Flowers in the Air…

… and Art Festival Season is only a few months away!

The light at the end of the COVID tunnel, winter’s end and brighter days have inspired me to paint warmer landscapes.

Wildflower Garden
soft pastel on Lux Archival
11″ x 14”

I have spent most of the year better learning soft pastels and it finally feels like my paintings are maturing. I continue to study with Karen Margulis on her Patreon page and having an online creative outlet during the time of covid has made life at home more bearable.

One of the hot topics on the Patreon page lately has been copyright – when a student uses a teacher’s lesson/demo/paint-along image – the work then is not your original work. It’s difficult to learn without starting somewhere, and copying a painting whether it’s a great master or living artist, is an excellent learning tool. It is important, however, to take the creative inspiration to the next level and make it your own.

I find Karen’s lessons are a starting point, then I usually can find a photograph of my own, a place I actually know and have visited, to inspire me.

North Pond Garden, my photo

My summer plans will hopefully include two outdoor art festival exhibitions, and encaustic paintings are my primary medium. I decided it would be fun if I exhibited the same subject painted in both encaustic and pastels (something new from the studio but related to my body of work), and I am starting to create multi-medium sets of the same subject.

Wildflower Garden
mixed media encaustic on board
8″ x 10”

Over a year ago I had started the process of painting a pastel as well as an encaustic of the same subject. I can definitely see an improved understanding of layering pastel to create greater depth of values after a year of learning. Below, the Japanese Garden pastel is from a year ago, the paintings above were done this past week.

Pathway to Japanese Garden
soft pastel on UArt
24” x 18”
Pathway to Japanese Garden
mixed media on board
3.5” x 2.5”
Pathway to Japanese Garden, my photo

I’m looking forward to creating a few more of these soft pastel and encaustic pairs.

soft pastel on Lux Archival
8″ x 10”
Wildflowers, my photo

I already completed the pastel version of Wildflowers above, next will come the encaustic version. By the time I finish with an image, I absolutely know it intimately!