an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “pastel sketch

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

 


“Morning on the Creek”

"Morning on the Creek", pastel, 22" x 29", 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
    "Morning on the Creek", pastel, 22" x 29", 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Morning on the Creek”, pastel, 22″ x 29″, 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A placid morning canoe trip on Chartiers Creek as the sun spills over the top of the hill, and a goose and goslings head upstream. Of course, I couldn’t paint this while paddling, but I kept it in mind for later. I wear a small digital camera around my neck while canoeing and probably spend more time taking photos than paddling, and I’ve tipped the canoe more than once while swinging around trying to focus on a heron flying overhead. It’ s a good thing Chartiers Creek averages about 1o inches deep most of the year.

detail of landscape painting

Morning on the Creek, detail top left.

This scene is in June somewhere near Peters Township and Upper St. Clair where the creek’s channel is still winding in its traditional channel of oxbows and hairpin turns with high banks and deeper pools and rocky ledges in many places, alive with the calls and flight of herons, wood thrushes and kingfishers as well as the more common cardinals, jays and sparrows, and the occasional fish jumping out of the water. It’s difficult to believe you are paddling past back yards and the parking lots of industry, under the interstate and through a golf course.

detail of landscape painting

Morning on the Creek, detail top right

I did a small study of the top section of this image several years ago in preparation for this painting, which is sold but I have prints of this one as well. I have a series of photos from this canoe trip and many others, which are all worthy of artwork, but this spill of sunbeams broken by the tree trunks, touching the leaves with bright gold and shining a spotlight on the surface of the water is simply so descriptive of the summer creek, the one that I remember from my childhood when it was still fairly wild and overgrown all up and down its corridor, that I kept returning to it.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

“Sunbeams”, pastel, 6″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

I had originally intended to paint just the creek and its banks, but when I looked closer at my photos I found the little family of Canada geese floating along in the shadows. Even though Canada Geese are not native to the watershed, and are, in fact, invasive in some areas, they are such a common sight that I still welcome their entry on the scene.

goose and goslings

A goose and goslings.

This piece was the signature painting at my second annual poetry reading and fine art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, “Winter Twilight”; those long nights of midwinter can inspire some very deep thoughts. Even though this piece depicts summer, I painted it during a series of those longs nights, remembering the sweet and mild June morning, full of life and sound. Visit my website to see more artwork and read the poetry from that reading.

This painting is an original pastel on acid-free two-ply natural white drawing board to which I applied Art Spectrum Colourfix fine pastel ground tinted light green.

The image size 22″ x 29″, painted in 2008. I framed it in a custom plain matte black moulding with a 4″ acid-free white mat. Framed size is 30″ x 37″, and you can find it in my Etsy shop along with a variety of digital prints, giclee prints and canvas prints:

  • Original, framed or
  • Painting only
  • 11″ x 14″ Digital
  • 22″ x 29″ Giclee
  • 11″ x 14″ Giclee
  • 24 x 18 Canvas
  • 20 x 16 Canvas
  • 14 x 11 Canvas

For local friends, this painting is on display at Wesbanco in Carnegie, 100 Broadway Avenue, Carnegie 15106.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

“Sunbeams”, pastel, 6″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

“Sunbeams”

Incidentally, the preliminary sketch for this painting, “Sunbeams”, included above, is also available as prints. While I love the detailed finish of the original in that top area I love the loose quality and contrasts in the sketch. Find it 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.

. . . . . . .

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.

 


Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise

pastel painting of cold snowy sunrise
pastel painting of cold snowy sunrise

“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, 2012, 17.25″ x 9″, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like this out there this morning.

The coldest, frostiest mornings always seem to come in January, right after all the warmth and color of the holiday season. I painted this just one week shy of two years ago in January 2012, standing at my window to sketch the basics but finishing from a photo, the light so fleeting, but I look at this view each day and know the details in all seasons. This morning’s hazy frosty look with the valley in shadow but the bright sky was very inspiring. I decided to finally do this sketch that I’ve been visualizing for years.

Not just the colors of a snowy, frigid morning, but the steam rising from all the chimneys were part of the inspiration. I’m not sure why, but seeing the steam rise over the neighborhoods and town on a frosty morning has always had a sense of both melancholy and security for me. As I watched the sun rise and the day grow light, photographing as it went, it seemed everyone’s furnace turned on at the same time and I knew I had to paint this scene.

The four houses across from me I’ve sketched a number of times before, but in this case I’ve also included what is Main Street in Carnegie off to the left, the little collection of square-cornered things are the buildings there with steam rising just as well.

