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Posts tagged “panhandle trail

A Day In the Woods: 2011

Looking Forward
Looking Forward

Looking Forward

One of my favorite photos from a visit by my great niece and nephews a few years ago, “Looking Forward” was included in my exhibit, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail 2015“.

I enjoyed this day so much, and this photo has become one of my favorites of all time for so many reasons: the literal and metaphorical meanings behind my great-niece standing in shallow water, looking upstream, the ripples rolling out from her, she is growing up; the colors and spatters of sun on the water, and how much she reminded me of myself at that age, going barefoot and carrying my shoes, which I still do as I was standing barefoot in the water behind her with my camera, and the practicality of a bathing suit she can grow into, tied in a knot in the back because it was a little too big for her right then. I have a large print of this in my home to enjoy and wonder how I caught such a moment.

I spent a Sunday afternoon in the woods along the Panhandle Trail with my great-niece and and great-nephew, 9 and 11, just to run around, explore, be outdoors and make up our own activities with whatever was there—paths up and down hills, wildflowers, trees, a stream (Robinson Run), a trail made from an ex-train track (rail-to-trail), and an absolutely perfect day.

And we did. We did everything. I was so happy to have someone to play with, a few sun-warmed black raspberries and muck on our feet. Above is one of my favorite photos for the light, the color, the composition and the memories; that might have been me forty-odd years ago wading in a stream barefoot, carrying my shoes. It’s my great-niece Cassidy, just as fearless as I was then, and we were joined by her brother Kyler. We enjoyed exploring the woods, but we liked being in the water best. They live in Savannah, GA now, 88 degrees “is kind of like what it’s like in the spring,” but their streams happen to have alligators so they can’t go swimming like you can here.

And the rope swing…there is nothing like swinging on a rope swing, even if you don’t go too high it’s just that feeling of freedom, letting go, waving your feet around—the things that usually carry you around are off the ground!

Yes, their great-aunt was right there in the woods and the water and the rope swing with them, who do you think showed the way and was the first in the water and the first on the swing? But I had the camera so there were no photos of me.

The white signature you see will not appear on any prints purchased. I sign each print by hand.

SHIPPING

Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.

FRAMED PRINTS

The photo is matted with Arctic White acid-free mat and a solid wood white frame. Frames may vary in style and finish, but are always about 1″ wide. Framed prints are signed on the photo and on the mat.

Other custom framing options are also available for a special quote. Please ask if you’d like another option.

PHOTO PRINTS

Prints are made on acid-free gloss photo paper using archival digital inks. I usually leave an inch or two of white around the print for easier frame fitting. All prints are countersigned by me.

Larger sizes are available than what I have listed, so please ask if you want a special size.

CANVAS PRINTS

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2” in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is wraps around the sides.

Shipping cost is included.  You can find the photo in my Etsy shop.

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Included in Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy.

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0/If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


“Summer Sunset, On the Run”

Summer Sunset, On the Run
Summer Sunset, On the Run

Summer Sunset, On the Run

This image was also one of the very popular photos, and one of my favorites, in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail 2015” this past weekend.

This photo is “Summer Sunset, On the Run”, standing in Robinson Run late on a hot afternoon to cool my feet and watching the glow of the sun move ever downward through the trees, lighting the leaves with a glow and capturing tiny highlights on the water. It’s the definition of “cool”, and a place I visit at the end of nearly every summer walk to cool down and rest, listen to the trickle, gurgle and rush of the water as it moves down its course past me.

Those circles you see in the bottom left are intentional. They are called “sun flares” and happen when sunlight enters the lens directly and are often a rainbow of colors.

It’s right off the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township, PA, and part of my “Sun Shadow Ice and Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail” exhibit. It’s so exciting to share some of my favorite places with people who might never otherwise see them.

This photo is 9″ wide x 15″ tall, and is framed in a 1.5″ solid walnut frame with a 1.5″ white mat. Mat and backing are acid free, glass is premium clear. All framing is done by me.

Shipping cost is included.  You can find the photo in my Etsy shop.

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If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

 


“Cathedral of Trees”

Cathedral of Trees
Cathedral of Trees

Cathedral of Trees

This year my exhibit on the Panhandle Trail focused on photographs since so many people had asked about them. This image was one of the very popular ones in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail 2015”.

This photo is “Cathedral of Trees”, a spot on the floodplain where trees have to reach high out of the valley to capture the sunlight and so grow tall and straight. The trail among the trees and bends through an area where the trees arch over the soft leaf-littered path like an entry way to a magical place.

It’s right off the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township, PA, and part of my “Sun Shadow Ice and Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail” exhibit. It’s so exciting to share some of my favorite places with people who might never otherwise see them.

This photo is 7″ wide x 17″ tall, and is framed in a wide solid walnut frame with a 1″ green parchment mat. Mat and backing are acid free, glass is premium clear. All framing is done by me.

