Thursday, February 16, 2012

In the spirit of sharing more tiny sketches........

As usual my never ending devotion to pastels is surfacing again, and I feel the need to post a few more of my favorites.  This is a group of teeny tiny paintings I did back in the summer of 2011.  I had purchased a small box of Terry Ludwig pastels.  He calls them "Mystery Boxes" because they are made up of 14 sticks of mystery colors.  When you purchase the box you have no idea what you will get, and his motto is "you get what you get, and you don't get upset".  The reason for the mystery is because he is selling them at a discount and he randomly takes pastels from his "seconds" stash.  These pastels "seconds" are those that aren't quite good enough for the pristine new boxes of pastels he sells, yet they're really fine for painting, not at all defective (they just might not be as "pretty or pristine", they have bubbles and chips which don't affect the quality of the pastel or their usefulness).  Ludwig pastels are a dream to work with, I will jump at the chance to buy some at a discount, pristine or not. 

It was a fun project.  I took the 14 sticks and painted 9 teeny tiny paintings using just those pastels and nothing else.  This is the beginning of my thoughts into starting some kind of sketchbook.  My problem was one, namely pastels and their smudge factor.  Not conducive at all to sketchbooks.  These little ones are now in a large frame floating on black foam core, sort of like a collage.  I didn't know what to do with them, putting them in a book was not an option.  So, the evolution of a sketchbook of some sort started to emerge, I just had to find a medium to do it with!  My first thought was watercolor, but since I've discovered gouache I think that will probably be my "go-to" medium for sketchbooks and thumbnails.  I'll still use watercolor and keep trying to figure them out as well, but gouache for me is a great discovery!  Nothing will ever replace my beloved pastels though, there's something about their sparkle and juicy color, you just can't get that with anything else.  I just love the "look of them", they're like no other medium.

Here is the box of pastels I received:

My first painting,
 "Sunset on the Northside"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is how small it is:

The rest of the paintings are just as tiny, I posted this so you could see the scale.  It was like painting with bricks,  you can see how big the pastels are in relation to the size of the painting.  They say to use the largest brush you can when painting, I guess I did just that!  Pastels are our brushes.  This first one is my favorite, I hope to do a larger version of it sometime soon.  I used a scrap piece of LaCarte paper.  I even bought a large piece of the same paper in the same color.  My intention is to use just the pastels in the box to do a larger version.  I used a sunset photo I took a few years back while we were vacationing in Montauk, Long Island, a beautiful place.

Here is another one, the reference was a photo I took of the North Fork of Long Island.  It is wine country, and the landscape is beautiful.  Actually, all but two of these sketches are from photos I took of that area.

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is the tasting room at Corey Creek Vineyard, Southold, NY

"Corey Creek Tasting Room"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

I took quite a few photos that day at Corey Creek.  Here is another one showing a small house in the distance.  I'm not sure if the house is part of the vineyard, but it made for a nice painting.

"Corey Creek"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is the same house as above, but from a different vantage point.  I like the texture I achieved with this one, those Ludwigs are juicy for such a dry medium!

"Corey Creek House"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

The last one I did from Corey Creek is one that started out with the vineyards in the landscape.  The "bricks" I was painting with were too large to actually convey  believable rows of vines so I eliminated them and just painted a landscape.

"Farm in Field"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

On the way home that day the sunset was, as usual, magnificent.  The lighting on the east end of Long Island is remarkable.  Not only can you get great photos, but the paintings I do seem to have a certain quality about them that is unlike anything else I do.  Lighting is everything, it truly is.

"Northfork Sunset"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

While I was painting these teeny tiny paintings I was supposed to be getting ready for a vacation in Maine.  I was obsessed with them, turning out three or four at a time.  I was on a roll and felt I needed to get these out of my system.  If I waited until I got back from vacation the "roll" would be gone, and maybe the inspiration as well.  So, I rushed to paint as many as I could before time ran out.  This next one was inspired by a photo I took at a local "zoo".  It is a small place with some goats, chickens, turkeys, they even have some bears and large cats.  It was the end of a winter day, Santa was coming to greet the kids, the sun was setting and the moon was rising.

"Sunset at Hoyt Farms"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

When I got back from vacation in Maine, I still felt inspired enough to try another one.  This is from a Maine photo, though the colors are nothing like how it looks there.  Because I'm doing this with a very limited palette I had to give up the notion of  "capturing Maine".

"Wildflowers in Maine"
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

No comments: