PSNM Award

Submitted by Gary on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 11:26

Ebbing Tide, Point Lobos
14 x 18, Pastel

What an honor and a thrill to find out that Ebbing Tide, Point Lobos was awarded Third Place in the 22nd Annual National Pastel Painting Exhibition of Pastel Society of New Mexico.

You can see the awarded paintings and view the exhibition catalog from the PSNM web page.

The awarded painting is one of my favorites from earlier in 2013 and carries with it memories not only of a beautiful place and fresh ocean breezes, but of new friends met at the Plein Air Convention in Monterey the week before with whom I had some great plein air painting adventures along the coast from Carmel down to Big Sur.

Of interest to other artists perhaps is the technique used to begin this piece. I started with a willow charcoal drawing on a gold-toned gessoed and sanded Masonite panel. The charcoal was loosely drawn and lightly applied and then bonded to the surface with a working fixative. Over that layer came one of various values (very light to almost black) of soft pastel in shades of muted purple and greenish blue. That layer was washed into the surface with rubbing alcohol, being careful to leave open areas where the warm undertone showed through. Those spots became my highlights and the warmest parts of the painting. Finally a number of layers of soft pastel were applied to give the final piece a painterly surface of fresh color. It's an approach that I've used a lot in recent months and with which I am very pleased. It differs only in the use of alcohol to dissolve the underpainting from what I've been doing otherwise.