Breakfast at Shaw Coffee Company

I had a marvelous breakfast of quiche Lorraine at the Shaw Coffee Company yesterday with my husband and younger son.  After I finished the quiche, I really liked the way the colorful fruit looked against the whites and grays of the plate, napkins, and table top.  I took a picture of it.  I painted it yesterday and today in acrylics.  I’m very happy, because in the past, I had trouble getting the right values.  Acrylics darken as they dry, so I compensated by adding a little more white to the paint mixtures.

The palette I used was titanium white, cadmium yellow dark, cadmium red medium, quinacridone magenta, dioxazine purple, prussian blue, burnt umber, and phthalo green.  I used Golden acrylics.  I mixed optical darks and grays with the blue and burnt umber.  I got a nice cold bluish gray.  I mixed a speck of yellow into the white to warm it up.

My goal in this painting is not to copy nature, or copy the photo.  I am going into a semi abstract mode here.  I like how the bright colors of the fruit contrast with the achromatic surroundings and background.  The plate, napkins, and table make for a nice abstract pattern of whites, grays, and darknesses.  I’m trying to simplify and eliminate detail.

By the way the fruit was exceptionally good.  The cara cara orange slices have a touch of pink mixed into the orange color, and were so sweet.

Here is a link to the listing in my etsy store.

BreakfastShawCoffee
Breakfast at Shaw Coffee Company, acrylic on canvas panel, 24″ x 18″
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Here is another abstract I did today.  I did this in colored pencil (mostly Prismacolor) and Prismacolor Art Stix on Strathmore gray scale paper.  I started by drawing wavy lines and boxes within with charcoal.  Then I did the rest with the art sticks and colored pencils.  The nice thing about Prismacolor, is they have a nice system of grays.  There is cool gray, warm gray, and french gray in various values.  I decided to make most of the squares in various shades of gray, black, and white.  Only a few of the boxes have color in them.  In my experience, life is mostly mundane, punctuated with occasional times of joy and excitement.  However, the mundane grays make the good times all the more happy by comparison.  Here, the grays really show off the bright colors.

Here is the link to the listing in my etsy store.

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Banner, colored pencil on heavy paper, 18″ x 12″

Prehistoric

This is an acrylic painting I did several years ago.  The impetus for this was a class I took on abstract painting.  As I am on the autistic spectrum, it is natural for me to be literal and detailed, and to paint almost photorealism.  In one way this is fine, but I would like to go beyond just a technical, literal rendering.  So, I’m going down the abstract path for a while.  I find it very freeing.  I don’t have to worry about making something look realistic.

In this piece, I went very organic.  I used natural earth colors, including a lot of burnt sienna.  I first applied acrylic modeling paste to a canvas panel, and let this dry.  Then I painted it.  After it dried, I sanded down the tops of the ribs, and exposed the white underneath.  The idea here is a an ancient natural artifact or fossil that has been exposed by erosion.

Here is a link to the etsy store listing.

prehistoricabstract
Prehistoric, acrylic on canvas panel, 20 x 16

From Darkness to Light

I seem to have taken a turn towards the abstract.  I never thought this would happen.  However, I have become interested in expressing ideas, instead of physical stuff lately.  This piece was entirely hand drawn – no computers here.  I only used a ruler for the lines I drew in perspective.  I hand drew all the ovals.

Before I knew Jesus Christ and had a personal faith in Him, I was in darkness.  I came to trust in Him in 1976.

The square light represents Him.  All the small surrounding ovals in white, yellow, green, and blue represent different facets of me, and also me in various stages of my life.  Some days in my life,  I am towards the dark, blue ovals.  Other times I am in the light yellow area.  Most days I’m in the green or yellow green areas.

