Saturday, January 07, 2006


My watercolors class has not been offered in the evenings for a couple of semesters now. My old teacher George has started teaching again after his CVA, but not at night. And they haven't scheduled a watercolors class @ night to replace the one he taught. I'm not sure exactly why, but that's what's happened. And I can't take a daytime class obviously. I've done some painting on my own of course, but I've still wanted to take classes. My teacher Teresa (who took over for George when he was out) was offering a pastels class last semester and I wanted to continue studying with her so I took that class instead.

I didn't like it as much as watercolors but it was fun in its own right. There were some things that were a lot easier... Pastels are a lot easier to control and A LOT more forgiving than watercolors. And they can be really bold and abstractify even a simple landscape. But they're REALLY MESSY! And the fixative spray to keep it from smudging all over everything when you're done is STINKY! Besides that I like the idea of painting rather than drawing. I can't totally explain it, but there's something about holding a brush rather than a pastel. It's a different feeling. It's more relaxing for me, I feel different and I feel like I get more of a release. Plus I like that watercolors aren't forgiving. It's great therapy for me. I can't be a perfectionist. And I like the way they look. I find it easier to achieve a softer look. I do need to work on that, I tend to paint heavily, but that's ok too.

While I like watercolors a bit betterer, I did enjoy the class. Pastels ARE fun in they're own right. And I did learn a lot about different kinds of techniques. And I got to see a different side of my teacher and meet different students with expertise in different mediums. I really learned a lot. And I got to do something a little different, which actually helped my watercolor techniques. And they're great mediums to mix with each other as well. I'd like to try some of that.

I'm actually taking two art classes this next semester. A watercolor techniques class in color and perspective and the pastels class again. Teresa said I could come and work in either medium if I wanted to, and she said she would show me about mixing the two as she often does. I'm excited about it. AND, on a different note, Rob and I are taking ballroom dancing and swing dancing lessons through the Stamford Adult Ed classes. So I'll have nights out 3 nights a week and that'll be a nice way to get through the rest of the winter. I always get stir crazy mid-winter, ESPECIALLY since I've been living in CT away from a lot of friends. I've really loved taking all these classes and get out and meet new peoples. :)

So, back to my original point... I finally came across the photos I took of my pastel paintings ages ago and in the spirit of continual posting of my work, here they are. Well some of them anyways. :) Enjoy!

This one is from a photo Rob took while in Greece. I liked the sea (It's so BLUE!) and how it contrasted with the buildings and the landscape. It took a lot of blending to get it all right. My fingers were pretty dirty. That's when I started using hospital gloves while using pastels. It made it easier not to mix things that shouldn't have been mixed and kept my hands cleaner @ the same time.

This one I love. I felt like doing something seasonal, and I loved the way it blended and reflected into the water. It's just something very simple. It's one of my favorites.

I've done this one in watercolors multiple times. It was so different to do with pastels. (This was actually my first pastel painting. I figured I'd start with a scene I was familiar with.) The different media made it look much "rougher" and "bolder." Using the rougher side of the paper added to that. It gave the picture a grainer and kind of abstract look.

This one was fun. I was cold that day, and I found a nice warm sunny spring scene to draw.
And the butterfly was fun too. :)

This one I completely love. I modeled it after a piece of Chagall's mosaic mural in Chicago, The Four Seasons. I had taken a close up picture of these two charactures and I thought it would make a nice watercolor the way it blended. I haven't tried it in watercolor yet, but it made a beautiful pastel piece. Very bold, and yet very smooth and soft at the same time. This one I had to work in layers using a workable fixative spray so that all the underlying background layers didn't smudge into the more detailed top layers. It took a long time to do, but I love it. And the man reminds me of Rob with his red hair. :)

So come February I'll have more classes to take and technique to learn. I'm looking forward to the technique class though I'm sure it'll frustrate the heck out of me. Hopefully though I'll work through it and really learn some control with the water. And I'm looking forward to mixing media. And I'm REALLY looking forward to ballroom dancing. (We need to learn for our wedding) And in the meanwhile I'm looking forward to designing our wedding invitation.... :)

And on that happy note... NITE NITE! Sweet Dreams!!!!!

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