“Facets” Abstract Pastel Painting

I’m naturally drawn to geometrics and patterns.  I really enjoy doing all this fine repetitive work.  It probably has to do with being high functioning autistic.  I also love, love, love color.

I started out drawing a grid of 1 inch squares.  Then, I hand drew circles, and divided them into fourths.  Within them, I drew triangles with either straight or curved lines.  The black in half of each sets off the color quite well.  The gray background also sets off the colors.  I just let my creative juices flow, and went with that flow.

My color palette was analogous, as well as complementary.  The complementary colors were yellow and violet, and then all the colors in between on the color wheel.

How fun is this?  It is original.  I doubt you would find another like it.

Here is the online store listing.

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Facets, pastel on pastel board, 18 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches

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.

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

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.

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

Riot of Spring Blooms

I will never, ever get tired of spring flowers.  I also love architecture.  I love the way the architecture combines with growing things.  The flowing, soft lines of nature contrast well with the hard, straight, geometric lines of things built by humans.

One day last spring, my husband and I were driving around in his truck looking for something to paint.  We were driving around the Tower Grove south neighborhood of St. Louis.  As we drove down a side street, I was drawn to this whimsical, charming and delightful home filled with all kinds of flowers and neat things.  I introduced myself to the owner of the home, and she was just as delightful.  I started this painting in the bed of my husband’s truck.  It was so windy, he ended up holding on to the easel as I started the painting.  After about an hour of this we both became quite uncomfortable (it was cold, too).  So I took a photo, and finished the piece in my studio.

Here is the listing in my etsy store.

Riot of Spring Blooms
Riot of Spring Blooms, oil on canvas panel, 16″ x 20″

Color Effects in Art

Hey guys.  The wind chill was minus 10 Farenheit when I awoke this morning.  I am enjoying my day of staying at home and cooking and doing art.  This morning I baked banana bread and started beef goulash in the slow cooker.  Now, I just got done working on a pastel painting.  I’m using a rough, toothy pastel board of about 20 inches by 16 inches.  It is brick red on the front.  This will help create unity in the painting, as little splotches of this will show up throughout.

I use mostly Nupastels and Unison pastels.  I also use other brands, such as Schmincke, Sennelier, and others.

I started this several weeks ago.  I’m using a photo as a reference point for it.  I took the photo at the Missouri Botanical Garden several years ago.  It was a potted plant – some type of daisy.  Color is my favorite aspect of art. I’ve been told I have a strong sense of light in my paintings.  I’m very glad, because this is what I aim for – color and light.  Since I’m on the autistic spectrum, I also can’t help but be detailed.  That is how my mind works.

As you can see, I’ve painted in the background around the flowers.  I think the flowers will be easy.  I’m doing a secondary color triad (green, violet, orange).  I realized that there is quite a lot of gold and orange in the greens, and an orange influence in the flowers, too.  I really love the lighting effects on the leaves, and on the sphagnum moss. The trick to achieving an effect of strong lighting is to contrast light with dark mainly, and secondarily to contrast color temperatures between light and shadow areas.

I’m seeing that the background is quite busy.  I will just go ahead and do the daisies, then see if and how much I need to soften and simplify the background.

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