Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Brunch", Pastel, 7 1/2" x 10", painted on UArt 400

I haven't been painting in quite a while, which has me very frustrated.  After being nagged by a dear friend to "just paint", I did just that, I painted.

This is an egg cup that I purchased many years ago with the intention of using it in a painting.  I rather like it, the design is fun.  I started this painting out with fabric under the cup.  I wasn't happy with where it was going, so I switched the fabric.  I was still unhappy, and I was unsure why..... After staring at the painting for hours, it became obvious to me that the fabric was fighting for attention with the egg.  My eye didn't know where to go, it was confused.  I wiped out the fabric entirely, and just painted the surface with the reflection.  I was able to get the drama and lighting I was looking for, and the focal point was the egg, eggactly what I was looking for!!

Moral of the story, just because you put something in a painting, it doesn't mean it has to stay there.  Paintings talk to you (at least mine do), they tell you what they need (or in this case, don't need).  Just because I spent quite a lot of time painting that fabric didn't mean it had to stay.  To the contrary, it needed to leave.  Never be so attached to something just because you spent soooo much time painting it.  If it doesn't work, remove it.  Never leave something there at the expense of the painting.  Just my two cents.....

"Brunch", Pastel
7 1/2" x 10", Painted on UArt 400
Ludwig, Girault, Great American and Mount Vision Pastels
with a Pan Pastel underpainting
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"Peach Fiesta", Pastel, 6" x 6", Painted on Wallis Pro

My "An Apple a Day sort of....." series has morphed into what should probably be called a "6 x 6 series of various and sundry items......" I should probably add my pears to this series as well...lol...

I've moved on to a teacup, specifically a Fiestaware teacup. I have a few of these in different colors, my mind is coming up with some interesting still life options......

This one almost killed me..... the ellipse fought me tooth and nail, but before I could actually get it right, the entire thing got smooshed, and I mean smooshed, by a canvas bag sliding on it and very neatly blending all the colors together..... it had these somewhat cool and very perfect lines going across the painting, hundreds of them..... honestly, I almost trashed the whole thing. However, that ellipse kept calling me to be fixed, which prompted me to forge on and not give up.

My first painting as a Signature Member of PSA

Painted from life, this subject never rots or dies..... sits still for as long as you want, can take the heat lamp (lol.....), never needs a break. I highly recommend it!!!


"Peach Tea Fiesta", Pastel, 6" x 6"
Painted on Wallis Pro
Paper toned with Pan Pastels
Used Unison, Mount Vision, Terry Ludwig, and Girault sticks
Carb Othello and Conte Pastel Pencil 

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pastel Society of America Signature Status......

I cannot contain myself........I received notification today via snail mail telling me I am now a signature member of the Pastel Society of America!!



For those that do not know, the Pastel Society of America is the Pastel Society that started it all, the one to aspire to, the one you want to be a member of. For a pastelist, it truly is the organization that holds the pastel community together. And yes, there is a pastel community, a large, international group of artists... bound together by a common love of pastels, supporting each other and sharing their love and knowledge of the medium.


I am truly so very excited, I don't even know what to say....... I keep telling myself to breathe, otherwise I'm afraid I will pass out!! This has been a goal of mine for over 15 years (I've been painting with pastels for 20 years, a very long time....), always painting and thinking to myself, not yet, I'm not ready, I've got to get better, maybe next year I'll apply..... Well, this year was the year I finally decided to apply. They take 5 paintings and consider them as part of the jurying process. What a month I've had, waiting to hear was excruciating! I've spent the last few weeks in a strange mood, not quite myself, knowing why, but not willing to explain myself to anybody other than close family and three close friends. Thank you for putting up with me and my mood swings.......you know who you are....




Thank you Pastel Society of America, and the jurors involved in this process. I will proudly display those initials on my resume, it is something I've aspired to for a very long time, and I'm now so very thrilled to be able to say I am a signature member of the Pastel Society of America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#4 Macintosh, Pastel, 6" x 6", painted on Uart 400

    An apple a day.....sort of.....

    I have a new student that started taking lessons with me this past Saturday. I used my apple series as an opportunity to both add to my series as well as demonstrate some of my techniques. I was taught by a dear friend that if you can paint an apple well, you can paint anything well. Plus, apples aren't so easy. Actually, none of this stuff is......

    I used the usual suspects, Terry Ludwig, Mount Vision, Unison and Girault pastels. I toned the paper with pan pastels, not the metallics this time, just the plain old vanilla type...lol....


    © by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved

#3 Golden Delicious, Pastel, 6" x 6", painted on Wallis Pro

    An apple a day......sort of.....

    I used a mix of Terry Ludwig, Mount Vision, Unison and Girault pastels. I toned the paper with metallic pan pastels again, it adds a fun shimmer to the painting. Not overwhelming, which I particularly like.


    © by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved

Thursday, October 9, 2014

An apple a day..... sort of...... Golden Delicious #2, Pastel, 6"x6", Painted on Wallis Pro

Another one in my series An apple a day.....sort of.  

Golden Delicious #2, Pastel, 6" x 6"
Painted on Wallis Pro

Paper toned with Pan Pastels

I used Girault, Mount Vision, Unison, Great American, and Ludwig.

I didn't intend to get so realistic, but I got carried away with the cloth.   I  enjoy painting fabric, the folds are always a challenge.  I also used the metallic Pan Pastels for the background.


   © by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How important do you think edges are?

A friend on Facebook asked a question about painting fuzzier or more photo realistic.  He thought maybe work done in that style is "more creative, and is more highly regarded".



Here's my take on it:

We all have our own style, and it comes through regardless of our efforts to change it. I'm not a big advocate of trying to change one's style, but I do believe in improvement.  Who doesn't want to improve?  Everyone has room for improvement, even the masters.  That's how they got to be masters, they're always looking to improve.  So, keeping this in mind, I suggest looking at edge work to improve your paintings.  Looking at your edge work won't compromise your style, it will enhance it. Edges are a critical component of any painting.  They are subtle, but managed correctly they are one of the most critical components of composition.  They are often forgotten, but for me they are always on my mind, they are critical to my finished work. I look at my edges probably as much, or even more than my color, and probably as much as my values.  Look at your edges, lost, found, hard, soft. Edges are created in many ways, explore your options.

I love edges, they can make or break a painting, IMHO......