Author Archives: Gail Sibley

Chaos of Light And Shadow: 9. Tweaked and finished. Gail Sibley, “Gone to the Beach!,” Unison pastels on UART 400, 9 x 12 in

Chaos of Light And Shadow – Painting En Plein Air In Mexico

In this post, I want to share with you a piece I did where I tried to sort out the chaos of light and shadow.

I’ve been in Mexico for two weeks. One of my projects was to paint en plein air as preparation for my painting holiday workshop in Spain at the beginning of May. (Easier to paint outside here than in the rain and cold of home in Victoria BC at the moment!) To that end, for the first time when coming to La Manzanilla, I brought my easel. Usually I have a small box of pastels and board and paper so as you can imagine, way more than I usually bring! Still it’s been a treat to stand at an easel rather than have a rock, a log, a chair if I’m lucky, or flat on the ground if I’m not, dictate the scene I’m going to paint. Now it was only the need for shade that I looked for. The light is bright here, the colours vibrant, the shadows defined and dark.

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January’s Striking Pastels

We are well into the New Year but we’re still at the start with these picks from January. Many pieces have a subdued feeling. I don’t know if this is a result of the number of subdued paintings I saw and collected over the month or due to my own recent subdued feeling (see last blog). Whatever the reason, enjoy this collection of ten striking pastels!

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Grief and art: Gail Sibley, "Farewell (for Ray)," Great American and Mount Vision pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes Touch (white), 14 x 20 3/4 in

Grief And Art – Using Art-Making To Deal With My Sadness And Anger

WARNING: This is a very personal blog post. In it, grief and art come together.

Yesterday I was shocked and stunned: I found out that Ray Dorge, my former life partner of 25 years, had died. Even though Ray and I separated 10 years ago (by my instigation), we kept in touch with the odd email. As much as I wanted a closer connection, Ray said he wanted to keep me at arm’s length. He said it hurt too much to spend time with me. I respected his wishes even though it saddened me that we rarely got together to catch up on our lives nevermind recall shared memories. I kept meaning to push him on it but I never did.

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Maria Marino – Responding Emotionally To The Landscape

When I think of the work of Maria Marino, I think of pastel paintings full of vitality, texture, and colour. And when I say paintings, I think with Maria Marino’s work, they really are paintings! She applies the pastel so thickly, you feel you could be looking at a thick brush stroke of oil paint.

I’ve featured Maria in my monthly selections and have always been intrigued by the process by which she works. I’ve also been amazed by her very textural ink drawings full of density and dark. So, as you can imagine, I am delighted to have Maria Marino as a guest blogger!

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Do something, anything!

Do Something, Anything! Getting Started…On My Self Portrait

One of my 2018 New Year Resolutions is to PAINT MORE. I want to get in the studio and do something! I spend a lot of time on my computer – responding to email queries and enquiries, and writing blogs but also, for the last six months or so, sitting for hours editing and preparing videos for my next online course. And sometimes, it seems that I’m just not painting. Argh. So today is blog writing day and I wanted to share something about my pastel work. So, it was a good reason to get into the studio and do something.

So there I was this morning, in the studio, and stuck. I was overwhelmed by the many choices of subject matter. Sooooo many possibilities!

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December's pastel treasures

December’s Pastel Treasures!

Hey hey, we’re already well into the New Year and happily, I now have December’s pastel treasures ready for your enjoyment.

As always, I’ve selected ten pastel paintings from the many I collected throughout the previous month. I look at all the technical aspects but foremost, I make my selections based on a certain something that comes through. I try to understand and then share what that certain something is in my analysis of each painting. Often it takes time to sit and be with the painting before I truly see why it appeals to me. I also try to curate a selection that covers different styles and genres to inspire you with the magical potential of pastels!

Let’s take a look….

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New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions For Your Best Painting Year Ever!

Happy New Year!! If you’re like me, you love the beginning of the New Year. It seems as if you’re starting with a clean slate and everything is possible. Yet, I find if I don’t set some goals right at the start of the year, I can easily drift through it without accomplishing some major goals. And I’m sure you know how quickly the year can scamper by! So as I was setting some arty New Year resolutions for myself, I realized I could share and expand my ideas with you.

Okay, here are, in no particular order (except for the first one – it needs to be at the top!) some ideas for New Year resolutions:

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Wade Zahares, The Shortest Day, 2008, Schmincke pastel on Wallis, 24 x 30 inches. City skies on snowy nights always amused me with the strange colors that light up the night. 

Wade Zahares – Whimsy, Colour, And A Winter Wonderland!

As we close in on Christmas and the holiday season and all the laughter and love that seems to be that much more apparent and visible at this time of year, not to mention all the sparkle, light, and in northern climes, winter temperatures and snow, I wondered who to invite as a guest blogger. How do we celebrate this time of magic and memories of childhood? And then it came to me, the work of Wade Zahares!

I’ve been delighted by Wade’s work for sometime now. His amazing perspectives and unusual viewpoints not to mention his saturated colour and sense of fun and magic appeal to me enormously, so much so that I’ve featured his work twice in my monthly round-ups (in September 2015 and March 2017). I was super pleased when he agreed to do this last guest blog of 2017!  Although Wade paints all seasons, I asked him to put the primary focus on his winter scenes, the season being what it is.

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Painting a white object with colour

Painting A White Object With Colour

Sometimes, if you’re working with a small set of pastels, you won’t have a large assortment of almost whites i.e. very light colours – light blues, greens, pinks, yellows, mauves, or oranges. So if you’re painting a white object, what should you do when you have such a limited palette? One good thing is you probably have a white stick of pastel in your set. But how can you make one white pastel stand-in for all the white areas? In this video, you’ll see just that. I want to show you the possibilities of painting a white object with colour!

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November's Singular pastels

November’s Singular Pastels – Inspiration For Uninspired Days

As we swing down to the end of the year – yes we are in December! – it’s time for another monthly round-up of singular pastels. For some reason, choosing only 10 was particularly difficult this month, and I was tempted to exceed the limit! I stuck to my commitment, however, of selecting only 10 singular pastels and here they are!

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