Shipping cost is included.  You can find the photo in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


“Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail 2015”, August 28 and 29

Panhandle Trail Exhibit 2015
Panhandle Trail Exhibit 2015

Panhandle Trail Exhibit 2015

SUN SHADOW ICE & SNOW

seasons along the panhandle trail

Paintings, sketches and photographs

Opening Friday August 28 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
through Saturday August 29 noon to 9:00 p.m.

Panhandle Trail quarry area as part of Rock the Quarry

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I’ve been visiting the Panhandle Trail for nearly 15 years with my bike and on foot, for exercise and inspiration, more inspiration than exercise, packing in with backpacks of camera equipment and art supplies. I’ve taken thousands of photos along the trail and off in the woods, but I’ve also done a number of sketches while there in pencil, charcoal, pastel and watercolor, and arriving home in my studio to do more from photos. I’ve collected a number of these for an exhibit, but not in a gallery—right on the trail, where I’ve spent so much time and found these inspirations. It’s the place where I found the scene of one of my favorite paintings, “Dusk in the Woods”.

Last year’s show was such fun that I’m including all the artwork from 2014 as originals (the ones that didn’t sell) and prints. I’d planned new paintings, but many people who visited my booth wanted to know about photographs. For that first year I’d only included artwork, and only originals, from all the years I’d been painting and sketching on the trail. After so many requests about photos I’d decided this year I would debut some of my favorite photos from all the years I’ve been packing out with photo equipment.

Also included are prints of trail artwork I’d sold years ago, various prints and note cards. You’ll find:

  • all original paintings that are available
  • framed prints of select photos included in the exhibit
  • framed digital prints of select paintings included in the exhibit
  • digital prints of all the photos in various sizes
  • greeting cards and note cards of many of the paintings and photos

You’ll find me in my tent during Rock the Quarry, the annual fundraiser for the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail. I’ll have my exhibit set up and also have a display of prints, photos and notecards I’ve created over the years of scenes from along the trail and off in the woods. Once Rock the Quarry is over, they all come home with me so this will be your only opportunity to see them all together, although I will set them up as an online gallery as I have been setting up each of my exhibits.

A portion of sales of art and merchandise during Rock the Quarry will benefit the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail.

Scroll down to see a gallery of the art and a gallery of some of the photos included in this year’s exhibit.

Click here to see a list of posts featuring last year’s artwork in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow”.

So join me at Rock the Quarry August 28 and 29

I use this trail all the time, and part of my giveback is to maintain their website and the little bit of social networking that we do, along with photographing things. I always volunteer during the event, usually in the kitchen dishing out easy food, but this year I’m giving something different.

rock the quarry

Rock the Quarry 2013

What’s the quarry? The Panhandle rail line, which was removed to build the trail in the old rail bed, runs right through a century-old limestone quarry, a portion of which is still actively quarried. The quarry ponds are there and that and the woods around make a natural gathering place. For more information on the event including maps and parking, please visit www.panhandletrail.org.

Paintings and prints of paintings included in the exhibit

Clicking on any image in the gallery will bring up a full-size image, and you can also see the images in a slideshow.

Photos included in the exhibit, about half of what I’ve included

Clicking on any image in the gallery will bring up a full-size image, and you can also see the images in a slideshow.

……….

Included in Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy.

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Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


© 2015 | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Original Painting: “The Rope Swing”

"The Rope Swing", pastel 14" x 20"

“The Rope Swing”, pastel 14″ x 20″

Earlier this year when I imagined organizing an exhibit of landscapes I’d on sketched and painted on, and of, the Panhandle Trail, this image was the principal image I envisioned and has become my symbol for this exhibit, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

I hadn’t done this painting yet, but for years I’d planned a painting of this iconic rope swing, which everyone who’d grown up in the area knew about, and for all the years I’d considered having an exhibit like this, on the trail, as part of the annual event, the decision to finally paint this also made me decide this was the year to do it. I usually volunteer a few hours in the kitchen and walk around to take photos, and this will be really fun.

How did we kids live through our childhoods with things like rope swings available to us? I was thrilled to find a rope swing the first time I went exploring off the trail years ago and took a few swings on it myself just for fun, and when my great nieces and nephews came to visit from Savannah, a visit to the trail and the rope swing were tops on the list. Here are a few photos of them on the trail and swinging on the swing.

I pictured this painting to be in high summer, when the sun is bright and hot and the woods are dark and cool, and just coming upon the tree and the swing, the stream running past, standing in the deep darkness underneath looking at the lacy sunlight on the leaves of the tree and lacy shadows on the packed dirt beneath it and the swing itself silhouetted against the brightness beyond, in that moment when the potential is there, just before you decide to go for it.

The spot where this swing hangs is also one of my favorite places off the trail, and I visit there each time I use the trail, in all seasons—in mid-summer to have a dip into Robinson Run where there’s a nice pool there with water that’s always cool, and in winter to see the stream in winter, covered with ice and snow piled in the woods.

