Pastel Dust…

This is the 5th painting in the Art-A Day project.  I used Wallis paper and really wanted to  try to get that soft hazy sort of feeling.  I used some red for an under painting to bring some interesting texture into the fields of weeds or flowers.  The actual image is about 4″x7″ and I used mostly Sennelier pastels on this one with the Mungyo semi-hard pastels for my underpainting.   My goal for any of my paintings is to paint a story…the viewer’s story…something like this… the foreground has to be dense in appearance – as blooming weeds grow…like when you’re a kid and are trying to walk through them, it is an effort to make  your way because there are so many and they are so thick.  then to add to my vision…it is mid summer, late in the day and it’s humid and still hot… and you out walking in the pasture, just killing time, looking for “flowers” and rocks or other treasures you might come upon.  Looks like there might be a storm brewing on the horizon and maybe you should get home pretty soon.  Your house looks pretty small in the distance, because you been our wandering for a while and it’s going to take you a little while to get back there because the damn weeds are thick and getting wound up around your legs and your feet… 

Another project…the finished poster for Snow White for the Dance Center in Walla Walla.  Idalee owns this company and produces something fabulous every year plus another production or two from Whitman College where she is a professor of dance.  We have some more back drop work to do but I wanted to share the poster now.

We had the pleasure last night to have our friends, the Millers for dinner.  They are a wonderful family we have known for some 13-14 years and we enjoy them a lot.  Their son is very talented in music and he brought with him a painting he had done which was very cool.  Jule has been exploring some collage techniques using transfer techniques and has done some amazing things.  I have tried doing some of the transfer stuff and it isn’t all that easy.  She had done one of some fonts and image of an old typewriter that was really cool.   I had recently read some articles about doing transfers and love how they look…It is a great thing for collages because you can layer images for some interesting texture.  Jule is a writer and we have talked briefly about doing a kids book(s).  One of those things…a great idea, but…when??  IT was delightful to spend an evening with them and Morrie our Schnoodle was really excited to have a little boy to play “soccer” with.  Morrie finally gave up in exhaustion…not easily done.  Good job Nate.  Besides the great evening, a little note on art framing…Byron hadn’t seen any of my new work, so he spent quite a bit of time looking at the new paintings I have hanging around the house waiting to go to a gallery.  He kept saying they look so different and brighter and finally I pointed out to him that the ones he was remarking on and really loving were ones that were in plein air frames without any matting.  I said that to him, and that I thought framing without mats makes them seem more “oil painterly” and he decided that might be it.  Even though he liked several that had mats, he seemed always drawn to the ones without and that are framed with the big wide moulding.  So that is perhaps a good affirmation that the plein air frames and pastels unmatted are a good sell!

So with that said…happy painting….

By the way…a dinner item was Green Chili Stew…simply done with a whopping taste….give it a try!  boil 3 chicken breasts in salted water (about 8 cups) til done.  Remove the chicken from the water.  To the water add 2-3 large potatoes in generous sized cubes, a diced onion and about a cup of chopped up celery tops (I save the tops you cut off the celery sticks that have the leaves and small sticks for this).  I added a tablespoon or so of fresh garlic, 2 tbsp of chili powder, about a tbsp of cumin, pepper to taste (I used about 2 tsp or so), a can of stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes, a large can of green chilis.  This all cooks til the potatoes and onions are tender.  About half way through I chop up or pull shreds of the chicken breasts apart and put it in the soup.  I let that cook down a little and if you want it thicker just mix up some corn starch in COLD water and add to the broth.  Serve hot with strips of tortilla chips and sour cream.  And some hot bread and butter. 

This stew is good with pork instead of chicken as well.  The seasoning is to taste… I don’t measure 🙂  One thing to consider…add an extra can of green chilis chopped to the soup.  Enjoy!


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

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