Thursday, July 31, 2014

Top of the World - second time around

I am re-posting this one because the pictures disappeared, so hopefully all will go well this time.

At first I was going to call this post drive by, I wasn't sure about the plan. We ended up stopping at Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood. Which has an elevation of 11,234, we did not get that high but close enough. Cooler temp's snow on the ground along with lupine blooming. Nice way to end out Pacific NW trip.

 Got some pictures of aerial perspective. Love those blue layers of mountains. Will wrap up the evening dining with our son in Portland. 

With this post we will be back in AZ. Might have a few more NW post before we talk about things to do in the SW heat.

Circles in a spiral

Walking on the beach in Oregon I kept thinking of an old Noel Harrison song - "a circle in a spiral, a wheel within a the circle that you find in the windmills of your mind..." It was more about the patterns that the water, sand and even humans create.

The math, the science of nature and art. The golden number, golden rule and/or Fibonacci.  Odd numbers are key players for artists. Using threes, triangles and asymmetrical balance are more pleasing to the minds eye.

Back to the beach, as I walked with camera in hand along the sand I was taking note of the patterns that the Slab Creek was creating on it's way to the ocean. Then there were the patterns the ocean made as it was lapping on the shore. The footprints humans, dogs, horses and other small sea critters left in the sand.

Patterns are found everywhere, the way trees branch, different types of trees have different patterns. As do the leaves of those trees. Sea shells have amazing patterns and are wonderful examples of how math applies to nature and art. Flower pedals, patterns on pineapples or artichokes. As you look closely at at these patterns they can help with your drawing ability. Study the angles, the lines, the circles within circles and let the windmill of your imagination go for a ride.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A River Flows Into It

A river, a creek, a stream, a small body of water, they all flow into the ocean. We overlooked Slab Creek in Neskowin, which flowed into the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. We crossed it to get to the other side of Proposal Rock. Although not very deep, it was cold and with the tides the flow of the water was pretty strong. From what I can tell Slab Creek has a connection to the American River which runs in CA. There is a dam, sheer cliffs and rapids involved but none of the information was in any one place, so it is just a best guess.

As water ways find the final connection to the ocean they create beautiful ribbons running from one small body into a larger body of water. With the tides we watched the creek rise and fall. Following the creek, we watched the changes each day, morning tides take much more water out exposing the beach and rock formations. More on the up close and personal things you see another day.

The ocean in this area had strong rip tides, which were interesting to watch. A battle of two waves coming together and who would pull the other along. As they absorbed one another they would zip along at an increased speed. Very cool to watch, very scary to get caught in or under one.

I have always and continue to have a great respect for the power of water. I don't draw or paint a lot of water scenes other then for myself as I sit at the beach. But, I may need to do something with all these photos of water ways I keep taking. Until then I will keep posting photos.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Play Misty For Me

While on the Oregon coast there were lots of notes of misty being played. Most of the day there was a mist from the ocean that gave the rocky shore a soft glow. The light filtered through the trees creating it's own misty effect. The clouds held a misty layer covering the tops of the trees and at times even more then the tops.

I did a couple small sketches on the velour paper with pastels. I thought this would help create the misty look. Using white at the end and just lightly going over and into those areas that appeared misty. I like the look of the trees with the light pouring through and want to do a charcoal/pastel study, maybe even a larger piece.

Lots of great references for the tree projects I have in mind. I have started working up some small works to prepare and move forward on bigger pieces. But, till I get back east will just work on small works and inspiration.

Do It Again

It was a misty kind of evening, watching the dogs running into the ocean, the birds flying off, people catching waves, and the sun reflecting on the water. 

As we watched the sun set I thought of the old Lifesavers commercial, with the Dad & child watching the sun set and it ends with "do it again".  Will have to wait for another day, another year to do it again on the Oregon coast, maybe next time we'll build a fire on the beach and share the end of the day with friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

You Never Know

You just never know what you will see on a beach. As we were walking down to the beach on the OR coast what should appear but miniature horses. They were show horses, they came down for a little exercise and photo shoot. Not sure if I will do anything with these photos except share and enjoy the memory.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Airport To Art Show

Arrived in Portland, OR about 12:45 - greeted by my son, John & husband, Rick. Have not seen either for a bit, John lives in Portland and Rick for the last month has been hiking around the NW part of the US.

We got organized, got in the rental car and headed over to see the "Cracked Pots" Art Show. Rick & I have been once before. It is an art show that encourages the use of recycled material, find a way to recreated and reuse.

The artist must use 80% of the materials in their art from recycled sources. There were stained glass works using old dishes, colorful bottles and windows with glass paint. One of the bookmakers used decks of cards for the outside cover of their small notebooks. Chopsticks made baskets, old metal containers, like those that holiday cookies come in or large tubs with popcorn became hanging lights. CD's turned into clocks, shovels became sculptures, extinguishers became chimes and just so many more brilliant ideas to reuse instead of throwing it away.

Of course OR being what it is, it rained, on and off. When it was on, it kind of poured. Lots of tents and umbrellas around. Some of the artists where on porches, some inside of buildings. Plus, there are restaurants, wine, distillery and beer tasting rooms. The gardens have grown and the fruit was loving the rain.

The show is only on for two days during the middle of the week. To find out more and maybe attend next year check out the web site. http://www,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's In Your Bag?

