Monday, June 5, 2017


The flume in Franconia Notch  (9X12)

Although I'd used oil pastels before, my first choice had become pastels or oil. Over the winter my studio situation had changed and my main easel, with  my Artist Air machine, remained at my former studio. Since I would never consider doing an indoor pastel or oil painting without Artist Air, if I wanted to paint at my home, I needed another solution. Pencil, watercolor, acrylics or oil pastels?

Diana's Bath (9x12)
Pulling out my photo files (Mac cites over 14,000! photos!) I skimmed over some of my favorite hike files and chose  several waterfall photos. In real life waterfalls  and streams are soothing.   I breath with the pulsing of the waters falling into the waiting pools, and sliding over and around boulders. I merge myself in the splatters and spray as they dance to their own rhythms, and delight at the changing rainbows. Its calming and other worldly. 

My own life at the time was needing calm and my fingers were itching to move onto paper, push around colors, and create a few sprays of my own. I needed the art therapy and chose the oil pastels because they were the quickest. No setting up a palette, no fooling with mediums, mineral spirits, brush cleaning. Just open the box, pick up a stick and start! 

Could Be Anywhere! (9X12)
Painting can be even better than real life because it makes the artist the creator.
Diana's Bath (9x12)

Glen Ellis Falls
 It's not only mind and eye following the water, but also the hand itself creating the ripples, rainbows and spray on paper, immersing itself in the waters of calm!

I chose black paper to emphasize the water, the spray, the subtle colors of stream and ponds.  One painting led to another and another and then Eureka!  I was doing a series, and, like a soap opera fiend, wondering about the next installment!, before I had finished one I was working on. I had heard about doing series in art school but never put it to real practice until now.  Doing a series forces us to greater creativity! It's fun. Familiarity with similar color choices pushes to new techniques and new visions, then new color combinations, further technique exploration. Waterfalls in NH are everywhere, and different, not only from season to season, but from week to week. Even day to day if there has been a major storm, or an errant beaver at work. They are a never-ending supply of subject matter.

These five are among the 12 now completed, with two more sitting on my drafting table in various stages of production. I presently have an exhibit at the M&D Theater in North Conway, NH, there until July 5. Stop by if you are near.

Meanwhile, I'll be doing more Oil Pastels of Waterfalls. 

Check out other blog entries and my website for other Scenes of New Hampshire  and my blog, THE GREAT WHITE BARN to check the progress on my gallery.

Oil Pastels on black paper, 9X12.  $90 unframed, $130 framed in black frame.
E-mail me at if interested.