Friday, February 22, 2008

Boots and Spurs - final!

I believe I'm finished with this one except for naming it. I'll let it set for a day or two before making a final judgement that it is finished since there may be a few places that could use some tweaking.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Boots & Spurs - tonight's update

OK - I've got a bit more done on the boots and spurs but still more to do before calling if finished but it is getting there. Maybe tomorrow I can finish it up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Boots & Spurs - an update

I was able to work on this for about an hour tonight - didn't get far but I'm liking the way the one boot is looking. The boot's wear is showing through and that is what I want to describe in this pastel. These aren't your dancing boots. I'm using mostly the Conte and CarbOthello pastel pencils right now with a few of the softer Rembrandt's to get the scuffs and marks on the heels and the rest of the boot. I wished I had more time to work on it but that is it for tonight.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Boots & Spurs

I've started on another pastel for my Texas series. One of my favorite compositions - just the boots and spurs. Anyone who knows me knows I love cowboys so these were a natural draw (forgive the pun). It's still in that rough stage but wanted to share it with you. I haven't decided upon the background yet but needed to get some color down so I could work on the jeans. I've noticed too that the jeans need to be toned down a bit so still lots to do. Stay tuned. . .

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Texas Sunset

I'm sure many of you have seen sunsets like this no matter where you live but I must say we do have some beautiful sunsets here in Texas. Driving the rural roads you can see old barns and windmills ready to fall down in the next thunderstorm so I thought this would be a great pastel for my Texas series - this one is called A Texas Sunset. It is about 12"x10" and may be found on my website sometime next week. The original and prints will be available for sale so be sure to check back with me if you are interested.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you had plenty of Butterfy Kisses today.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Graphite!

When I saw this reference picture it really made me smile. It also reminded me that even in the wild not everyone appreciates the talents of others. That being said, knowing that shouldn’t keep us from doing what we love!

I’m naming this one High Notes, the original is 14” x 11” and if you are interested in purchasing it you can find it on my website under the Wildlife tab. Limited Edition prints are available too.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Sometimes I get asked what inspires me as an artist. I’m one of those artists that get their inspirations from everyday life. It can be just from talking with another person, brainstorming with other artists, looking through reference photos or just looking outside.

I’m so blessed to have a house on a couple of acres where I keep my horse Billy Bob. I bought him when he was 4 years old and he’ll be 20 this April. I can walk out my back door or look out the window and be inspired every day. I also have a little Cairn terrier named Sassy and a cat named Samantha who bring such joy to my life. All three have been subjects of my art and probably will continue to be inspirational for a long time to come.

If I think about it, I would have to say everything I look at, I’m looking at it as if it were a composition. I’m taking in the details, color, lights, and darks imagining how I would draw it, figuring out how best to describe it with pencils or pastels.

I have always enjoyed watching the clouds and with sunrises or sunsets there are some spectacular colors that are always inspirational. Spring is right around the corner and with that come the bluebonnets. In good years, the wildflowers in Texas can be breathtaking. Now that I have a good digital camera I’m hoping to get some reference photos to pull from at some point for landscape and wildlife drawings.

Then there is my daughter and my precious grandson - wow what inspiration he is! There is the rest of my family - my mom and dad, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife and their sons - all of my family who give me so much love and moral support. So what inspires me? My family, my animals, friends, nature, wildlife, just day to day living – all that God gave me! I look forward to sharing my inspirations with you in the days to come.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Some years ago I had a rooster named Rudy that had come into my life for a short while. He was very large and walked a little like John Wayne. He used to follow me around like a dog and even ran a skunk off one afternoon while he was overseeing his little flock of hens in the backyard. I did this pastel last year and the rooster reminds me a lot of Rudy as he would always strut around like he owned the place - thus the title Struttin'.

The reference picture I had was taken outside and during the day on a grassy lawn. I wanted the pastel, however, to be very strong and show the personality of the rooster. With a few powerful strokes of color and a dramatic background I think I succeeded. So it is important to remember you don't have to draw exactly what you see, you can create your own backgrounds, combine pictures, or pretty much anything you want - after all you are the artist.

The original is hanging in my dining room, however prints are available and may be ordered on my website at

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

All My Marbles Completed

Here is the final - All My Marbles - is finished! Well pretty near anyway. I will set it aside for the next day or two and see if anything needs to be fixed. I have already seen a few edges of the marbles that I need to "round" out but I'm thinking it will take very little to correct things.

It has been a whole lot of fun to try to get the glasslook of each marble and all the reflections in the right spot. There is a lot going on in this little pastel - bigger wouldn't have made it better. This original is 6"x 6" and will be for sale on my website at It will also be a limited edition of 200 prints. These prints will be on a fine archival paper and printed with archival inks. Let me know if you are interested.

Monday, February 4, 2008

More on All My Marbles

Tonight I've worked on describing more marbles and refining those I have already drawn.

I think I have the marble near the center pretty round now - at least it is better. I'll take a look at it again when I work on the marble on the left side of it. It may need a bit more work.

The marble on rightside, near the bottom was looking rather flat to me - it is the one with all the bubbles in the glass. I think it has a more rounded appearance now and that was done by just redirecting some color and lines. Did you notice you can see the bottom of the cut glass votive reflecting all the colors in the marbles too?

I've put the work from last night next to what I have done tonight to make it easier to compare exactly what I have done. You can see how the marbles are taking form with color, lights and darks. Not every reflection or highlight was made by white. I've used light blues, greens and grays and then next to those highlights I've placed darker colors to make the highlights pop. It is amazing to me how little globes of glass with streaks of color and bubbles, that seem to be frozen in place, can be so beautiful.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

All My Marbles

Here's a new pastel WIP for you. I'm calling it All My Marbles. I have some 1950s vintage cat's eye marbles that I photographed outside. I put them in a cut glass votive candle holder and with the cloudy day it made for some interesting reflections that I hope to develop.

In this first WIP I've transfered a rough outline sketch of each marble on to the 6"x 6" gray velour paper. I've made sure to put in the cat's eyes and a few of the major reflections for reference points. I've used a white Conte stick to do the outline sketch.

Once again, I don't put a whole lot of detail into my initial sketches. This encourages me to use my drawing skills, to draw what I see, and also allows me to be a bit creative too - not copying every detail of the photograph but instead using it as a guide.

Next using my photo reference I've blocked in the solid colors of the cat's eyes on each marble using Rembrandt soft pastels.

Now I've started drawing in the glass colors, reflections and bubbles in the marbles. My favorite one so far is the upper right marble. I like the green bottle glass look of it and the reflections too.

I can see that I need to work on the roundness of the middle marble but I can fix that later. With pastels you can layer your color over the top of another color without worrying about "mixing" colors like you would with wet paint. The amount of pressure you put on the pastel determines if the color you are laying down will be a light glaze or a solid color. At some point the velour may not take any more color because the "tooth" will be full. I would rather not get to that point though - it's always nice to have a little room to play around with the color.

I wonder - do kids still play with marbles?