Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rio Grande Gorge

2014 has been a rainy year in the High Desert of New Mexico. The landscape added green to its palette of colors. 
"Rio Grande Gorge"
9"x 12", Oil on Canvas Board

Monday, November 24, 2014

"After Fechin"

It is wise advice to copy paintings of old masters in order to learn. Nicolai Fechin was/is an artist after my own heart. He died five months before I was born. How I would loved to have met him, but all that is left for me is to study what he left behind for us all.  
This is a study of Fechin's "Tonita". He seems to have used this darling little girl quite often in his paintings. Her name was Manuelita. 
"After Fechin"
10"x 8", Oil on Canvas Panel

Friday, November 21, 2014

Indian Dancer

After the PowWow, we visited with many of the Native Americans whose photos we had taken. Learning about the dances and what they represent is very important to me. I want to honor them by letting them know they are much more than subject matter for my paintings. This particular dancer is of the Mandan tribe, which reside in North Dakota. 

"Indian Dancer"
8" x 6", Oil on Board

Website: sekulastudio.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Mexico #2

You guessed it! I'm still thinking of a name. I previously did this one in oils and titled it "Chamisa and Sage" and that is what still comes to me when I see this one. I'll have to think on it a bit. 

New Mexico #2
8"x 6", Pastel on Gator Board

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Mexico #1

 For now, this one is named New Mexico #1, as it is my first pastel of New Mexico. I will change the name when a good one occurs to me. 
New Mexico #1
8"x 6", Pastel on Gator Board

Friday, November 14, 2014

Andrea

Granddaugter, Andrea, also framed before a photo was taken. I'll get a system down before too much longer! This one was a combination of both hard and soft pastels. 
"Andrea"
7"x 5", Pastel on Gator Board

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Abigail

My youngest granddaughter, Abigail. I forgot to take a photo before framing, so the image appears more muted. This one was done with soft pastels.
"Abigail"
"7"x 5", Pastel on Gator Board

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Burro

This is another pastel I did in Rita Kirkman's workshop, again from one of her photos. 
"Burro" 
8"x 6", Pastel on Gator Board



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Life is Our Personal Work of Art" by Sandra Henderson

We often go through life never knowing who we may have inspired along the way. All we can hope is that we leave something uplifting and encouraging. If we are lucky, every once in a while someone will take time out to say that you have made a difference in their lives. Today was that day for me.

Sandra Henderson and I met last month while taking a writing class with Cynthia Morris of Original Impulse. In this class we were given daily prompts and were to write  for  at least 15 minutes without stopping. (There is MUCH more to Cynthia's class than just this so,  please click on the above links for more information. I highly recommend them for anyone who is interested in writing.)  It was in this 15 minutes of writing where I posted a quote that resonated with Sandra.

She emailed that she was very touched and asked if she could use it in a future blog post. Well, those of you who know me know that I am a quote-a-holic and freely share them with the world. She said she would let me know when the post came together. Well, it arrived in my email box this morning and truly made my day!

Sandra's  post in entitled Life is Our Personal Work of Art. Please click on the title to be taken to her beautiful and uplifting blog, and do check her archives for many inspirational posts.

Thank you, Sandra, for this honor. You have made more than just my day! Blessings to you!

Did You Call Me?

I have been wanting to learn more about pastels for many years. I had amassed boxes of quality pastels, papers and even had some primed gator board just waiting for the right moment.  I am happy to say that the stars finally aligned with the right instructor and courage enough to just do it!.

The Highland Art Guild in Marble Falls, Texas scheduled a workshop with pastelist, Rita Kirkman.  I have long been a great admirer of Rita's work and was so happy to be able to attend. Rita is a wonderful teacher and is very generous with her knowledge. She is also great fun after workshop hours, where good food and great art conversations ended our very productive days!

The painting below was done in Rita's workshop from one of her photos. The surface was gator board primed with Colourfix Primer by Art Spectrum. Yep, the same gator board mentioned earlier, and done with mostly Nupastels. I really like the look of the Nupastels on this particular surface. 

"Did You Call Me?"
8" x 6", Pastel on Gator Board

Website: sekulastudio.com

Thursday, September 18, 2014

October Workshop: BRUSHSTROKES, EDGES and MAGIC

"Alexandra" After Fechin 
Michael as Tevia (Live Model)

"BRUSHSTROKES, EDGES and MAGIC"
Cost: $225, includes studio and model fee

Date: October 3, 4 & 5, 2014
Time: 9:30am-4:30pm
Location: New Braunfels Art League
239 West San Antonio St
New Braunfels, TX 78130


How many times have you found yourself wishing you could paint more loosely and with more expressive brushstrokes? Please don't give up and pitch your paint brushes. I am confident that I can help you make some real progress, gain confidence and have a great time doing it.

The number one compliment I get on my paintings is about my brushstrokes and have finally figured out a way to really teach it. I have decided to enlist my hero, Nicolai Fechin! Whether or not you are a big fan, there is so much to be learned by studying his style.

Nicolai Fechin was an artist's artist. It was very important to him to paint the spirit of the subject, whether it was a model, a landscape or a still life. He was a master of draftsmanship, color harmonies and brushstrokes. To the layman, his brushstrokes may seem wild and random, but he was in fact very thoughtful and sure before adding a single mark.

