I’m in the home stretch of the DK Project so have very little time to do much else. So no monthly round-up today but I will try to get to it for next week. In the meantime, here’s a selection of my pastel paintings being shown on the PSA Facebook Group page where I am, this month, the PSA feature artist! Truly a totally unexpected honour!!
This painting is of roses given to me by my sweetheart Cam for my birthday a couple years ago. They were so lovely and even as they began to age and dry up a bit, they looked beautiful enough to paint. I painted the roses and leaves loosely then had lots of fun cutting out their shapes using the negative space around them. You can see the step-by-step here. (By the way, the original title was “Still beautiful” but I changed the name to “Eight Days Later” so I could include it in a show the theme of which was Eight!!)
This is another favourite of mine done a few years ago. The model is my wonderful friend Andrea who along with running her own spice business also occasionally poses as a life model. On this occasion she sat for my Mum and me in the living room. I layered a warm pink under the cool green sweater and I love the vibration that happens. One of the trickiest things about this piece was getting the detailed nuances of hands, feet and face, all done with chunky pastels! I also enjoyed playing with the almost silhouette of her head against the light.
A few years ago I was visiting my good friend and fabulous artist Stephanie Birdsall in Tucson. She had an amazing studio, full of easels and still life objects. Hanging against a cabinet was this dress. Stef was busy working on a project so I happily sat and painted the dress. It was my first chance to use UART paper. This was just at the beginning of the time when Wallis paper was becaming hard to get so I was delighted to find a paper that worked for me. It felt different for sure, but it worked! This painting went on to be an award winner in an IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) online exhibition.
A number of years ago, I found myself wanting to work more abstractly. This piece started as a few marks on the paper and was inspired by the work of Joan Mitchell. I had no reference image and just went where the painting took me. Interestingly, it moved towards a landscape look and so I followed. And this is what I ended up with! I wrote about the process on my GailSibley blog.
I had so much fun with this one! It started with the colliding of a wee figurative sketch I’d made and a bowl of colourful bougainvillea set against a green table. I worked intuitively and with my heart and happily this painting is what emerged. You can read about the process here.
And finally as the PSA feature artist, I chose this pair of tango shoes I did in last October’s 31-paintings-in-31-days Challenge. I had created nine other shoe paintings before this during the Challenge and this was my last. I love these shoes with their pink interiors and suede and patent leather exterior. A note about the paper – I had recently started using Pastel Premier as it had become available in Victoria where I live. This painting however was started on a brand new sheet and the paper was different! My pastel sort of slide around in a most unpleasant way. You can see the effect on the top left. It doesn’t look too bad but I found it very frustrating to manage! You can read about the benefits of doing the Challenge, as well as some of my other 31-in-31 work and that of other participants here.
Again, I am very grateful to be the PSA Feature Artist this month!!! So many people have made very kind and heart-warming comments. It’s good to be alive and an artist 🙂
And that’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed seeing these pieces. Fingers crossed I’ll have a monthly round-up for you next week.
Until next time,
~ Gail waiting-for-the-sunshine Sibley