Monday, June 20, 2011

Meadow at Crown Point, New York

Meadow at Crown Point, New York 12x16 pastel, copyright 2011

Last week the family took our summer vacation, this time driving from Niagara Falls through the 1000 Islands region to Quebec City, then down to Lake Champlain and back home.  With a very busy schedule, we always try to pack as much into our vacations as possible, this time putting about 2300 miles on the car.  This isn't very conducive for sitting and sketching, so I typically take several hundred photos in the hopes that some of them will work as references on the return.  This is one of them, the first of many I hope.

Crown Point is at the narrowest spot in Lake Champlain, and the site of a French fort (Fort St. Fredric) and supporting community in the early eighteenth century.  The French destroyed it in 1759, abandoning the area to the British, who replaced it with Fort Crown Point, one of the largest British fortifications in North America.  Neglected following the end of the French and Indian War, it was later taken by American forces in 1775, and control went back and forth between the two during the war.  It was largely neglected after that until the State of New York took it over as a state park in 1910 and repaired and partially restored some of the ruins.  

Today the entire peninsula is also a wildlife area, and most has been left to return to nature.  I'm not sure what the blue flowers are, I think they might be lupine.  There were also daisies and buttercup and prairie grasses.  It is rather ironically a serene spot now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winning Entry


One last post about Desire, and then I will quit talking about it.  Maybe.  This weekend was the reception for the Annual Juried Art Exhibition at the Preble Fine Arts Center, during which the winners were announced.  For the second year in a row, I took first place in the pastel category, which makes me think I must be doing something right.  This win is particularly meaningful since the piece is for a friend, who will actually be visiting during the show, and will get to see her painting hanging in a gallery with a first place ribbon beside it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Life Drawing Face

Looking Down, pastel, copyright 2011

As the kid's school activities are winding down, there has been time to get to a few Life Drawing sessions at the Preble Fine Arts Center.  I've been missing these, I really feel like I get a lot out of them.   It is both easier and more challenging to work from life, and definitely easier than looking in the mirror.

This is the first time I decided to focus solely on the model's face.  It was a difficult angle to capture well, but it was a challenge that couldn't go unanswered.  It seemed to be working pretty well, but when I got it home my husband pointed out that she looked like a much older woman.  He was right, and the problem lay in my making the face, and therefore the nose, far too long.  I needed to compensate for the angle by shortening the face.  After a lot of reworking, I think the angle is about right, although it needs additional work in other areas.  

And I might as well admit, I had to "cheat" by looking in the mirror.  So while it looks like neither the model nor me, at least it looks like it could be someone.