Tuesday, January 30, 2018


"Meandering"  Pastel 8x8 © Donna Gross
Available donnatheresafineart.com

"Wandering"  Pastel 7x5  © Donna Gross
Available contact artist

I decided to try different variations of a similar landscape.  It was fun to see where  my eye would take me..... the first variation above is a cool wintry landscape with soft edges and a feeling of quiet whispers.  The second variation took me to a different place with saturated color and some strong chroma..... I am working on trying to capture the light of the sun low in the sky...late in the day as it tumbles through the trees one last time before setting..... and I finish this entry tonight, I am ready to set with the sun and tumble into my bed....

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Another Blissful Afternoon

"Fall Gaze"  Pastel 12 x 12
Composition by Marla Baggetta @ PastelPaintingLessons.com
I can think of no better way to spend the afternoon then following along with a pastel lessson by Marla Baggetta.  After my morning piano lesson with my lovely master piano teacher, I set up my easel and organized my pastels.... brewed a fresh cup of coffee, tuned the radio to NPR for my listening pleasure and settled in for an afternoon of bliss.
Hope you like the results!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Way to Wind Down or Rev Up

"Kaleidoscope"  Pastel 5 x 7 © Donna Gross
Available donnatheresafineart.com
It was 7:00 in the evening and my husband and I were catching up on the happenings of the day....I could hardly keep my eyes open!  I needed to go to bed early. Somehow that desire to hit the hay before 9:00 often turns into 10:30...11:00...11:30...
I am left feeling the fatigue the following day. 
But I hadn't ventured into my little studio in my little garage at all.... maybe I could just paint for an hour...that would make me so happy....
And so I did, but nearly two and a half hours flew by... and then I looked at the clock...
10:30..... here we go again!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Warm Thoughts

"Spring Fling" Pastel 6 x 11 © Donna Gross
Available  donnatheresafineart.com
Working today in my little garage studio with my electric heater warming my feet, my thoughts turn toward new beginnings....new life...green and pink and aqua...birds and babies...warm thoughts.
Just about this time of year, I am ready for spring! Today's piece is inspired from a calendar photo reference ....new beginnings, hope rising, past fading....renewal...
Waiting for Spring.

Show Time!

Hello Friends!!
Please join me in celebrating the Love of Art here on the Central Coast in beautiful California!!
This is my first time I applied for a juried exhibition and I got two pieces accepted!
So thrilled and honored... If you live in our neck of the woods, come on by for some nibbles and beverages and a treat to see what our plein air painters are doing!
See you there!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Up Close and Personal!

"Año Nuevo"  Pastel  9 x 12 © Donna Gross
Available contact artist
This is a piece rendered from a photo I took at an elephant seal rookery on our Central Coast here in Santa Cruz County...Año Nuevo is a very special place.  During December and January, female elephant seals come ashore to give birth to their pups.  The males or bulls as they are referred to form harems of female seals with the sole purpose of protecting them from other male elephant seals who may harass them or their pups...what's in it for the guys?  Well, the chance to mate of course. The male elephant seals have to fight for this position of entitlement.  The ones who lose hang around on the edges of the colony biding their time....waiting for an opportunity to encroach on a dominate seal's territory in the hopes of hooking up with a female.  We had the most fortunate experience of being about 10 feet from one of these "lesser" males and spent a better part of a half hour watching the behaviors of hierarchy in action..... 
If you find yourself in my neck of the woods...paradise....book a docent led tour to watch nature in action.   You won't be sorry!  "Año Nuevo"....happy new year!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Happy Place

"Contemplation"  Pastel  11 x 10 1/2  © Donna Gross
Available contact artist

This piece is a reworked pastel from an earlier attempt.  I submitted this piece for a professional review from Marla Baggetta pastelpaintinglessons.com
It was met with a good review and she gave me some concrete recommendations to make it a potential exhibition piece.
It was instantly joyous to be in my little studio in my little garage today.  It is my happy place.. It brings me to the present moment and protects me from distraction, anxiety, fear, or worry....
Walking in nature , playing the piano, even rarely dancing ballet can be invaded by "Ramone".....
Who's that?  The voice in my head....the voice in all of our heads that tells us bad things about ourselves... the voice that puts doubt in our minds about our inherent goodness... the voice that echoes others opinions of us....We all have a "Ramone"....  I find it helpful to name this little devil....separate it from my  essence...it is a product of my environment influenced by people , places, and things that I have no control over.....
When "Ramone" raises his ugly head, I get busy.  I go to my happy place.... I surround myself with the luscious sticks of color....I move those sticks of chroma around on a piece of a rough sanded surface....soft and hard...light and dark...calm and anxiety... good for you....not so good for you....
May the new year fill you with good choices...take great care of yourselves!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

First Painting of 2018!

"Wilder Ranch #2"  Pastel  9 x 12 © Donna Gross
Happy New Year friends and fellow artists! Thank you for your continued support in following my artistic journey! I have started out the new year with this landscape of the beautiful Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz, Ca.  This view was on my walk on Christmas Day.  
After a week spent in Mt. Shasta with my family, I am busy back at my easel .... my happy place.  I also entered two paintings in my first juried show.  Hopefully, I will get accepted to show! 
In a year's time, I have grown as a pastelist and the joy of painting is growing everyday.  A complete day is spent with a few hours at the easel.  Preceded by a ballet class or an hour of piano practice, I grab my cup of coffee and head out to my studio for my happy hours!
Wishing you all a creative joyful new year filled with delight and beauty.

The Daily James

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