Monday, October 9, 2017

Cathedral Falls in June

Cathedral Falls in June   4" x 12"
Acrylic   ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available Framed $120

The summer of 2016 was just beginning when Bill and I visited a few of our favorite spots in West Virginia. We always stop at this roadside park that has a most beautiful waterfall with easy access. We see this along Route 60 as we leave the Charleston area on Route 60 on the way to Hawks Nest State Park. At Hawk's Nest, we met a lovely group of ladies who were having a scrapbooking retreat. They were kind enough to let me visit with their creative group. Oh my, I do love art supplies of all kinds and creative people! Thank you, Margie Price and group, from South Charleston.

I was working on this painting about 2 weeks after our visit, only to learn that West Virginia had suffered one of the most devastating floods in their history, resulting in many deaths. For the first time that I could remember, it affected the area where I grew up in Clay County. The bridge to my childhood home was washed away as the water forced its way through the quiet little community of Dille. I am grateful for my family and friends who were safe, but not without damage to their properties.

As I painted these falls, I couldn't help but wonder at how water can be the very necessity for sustaining our lives, and yet be so devastating that it takes lives with it as it rushes back to the oceans. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Lavender Blue

Lavender Blue   8" x 11"   Pastel    ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $145

 It's always fun to use one of Grandma's pitcher and bowl as a prop for my still life. I know she would've approved, as she and I shared the love of flowers! 

I used a Canson Mi Tientes Touch, which is a finely sanded paper made for pastels. I've used their regular papers for years. This one holds more pastel which is helpful, as I like to work in layers. It's a bit different in that it requires a feather light touch, so as to not build up too much pastel in early stages.

This is a glimpse of the set-up for the still life. I use a simulated daylight lamp to direct the light to create interesting shadows and highlights.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Yellow Daisies   4" x 6"   Pastel   ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $60

My shipment of UArt's new dark sanded pastel paper arrived Saturday. I've been looking forward to painting on its very fine surface. I've used black printmaker's paper in the past and the results were pretty good. I find that I really like the sanded surface paper by UArt in the regular color. The combination of the sanded paper and the fact that it is almost black in the 800 grit is wonderful. The pastels seem to appear ever brighter than the other papers. You may need your sunglasses for this one!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Almost Heaven!

North Bend Cabins   5" x 8"    Pastel     ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $85

North Bend State Park is located in Cairo, WV in Ritchie County. Our Ashley family reunion was held there for many years in September creating many great memories. At that time, there were eight cabins that were all rented by family members. A winding road leads from the Lodge, though the park crossing a river, and then becomes a single lane road up the mountain to the cabin area. There you can smell the pines and the wood burning stoves, and walk through the crunch of the fallen leaves. As everyone arrived, we would go from cabin to cabin, visiting with the cousins. Soon the air became filled with the sounds of country music with banjos and guitars, and the sweet fragrance of food being prepared in each cabin. Almost Heaven!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bass Harbor Head Light

Bass Harbor Head Light     9" x 12"   Pastel    ©Sheila Ashley Liston


Yay! It is possible to do thirty paintings in thirty days! I must admit that there were some late nights on this project! Tomorrow I will post a photo of the whole group of paintings.

This painting was done from photos from our first trip to Maine. We went there again last fall, but this time I chose to do this flight of stairs, leaving the remainder of stone steps for the younger folks!  
Bass Harbor Head Light is in Bar Harbor, Maine on Mt Desert Island in Acadia National Park. We could've have spent a week in just this area alone. We're thinking the next time, we will need to plan for a month's stay. There's much to see and do there as well as wonderful places to paint.

These sketches are from the top of the cliff, looking out over the ocean.
I didn't get a photo of each stage of today's painting, but this is how I used black watercolor to establish the darkest areas, after the initial pencil drawing. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Punderson Lake

Punderson Lake     5" x 6"    Pastel       ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $75

 DAY 29 of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge, September 2017 

We spent this early evening at Punderson State Park in Newbury, Ohio at the marina. It was pleasant, as the weather is cooler and the marina was closed. That made it a perfect place to sit outside and start this painting. We had a blue heron, named Gilbert, who insisted that we knew that we were the guest at his residence! How did we know his name? A gentleman, called Skipper, came by from the campground, walking his dog named Gilligan. 

The sky was cloudy at that time and and we were not sure that we could get interesting light. Around 5:30 pm, the sun did break through the clouds for long enough for Bill to photograph the scene, while I quickly set up. I did get a chance to get a quick underpainting done in watercolor, with some color notes. Later it did become chilly enough, that we decided to head home. I then finished this in the studio.

Punderson State Park is a place that we took our children often, as they were growing up.  We've camped there and stayed in the Lodge. Good memories!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

View From Tinkers Cabin

View From Tinkers Cabin     6" x 6"     Pastel        ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $75 
Day 28 of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge, September 2017

Our church, The Chapel at Tinkers Creek,  is located on a 21 acres in Streetsboro, Ohio. The back part has a cabin that is used for our Youth Programs. This particular view is from the cabin, looking east. My husband and I were there to simply enjoy the sunset that evening. As I turned the opposite direction and I saw a lovely cloud formation with hints of blue, lavender, pink, and peach tones, equally as beautiful as the sunset itself. With the road leading back to the church, I thought of of a simpler time and an old country dirt road. That scene had to go on the  "must paint" list. 

Painting today, brought memories of the past 12 years, in this church. The people there have now become part of our family, supporting each other through good times and tough times as well.