Saturday, May 26, 2018

Bon Voyage!

"Three's Company"  Pastel 14 x 11 © Donna Gross
Tomorrow I leave for a grand European vacation with my family.  New adventure awaits .... more memories to be made.  Our fabulous family of four has traveled together several times....Hawaii, Belize, Washington D.C., Paris, Australia, name a few.
Travel allows me to put my life on hold... to peak into another dimension of life .... to appreciate the grand glorious world we ultimately return home with a renewed gratitude...I will return with oodles of inspiration for future works of art! I plan to sketch and watercolor during my travels creating a journal of colorful visual entries.... trying a new medium will add to the newness of everything.  Stepping out of my comfort zone is what I love to do. Curiosity is what motivates me to create....what better way to achieve that than to travel!
The above piece is the last pastel for is a larger version of a small tree study I did awhile ago.....Hang onto that vibrant color !  It'll be back! 
~À bientôt~

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Working Bigger than Usual

" Resting Place"  Pastel  14 x 11 © Donna Gross
Working this size takes planning.  It's a practice I am actively practicing!! Planning...
In composition, I plan where I want my viewer's eye to go...from point A to point B and perhaps other places along the way.  In value, I plan where the sun is in my composition and appropriate shadows...execute highlights... it's a win win combination....planning.
In my mind, in my daily life, I am planning...when I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom I sleepily think about what the next day's plans are.... however, am I present?
When I paint, I am most present than at any other time in my everyday.  
We are born innocent with only our moment to moment experience .... as we grow out of that innocence and join the rest of humanity in this thing we call life, each moment becomes everything but that very moment...then , for some of us, we notice all the planning....all the noise in our heads and if we're willing, we find a way out of that noise and into the present moment.
For me, it is the creation of beauty when I paint.  Tell me what brings you to the present moment and out of planning.?

Inventing the Landscape..A Series of Small Works


This series of small works are all pastels 4 x 8 matted and framed under glass using clip frames.
A handsome addition to any small space.
Available @

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Capturing the Light

"Three Friends"  Pastel 12 x 9 © Donna Gross
This is a work in progress... Trying to continue to capture the light and define the shadow meanwhile enjoying the friendship these three buddies are sharing....or perhaps they are simply tolerating each other's presence all the while knowing they are in competition for the next morsel of food...
not too different from the human could we evolve beyond competition?  could we embrace each individual as equally worthy?  not being one to be a pessimist...I regret to say that I don't see that happening in my lifetime.... the best one can do is 
be the change you want to see....

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Good Day at the Easel

"Settling Down"  Pastel 9 x 12  © Donna Gross
Sometimes paintings paint was one of those days...I didn't feet didn't ache from standing too coffee stayed warm until the just flowed....I am so grateful.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stripped Peppers from Holland!!

"Stripes Win"  Pastel 8 x 10 © Donna Gross
Available contact artist

Striped pepper on the right is from Holland

Grocery shopping is a chore....I dare not complain out loud as I know living in the richest country in the world grants me the predictable shelves full of nourishment.  Born and raised in the U.S. has given me a myopic view of life.... safe streets, food in the grocery stores, clean water...the list goes on. Sure we have our problems...just turn on CNN or some other 24 hour news broadcast spewing bad news to raise your anxiety... a good reason not to have cable television.  I make choices everyday what to see, what to listen to, how to spend my time...because every minute is one less that I have...and all I have is now.
Grocery shopping is a wonderful experience when you start to take pictures of the produce section.  The produce stockers create works of art with their displays of fruits and vegetables.  So I just couldn't resist purchasing this fabulous pepper....STRIPES!! 
from Holland of all places...perhaps they are applying their techniques to achieve striped tulips to peppers?...Genius.

More from the Neighborhood!!

"Home"  Pastel 6 x 9  © Donna Gross
Available contact artist

"In Full Bloom"  Pastel 6 x 8  © Donna Gross
Available contact artist

Continuing a plein air painting practice in the neighborhood! I love being outdoors in nature and I love painting with pastels....combining the two in one activity is the best it can get for me!
What do you love to do?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Gift

"Cairo"  Pastel 12 x 12  © Donna Gross
A dear friend of mine passed away recently...a sleek elegant Abyssinian feline aptly named Cairo ....Cairo would often come into the piano room where I take lessons from his mama and sit next to me and rub...he knew I was a cat person.  I dedicate this portrait to Robin, his dedicated mama, who nursed him through his last weeks and took such good care of him.
RIP Cairo.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Plein Air in the Neighborhood

"Big Brother"  Pastel 6 x 8 © Donna Gross

Loving the outdoors!
I've lived in my lovely cul-de-sac for 20 years's the longest time I have lived anywhere!
In fact, in my 20's, I was quite the vagabond... 
I owned a 1971 VW bus and took to the road with my boyfriend at the time and 3 cats...crazy cat lady that I am...I have 4 cats currently!! I took two tours of the United States driving the perimeter and plunging down Interstate 40 through the middle...I have so many memories of this time in my life where everything I owned could fit in my vehicle.  Life carried on... I got married ( to a different person..) and my parents bought us a washer and dryer when they found out we had to drive 20+ miles to the nearest laundromat...well that did it.  I couldn't fit everything I owned into a car anymore!  I was a domesticated woman... children followed and a house was purchased and roots were grown here in beautiful Santa Cruz, California...
Today I ventured outside my teeny tiny garage studio onto the driveway and worked plein air...that's French for "plenty of air"...
What a delightful way to spend my Friday afternoon in the neighborhood....
20 years and counting!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

More Than a Day

"Three's a Crowd"  Pastel 9 x 12 © Donna Gross
I am a daily painter. Some time ago I have learned, there began a movement for artists to paint everyday something anew.  Sometimes, for me, a piece like the one completed above takes more than one sitting.... The background on this particular piece took the most time.  I began to feel a bit bored can I get bored doing what I love the most!!
I needed to be very careful and work delicately....I wanted to cut loose and create big sweeping strokes of color!! 
I do love this piece..the little egret on the left looks so dejected..."Was it something I said?"  I wonder if animals get their feelings hurt....

The Daily James

  "James" "Partners For Life" A bird can't preen its own head with its bill, so they use their feet to clean head fe...