So there it is, the old rope swing, waiting for you off in the woods. Go and have an adventure! You can find the painting in my Etsy shop.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


A Home on the Trail

birdhouse
birdhouse

A Home on the Trail

I took a few minutes to have a quick walk on the Panhandle Trail on this lovely sunny afternoon, just a light coating of snow in some areas, lots of birds singing. The new hand-painted birdhouses are really brilliantly colored in the winter landscape. Can’t wait to see who nests in this one come spring!

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“Winter Sunset Reflections”

"Winter Sunset Reflection", 7" x 17", pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Winter Sunset Reflection”, 7″ x 17″, pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It’s not winter yet but the trees are bare and today’s afternoon and evening sky were completely free of clouds. Just after the sun dropped below the horizon that pure blue of twilight smoothed the sky but for the glow above the horizon. I knew it was coming and hurried to my favorite place to watch the sunset, on a hill with a long view of the landscape, then traveled down to the valley to the Panhandle Trail to see this sight once again.

I painted this scene for my August exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail” during Rock the Quarry, the annual fundraiser for the Panhandle Trail.

I decided to do this painting at pretty much the last minute, though I’d been visualizing it for years. The scene is one I’ve often seen along the trail on a winter evening. This painting was done from a photo I’d taken one of those winter evenings on the trail, a clear, cold day with a cloudless sky at sunset, the sky reflected on Robinson Run. The velvety darkness of the land contrasts so completely with the brilliance of the sky and its reflection on the water and, simple as it is, it’s always been one of my favorite images.

I used black Canson charcoal/pastel paper and only painted the areas of light and finally achieved what I’d been visualizing.

PURCHASE THIS PAINTING, AND SEE MORE ART

This painting is available for sale, framed, in my Etsy shop, along with prints.

You can see other paintings from this exhibit here.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Award of Excellence for “Snowfall”

pastel paitning of snow
pastel paitning of snow

“Snowfall”, pastel, 11″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I submitted three paintings and I learned that I’d won an award in the South Hills Art League annual juried show. Above, “Snowfall”, which I’d shown in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”, won in the second highest award category, “Award of Excellence”. Of the three pieces I entered I’m surprised this one was a winner, but I like snow, so why not? The original is for sale, framed, for $250, as well as prints for $25.00 each, which I will add to my Etsy shop after the opening reception tonight along with the other two paintings.

If you are local, please join us tonight:

Opening reception Saturday, October 11, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Exhibit open Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Galleria Of Mt. Lebanon
1500 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Below is the story behind the painting, and below that are the other two paintings I entered in the exhibit.

It isn’t always eternal summer on the trail, though memories might make us think so. Winter is my favorite season to paint. I love the subtleties of color and shape with snow in the air and on the ground, and on the trail I am often all alone with the quiet of a winter day, or a gentle snowfall.

In this case, I was glad for the time alone and quiet, and my art materials. This is from several years ago, one of the sketches I’d actually done in the front seat of my car during a late winter ice and snow storm, with a personal connection. I’d moved my mother to a personal care home in a neighborhood adjacent to the trail and often combined visits to the trail and visits to my mother. She didn’t care at all for trails, but she thought it was pretty cool when I would pull up in front of the home on my bicycle in shorts and a tank top to visit and cool off and eat my lunch on a summer afternoon when all the other daughters were in jogging suits driving minivans. Though my mother suffered from a number of heart and lung conditions she was overall well but weak, though she often suffered from mild dementia; visits could be troubling.

So it was this winter day when I had driven there. The roads were cleared but the trail was not, still, I wanted a dose of nature after my visit and knew of a spot close where I could pull up next to the trail. Not a mark was in the deeply fallen snow, and I decided I would not be the one to leave mine, it was just too perfect. The snow was falling too heavily to work outside my car, so I angled my car just right and sat in my font seat and began a sketch, then decided I should leave before the roads grew worse.

I’d always intended to finish this off, adding some bare trees fading into the distance in the heavy snowfall, but I think there was a reason I stopped at this point, and I think it captures this snowy afternoon and my conversations with my mother as it is.

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A Bend in the Road (sold), prints available

pastel painting of woods on back road

“A Bend in the Road”, pastel, 14″ x 22″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

 The Swimming Hole, $350

pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole

“The Swimming Hole”, pastel, 17″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Preparing for Winter

Dagger Moth Caterpillar
Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Walking along the trail I spotted something small and yellow hovering in the air at about eye level. I thought it was a small insect hovering or a leaf caught in an unseen spiderweb. Above is what it looked like. Below, on closer inspection, it was a fuzzy yellow caterpillar with long black spikes of fur, or setae, symmetrically protruding along the back as it slowly writhed and twisted and turned. But it wasn’t caught in a spiderweb, it was hanging from its own string of silk, which I could not see from any angle, and slowly, almost imperceptibly, climbing back up toward maple leaves overhead.

