SCRUMBLE — A Blog About Pastel Art
Scrumble is a pastel painting technique of lightly touching the surface; the result is visually stimulating and very textural. My blog adapts that technique of scrumble, lightly touching on art and the art of pastel painting.
Pecan Lake, donated to Rally for the Cure
The golf ball flew into the air, really into the air, then landed in the sand. "That was a good shot, except for that."
Did I actually say those words? Does sounds dumb, huh? Yes and no. My fairway shots always just skim the ground, never make that beautiful air lob. This one, the direction was off, but the ball was up. Major accomplishment.
How does this relate to art? "It's a good painting, except for that corner," (or that color or the background or . . . whatever your reoccurring problem is). So, just as I will hit another thousand practice balls to perfect that airborne shot, I will work through my painting problem. I will continue to question what's wrong? how do I fix it. I'll face my painting nemesis, and conquer it. I WANT to get rid of the "except for that."Comment on or Share this Article →
Red Glow on the Bayou
Are you ready? Those words excite Red, our dog. He knows it's time for his leisurely morning walk. His enthusiasm never fails to bring a smile. His world centers around this time that he knows belongs to him.
For me, are you ready? is my mental cue that the chores are done, exercise is out of the way, I've again tackled my golf score, and sunlight floods my studio. And I am ready to paint. I can allow myself to be transported to a selfish zone.
My world centers around that 16x20 surface in front of me. Did I make mistakes on it yesterday or do the colors interact perfectly? Is the composition slightly off or is the slope of the shoulder just right? Should I consider it finished or do I dare to push the pastel even further?
Maybe that 16x20 is just white; it's waiting for a new drawing. That's the hardest time for me, the get-going-on-it time. But after those first proportional marks darken that white surface, when I now have something to relate the next mark to, the process flows. And the rest is fun.
In that time of studio solitude, the brain, eyes, and hands constantly make decisions and adjust, and the answer is, “Yes, I was ready.”Comment on or Share this Article →
Amby Sings Janis, Pastel, 24x18
Do you ever dig deeper into a website? Sometimes it's like finding a pot of gold and then even more riches. That's how I found this wonderful blog post on Oil Painters of America, by William Schneider. His blog post Self Improvement encompasses all areas of art, listing very specific things we can do to improve, reference books, and artistic exercises.Comment on or Share this Article →
I believe that, rather than coincidence, it is a melding of decisions and choices that influence each other. Those "accidental happenings" set us upon a path, maybe a new direction.
During our time in the Middle East, my husband and I traveled twice to India; first to Delhi and Agra, then Madras and the South Coastline. I love the inlaid marble, the beautiful silk rugs, pashmina shawls and ikat that came home with us. And I love the memory of color and activity. Lately my painting muse seems enchanted again with India: the pastel sticks have found their way to the faces of India, with the Pepsi man and the boy mechanic.
Now, a great movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful. Just a glimpse of a commercial had led to, "I want to see the Marigold one," not knowing exactly what that was. Was it another coincidence that this movie was set in India? Nope, I think it was part of the twisting, winding road that leads a certain destination. At this point I do not know what that destination is, but don't I love an adventure! So I think I'll continue to concentrate on painting India, its many sights and people.
And who knows, maybe I'll finally be confident enought to paint the beautiful Taj.
P.S. the movie was delightful, heartwarming, with a feel good ending. It's not a special effects or exaggerated movie; all the people and scenes depict what we saw for real in our travels in India. Loved it all.Comment on or Share this Article →
Memorial Weekend Was: A little golf, a little John Wayne and a little painting. But along with the painting came an artistic eye-opener.
I had several unfinished paintings of the Neches River bayou. Painted on Wallis Sanded Paper, the layers of pastel can be easily brushed off, which was my intent. I plan to start a series of paintings from our India trips, and since that white Wallis paper was already covered with luscious colors of pastel, I wouldn't need to tone them.
But in looking at the unfinished bayous, all the same scene, I thought it would be interesting to just complete them, each in a different color palette. It was not only interesting and fun, it was a learning expose.
- I learned that changing the color scheme can make: different mood, different light and shadows, different reflections.
- I learned that the masses could rule: they did not need numerous patches of grass, flowers and twigs.
- I got a better understanding of creating depth, receding the ground with overlaps and thinner strips of color.
- I reinforced the importance of shadows and using darks.
I have always been a step-back artist, looking at the whole composition from a distance, but painting in this "new" way gave a bigger importance to the step-back. Standing close to the surface, as is necessary holding a short stick of pastel, limits the vision area, making it too easy to think detail is needed.
I also learned the freedom and quickness of painting a 9x12 massed-in landscape as compared to the many hours involved in portrait and figurative work.
It was a fun, liberating learning experience. I actually want to give a shout out to Catherine Anderson, who posts small impressionistic landscapes frequently on FaceBook; I have admired them for a long time. Perhaps she was muse to my subconscious.Comment on or Share this Article →