Questions? Comments? Please email me at

Let us have a complete restoration of America!!
***PLEASE don't pave one more beautiful pasture,
***PLEASE don't cut down one more tree,
***PLEASE don't build another building,
S T O P . . . U R B A N . . . S P R A W L *** S A V E ... O U R ... L A N D ! !

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #20 - Morning Sun in the Mountains - SOLD

I originally did this scene in a larger format and have been wanting to do it again for the longest time.  I love the morning sun.  I can hear my husband and my girlfriends Linda and Janah now "Paula, you don't even see the morning!!  Ok, ok, maybe I'm a late sleeper, but I paint at night  :-)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #19 Forest Edge - SOLD

Hi all, #19 was inspired by a photo I took in the Adirondack Mountains a couple of autumns ago, but I didn't want to paint an autumn scene so the trees are green instead of oranges.  I also wanted to paint a slanted format again because I just really like that type of composition.  Tried for a bit more realism in this one.  Wanted to viewer to look into the woods and see deep into the shadows.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #17 - Dreaming of Summer - SOLD

Are you all as sick of winter as I am?  That is why I painted this tonight... because I'm dreaming of summer!
5x7 soft pastels on Uart bonded to acid-free foamboard.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #15 Tennessee Field View - SOLD

This is an actually place down the road from where I live. When I go there to take pictures, I have to stand up on the door frame of my car so I can get a higher view because there are several layers of mountains that can be seen from this spot. 5x7 soft pastels on Uart bonded to acid free foamboard.

30 in 30 for $30 - #14 Peaceful Pastures - SOLD

This was a pleasure to paint. My husband walked into the room and saw it and just said the words "Peaceful Pastures."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #13 Railroad Tracks around Blue Mountain - SOLD

This one was so much fun to paint!  I love the scene and think it makes a lovely composition for a painting.  5x7 Mount Visions, Richeson Handmade pastels, and Polychromos on Ampersand Pastelbord.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #12 - Romance with a Cherry Tree

Hmmmmm, #12 didn't turn out so hot, so I'm not going to post it. Not every piece is a masterpiece :)

30 in 30 for $30 - #11 Lookout Over Blue Lake - SOLD

Here is the angel tree transformed into a more realistic look :)
Mostly Mount Visions on Uart bonded to acid-free foamboard.  5x7

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #10 Angel Tree - SOLD

This piece, I don't know, it just popped out!  I did a piece called the Feather Tree a while ago and I've wanted to do another one that is similar.  So, here it is... designed after a pinetree.  I hope you all like it!

30 in 30 for $30 - #9 Harvest Time - SOLD

Harvest Time was inspired by a beautiful field down the road from my house in Tennessee.  I took the photo a while ago, but often visit this place to see it in different seasons.

Monday, January 18, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #8 A Tree's View - SOLD

It just seemed to me that these trees were loving the view as much as me... hence the name.
5x7 on Wallis Belgian Mist bonded to acid-free foamboard.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #7 Cemetery Outlook - SOLD

#7 comes from a place that was on the backside of a cemetery.  We set up and stood on this hill to do plein air.  It was the most beautiful day and we had the best time.  5"x7" on Wallis Belgian Mist bonded to acid-free foamboard.  Mostly Mount Vision and Terry Ludwig pastels.
Also, here is the reference photo and the underpaining I did with pastels and alcohol.  I didn't use alcohol on the sky, just on the land and background trees.

Friday, January 15, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #6 Lookout at Nickajack - SOLD

This is absolutely one of my favorite plein air sites that Linda Kerlin and I go to!  I love this place so much and can't wait to go again when the weather gets warmer.  5"x7" on Wallis Belgian Mist bonded to acid-free foamboard.  Mostly Mount Visions, Terry Ludwig's, Jack Richeson Handmades, and Polychromos.

