Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Champagne Celebration

In the spirit of New Year's celebrations, I listed my Champagne Collection on Etsy this morning. Made with gold filled wire with gold filled, vermeil, and brass beads in addition to citrine, several varieties and colors of freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystal, this collection has been quite popular.
It all started when a high school senior approached me a couple of years ago to put together a necklace for her prom dress. The color was a greenish/goldish/creamish color that proved difficult to match at the mall. Fortuately, I love a design challenge, and came up with a collection of beads that blends well with all sorts of colors.
If you wear cream and khaki in the winter (doesn't most everyone?) and are looking for a way to add some sparkle, this is it.
Necklace is 48 inches (1.3 meters) and can be wound twice or three times for variety ($125).
Cuff is about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide, and can be flexed to fit your wrist ($89).
Earrings hang 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) from your ear, and are on French wires, but could be put on ball/posts ($24). Sold separately, the set would be $238, but I'll give a special *blog pricing* at $225 (plus shipping of $5.00 in US - other places to be determined).
Happy New Year!
Pastel (and jewelry) Guy
www.studio206.etsy.com - handmade and custom jewelry
P.S. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (see sidebar!).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunlight and Sycamores

As I went outside to retrieve the trash cans this afternoon, I stepped out into a beautiful late afternoon replete with long shadows and a brilliant blue sky. So I dropped the vacuum canister, ran inside, grabbed my camera, and came out for some low-angled light pictures to save for future reference. This one was my favorite. We have two acres, much of which is covered with trees that connect to about 50 more acres of trees behind us that will never (OK, probably never) be developed. Anyway, the sycamore trees with their whitish bark make cool designs against the blueblue sky of winter.

Water Lilies WIP (part I)

After my last posting, where I showed 4 pictures I was considering for my next painting, I chose one that had richer colors (thanks to photo editing software!) and a more panoramic view of the pond, although not as wide as the original. I kept asking myself, "What is the story I'm trying to tell with this picture?" The answer I came up with was that the painting would be about the pond of lilies, not just the lilies. That cut out the close-ups (those can be other paintings!). Because of the size planned for this piece (24 x 36 inches - about 67 x 100cm), there will be room on the panel for details in the indiviual plants. The trick will be to then not have the details be too busy. I might even write myself a big post-it that says, "SIMPLIFY!" and post it on my easel.

In the black-and-white sketch pictured above, I wanted to work out the composition, but more importantly the values. Since the original photo had many many shades of green, combined with reflections in muddy water, it was hard to tell what had a light value and which were darker. You can see by my notes in the margin that I notated where the lightest and darkest spots were.

I'll be posting as this work progresses. It's the largest pastel I've done, and since I'm on break, I have more time to be on the computer....Keep in touch!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Decisions, Decisions


It's time to start pastels up again, so I came back to the computer to find a suitable picture from all the photos I took over the summer. This year, I'm trying to be extra careful about not using pictures taken by someone else, since technically those are copyrighted. There are many competitions out there where I would be disqualified for using pictures taken by someone else.


I'm trying to decide what my overall goal should be for next year. I've come up with several options:

1. Juried Art Shows
2. Juried Competitions
3. Local Galleries
4. Printed Material, like a 2010 calendar with a theme, such as 'waterways' since I like painting water.
5. Workshops in pastel

I suppose a sixth option would be to do all 5 of the above. I worked on the first three in 2008, and had great progress. In addition, I would really like to do pastel workshops all over the country, say at different art schools, like Arrowmont, La Conner Art Workshops , or the Scottsdale Art School. As a teacher and a painter, it's a great mix.

Any suggestions?

Pastel Guy
www.matthewweld.com - pastel paintings
www.studio206.etsy.com - handmade jewelry for sale


OK, I'm not normally this indecisive, but I can't decide which cropping to use for my next painting. Any suggestions?