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

I could not see the silk, but the only other thing handy was the ground below, now at least seven feet below the caterpillar. As it inched upward toward the leaf about nine feet from the ground I thought about how vulnerable it had been hanging there in mid-air, the perfect snack for any one of a number of birds to fly by and end its journey early. Did it not know? Perhaps it instinctively did, but carried on nonetheless. What else would it do, starve to death from fear of being caught?

Finally it was nearly at the leaf.

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Then it was “on land” as it were, and it walked along the leaf, obviously on some trail known to itself. I looked it up later and found it was a dagger moth caterpillar, Acronicta americana, and discovered that these and other moths spun silk all over the place to create their own personalized caterpillar-ways through the woods. This particular species was common, could be considered a pest, and at this point in its development if handled the hollow setae could break off in your hand and cause a bit of a rash. It would soon, in this region, build a cocoon to winter over, and next spring emerge as a familiar brown moth to flit about the woods, but for now it was gorging its little body on the plenty of autumn.

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dagger Moth Caterpillar

For a little more about the dagger moth caterpillar, read this interesting post.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Backlit Bouquet

wildflowers in evening woods
wildflowers in evening woods

Backlit Bouquet

I photographed this scene for the obliquely backlit combination of bold yellow coneflower and delicate wormwood, but all the varied patterns and shades of green in the background, silhouettes, shadows, blurs and bokeh, were too interesting to crop out.

Your beauty
delicate, ephemeral, eternal;

had I not chanced by
as setting sun journeyed deep into the autumn woods
to touch your face
you would still have been
as beautiful.

verse ©2014 Bernadette  E. Kazmarski

That is the first draft of a new poem, written just now after I posted this photo. We’ll see what it develops into some time in the future.

September 7: I have an edited version of this poem in progress…once I’d written the rest, I found I just didn’t need those two first lines, they felt heavy and formal, and without them I found I could reorganize the lines of the poem, especially that really long one that I couldn’t split before. I also changed the word “journeyed” to “reached” because it was more of what I’d intended, remembering the sunlight that day as it moved down toward the horizon and reached and touched different spots deep in the woods. Added a comma too.

Had I not chanced by
as setting sun
reached deep into the autumn woods

to touch your face,
you would still have been
as beautiful.

 

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Autumn Colors

An eastern tiger swallowtail on joe-pye weed.
An eastern tiger swallowtail on joe-pye weed.

Autumn Colors

This migrating tiger swallowtail has found a nice meal in freshly-bloomed joe-pye weed along the Panhandle Trail. A native wild plant in the Easter US and Canada, it covers pretty much the same range as the Eastern tiger swallowtail’s habitat and migration. They go together, these two, and the pink and yellow, bits of cobalt and red orange on the wings, against the backdrop of olive green and the bright green7 is so visually satisfying to me. Nature has the best palette.

And ahhhh, the scent, so delicate and just barely flowery, like you might imagine a meadow fairy would smell, or perhaps the butterfly herself. Yet wildflower scents are so powerful they can fill an area enough to signal all living in that space that it is blooming, as I walk along a path and smell them from some distance away. I had left some in water in my decorative kettle in the car overnight and the next day the entire inside smelled like joe-pye, and did for some time.

And this butterfly looks as if it’s already been on quite a journey, its wings a little tattered.

An eastern tiger swallowtail on joe-pye weed.

A late afternoon meal for an Eastern tiger swallowtail.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Evening Flowers, What a Nice Event

The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.
The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.

The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.

The sales were good, and the contacts I’ve made too, but the best part was meeting people who recognized the trail they know and love right where it happens, and letting people know that art can happen in unexpected places.

As I’d mentioned, I’d wanted to host the show at the event to be sure the people who used the trail, who typically attend the trail’s annual fundraiser, would see and enjoy it. And for the number of people who stopped to look at “The Rope Swing”, and then came in and recognized even more, it was highly successful. I heard stories about the swing, and many people recognized the sites of several of the works and told me exactly where that was so I know they’ve walked the trail and the woods as much as I have. I also had the opportunity to tell people I’d done about half of the works right there on the trail, not home in my studio. People don’t always realize that artists often work on site, “Even in the snow?” Sure, I said. That’s how I capture the essence of the scene. A painting is not just what you see, it’s also what you hear and smell and touch and taste, and being there while you work gets it all into the painting.

Art booth in festival

My booth on Saturday.

We often don’t find the things most familiar to us very inspiring simply because we are so accustomed to seeing them, and often don’t “see” them at all anymore. The fact that I found the trail and surrounding area, their neighborhood, the place they called home, to be an inspiring subject for art made a lot of people smile and comment that was why they liked it too, that was why they’d moved there.

Best of all were the kids’ assessments of my art, these paintings of the places they played, the places they’d remember all their lives. “Your stuff is pretty good,” they said. “This is really nice art,” looking serious and nodding their heads. They were serious, and I took it as a compliment. A big compliment. Coming from a ten-year-old boy or a couple of 14-year-old girls, that was huge. I hope one or more of them take a new look at this beautiful place when considering photography or painting.

