Bloom If You Can

“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.”

-Joyce Meyer

Please enjoy a celebration of pink paintings this month, in honor of breast cancer awareness. I paint for my friends and family who have fought the good fight against cancer, for their families, and for all caregivers who help along with the journey toward a healthy self (body, soul, and spirit). In my strokes of pink, are prayers of strength and healing.

FS 151

5″x7″ pastel on sanded paper

The road that runs between Christ in the Desert Abbey, and Ghost Ranch is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the canyon, the drive, the Rio Chama, and especially what lies at either end of this forest service road.

After lugging many pounds of heavy painting equipment around all summer, I came home and lightened my load! Check out my new travel set up. It is the smallest Heilman pastel box, which I carefully adapted with the help of my, clever and handy, Spanish exchange student. The box is made to securely hold pastels on one side, and carry paper on the other. As designed, there was no way to hold the support in the top half of the box so it kept sliding down. Second, the paper holder it came with didn’t work very well. After some brainstorming, we removed the stock paper holder and then added the 4 pieces of silver hardware you can see in the top of the photo. We made them adjustable, so they can hold the lid, and paper of varying sizes, in place. The trickiest part was carving out part of the box to allow room for the hardware so that the box will still close.

Today was my test drive, and I am delighted!

Adobe early afternoon

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24″x18″ pastel on sanded paper
I did this painting as a demo. I enjoyed painting for a group of friends/ students/ artists, and listening to live music. I started with a complimentary color study of the scene, and ended by being gifted with a snickers ice cream bar. It was a great afternoon!

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Underpainting before denatured alcohol wash

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Underpainting after alcohol wash.
I love the way an underpainting adds complexity to colors in way that is hard to duplicate.