30 in 30 for $30 - #5 Eastern Shore Marsh - SOLD

I've done this painting 3 times now and each time it gets harder to do!!!
5x7's are hard to do, but that's the point... to challenge, and practice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

#4 Demonstration

There is a demo of Painting #4 at Wetcanvas if anyone would like to see the process I used to paint it.

30 in 30 for $30 - #4 Mohawk Valley View - SOLD

I have always loved this photo I took while visiting my brother Woody in Upsate NY where I grew up.
5"x7" on Wallis Belgian Mist bonded to acid-free foamboard using mostly Mount Vision, Terry Ludwig, and Jack Richeson Handmade Pastels.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #3 Autumn Reflections - SOLD

Here is #3 in my series of 30 in 30 for $30.  It's on Wallis Belgian Mist, bonded to acid free foamboard, 5"x7".

Monday, January 11, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #2 - SOLD

Here is #2. This one was a bit more difficult. It just seemed like the space of 5"x7" was much smaller on this one.  Again, no underpainting. This one is on Wallis Belgian Mist, bonded to foamboard.  I think the icy water needs a bit more work.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

30 in 30 for $30 - #1 - SOLD

Hello!  I'm starting a new series of small format paintings.  They will all be 5"x7" and I'll paint one every day for 30 days.  They will all be $30 each plus $5 shipping (unframed).  Paypal only please.


Spring is Coming - Perfect time for Workshops

In the midst of all this cold weather, this is just a reminder that spring will soon be here and it will be time for workshop season to start back up.

If your art group is interested in a beginning or intermediate/ advanced one-day workshop using soft pastels, please email me at

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Alcohol Wash Underpainting

Someone at Wetcanvas asked about how to do an alcohol wash underpainting so I wanted to share my answer here also...

I start out with a preliminary, pretty basic sketch on my board with a charcoal stick and then put down the first layer of color in pastels.

This is my first, preliminary layer of pastel.....I'll explain starting with the sky. I normally use a dark value of blue at the top of the sky, then in the middle sky a medium (lighter than the dark) value, and then at closest to the horrizon or in this case tops of the trees with the lightest value of blue. It almost looks like 3 stripes.

Then I block in the darkest value for all of the trees in the background. In this painting, I used a Mount Vision extremely dark navy blue.

Then in the foreground I use the same blues as the sky for the snow, but in reverse order. The lightest will be the farthest away; the medium will be in the middle; and the darkest will be in the foreground.

That covers all of the board and I've only used 4 colors.

Then I take a cup and put about an inch of rubbing alcohol in it and with a flat, synthetic square paint brush (about a 1/2" wide) I get it wet with the alcohol and starting at the top using crosshatching motions, start to liquify the darkest blue (MAKING SURE THE BRUSH IS NOT DRIPPING WET!!), I keep cleaning the brush by swishing it in the alcohol and then move down to the medium value blue and start liquifying that area, but now I'm starting to bring that medium value up into the dark value so the stripes disappear. Again, swishing off the brush to clean it, I go into the lightest area and also crosshatching and blending it into the medium value. When that is done, I have a nicely blended sky that is soft and has a nice transition from lightest at the tree line to darkest at the top, but there are no hard lines and no longer any stripes. Sometimes no other layers of pastels are necessary if the sky turns out really nice using the alcohol, so I just leave it just the way it is. I love it when that happens

Then I wet my brush again and because trees are vertical, I use vertical strokes with the alcohol until that is all liquified.

Then in the background all the way to the foreground I repeat the steps I took in the sky, but using more horrizontal strokes.

In the end all of the first layer of pastel is liquified and is no longer clogging the tooth.

I know that when other artists use this type of method, they let it drip, but I don't! That's just my style.

Winterscape - My First in 2010

It is a very chilly weekend here in Tennessee which inspired this painting. It snowed lightly yesterday and it was so pretty! This piece is 14"x11" on Ampersand Pastelbord, mostly Mount Visions and Jack Richeson Handmades. There will only be a few minor changes and I'll call it finished.