I wish I’d had the chance to photograph people browsing my art, but I’m kind of glad I just didn’t have the time to.

Me smiling at my flowers as I'm identifying them.

Me smiling at my flowers as I’m identifying them.

And I also had a number of friends visit me, and a few who helped me set up and who I could also share a few favorite places with, namely the site with the rope swing, which was directly behind my booth in the woods. One couple came with me to fill my vintage kettle with water for the wildflowers I would gather to have in my display, and on the way there and back walking through the woods I showed them the rope swing and proceeded to identify all the wildflowers around us, walking encyclopedia as I can be.

Walking along the trail through a spot of sunlight.

Walking along the trail through a spot of sunlight.

It occurred to me then that it would be nice to have some photos of me walking through the woods with wildflowers. We didn’t really have time when we got back to my booth so I let it go, but decided today how much I’d like to have some photos of that walk and asked if they would mind coming back and taking a few photos since they knew the walk we’d taken and what I’d looked like, and the type of photos I wanted.

Walking between two tall maples, like the entrance to an enchanted place.

Walking between two tall maples, like the entrance to an enchanted place.

Michelle agreed, so I donned the same clothes as yesterday and we got a few nice photos. And who knows, they may be paintings as well some day. But at least I know what I look like!

 

Thanks, Michelle!

Thanks, Michelle!

Because it was so hot and humid and I didn’t want to greet visitors covered in sweat I wore a silk skirt and a lightweight cotton camisole. That worked well, but the effect of humidity on my hair made it totally frizz, even after a recent henna and olive oil treatment. Ah, summer.

Read more about my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Take a look at paintings from this exhibit.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


My Booth Friday Night

My exhibit Friday night.

My exhibit Friday night.

Last night was a lovely night–a little warm and humid but well attended, lots of visitors, the rain held off until after we left and I’ve sold a few things already! I had wanted to share this photo on social media last night but simply could not get enough of a signal so I’m posting it here. Hopefully I’ll be able to share today–after a foggy, soggy morning has turned into blue skies with pretty puffy clouds.

Looking forward to a great day during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Take a look at other paintings from this exhibit.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Winter Sunset Reflections”

"Winter Sunset Reflection", 7" x 17", pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Winter Sunset Reflection”, 7″ x 17″, pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I decided to do this painting at pretty much the last minute, though I’d been visualizing it for a long time. The scene is one I’ve often seen along the trail on a winter evening. This painting was done from a photo I’d taken one of those winter evenings on the trail, a clear, cold day with a cloudless sky at sunset, the sky reflected on Robinson Run. The velvety darkness of the land contrasts so completely with the brilliance of the sky and its reflection on the water and, simple as it is, it’s always been one of my favorite images

I used black Canson charcoal/pastel paper and only painted the areas of light and finally achieved what I’d been visualizing.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Also take a look at other paintings from this exhibit.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Spring Woods Trail”

pastel painting of a trail in the woods
pastel painting of a trail in the woods

“Spring Woods”, pastel, 8″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The decision was: do I paint this steep section of the trail looking up from the bottom, over the tops of all the new plants sprouting from the leaves and debris and up into the tree tops, or down from near the top, with little bits of Robinson Run far down off of the edge?

In the end I liked the downhill view better for its perspective and the fact you could see the trail at your feet, plus, with many trees at eye level, you could see so much more of that wonderful spring green.

I’d considered this one so long that I’ve only just painted it, though I took the photos a few years ago. I’d actually planned it as an acrylic painting, seeing all the potential for gentle textures on the surface, but when it came down to it I returned to my old friend, pastels, and did a lot of finger painting.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Also take a look at other paintings from this exhibit.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Colorful Autumn Trail”

pastel painting autumn trail
pastel painting autumn trail

“Colorful Autumn Trail”, pastel, 8″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Here is one for the season upcoming. This painting doesn’t have as big of a story as others, but I will say it’s hard to paint along the trail in autumn—or anywhere else for that matter. The overwhelming colors, especially on a sunny day, have me running from place to place looking for the best spot to paint until the narrow window of good sunlight on an autumn day is past, so I end up working in my studio.

I like to capture the tree-covered hills and water and sky and just plain nature in most paintings because the trail itself isn’t a very interesting feature, being just a flat limestone chip path. But in this case, in autumn, it provides a break in the riot of color and also an area to feature those long blue shadows of the trees themselves. That’s really why I chose this scene when I came home with a head full of colors and shapes. But after organizing the art for this exhibit and realizing how few autumn sketches I have, I have given myself an assignment for this autumn.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Snowfall”

pastel painting of snow on trail

“Snowfall”, pastel, 11″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It isn’t always eternal summer on the trail, though memories might make us think so. Winter is my favorite season to paint. I love the subtleties of color and shape with snow in the air and on the ground, and on the trail I am often all alone with the quiet of a winter day, or a gentle snowfall.

