The Right Tools
People often say the secret to doing something well is having the right tools. For an artist, besides training and quiet time to focus, that includes quality materials and an appropriate work space. So I was thrilled when the holidays brought a surprise gift of an easel. It was the impetus needed to finish several paintings that have been sitting in my studio staring at me, or vice versa.
The new easel is much sturdier than my old one, so I can press harder to vary the texture and create more interesting effects. I can even put two paintings on the easel at once. This is a huge improvement because I usually work from multiple photos for one painting, and sometimes on multiple paintings of one scene. Either way, it helps to be able to see more than one at a time.
So I bought a few new luscious colors of buttery soft pastels. Then I dedicated an old toothbrush to the cause, for rubbing pastel off parts of the paintings that needed serious work. Finally, a black towel found a new home in my studio (a promotional gift from an amazing Fuerza Bruta performance with my niece) so I didn't worry about getting it dirty when washing pastel off my face and hands. Yes, it's messy work. Did I mention the goop for my hands that helps wash the colors off more easily? Yet another helpful tool.
Voila – the right tools, some inspiration, and a batch of paintings completed! I finished some seascapes, including one of Bluff Point State Park (for those who remember my post entitled Stretching the Creative Muscle, I started this one back in July!) and two of sailboats at sunset. I also completed the first two paintings in a planned France series. One was featured in my Road to Rousillon post and the other, shown here, is a night scene in Paris. At this rate, I wouldn't mind a few more snow days to keep me in the studio.