
    Take care!
    Your "not liking the snow casusing accidents buddy!"
    Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Michael, but these are the chances we take every time we leave the house in this treacherous season. Ellis and I are both fine. Coming out of the incident in one piece, now we're just annoyed at the expense of the afternoon that will go on for years we suspect.

      I didn't realize you were being facetious your last post. I'm so glad you're not a snow loving bunny.

      Thanks. You do know I love photography as much as I love painting.

      Delete
  4. Dear Linda, I hope that you have not reported damage to health!

    I understand your thoughts on the pastel painting technique.
    It 's so destabilizing for me, when I want something specific in my own "artistic vision" and I find that I do not have the skill to get there!
    Your photos are very beautiful and full of compositional lines, so you can make the color according to your mood, with images so special as starting point.
    The painting in pastel with which you open the post, leads the eye towards the distant horizon, with a palette so delicate in contrast with energy of the traits! You already know how much I admire this energy all over your artistic work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only way to get the skill is to practice, practice, practice. The layperson would find it odd that all artists no matter how long they have been at their craft or how many works they sold are always practicing. While pastels do dry the hands, they have value as a sketching material--pastel painters may take offence at that statement, but the sketchiness of pastels is its beauty. Too finished, loses the wonderful feeling of spontaneity the medium offers.

      Though I chose not to copy the photograph with regards to color, it really was a long ride home that day. The road disappearing on the horizon with no particular focal point was the point and my expression.

      Delete
  5. Caspita quanta neve,mi dispiace per il tuo incidente spero che non ti sia fatta male.
    Il lavoro con il pastello sembra molto difficile da realizzare e secondo me tu hai risolto bene,è armonico.
    Ciao Linda,un abbraccio!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grazie Franz. Pastel è nuovo per me. Mi piace la rugosità di esso, l'incompletezza di esso. E 'quickish e facilmente pulito. Per quando non avete voglia di armeggiare con spazzola per la pulizia e solventi e un sacco di stracci.

      Tutto questo grigiore neve e mi sta scendendo come ti ho detto nel mio commento. è stato un piacere vedere la tua parte del mondo alla ricerca soleggiato e luminoso e colorato. Ero gelosa. Abbracci indietro.

      Delete
  6. As my FIL told me years ago when I had a slight fender bender (tho yours qualifies more than).. " a car u can fix"... As u said it was an act of God... BTW, the pastel I LOVE! A lot of texture and the colors are very earthy!.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was absolutely right--a minute after the point of impact. After you realize you're fine though, you do weep and bitch about the car, the expense, the inconvenience, the unfairness that there is no act of God allowances when it comes to fines. That's where we are now--though with the car gone to the body shop, we do feel better not having to look at it.

      thanks. The pastel was interesting to do--and challenging being that it's not a medium I normally use.

      Delete
  7. Like your handling of the pastels. Sorry about your car, these things happen. Our daughter had trouble with a multi-storey car park the other week, the car park shrunk when she went to drive off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a treacherous season Ann. I see one snow flake and I'm home for the day. I do not like white knuckle driving. Ellis, on the other hand, boldly goes where this gal won't. But now he's thinking twice. These incidents do undercut your self confidence. He was beating himself up the rest of the weekend--or until the dealership came and took the car to the bump shot. Its torn wheel well was sickening to look at. The pastel was a fun experiment with a medium I really am not all that familiar with. Thanks.

      Delete
  8. Your snow scene is good - suitably grim for snowy weather. But i am so sorry to hear about your accident!!! How are you and Ellis feeling?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After moping around the house that afternoon and the next day over our bad luck, we cheered up when the car was picked up by the dealership and removed from our sight. We were both fine. We have the money to pay the deductible and the ticket. We are not happy that the insurance company will probably up our premiums, but shit happens. This too shall pass as soon as they bring my baby back to the garage where it belongs on snow days.

      Actually I think the photographs stand on their own, but they also presented me with a rather simple scene to get back in the studio swing. I decided to use the pastels because I hadn't since I took that class and they are no big deal to set up and clean up--they're like charcoal, a handy sketching medium. This piece is too small though. Today, I'll try something bigger. I was uncomfortable with the size of the paper and the thickness of the sticks, but I didn't resort to my pastel pencils. I couldn't find them :-))

      Delete
  9. I don't like pastels or things that smudge if one put a hand in it, that's why I like acrylics, but that is a matter of taste. I like the depth you got in this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just said it to Sharon, pastels are the colorful cousin to charcoal. They are a sketching medium. You don't sketch--and if you did, I would think that markers would be more your style. I like the blurriness and the rough finish you can get with both pastels and charcoal. I don't like how they dry my hands, but gloves are out of the question. I have to touch.