In this case, I was glad for the time alone and quiet, and my art materials. This is from several years ago, one of the sketches I’d actually done in the front seat of my car during a late winter ice and snow storm, with a personal connection. I’d moved my mother to a personal care home in a neighborhood adjacent to the trail and often combined visits to the trail and visits to my mother. She didn’t care at all for trails, but she thought it was pretty cool when I would pull up in front of the home on my bicycle in shorts and a tank top to visit and cool off and eat my lunch on a summer afternoon when all the other daughters were in jogging suits driving minivans. Though my mother suffered from a number of heart and lung conditions she was overall well but weak, though she often suffered from mild dementia; visits could be troubling.

So it was this winter day when I had driven there. The roads were cleared but the trail was not, still, I wanted a dose of nature after my visit and knew of a spot close where I could pull up next to the trail. Not a mark was in the deeply fallen snow, and I decided I would not be the one to leave mine, it was just too perfect. The snow was falling too heavily to work outside my car, so I angled my car just right and sat in my font seat and began a sketch, then decided I should leave before the roads grew worse.

I’d always intended to finish this off, adding some bare trees fading into the distance in the heavy snowfall, but I think there was a reason I stopped at this point, and I think it captures this snowy afternoon and my conversations with my mother as it is.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

 

There’s still some of summer left, so jump in and have a splash! And I hope to see you this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “The Swimming Hole”

pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole
pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole

“The Swimming Hole”, pastel, 17″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is another of the images from the Panhandle Trail I’d wanted to paint for quite some time–or should I say, I wanted to finish for quite some time. It’s a few kids in a nice deep pool in Robinson Run along the Panhandle Trail. You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

This painting was actually visualized during one of the visits with my great nieces and nephews and I knew I’d have to paint it, but this one came about in bits and pieces, and I’ll say it evolved over a period of years. I took a photo during one visit in 2010, but that wasn’t enough information when I decided I wanted to catch the whole scene, not just the kids in the water so I went back to the spot and took more photos on my own, but no one was in the water and it just wasn’t right.

On another visit in 2011 I took lots of reference photos from different angles and even did a small pencil sketch, then individual photos of them in the water, knowing I could never get out my pastels and paint them right there. In my studio the following year I lined up my photos and visualized something pretty close to this but couldn’t get a feel for it from just the photos, so I took my pastels to the trail the next summer, 2013, and laid down the basics of this sketch while there, trying to capture the colors and light and positioning of everything. I didn’t have all the colors with me which I needed and I knew I’d be working on it in my studio to add the kids in the water so I knew I wouldn’t be finishing it right then. I set the sketch in my holding area for more work, and there it sat.

Until, honestly, last week. Though I’d been intending to get back to it over last winter, thinking of the joy of revisiting a hot summer afternoon in the swimming hole in the middle of a cold and icy winter, I just never did. Even when I decided to do this exhibit and pulled it out, I still just couldn’t visualize everything. I pulled out the sketch and the photos of the kids in the water, and it just wouldn’t come together. Something was missing. One sunny afternoon passing by the trailhead I just decided to go there, parked my car, took off my shoes and walked off to this area in my “work clothes” as I’d been meeting with a client, held my skirts up above the water and waded as far as I could. A few more photos and I was ready.

I got home and planned where in the water the kids would go, made a composite from one of the original photos, added the kids into it in Photoshop according to what I was visualizing, and finally, after four years, finished this painting! And as it ended up the “three kids” were based on my one nephew who just happened to be in the right spot in the water at the right time.

I love painting water, and never give myself enough of a chance to paint it. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on all the details in the water as well as the direct and reflected light and the colorful shadows on the kids, the way the mid-day sun fell on the water, alighting the top layer of the brush and just touching leaves in the trees with brilliant highlights and creating deep shadows underneath. It’s part of what I think of when I think of summer.

Like the rope swing, how did we kids live through our childhoods jumping into a deep pool of water in a creek off in the woods? For me, unless the water smelled really bad or it was filled with something I didn’t want to touch, I was in it. Water is irresistible to me—if there is water, I at least have my feet in it, if that’s at all possible, and even when it rains I’m out in it for a bit, or standing in the gutter along the street in front of my house letting the rain water run over my feet. I think most kids are like that, and while there are dangers in places like swimming holes, avoiding dangers is not always the best way to deal with them. Instead, learning how to safely use the swimming hole can help teach a life lesson about observation, caution, and when to let go and enjoy things that aren’t manufactured for our use. That’s one of the joys, and lessons, of nature.