Packing - again - this time for the business of pleasure. No matter where I go or what reason my focus is more on what art supplies to bring vs. what clothing to pack. 
This trip is no different. Get my check list out, pet sitter, house sitter, phone, camera, computer, chargers. All sounds pretty much like most people. Then I go to the studio sit down and start thinking about what I can work on while flying, while sitting in a park, on the beach or even in a cafe. I start to think of papers, colors, limited palette, travel watercolor, of course paint brush and reference pictures. Business cards check, art book a mini portfolio just in case so done asks about my work. Which is also in a feet on my phone. 
Okay ready for the business of vacation! Where oh where is Linda? Check in again to see what coast I pop up on!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back At The Farm

Going back to the weekend, after the workshop in Westminster I got to spend a couple days on the farm - Country Pleasures Farm. It is the place the Fine Arts in the Valley have the autumn show - this year it will be October 17th opening reception 5:00 - 8:00 PM, October 18th - 19th 11:00-6:00 and the following weekend October 25th-26th 11:00-6:00.    So, mark your calendars and come on by to see us.

Before the fall comes the farm is in full bloom, blueberries, apples are growing, a fig forest as the trees love their organic home and have just grown pretty much out of the hoop house. New to the farm this year are a few chickens, they are friendly and apparently love blueberries as much as I do. The farm lends itself to much inspiration for drawing material and of course photographs. Now, I just need to clear a space in the studio to make a little room to do those drawings. The downside of doing workshops putting all the supplies away but the upside is while the supplies are out might as well use them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Day Without Coffee

Monday, Monday, what a day, woke to no power, no coffee, rush hour traffic and hours on the road. But, it was the close to a great week of teaching, even better weekend with friends. Plus art sales from Common Ground, the VA Pastel show and Matrix Gallery!

Teaching is a great way to remind yourself of good practices in your art. A refresher so to speak. My students had great questions and they created some beautiful works. 

The weekend was spent with friends, planning upcoming art shows, travel, talking food, picking blueberries, wine and of course taking pictures.

The rest of the week is follow up with students and new friends. Then finishing the works that I started as demonstration pieces. It was all worth missing that cup of coffee, just don't want to make a habit of it. And don't want to forget the goat in the middle of the road!
Organic blueberries - yum

Marilu at Country Pleasures Farm
Student Show at Common Ground on the Hill, McDaniel College

A goat in the road???

Thursday, July 10, 2014


This week I have been teaching a pastel workshop at Common Ground on the Hill, at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD. 
The class started out learning about toning their paper, using a reductive technique and drawing with a kneaded eraser. Then quickly moved into color with the same technique and experimenting with different papers. The only thing we have not been able to do yet is draw in plein air. My class time seems to fall just as the thunderstorms roll through. But we always have alternatives for those rainy days. 
Here is one of the demo pieces I have been working on and some of the works in progress from my students.
Charcoal tonal drawing by LHP
Student work at CG pastel 

Student work in progress
Students work in progress

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

here, there and everywhere.....

The title tells it all...  I'm having a tough time getting work done this summer.  My mind is first here, then there and eventually everywhere.  Concentration has never been my strong point, but it usually works OK when it comes to creating art.  But as we all know - I'm easily distracted...  I have five pieces of art 'started'.  We artists call it 'work in progress' - and that's a valid explanation.  Most of the time I reach a certain point on any piece and have to set it aside, or more correctly, lean it against the wall so I can see it frequently.  Often the answer to my dilemma of what to do next comes from these frequent glances.  Right now my wall is full.  I know I'll finish them.  But for now, I go from one to the other and keep plugging (scratching) away.  If only I didn't have to cook dinner...... are a couple of the 'WIP's......

The Music of Art

I kept thinking of calling this blog, Dancing In The Dark, but I wasn't dancing I was sketching in the dark. Each evening at Common Ground on the Hill, there are lectures, music and sometimes dancing. The dancing starts tonight but during the talks and music I pull out my sketch book, in the dark and sketch a little.

It is kind of a exercise, contour drawing is done when the pencil meets paper and your eyes follow the contour of your subject. A gesture is a quick, scribble type sketch meant to capture the general information. What I do is a combination of both, especially in the dark. If I pick my pencil up I can't see where to put it back down again. So, I just scribble away, documenting that moment in time, keeping a visual memory in my sketchbook.

Keynote speaker: Jeff Singer

Monday, July 7, 2014

By The Numbers

Getting to Westminster, MD yesterday for the 2nd week of Common Ground on the Hill was one for the highways and by-ways. 
I think I hit most of the major #'s - 460-81-95-295-495-695-7something and a few others in between. 
Got here at 1:30 hung the art show, drop off materials for my workshop and got check into my room by 3:30. 
Just enough time to freshen up for opening art reception 4:30-5:30. A little dinner then back for opening presentations and some music. Wrapped it up around 9 something - I think!
Today won't be as number driven and we all get to create be it with pastels, paint, music or dance. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How Long

How long did it take you to do that? A question every artist hears. It is a hard one to answer. Most of us have been working toward that one piece all our lives. We create all the time, we take pictures, sometimes too many but I stopped counting. We sketch, sometimes in a sketchbook and other times just with our eyes in our minds.

How long does it take to make a piece of art, as long as it takes. Some days work better then others, I can sit down and getting into the flow. Most of the time, I take a picture, do a sketch, decide if it will work better as pastel or oil, sketch out the composition and block in the under-painting, laying in colors that may not be seen by the time the piece is done.  Continue the next day with layers. Each day may be another layer until I think it is done.

I will leave a finished piece on the easel and come back the next morning to see what little changes may need to be addressed. Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference. A extra spark in the eye, a touch of red somewhere, or a darker blue-violet shadow.

Next week, I will be teaching all my tips & tricks in a pastel workshop at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD. I will have work on display at Rice Gallery. There is opening reception on Sunday from 4:30 - 5:30 and I will give an Artist Talk  on Monday from 6:30 - 7:30. If you are in the area come on by as I go into a bit more detail on how I work, my step by step to creating.

"Who Knew" pastel 

Step one - background - sketch

Step two - layers

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...