Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Golden Silence

Golden Silence     9" x 12"      Pastel        ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available  $195

Doesn't everyone have a favorite marsh?

I've painted my favorite marsh here recently on one of our Ohio winter days. I fell in love with the  dried grasses left behind by the fall, hence the title, "Golden Silence". 

This is an easily accessible marsh in Peninsula, Ohio near the bend in the Cuyahoga River and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath. Who can resist lunch at the nearby Winking Lizard Restaurant?
Here are progress photos of the steps that I took to painting this in pastel on UArt 500 sanded pastel paper. The sanded surfaced lends itself to painting the ragged weeds and grasses. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Amaryllis By Mornin'

Amaryllis By Morning      6" x 6"     Pastel       ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $95

There's nothing like waiting for the morning to see the amaryllis spreading her wings to show her stunning scarlett petals! This time was no different, I brought the bulb home from Heinen's with some green foliage, and first thing each morning I could hardly wait to see the buds open to reveal her spectacular hues of red. What a lesson in patience!

Finally, the day arrived to begin the process of studying every tiny detail in wonderment!

And then the gleeful rush to the pastel box to find the perfect sticks of color that would shout "Amaryllis Scarlet"! To my disappointment, there was no magic amaryllis stick!  From then on, I had to give up on magic and select and test colors that would speak in amaryllis tones.

Ahh.....finally, I strike up a new relationship with the oranges and peach colors in the box and know that they will help me tell the story of how the light changes as it strikes the high points. On closer examination, for the first time, I found that there are tiny specks of shimmering light in each square inch of the petals. Fortunately, the folks at the Sennelier company know this, as they include a group of pastels that contain mica flakes that reflect those microscopic specks of light.

 Here's the final culmination of alone time with an amaryllis. There's a tiny replica beside the original where I've tested colors on the way to tell the final story.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Everett Road Covered Bridge

Everett Road Covered Bridge     4" x 6"       Pastel      ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available  $65

It's not unusual to find artists set up along the roadside in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeastern Ohio.  We are fortunate in that it's about a 30 minute drive to this area for us. The Park has beautiful waterfalls, hiking & bike trails, marshes, rock quarries, rivers, and the Ohio & Erie Canal. There's certainly no shortage of subject matter begging to be painted in any season. 

This covered bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Summit County. Everett Road bridge was originally built in the 1870s.  It has been repaired and rebuilt due to major damage more than once. In 1975 a heavy spring storm weakened its supporting structure, causing the bridge to fall into the creek bed below. Funds were raised by school children, local citizens, private organizations and government agencies in 1986 to build this historically accurate reconstruction by the National Park Service.

We enjoy day trips to this area and continue to learn more about the park with each visit. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ornamental Kale

Ornamental Kale     6" x 6"     Pastel      ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $75

This is the ornamental kale plant that I mentioned yesterday. It is such a beautiful cool weather addition to any garden.  I understand that the plants actually can be eaten, but they're really used for garnish or as a base for hors d'oeuvres. I'm sure that would be a lovely splash of color for any table. In my opinion, they're fine plants for painting, especially for a lesson in how to paint purples!

Here's the "ornamental cousins" ....kale and cabbage from yesterday.

See my blog for more information on how these were painted on UArt 500 sanded pastel paper.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Rose By Another Name

A Rose By Another Name       6" x  6"     Pastel        ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $75

This plant is grown in my area in the midst of all the beautiful warm colors of fall. It's always thrilling to me to see how our Creator chooses this color palette. While the earth is covered in orange, red, gold and yellow with touches of green, this beauty pops up in shades of purple.  What a delightful treat for the eyes, this is a fine example of the use of complementary color in nature. Although, I've never grown ornamental cabbage before, I hope to plant this next year in late summer and patiently wait for the color explosion!
This pastel painting on UArt 500, has its' rather rough beginning in black watercolor to determine the values.
It's next stage is not much prettier! Here I've added a dry ink product called Inktense blocks. It is put down as a dry stick of color, and the water added to spread the color. This is a new material for me and I do enjoy watching the water bring the color to life.
In this stage, I added hard pastels (Nupastels and Rembrandts) lightly on the sanded surface to begin to establish the colors.

  After adding more color with some soft pastels (Senniliers), I defined the light edges, as I knew that this would be hard to be accurate in the final stage.
At this point, I added more fushia colors and defined the outer leaves with greens. I was able to work closer to the edges to create lost and found edges that didn't look so stiff. My final thoughts were that the painting had become too dark. I lighten the and softened the outer edges to finish.

Have you had the experience of growing these? Let me know any tips that you've learned.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Rocks of Pemaquid

The Rocks of Pemaquid   6" x 12"   Pastel   ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $145

Hurry! You still have time to make it!  Put it on your calendar for Sunday, November 26, 2017....Santa arrives briefly via helicopter at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park in Bristol, Maine.

This is a beautiful, well-maintained park that makes it well worth the time to visit for a day while taking in Maine's lighthouses. There's a wonderful museum that houses much information about the fishing and marine heritage of the area. In addition, I was thrilled to see some lovely art by local artists in an art museum on the grounds.

The weather was perfect that day, with a wonderful sea breeze that coaxed us into staying much longer than we had planned. The lighthouse makes a fabulous scene, but today I chose to focus on the unique rock formation. We'll definitely plan a day here on the next trip! 


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maine Estuary

Maine Estuary     6" x 12"    Pastel       ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $145

Sometimes the ordinary scene has so much to tell, that it becomes an extraordinary painting subject. I'm drawn to these areas of transition between the ocean and the rivers, that offers some protection to the inland from extreme weather events.

After drawing in an outline, I used black watercolor to establish the value pattern.

Here I began to use Inktense sticks to begin laying in the local color

This is the fun part where adding water to Inktense causes a burst of color and dripping.

After the sanded paper (UArt 500) has dried, I began to add pastel. First, I used hard pastels. I worked with lighter values in the backgound and used peach, lavender, and pale blue pastels to paint the overcast sky, and then to use the same to add the final details in the water areas.

At this point I used soft pastels to add final details along with some hard Nupastels to add the grasses and weeds in the foreground.