Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday Pastel and Joan's Chili Peppers from the Coast

"Copper Bowl with Gourds"
Partially completed pastel
20" x 14"

"Coastal Chili Peppers"
Rockport, MA
by Joan Kendall

I returned to Monday morning drawing class with instructor Bob Semans. I just love this class. I've done this copper bowl before, it's old and tarnished and the black shows up beautifully in the shadow when Bob puts a spotlight on the still life. The gourds provide a nice contrast and say "Fall" on the first day that we've had really cool fall weather. The challenge here is drawing the ellipsis shape of the bowl as it's tilted away and slightly sideways. Bob has us start by drawing two lines from the widest points that cross at a 90 degree angle at the center. In this case the vertical line was slanted about 30 degrees. Because the bowl is tilted the ellipsis is wider than it is long Very challenging.

The other challenge is to get the values correct. Bob always says that if your painting does not look right, it's almost always a drawing problem, and often its incorrect values. I was too timid at the start and Bob came over and really ground the charcoal into the right shadow. The final challenge for me, especially in a realistic pastel, is to separate value and color and select a stick that has strong enough chroma. Bob had to guide me a bit on the gourd in the bowl where I did not have enough yellow-gold. A great morning spent among like-minded artist friends. As I am painting for two shows right now, it may take me while to get back to this pastel. I was delighted to learn that one of my classmates sold one of her still life pastels through a shop in Los Gatos, a very tony nearby town. She said it was one of the colander and onions, which I also did here.

The second painting was done in oils by my friend Joan Kendall as a result of our wonderful week's art vacation at "the barn" (a family cottage) on the North Shore of Boston at Rockport. In an earlier post I showed the front of the cottage in a watercolor sketch. The window boxes were nicely planted by the landscape architect owner of the cottage. We were delighted to find hot little chili peppers tucked in among the flowers. Joan's son came from RI for a day with us and took a closeup photo of them. We marveled at their colorful, waxy beauty. Joan has done such a beautiful job of capturing these lovely agricultural gems.


hwfarber said...

How much you have learned, Mary! And it shows. I always look forward to seeing more work from you.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, I am just in awe of your work lately... you have progressed so much, and in all mediums.. I have always loved your pastels and they are still wonderful, but now your watercolor and oils (love the chili peppers) are showing the results of your studying.. Really wonderful pieces.. keep it up. oh yes, and btw, Los Gatos .. what a great place.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, I always like reading your adventures from your Monday drawing class....OK, all your adventures are fun! OOOH those oOooovals! I have to work on them when I want to draw from life. Wonderful...and I like the chili peppers!

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks for the encouragement, friends. I wish I could claim the chili peppers as mine, but friend Joan did them. She's so good with her oils.