Monday, February 26, 2018

Building Inventory

"Poppy Reverie"  Pastel 11 x 9  © Donna Gross
Here in Santa Cruz, California like in many cities across the country, we have an art event called "Open Studios" every fall.  We are endowed with a plethora of great artists here in our little paradise. The artists who choose to participate opens their homes or studios to the public for 2 of the 3 weekends that the event is held.  It is a chance to meet art enthusiasts and exhibit your work!  It also can generate some sales! 
One of my goals for 2018 is to participate in this event for the first time.  Having said that, I am feverishly producing inventory daily if possible.  A goal of two paintings a week is very doable for me. Another goal is to enter my work in open juried exhibitions. I have had the delightful opportunity to participate in my first exhibition where I also was awarded Excellence in Pastel! 
Who knew? 
Thank you for following me on this wonderful creative journey!  I think I finally found what I want to be when I grow up!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

This Paper Can Take It!

"Soquel Creek in Autumn"  Pastel 9 x 12 © Donna Gross
Available contact artist
I tortured this piece of pastel paper today! Uart 400 grit is gritty!! 
Last night I prepared it with a wash using Inktense color blocks and alcohol.  I loaded the color on!  After piano practice this morning, I headed out to the studio with coffee in hand.  I had my photo yummy pastels....classical music on the radio...check.....begin.
I can't really tell you how many layers are on this piece or how many times I scrubbed it away with a toothbrush only to start anew.... At the ripe hour of 5:30 p.m., duty called and I had to figure out what to do to feed my family....darn domestic duties do get in the way of artistic pursuits!! 
I called it a day . Not sure if I am finished. I'll give it a day or two or....
Uart paper can take a licking and keep on sticking!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Learning from the Masters

Tuesday Art Group happened today! Always a fun time ... This is my pastel version of an oil painting by Arthur Frank Matthews (U.S. 1860-1945) entitled Monterey Cypress, California c. 1930.
These gorgeous trees are all around my front my back yard. I am truly blessed living in paradise here in Santa Cruz on the Central Coast of California!
Where do you get your inspiration? 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pushing the boundaries!

“Autumn Marsh”. Pastel. 9 x 12. ©️Donna Gross
This is a variation on a past piece I did sometime ago.   

"Autumn Marsh #2"  Pastel 8 x 10 

Here is the older piece.....Which one do you prefer? Do you like to play it safe or stretch your boundaries? 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday Art with Friends

"Strawberry Teacup"  Pastel 7 x 5  © Donna Gross
Art is a solitary pursuit.... we create often alone in our studios or out in the outdoors for a plein air session.  A good artist friend of mine started an art group social about 3 or 4 months ago.  We met on Tuesdays from 10 - 1pm....She would put a still life display on a table that we gathered around.  Coffee would be served and often she would offer a home baked item to enjoy..
What a lovely way to do art...with friends.  My dear friend went home to Paris for a few months...really maybe it will be longer...we all miss her ... and so the gathering now takes place at my house.... It is the highlight of my week.... Art should be shared with friends and the world....Create and put it out there...what else are you going to do with all your lovely art?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Trying Something New!!

sketching in the library
"Waiting for the Light"  Pastel 9 x 12  © Donna Gross
Available contact artist
Early in January I journeyed by train from my home in Santa Cruz, Ca. to our state capitol, Sacramento.. My daughter was attending an externship with a state agency that oversees our state energy needs.  I had a day to spend walking about the downtown Sacramento area. 
As luck would have it, it was a very rainy day.  I took refuge in The California State History Library.  There I took off my soaked shoes and spent a couple hours sketching a sculpture ....
Back out on the streets, the rain had let up a bit and I began taking pictures of the cityscape.  I thoroughly enjoyed how the streetlights reflected on the wet asphalt.  So a few days ago, I decided it was time to try something new. Here is the result. I am very much out of my comfort zone with this piece.  So much detail and was hard to keep any of it loose, which is how I usually like to work. I think there could be more to be done to loosed it up a bit. For now, I'll sit with it. 
You know how when you get your car washed and then it rains? Well, maybe it works for creating pieces of art too! We really need the rain here in Santa Cruz, California. Start the rain dance....

My photo reference

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Do you Wanna Take a Walk?

"Take A Walk With Me"  Pastel 8 x 10 © Donna Gross
This is an original composition of mine.... I want to walk this path in the warmth of a spring day.   Today in Santa Cruz, Ca. the warm temperatures are feeling like spring.... in fact, some blossoms have been spotted on the flowering trees.  The birds are active and some are beginning to make house in the various birdhouses around our home.... My cats lounge in the warm sunshine on the porch....I am wearing short sleeves in February!  Is the earth warming up? I'd say so.
I hope this piece comforts you today and for those stuck in the frigid midwest and northeast parts of the U.S., spring is not too far away.....

The Daily James

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