      When I paint with acrylics I get my hands dirty too by spraying the canvas with water and then adding the colors. I then move them this way or that with my hands--sometimes just my finger, sometimes with my palm. It's a style difference. I am waiting till spring to get my big acrylic painting, Wildfire, out on the lawn for some possible hose action? That sun is going to feel good. I can hardly wait. This winter has been the pits.

      Delete
  10. I hope you both are okay?!! Wow - and so soon after your surgery.

    I beg to differ on the composition - I really like the pastel and how it came out. I like the subtle colors and to me there is a feeling of action by reason of the receding road. It is almost an abstract.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're fine. We were fine throughout the incident--weighing our choices in the split seconds we were in an uncontrollable skid. --My surgery is fine too. Actually, it's history.

      Is was a long way home Dan, after that anything but dull--I suppose you could call it colorful--ordeal. :-)) I really don't like painting in grays. Paint (albeit pastels) are about color.

      Delete
  11. Oh! J'espère que c'est vraiment uniquement la voiture qui est endommagée !
    Je crois que cette année chez moi aussi la neige a bien aidé le tiroir caisse des carrossiers !...
    Il est bon de retrouver l'atelier après l'avoir délaissé... je comprends cela aisément.
    Votre pastel est très joli, j'aime les lignes de fuite qui entraîne le regard au loin.
    Gros bisous à vous et soyez prudente.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you are here to tell the tale...shakes you up though! Love those photos, so much snow captured perfectly. And the pastel is so different to the reference in terms of colour, obviously, but atmosphere and movement, excitement. I truly admire your vision, spectacularly unique!

      Delete
    2. You bet. As I was falling asleep that night I kept thinking would the damage have been less if we just skidded into the car in front of us head on? Or if we had gone into the rocky ditch after knocking down the mail box? I don't think so. The mailbox and rocky ditch would have been the worst choice. The ditch was steep and going in on an angle there was the possibility of rolling on the passenger side, my side. This might have been the best of the three possibilities.

      The snow was beautiful enough to take out my phone and shoot a few. I thought the jogger was out of his mind.

      I pushed the color in the pastel painting simply because I was painting and painting is about color. I could have been more bleak had I used oils, but I would have had to add color I know me. I might try it again today. I don't feel like a portrait challenge yet. I think this winter has gotten me down--the flood, our colds, my anesthetic ordeal, and then the car and the most expensive lunch we've ever had! I thought bad luck was supposed to come in threes? I just counter four.

      Delete
    3. Nous sommes tous les deux Martine amende. Oui, cette accrochage a fait le déjeuner, nous avons juste eu le plus cher jamais. L'ironie est que je ne prends jamais ma voiture dans la neige et ici nous avons été pris dans une tempête de neige flash après un endroit sec, ensoleillé, matin, ciel bleu. Les muses peuvent être très unamusing.

      Delete
  12. very nice photos...and I like how the pastel came out. So sorry about your car, but I'm glad it was no worse! Glad that you are back in the studio...I am waiting to see what happens next!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. The photos did come out well without any adjusting other than a little enlarging and cropping. The pastel was experimental more or less. It had been so long since I used them and the scene was so drab, I decided to push the color rather than copy the photo verbatim. I'll probably try this one again larger and go for the bleakness. The 8 x 5 sanded paper and the clunky size of the sticks weren't a delightful match. But pastels were--are a great sketching medium--the colorful cousin to charcoal. I, too can't wait to see what happens next ;-))

      Delete
  13. True artist - no moping about the car after it was out of sight, but down to brass tacks and produced a wonderful paintings. Love the sensitive feeling to the atmosphere and not a sliding car in sight!
    I am sorry about the car and glad you were not in danger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie. After the damage was done, what was there to do, but see if there was anything good that could come out of this tragedy? The photographs were taken before,and can stand on their own as photographs. But I couldn't resist the challenge of trying a white out painting. Pastels seemed to be the most logical of mediums.

      Delete