pastel dust


After returning from Montana and since my last post, I have been busy with a variety of “stuff” besides painting which can make me a little itchy.  Finally this week I was able to get things in order and get out and do some painting.  Our weather is still beautiful and it lends to getting out and doing some plein air work as well as going on photo expeditions for those reference photos that are so important when the fog sets in and the dampness is bone chilling.
Bambi and I went out this afternoon with the good intention of doing some plein air work, however, the colors were so incredible we agreed that it might be in our best interest to make it a “photo: day and shoot images.  And that is what we did.  We trekked down along some creeks and drove up remote roads in the Blues.  We stayed out late enough to record some of the fabulous light that happens around 4 o’clock this time of year.  We will appreciate this day come mid January and fog!
I am contemplating a new series…it will be different from the small works series where I  used one composition and recreated it differently 100 times.  I have decided this will be small works, but in the 8×10 or 9×12 size…what I haven’t decided on is the number and if the pieces will have a relationship to each other.  I am leaning toward something like “Back roads” or “Roads and Streams” or maybe “Montana On My Mind” or “The Path of Lewis and Clark”.  Maybe it will be “50 off the 90″…50 images of areas of interest off of Interstate 90…since I-90 begins or ends in Seattle and goes across the panhandle of ID and through MT and continuing on east to Boston.  Outside of Billings you get the option of getting on I-94 which takes a northerly route through North Dakota and continuing eastward, joining I-90 at Lacrosse, WI and then veering off again toward Madison, WI, crossing 90 in the Chicago land area and ending in the Detroit area.
So with that little bit of highway geography, about any area that I wander around is near I-90 and it is diversely different between Seattle and Billings, MT.
A small bit of trivia….up until a few years ago there was one stoplight on I-90…at Wallace, ID…that went away when a new section of interstate was built that circumvented the downtown area of Wallace.
So with that rambling…I think this next body of work will be spots of interest between Seattle and Miles City, MT.  They might be near I-90 (or 94 as one closes in on MC) or a hundred miles off of it.  I promise them to be interesting spots, remote, probably.

Shows to look forward to include The Northwest Pastel Society International Open Show  that opens the 13th at American Art Company in Tacoma, WA.  This should prove to be a good show with quality work.  I am anxious to see the show hanging in this beautiful gallery space.  The next NPS event is the members show which will be at the Kirsten Gallery in the university district of Seattle in a wonderful multilevel gallery.  that show opens in April, 2011.

I am considering going to the International Association of Pastel Societies annual convention/workshops in Albuquerque next June.  That would be a prime time to take some time and spend painting in NM which is something of a  desire of mine.  The thought of being able to combine a trip to paint and a trip to a pastel convention which should be like a huge candy store for pastelists seems almost too good to be true.  For me this could be a whole new series.  The potential for a landscape artist traveling the route I would take would take me through some splendid sites like Zion, Bryce, etc. and on into CO and northern NM.

“Fall Kaleidoscope” was given an honorable mention in Jerry’s Artarama’s Summer Pastel Challenge using the Mungyo pastels.  I had not tried them before, but like these semi-hard square sticks.  They are touted to be light fast and the colors are very nice.  Prices are great.  I did a trial run with a box of 1/2 sticks (64) and continue to use them for burnishing and some under painting.  I like these!  this little piece was actually done entirely with the Mungyo’s on Art Spectrum paper.  I also used some on the painting at the top which was done on black Art Spectrum and is a scene along Patit Creek.   I am also a big fan of Jerry’s plein air frames….very good value especially when you can take advantage of a case lot and when they are on sale!

Finally, I would like to post an image and invite anyone who wants to paint it and then submit it to me to post.  I think a few of these with people’s different style and palette would be fun to see.  You can send them to my email bzgriff@charter.net and I can post them or you can try to post them with your comments to the blog!  Here is the first image:

good luck and happy painting!

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About bonnie griffith

I am a landscape artist who works in pastels, oils and acrylics. My work focuses on representational studies of the western US. I am basically self taught with lots of workshops and studies with several landscape artists such as Bruce Haughey and Clark Elster. I live in southwestern Idaho, am a native Montanan with a strong connection to the land. I spend as much time as I can in MT painting as well other parts of the northwest. I appreciate getting out in the field and working plein air because there is nothing like completing a painting in the true light of day and visually not being compromised by the use of a photo. In my work, my goal is to produce a piece of work that draws the viewer into the painting and challenges them to explore the scene; get a sense of the time of day, the temperature, the light or lack of. If I have gotten that viewer to step out of their reality and into that painting and enjoy it, then my work was accomplished as I wished. View all posts by bonnie griffith

9 responses to “pastel dust

  • The Idaho Beauty

    Bonnie, I just love that first painting. Sounds like you had a great day getting reference shots. Yes, soon the weather will have us wondering where all the color went.

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  • Barbara

    Beautiful grasses/bushes in the top painting Bonnie!

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  • Bonnie

    thanks Sheila..It's up by Dayton on Patit Creek…yes, the colors were so good yesterday – it just made sense to shoot photos because it isn't going to last. Loved your piece for the Flora and Fauna show! Hope to see you yet this year,but it may not happen will all the stuff going on…Stash moved to a new store; haven't been in, but I think it is much bigger and on Main.

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  • Ida M. Glazier

    Bonnie, Hello! I love your ideas and all the thought and excitment it always brgings me!!! And love your work! I hope you do get to IAPS in New mexico!!! Wonderful things there I hear, and they need to see you and your work, too!!!! 50 on I-90 sounds like a great plan!

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  • Bonnie

    Ida, do take a shot at doing one of the trees on the cliff…I need to get one done and post it as well. I am thinking the "50 off the 90" will be a good project. Leaves me pretty wide open for subject matter since I didn't commit to any distance off the 90! Think you might go to the IAPS??? Registration is happening now and some of the really popular workshops have filled…I am curious to go even just to see the exhibits and wares one might purchase!happy painting Ida!

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  • Deb Townsend

    Wonderful Bonnie. I love them both. And I love your ideas for your new series. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Thanks for the ref pic. Need to give it a try sometime this week.

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  • Bonnie

    thank you Deb…I am anxious to see what you come up with. Your encaustic that you posted on FB was wonderful…like the rest!

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  • Soft Pastel News

    Bonnie, I didn't get it if the painting on top is new, but it is wonderful!!! So many interesting textures and strokes!!!I'll try to do the tree painting…

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