There’s still some of summer left, so jump in and have a splash! And I hope to see you this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “The Rope Swing”

"The Rope Swing", pastel 14" x 20"

“The Rope Swing”, pastel 14″ x 20″

Earlier this year when I imagined organizing an exhibit of landscapes I’d on sketched and painted on, and of, the Panhandle Trail, this image was the principal image I envisioned and has become my symbol for this exhibit, much as I love some of the others in the collection.You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

I hadn’t done this painting yet, but for years I’d planned a painting of this iconic rope swing, which everyone who’d grown up in the area knew about, and for all the years I’d considered having an exhibit like this, on the trail, as part of the annual event, the decision to finally paint this also made me decide this was the year to do it. I usually volunteer a few hours in the kitchen and walk around to take photos, and this will be really fun.

How did we kids live through our childhoods with things like rope swings available to us? I was thrilled to find a rope swing the first time I went exploring off the trail years ago and took a few swings on it myself just for fun, and when my great nieces and nephews came to visit from Savannah, a visit to the trail and the rope swing were tops on the list. Here are a few photos of them on the trail and swinging on the swing.

I pictured this painting to be in high summer, when the sun is bright and hot and the woods are dark and cool, and just coming upon the tree and the swing, the stream running past, standing in the deep darkness underneath looking at the lacy sunlight on the leaves of the tree and lacy shadows on the packed dirt beneath it and the swing itself silhouetted against the brightness beyond, in that moment when the potential is there, just before you decide to go for it.

The spot where this swing hangs is also one of my favorite places off the trail, and I visit there each time I use the trail, in all seasons—in mid-summer to have a dip into Robinson Run where there’s a nice pool there with water that’s always cool, and in winter to see the stream in winter, covered with ice and snow piled in the woods.

So there it is, the old rope swing, waiting for you off in the woods. Go and have an adventure!

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


“Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail”, August 22 and 23

I'm having an art exhibit!

I’m having an art exhibit!

SUN SHADOW ICE & SNOW

seasons along the panhandle trail

original paintings and sketches

opening friday august 22 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
through saturday august 23 noon to 9:00 p.m.

panhandle trail quarry area as part of Rock the Quarry

FEATURED WORK: “The Rope Swing” 14” X 22” Pastel

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I’ve been visiting the Panhandle Trail for nearly 15 years with my bike and on foot, for exercise and inspiration, more inspiration than exercise, packing in with backpacks of camera equipment and art supplies. I’ve taken thousands of photos along the trail and off in the woods, but I’ve also done a number of sketches while there in pencil, charcoal, pastel and watercolor, and arriving home in my studio to do more from photos. I’ve collected a number of these for an exhibit, but not in a gallery—right on the trail, where I’ve spent so much time and found these inspirations. It’s the place where I found the scene of one of my favorite paintings, “Dusk in the Woods”.

Click here to see a list of posts featuring other artwork in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow”.

quarry pond

The Quarry Pond

You’ll find me in my tent during Rock the Quarry, the annual fundraiser for the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail. I’ll have my exhibit set up and also have a small display of prints, photos and notecards I’ve created over the years of scenes from along the trail and off in the woods. Once Rock the Quarry is over, they all come home with me so this will be your only opportunity to see them all together, although I will set them up as an online gallery as I have been setting up each of my exhibits.

A portion of sales of art and merchandise during Rock the Quarry will benefit the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail.

So join me at Rock the Quarry August 22 and 23

I use this trail all the time, and part of my giveback is to maintain their website and the little bit of social networking that we do, along with photographing things. I always volunteer during the event, usually in the kitchen dishing out easy food, but this year I’m giving something different.

rock the quarry

Rock the Quarry 2013

What’s the quarry? The Panhandle rail line, which was removed to built the trail in the old rail bed, runs right through a century-old limestone quarry, a portion of which is still actively quarried. The quarry ponds are there and that and the woods around make a natural gathering place.

Music, food, science demo, games, raffles, bonfire, fire trucks, fun for all ages.

For over ten years, Rock the Quarry (RTQ) has been an annual tradition. RTQ features two days of music, food, and fun. Each year, RTQ showcases up-and-coming local musical talent. Day two of RTQ features lots of activities for the kids as well as the Grand Rubber Duck Race and the traditional Sunset Remembrance Ceremony.

For more information on the event including maps and parking, please visit www.panhandletrail.org.


Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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“Spring Morning Leaves” original pastel

pastel sketch of leafy trees
pastel sketch of leafy trees

“Spring Morning Leaves”, pastel, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like I’m in the deep woods, but it’s just the line of trees between our back yards; it all depends on the angle you look at it.

When I looked out my kitchen window this morning, above is what I saw. I couldn’t paint it because the light was changing fast at that early hour, so I photographed it and worked on it a little later. I wanted to keep it leafy with a lot of movement, so I used all my pastels on their sides.

This is painted on Colourfix sanded pastel paper with a variety of brands of pastels.

original framed pastel

“Spring Morning Leaves”, framed.

Buy this artwork

This pastel is for sale, framed, in my Etsy shop. There is no mat but the white wooden frame has a 1″ linen liner. Frame is 9″ x 12″.

Click here to see this painting in my Etsy shop.