While my work pales in comparison, Nicolai Fechin has been and still is my greatest inspiration. I have learned much through my studies of his work and philosophy. My objectives for this workshop are to help you see and understand edges-which ones are important to include and which ones to leave out-paint application with both brushes and knives, and the importance of brushstrokes. I will also do my best to help you to paint from your soul rather than get bogged down in rules and just copying what you see.
We will copy at least one or two of his paintings and, on the final day, we will paint from life, which will greatly reinforce what we have learned.

Checks made out for the FULL amount to NBAL can be mailed to:
Sandy Oberg
1400 Greystone Drive
New Braunfels, TX 78132
"Girl with Shawl" After Fechin













Monday, September 15, 2014

Cowboy from Tombstone


"Cowboy from Tombstone"
9" x 7", Oil on Canvas Board
"Cowboy" was an award winner in the Emerging Artists Exhibit at The Art Gallery in New Braunfels, Texas. He has found a new home and now resides in Houston, Texas. 
SOLD

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chamisa and Sage

 "Chamisa and Sage"
12" x 9", Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch
Of all the plants that grow in the High Desert of New Mexico, these two are my favorites. They are both rugged and beautiful. When I saw this particular scene in a picture perfect composition...Well, I am truly at a loss for words. Oh, how I love New Mexico!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Break Along the Rails

"Break Along the Rails"
"12" x 9", Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch
Please forgive the quality of this photo. My iphone came closer to the actual color than my better camera so I chose this one, which is a little blurry, over one that would be screaming LITTLE RED CABOOSE! 
This is some of the crew of Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad taking a break before we headed back to Chama, NM. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Harvest in Hatch, New Mexico

"Harvest in Hatch, NM"
12" x 9", Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch
When Hatch chiles are in season they are a big deal, even here in San Antonio. This painting is from a small roadside stand along the main road into Hatch. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Deep in the Sandias

"Deep in the Sandias"
12" x 9", Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch 
The subtle colors of the aspens and the scent of pine in the fresh mountain air drew us deeper into the forest high atop Sandia Peak, near Albuquerque. Very early morning, just before the sky completely cleared, this grove of aspens came into view.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Along the Turquoise Trail

"Along the Turquoise Trail"
12" x 9", Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch 
The majesty of this mountain and its colorful grays stopped me in my tracks. This was another beautiful site along the Turquoise Trail, just outside of Santa Fe.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Red Rocks and a Steep Climb

“Red Rocks and a Steep Climb”
12”x 9”, Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch
Looking up from deep inside the Rio Grande Gorge, along a far less traveled road, just outside of Taos.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Cerrillos, New Mexico

Along the Turquoise Trail, just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, lies the charming old mining town of Cerrillos. 



“Cerrillos”
9”x 12”, Oil on Linen, Mounted on Birch 
I love taking backroads, as they always reveal hidden treasures. This abandoned adobe building  is one such treasure. I came upon it as I was poking around Cerrillos.  I can't help but wonder what tales it could tell.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Solo Trip



A year ago in May, I set out on a solo trip for the mountains of New Mexico. I don't think my husband fully understood the need for a solo trip but he felt it was important enough that he gave a reluctant nod. I was on the highway hours before dawn with the anticipation of a small child at Christmas. I pushed out the thought of, "what the heck am I doing/thinking" by recalling the following quote by Georgia O’Keeffe, "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." The only difference was that it was not a want, but rather a need, and was so deep and personal that there were no words that could help anyone understand why. Some things in life don't require words; they just need to be heeded. So, off I went on my solo trek for the first time since I was seventeen years old, stopping only for gas and a quick bite along the way. It took twelve hours to reach my first destination; Santa Fe.

Even after almost a year, I am still unable to articulate the experience, save for a few blips and blurbs here and there. What I have been able to do is create a series of paintings of what inspired me most in the High Desert, ranging from Albuquerque to Taos. I will do my best to express what moved me about each one as I post them.


Thank you for following my blog. I hope you will feel some of what I felt as I traveled through the "Land of Enchantment".

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Updating Blog

I am in the process of updating my blog and it seems blogger is sending out old posts. Please accept my apology. Everything should be in order now.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

High Noon in Sisterdale

This is a plein air piece done at high noon in Sisterdale, Texas.  I had done a painting earlier that morning down on the river. What a drastic change from the cool blues in the shade to the bright white-yellow of the sunny field and barns. I perched on the trunk of my car and captured it as quickly as I could. The sun and haze were almost blinding but I couldn't help but be drawn to the beauty of this setting. The foreground looked a little like cotton but was actually thistles which had gone to seed. In spite of being an invasive and unwelcome weed, it would be hard to deny that they were also beautiful, both in bloom and when gone to seed. 



"High Noon in Sisterdale"


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jeff Watts Workshop, Final Day

I am so thankful to have been able to take this workshop with Jeff Watts. He has long been quite an inspiration to me because of his tremendous talent and his passion for art. People with such passion change everyone and everything they touch. What a bright and shining star!


The final day of the workshop was dedicated to studying and copying a master's painting. Jeff brought several artists from which to choose. I chose this one by Nicolai Fechin.

Monday, February 25, 2013

More from Workshop with Jeffrey Watts

Below are a couple of paintings I did in Jeff's workshop. We had models for each of the days except Friday, which was the day we studied and copied a master's painting. More on Friday's class in my next post.