More pastel dust

Painting is a passion for certain.  I can paint any time – when I am happy, when I am sad, when I am perturbed…it doesn’t matter.  What matters is, regardless of how I am feeling going into my work space, once I am there, I am grounded and ready to paint.  I rarely get painters block and am unable to produce..  I have learned when I start struggling with a painting, I put it aside and either start something else or go do some crafty project that keeps me creative, but in a totally different vein.

This is the month of “Art-a-Day” with the 509 Art Group.  I am staying on task with that, doing something artlike each day; some days more than one.  some days it is a small painting, a creative art card, a collage or a backdrop for the Snow White production.

I have made several trips to the Seattle area and have several more to go with the Northwest Pastel Society Group.  5 hours driving each way lets me see I-82 and I-90 byways in many different settings.  There are so many changes depending on the time of day, the weather, etc that every trip is different.  thankfully…  Last week coming back to Walla Walla, I noticed the willow trees along the various rivers are starting to get that vivid orange that is just a dynamite color.  What a contrast to a couple of weeks earlier when nearly everything was some shade of white!  Moral of the story – always carry your camera because the same scene can change drastically depending on time, temperature, weather, etc.

This painting is from a spot north of Walla Walla where the wheat fields go on forever, it seems.  there are beautiful sunsets throughout the year and I wanted to capture one in a panoramic view…the focus is the sky; the field is tilled, waiting for its next planting.  Fields and sky are some of the beauty in this valley.  I love the fields and they go on and on through pretty rough terrain and up the gentle slopes of the Blues.   When you run out wheat fields  you find old fields that have been put into the CRP project and let be in native grasses.  I am sure the wildlife love these fields, but it seems they (the fields) always look old and tired as the grasses seem to dry quickly and turn yellow and gray.  The planted fields go through very diverse changes over the year in color and texture.  During the winter the fields have been seeded with winter wheat mostly and you immediately know which ones are because they are a bright, near Kelly green in January!  The fields that are rich, dark brown in color are waiting for their planting in early spring for spring wheat, oats, maybe barley or peas, etc.

A good reason to carry a camera.  This shot was done within the city limits of Spokane.  I have painted a variation of this before and love the scene.  I have doing some 6×6 and 4×6 images specifically for a couple of galleries who have requested small works and felt this one deserved a square format which I like to paint.  But the point is…you just never know when and where you might spy that scene that takes your breath away and that’s when you want your camera to record some semblance of that moment!

I just finished the backdrops for the Snow White production.  It will be fun to see those images projected for various scenes of the dance production.  I won’t post those images until after the show just to help keep with the mystery of the production!

I have to say, with the wide use of social media, there is so much more exposure to great art than ever before!  The art blogs that I follow are fabulous to say nothing of the artist’s pages and links on Facebook.  Sandy Askey-Adams, a painter from the east coast hosts several Facebook pages that have really great discussion boards and artists can post images of their work.  Also there are many opportunities to  enter online shows.   Some charge an entry fee, some don’t.   Some have great awards.  It is just a whole new deal for artists and it is pretty exciting!  There are sites that are virtual art galleries. is one.  There is a broad variety of style and medium.  And there is much more…for another time perhaps….

happy painting….


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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