This is less about the sky, although that’s important, than it is about Sam running freely down the beach. You can’t see him, but Nick is right behind. Maybe I’ll add Nick when I do a larger version of this one. For now, the contrast between skin and sand and sky are what made me want to try this one.
I did these two studies while I was working at the Attic last weekend. I combined two different photos for the reference and then tried it twice, once on warm toned paper and once on a cool toned paper. Which do you like best?
Today’s sky painting is the 4th in a series of 21 that I’m doing as a result of a wonderful mini workshop with Karen Margulis.
I remember being on the beach in the late afternoon when I took the picture that this painting is based on. I was there with a few friends and we just didn’t want to leave yet. The sun went down behind us and then the real fireworks started. All the contrails came into high relief against the blue and pink and aqua in the sky. The sand glowed orange. It was wonderful.
I’m looking forward to being back in Michigan, hanging out at the beach for sunsets and then painting them, every one that I can.
Steve in a Green Shirt
Of course, you know that he was wearing a tie-dyed shirt, right? I elected to simplify it to plain green. He looks good in it.
I am thinking about experimenting with this one, doing it on a really, long, skinny piece of paper. First I have to find the right frame, and then I’ll do it to fit.
Today was the meeting at The Attic gallery. We talked about things to do to get some more people through the door. I absolutely have to go back tomorrow and re-stock skelly cards. And then I’m going to walk around to all the hotels and put some postcards at the concierge desks. Maybe that’ll help bring some people in.
It’s a bit frustrating. But that’s natural. Anything by committee is. And probably less than half of the people who are in the gallery care whether they sell anything or not. I offered to write the PR for the gallery in order to keep my art on the walls, after we move and I can’t work there anymore. I think I’d like to put a newsletter together, too, and then see what everybody thinks. If we sent one out once a month, it would help draw people back in more often.
I painted this last week, while I was working my shift at The Attic. I liked the contrast between the woman’s dark skin and the bright bikini and really, really liked both against the cool blues of the water. She was so relaxed, sitting in the surf and letting the waves wash over her. I think I was wearing shorts or jeans or something and I remember feeling a little jealous. Why wasn’t I sitting in the water like her?
Yellow Bikini, 6×9″ pastel on paper, matted and framed, $269.
This is a quick study from one of my very favorite pictures of Sam and Nick. They were probably 5 and 8 years old. Sam has his hands in his ears and Nick has a smile on his face. We were at Stearns Beach in Ludington, Michigan, probably late in the day. I used to haul the kids to the beach nearly evening during the summer, starting in May.
I remember the white imprints of small feet by the back door, made from Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder and beach sand, a mixed media artwork that lasted all summer.
Here’s a time-lapse video of my practice this morning. I apologize for all the times my face got caught crossing in front of the camera. I’ll remember to put either my pastels or the camera on the other side next time.
Here are the final pics:
This painting is available at auction on ebay starting tonight at 9pm eastern.
Searching for Shark Teeth
Here’s a pastel of my husband, Steve, loosely rendered. He’s looking for shark teeth on the beach at Mickler’s Landing, in Ponte Vedra, FL.
I loved the contrast between the hot orange of his shirt and the deep blues of the surf. The sun was low in the sky for this picture and so all the foam was creamy where the light hit it. Delicious!
After the craziness of all those portraits, it’s kind of nice to relax and do some low key painting for a while. Since my life is only going to get more hectic as I go, what with getting our house ready to sell and moving back to Michigan, I think I’ll do beach scenes for a while. They’re calming, a good place to put my head.
This painting is available on ebay beginning at 9pm eastern time tonight, January 15, 2016.
I admit it, I’m a sucker for romance. Old movies, fairy tales, dancing with your baby after dark. I love all of that. How about you? Do you like to watch the same old happy endings over and over again?
I think that’s why I love doing these skeletons. They aren’t embarrassed to get caught gazing into each other’s eye sockets. They just do as they please, and if that’s a beach bop on the shore in front of everybody, so be it.
When I thought of the name for this piece, I immediately began hearing “Shall We Dance?” that song in “The King and I,” an old musical with Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. I used to watch that movie every chance I got when I was young, and then later with my daughter. I loved how they kept dancing faster and faster until Miss Anna was quite out of breath and the King of Siam had a particular look in his eye, maybe thinking, “Hmm, there’s more to this dancing stuff than I thought.” It sure seems to get the everyone breathing hard, doesn’t it? Of course, that’s not an issue when you’re a skeleton. You could dance all night and never get tired.
If you’d like to purchase “Shall We Dance,” it’s available for $645. Contact me via email and I’ll get right back to you with purchasing and shipping info.
New to pastels? Read about their care and feeding here.
Getting closer. I’ve already put my signature “M” on this one, but I will probably continue to tweak it a little during the day. I’m leaving it on my easel so I can let it bug me when I go by. I can already see little things that I will want to fix before I let it go out into the world.