 

See other original art and landscapes on “Today”

Click here to see an archive of original art.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Rock Face

limestone outcrop with face
limestone outcrop with face

Rock Face

I looked up and saw the profile of a face in the rock.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


A Day In the Woods: 2011

girl in stream water
girl in stream water

Looking Forward

Rather than post a photo of frost or snow or something else to do with this frigid weather, I thought I’d share one of my all-time favorite photos from my visits to the woods along the Panhandle Trail, from summer 2011 when a great-niece and great-nephew came to visit from out of town and we went exploring, and swimming in the swimming hole. Feel warm? I do!

I spent Sunday afternoon in the woods along the Panhandle Trail with my great-niece and and great-nephew, 9 and 11, just to run around, explore, be outdoors and make up our own activities with whatever was there—paths up and down hills, wildflowers, trees, a stream (Robinson Run), a trail made from an ex-train track (rail-to-trail), and an absolutely perfect day.

And we did. We did everything. I was so happy to have someone to play with, a few sun-warmed black raspberries and muck on our feet. Above is one of my favorite photos for the light, the color, the composition and the memories; that might have been me forty-odd years ago wading in a stream barefoot, carrying my shoes. It’s my great-niece Cassidy, just as fearless as I was then, and we were joined by her brother Kyler. We enjoyed exploring the woods, but we liked being in the water best. They live in Savannah, GA now, 88 degrees “is kind of like what it’s like in the spring,” but their streams happen to have alligators so they can’t go swimming like you can here.

And the rope swing…there is nothing like swinging on a rope swing, even if you don’t go too high it’s just that feeling of freedom, letting go, waving your feet around—the things that usually carry you around are off the ground!

Yes, their great-aunt was right there in the woods and the water and the rope swing with them, who do you think showed the way and was the first in the water and the first on the swing? But I had the camera so there were no photos of me.

I was also scouting places to paint and this year I’m determined to get out there. One little casualty was that I slipped sideways and my little Lumix digital went underwater in my pocket. It was out of order until I could take it apart and things could dry out a little and I got some action from it; I put it in my gas oven with the warm pilot light overnight and today it works but I need to replace the battery pack. I looked at the waterproof cameras for a reason, but they just didn’t take good photos. The other casualty from the same little slip-up, and more serious, was my 70-300 zoom lens for my Pentax K10D. I think it may come back too, but I am awfully fond of that lens. My camera bag is breaking down and took on water where it never used to.

Click here to see last year’s post for a brief slideshow of some of our events.

I enjoyed this day so much, and this photo has become one of my favorites of all time for so many reasons: the literal and metaphorical meanings behind my great-niece standing in shallow water, looking upstream, the ripples rolling out from her, she is growing up; the colors and spatters of sun on the water, and how much she reminded me of myself at that age, going barefoot and carrying my shoes, which I still do as I was standing barefoot in the water behind her with my camera, and the practicality of a bathing suit she can grow into, tied in a knot in the back because it was a little too big for her right then. I have a large print of this in my home to enjoy and wonder how I caught such a moment.


Christmas Day Trail Sketches

sketch of trail and trees and overcast sky
charcoal sketch of path in woods

“Uphill Path”, charcoal pencils on 2-ply vellum bristol paper, 5″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I like to capture whatever winter happens to be doing with a visit to the Panhandle Trail on Christmas Day, with photos of course, and also with sketches, and I captured three that I like.

Above is the first of a path I often walk up into the woods. It is steep, and actually continues up and up until it somewhat levels off, and in temperate times has a huge number of varied wildflowers, including the first trilliums of the year. We’d only had a dusting of snow but on this north facing side of the hill it was a little deeper and hadn’t melted. I like the look of rich black charcoal against pure white paper to capture a sense of the woods.

sketch of trail and trees and overcast sky

“Charcoal Dusk”, black and white charcoal on gray toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Above, the trail with a dusting of snow, the denseness of the trees along side and on a hill beyond, and the overcast sky. This is the first time I’ve used this toned paper while sketching, and it’s ideal for these winter types of sketches to start with a mid-tone.

The day began with a sunny morning but was so murky dark by the time I was ready to go in the early afternoon I held off until later. We did see some sun here and there, but I decided a late afternoon or even dusk visit would be good, and it was. It meant color was pretty much out of the question, not because there wasn’t any but because an overcast sky like that can really change the way my pastels look in the box and on paper. I did start one but decided to bring it home to finish, and will do others from photos—the clouds broke briefly just before sunset with lots of wispy color in the sky, awakening the cool blues and purples in the landscape, but the light changed so fast it was impossible to catch.

charcoal sketch of woods

“Ravine”, black and white charcoal on tan toned paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Above, a ravine with varied textures, and there happened to be a good bit of tan longer grass bend over under the snow.

See other original art and also original trail sketches here and here, my Christmas sketch from 2011.

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If you’d be interested in purchasing any of these sketches, please contact me.