Friday, May 30, 2014

Shipping an Unframed Painting

The only thing pastel is difficult with is, until its framed properly, its easily smeared.    But sometimes a client would rather see the painting and frame it themselves once it arrives at their home.    So, that leaves an issue to ship it without the protection of glass, and here's how I shipped Fizz out last weekend.
This is a painting 'booklet'.   I used a piece of acid free mat, from the middle of a previously cut large mat, and taped the painting down.  Over top the painting, I taped a piece of tracing paper, on all 4 sides as its the side to side that causes issues.   Then a piece of acid free foam board on top, using tape as hinges to make a book.

On the front of the 'book', I wrote directions on how to open it, and attached my business card.   I also wrote my name and phone number for the framer if there are any questions.  I also advised to not spray it with fixative as it very well may darken the painting, and this one in particular would be ruined without those brilliant light areas!

This book then gets wrapped in plastic bags, sealed with tape, into a priority box and sent off to the new owner.    
I am showing how it might look in a wide cherry frame, using spacers and no mats.   I am leaning towards this look more often, using glare-free glass, so the painting can be hung anywhere in a home without loosing it to glare.   I think it also brings out the texture of the pastel strokes, and the colors.   

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fencing n Fizz

Today was busy busy!   Well, last couple weeks have been, as is usual for most this time of year.   I got my new endurance saddle, and its amazing!   It was custom fit to my horse, and fits him well.   Couldn't be happier with it.

Daughter went on her first out of town trip--to visit friends in Iowa for graduation.   I learned I am NOT ready for empty nest!  

But today she was a huge help in getting my garden fence up.   Without it, I may as well not bother as the hounds run thru it, the chickens peck and scratch it up, the cats, well, eww.   I like having flowers and vegs and berries all mixed, a rather eclectic garden.  
This last week also brought me 7 bottle calves to raise, using some of my goat's milk and some milk replacer.  

For art, well, with all this I've been slacking a bit.  I have about finished Fizz and he will be leaving to Wisconsin tomorrow!   His owner decided she liked it so much to buy it, thanks J.!  
I will be working on some sketches of another horse for a client, and I'm rather in the mood for some small 'quiet' pieces.   Everything is waking up, the birds are singing so much, and there is just a sweet feeling in the air, and sweet smells too--all that just makes me want to paint something small and sweet.  

There is still time and a few openings left for my workshop, but the deadline closes June 20th, so don't put it off too long!   I will cover materials, techniques, color and value.    This is NOT a class to be afraid of, it will be fun, you will learn in the process and there is room for both beginners and those who've worked in pastel before.   It will be in a quiet, beautiful location, so just join in, and spend a weekend having a good time learning with like-minded people!  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Saddle Day

As I mentioned, some of my blog will be related to things other than art.  And today is one of those--its saddle day!   A couple weeks ago a good family friend gave to us a very unique saddle.  After a google search, I learned its a WW11 Japanese Calvary Saddle, cool huh?!   He said he's had it 50 years or more and doesn't remember where he got it.   Stableboy and I looked it over and it doesn't look like any saddle we'd ever seen, nor does it look like its seen any miles on a horse.    But, it was dirty and has a nice wasp condo inside.  today is really nice out, so I got busy.  This thing comes apart right down to the tree, which seems like wood covered with a fiberglass type stuff--but since that wasn't around then, not sure what it really is. 

The under side has panels for padding, and are filled with horse hair.   its quilted with tough string.    
Here is the final project, clean, oiled and I added new leathers, stirrups and a wool girth. pony pony!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Good morning!   Another week is starting, and starting well--its sunny and for once, not windy, and even warm!   ahhh, birds singing, clothes on the line, garden is sprouting.   Days like this make it pretty tough to stay inside, even in my studio.   This is where plein air comes into play.

Here's a little piece I did recently when a friend came to visit for a couple days, it was great fun to have someone to go paint with! 

This was done on a piece of mat board coated with Art Spectrum primer applied in a haphazard, criss-crossing brushed on way.   I very much love the deep red to paint greens onto.  

If learning to work with pastels, both studio and plein air, you might consider the workshop opportunity coming up July 25,26,27 in Platte, SD.    Leave a note and I'll get you signed up!   There are only a few spots left, as I like my classes very small, so I can really work with each person.    It will be a very fun, rewarding, relaxing but also very inspiring weekend of art, nature and friendship!   You won't be sorry unless you miss it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

But what IS pastel??

Got this question yesterday, when I was telling someone what medium Fizz is done in.  I can see why its confusing--the word pastel often is thought of as those soft colors used in Easter dresses.  

I had started explaining it but it got too long winded, so here's Wiki's definition, which was simpler....

A Pastel is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation. The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process.[1]
Pastels have been used by artists since the Renaissance, and gained considerable popularity in the 18th century, when a number of notable artists made pastel their primary medium.
An artwork made using pastels is called a pastel (or a pastel drawing or pastel painting). 

Some pastels are harder and those are usually square and slender.  The softer ones have more pigment load in them, and are often hand rolled, and glide onto the paper like hot butter.  YUM!    The avatar photo of this blog is of my pastels in their trays.   Like most pastelists, I have hundreds of sticks, and use every one!

Pastel paintings are fragile, as they can be smeared like charcoal.  But once under glass, they will outlast any of us here today.    My work is done using the very best pastel brands, only on the highest quality papers, framed by myself with acid free materials.    
"Cool Moon Rising"  18x24 pastel.  copyright 2013 CM Cernetisch