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 ! !

Monday, May 24, 2010

Inspiration and Creative Activities

I decided to take a break from painting for the last few days after last week's plein air trip.  The reason being a lack of inspiration with all the hundreds of photos I have.  There is one I've been looking at, but have not been ready to paint it.

The lack of painting is ok because it sparked my love of beading again and I've been happily making jewelry for the last few days.  I am so pleased with what I've made and I also learned a few new techniques!!  What fun!!

Tonight as I passed by one of the landscapes photos on my table next to my easel, it stopped me dead in my tracks!  It finally came to me "what I wanted to say about the painting."  There is a story to tell with every painting and to put down in words what that story is can be very difficult at times.  What you want to tell the viewer, the story that the painting holds, is a very important step in the painting process.  It is helpful to write down in your sketch book, before you start your thumbnails, what the story is or what it is that you want to say about the painting.  Is it the light?  Is it the color?  Is it sadness that you feel with the scene?  Is it how happy the scene made you feel when you saw it?  What were you doing that inspired you to take the photo at that moment?  Is there a funny story that happened to you that day when you took that photo?  What is it that, after the painting is done, you want to say to the viewer?

What will the viewer tell you about that paining?  How did it make the viewer feel?  What is the story that the viewer will tell you about how this painting made him/her feel?  Are the stories similar?  Very, very interesting, huh???

Now, back to that photo... I wanted to tell the viewer something with this photo that i loved, but couldn't figure out what it was that I wanted to say.  It finally came to me!!!

So, tomorrow morning I'll start out with lots of thumbnail sketches to work out the composition and to warm up.  There will be beautiful, calming instrumental music playing in the background, and then I'll start the new painting.

Stay tuned for photos of the jewelry and a new painting that is unfolding in my mind and will be coming to life very soon.....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 19, 2010 Plein Air

©2010 Paula Ann Ford, May 19, 2010 Plein Air. Soft Pastels on Uart, 11"x14"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010 Plein Air at Raccoon Mountain

Today was the most gorgeous day.  Five of us met at Raccoon Mountain in the Chattanooga area.  Three of us were painting with pastels, one in watercolor, and one in oils.  The temp was a perfect 80-ish degrees, partly cloudy, a bit breezy but not too bad.  Here is where I was standing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coastal Emotion - Finished!

The colors are a bit better in the original post below.
©2010 Paula Ann Ford, Coastal Emotion. Soft Pastels on Uart, 12"x13"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Coastal Emotion

Challenging myself once again with an ocean scene.  This time, it was as exciting painting this as the ocean waves!

©2010 Paula Ann Ford, Coastal Emotion. Soft Pastels on Uart, 12"x13"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gossiping Neighbors

Hi Everybody, Last week my friend Linda and I went back to one of our favorite spots to do some plein air and afterwards I walked around the property and took photos. This is from one of the photos.  It's 14"x14" on Uart 600 bonded to gatorboard. I really wanted a square format, but bigger than 12x12 that Ampersand Pastelbord comes in.

©2010 Paula Ann Ford, Gossiping Neighbors. Soft Pastels on Uart, 14"x14"

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I'll be teaching a 2-day workshop at
Terry Ludwig's Studio
Littleton, Colorado
on July 9&10, 2011

Details to follow soon!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today's Plein Air

It was a gorgeous day here in Tennessee.  Linda and I went out to one of our favorite spots.  Here is my result.  11x14 on Ampersand Pastelbord.

©2010 Paula Ann Ford, May 5, 2010 Plein Air. Soft Pastels on Ampersand Pastelbord, 11"x14"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ocean Rocks

The photo came from the Wetcanvas Reference Image Library.  I am hosting this month's Spotlight and it is one of the challenge photos.  Check it out...

I've changed the sky and have calmed down the colors a bit... and am calling this one finished. Here is the new version. I'm headed back to my studio to paint some green trees and turnips ... LOL

©2010 Paula Ann Ford, Ocean Rocks. Soft Pastels on Ampersand Pastelbord, 12"x16"

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Did you ever wake up to the most beautiful morning, go out for a jog or walk, and because of the sunshine you just felt like you could conquer the world?  That is why I named this "Strength."  Sunshine is so powerful and makes us feel good and strong and healthy!

Here is the final piece...

"Completion does not depend on material representation.
The work is done when that special thing has been said." Robert Henri

©2010 Paula Ann Ford, Strength. Soft Pastels on Ampersand Pastelbord, 12"x12"