For the past couple of months, I had been struggling with bitterness and resentment.  I was in the darker bluer areas at that time.  In the past few days, God has really been dealing with me, and I’ve repented of unforgiveness.  I’m praying for some people that have been persecuting me and falsely accusing me.  I’ve forgiven them.  I have to see them as broken, hurting people, which they are.  I have to look beneath the surface, which is usually hard, tough, aggressive, and often polished and pretty.  My sins against Jesus are so much greater than any transgressions against me.  I can only forgive and let go through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I have felt such peace and joy since I’ve released all the wrongs done to me.  I’m praying for the people who hurt me, sincerely.  Thank you Jesus.

Here is the link to my etsy store listing. 

fromdarknesstolight
From Darkness to Light, pastel, 24 x 18

Homes in Soulard

Several years ago, I had an art studio in the Soulard neighborhood just south of downtown St. Louis.  One half block west of there, on Menard Street, I decided to plein air paint these intricate Victorian turn of the century homes. I painted this on a blue toned pastel paper, and allowed this to show throughout the painting. This is a celebration of color and light!

I had great fun painting this.  I remember standing on the other side of the street, and a guy who owned the nearby bar whistled his appreciation and said he would consider buying it.  I remember soaking up the warm late spring sun (it was June), and enjoying the violet red roses growing right nearby, and the backyard garden of said nearby bar.  I like the way the shadow looks on the building to the left.  I love detail, as you can see from this.  The Soulard neighborhood has blocks and blocks of houses like this, as do surrounding areas of Benton Park and Lafayette neighborhoods. This is only a few blocks from the famous Anheuser Busch Breweries, an old St Louis tradition, as well as Soulard Market, an open air market that opened in the 1700’s.

Here is the listing in my online etsy store.

Learn more about the Soulard area here.

soulardhouses
Homes in Soulard, pastel, 17 3/4 x 13 1/4

Old Coffee Roaster

My husband has been off work the past 2 days, and Andrew, my 13 year old, has been on his 8th grade trip to Chicago.  It’s been wonderful.  My husband and I have been out taking walks at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Forest Park, having lunch out, and relaxing and having coffee at local cafes.  One such cafe is Shaw Coffee Company, in “the hill” section in St. Louis.  I love the interior of this place.  It is spacious with high ceilings, being as how it is an older building.  There is an old fashioned coffee roaster that they still use.  Today, it was not in use.  I enjoyed sketching this in pencil first, then in charcoal.  After I got home, I added some hilights with off white pastel pencil.  I started to use a stump to blend it out all the texture, but decided to just leave it be.

By the way, Shaw Coffee Company makes some darn good coffee!

cofferoaster
Old Fashioned Coffee Roaster, charcoal, 12 x 9

Breaking Out

I just completed this colorful pastel drawing yesterday. (May 2016) I was raised in a very strict religious home. I was also born with high functioning autism, and being artistic I was somewhat “out there”. This drove my mother crazy. She was always trying to make me fit a certain mold that she thought I should fit into. I also got lots of flak, bullying, and teasing from teachers and classmates. I believe that our world tried to make us fit into a certain mold. That is why I made all the small mini paintings within this painting to fit into a checkerboard pattern. It shows how each person is an individual, yet there are constraints on us imposed by family, religion, society.  However, this can be confining, and keep us small. At some point, it really helps to BREAK OUT of the mold people tried to force us into.

I had great fun doing this.  I drew this on a large sheet of Sennelier La Carte pastel board in the color sienna.   I started out making a grid of 1 inch squares on it.  I used hard Nupastels and pastel pencils.  I started making a small abstract mini painting in every other square.  I just went with the flow on this one, and was very spontaneous.  After I was almost halfway done, I decided to BREAK OUT, and very gesturally painted the large element on the lower left side.  Freedom to be me feels GOOD.  God made me with high functioning autism, and that is exactly how I’m supposed to be.  Certain others who can’t or won’t accept me – that is their problem and their hangup.

Here is the listing on my etsy store.

breakingoutabstractart
Breaking Out, pastel on pastel board, 25 1/2 x 19 1/2