The one element I did leave out was the row of trees in my back yard which were just featured in a dawn photo the other day. They were just too chaotic and detailed, but really when I visualized the scene I realized my visualization had left them out. There is plenty of interest here without them. You can also see a portion of this scene in a frosty photo from last year before the heavy snowfall and ice knocked down a number of trees on the left, and in another snowy scene from this same vantage point. “Snow at Night”.

This painting is done in hues of only four colors, a Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue, haze blue that is a warmer color with a red tint and has elements of violet, and one shade each of yellow and pink.

This was one of those times when the photograph just wasn’t going to work.

Prints of this painting

“Frosty Morning” traveled to its final home over the holidays this year, to a friend “just north of us” in Canada. I offer a variety of prints of this painting, as digital, giclee or on canvas. Visit my Etsy shop to see the options and purchasing information.

. . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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”.

. . . . . . .

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”.

. . . . . . .

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”.

. . . . . . .

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!

. . . . . . .

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.


Sketch: The Bench in Spring

pastel painting of bench in spring trees
pastel painting of bench in spring trees

“The Bench in Spring”, pastel, 6.5″ x 9.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’ve been trying to scan this painting for two days and I still didn’t capture the range of greens very well and the sky is a little odd, but overall it is what it is. It’s another street sketch that I began outdoors and finished at home from a photo. This is one of the benches leading up the hill to Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, a view I see frequently in all seasons. The trees were just perfect this day, all just leafing out and so full of so many different shades of green. Already today they are darker green and denser.

In the meantime the row of trees to my right cast a deep shadow on the street which contrasted nicely with the lacy nature of the trees above.

I’ve been scurrying around trying to get a few spring sketches in while the leaves are still so colorful—it really only lasts a week, at most.

This is sketched in mixed soft pastels on multi-media paper, just enough tooth to hold pastel but no real finish.

Click any image to find out more about it or visit my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery. If you’d like to sign up to receive this e-newsletter, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

See other original art and landscapes on “Today”

Click here to see an archive of original art.

. . . . . . .

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

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.

 

 


April Cloud Study

original pastel painting of clouds
pastel painting of clouds

“April Cloud Study”, pastel, 9.5″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A very overcast morning cleared up and turned into a lovely spring afternoon—and it looks like this!

Once the weather turns warm and sunny the world begins coloring up nicely, and so it did one April afternoon. I decided to take some time to paint the clouds, literally and figuratively, standing out in my back yard with my pastel for about ten minutes—and by that time the skies were completely different.

Below is the framed version. I used a scrap of sanded pastel paper and it was cut unevenly, so there is a little bit along the left trimmed off that I liked. Well, that’s the way it goes.
The mats are 1.5″, white on white, with a little bit of a channel behind them so the pastel will fall behind the mat instead of on the mat. The frame is 12″ x 12″ and I was so inspired by the colors that I refinished it to coordinate with the painting in shades of blue green and lilac from the painting and a white crackle finish overall. You can find this painting in my Etsy shop.

original pastel painting of clouds

“April Cloud Study”, original pastel, 9″ x 9″, 2013

And there are many more! Click any image to find out more about it or visit my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery. If you’d like to sign up to receive this e-newsletter, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

See other original art and landscapes on “Today”

Click here to see an archive of original art.

. . . . . . .

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

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


“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.

. . . . . . .

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


Spring Grass, original sketch

original art original pastel "Spring Grass", pastel on multi-media paper, 7" x 10" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
original art original pastel "Spring Grass", pastel on multi-media paper, 7" x 10" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Spring Grass”, pastel on multi-media paper, 7″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

All the sun on all this green stuff is just too much! But it was the lush grass that became one of this spring’s first outdoor sketches. I actually painted this from a photo, taken the same day as I photographed the dandelions with the honey bee. This photo stayed in my mind for its simplicity but bold patterns and color, but I was feeling my pastels instead of a photo post. After a few days working out in my garden and filling my eyes with green I thought I’d paint this one after all, and sooner rather than later.

It’s painted in mixed brand pastels on white multimedia paper. Below is the uncropped version of the painting; sometimes I like the rough edges.

original art original pastel "Spring Grass", pastel on multi-media paper, 7" x 10" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The uncropped version of “Spring Grass”

. . . . . . .

For the original or a print of this sketch, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

This was first posted on The Creative Cat where I post original daily sketches of my cats each day.


White Houses in Spring

pastel sketch of white houses on hill
pastel sketch of white houses on hill

“Houses on the Hill”, Nupastel on multimedia paper, 10″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is a plein air sketch I did yesterday afternoon from Main Street in Carnegie. The houses, nearly all of them white so I took a little liberty with them, sit on the edge of the bluff for the view, the steep drop below covered with scrappy trees just turning hazy shades of green. In the bright sun of afternoon the shadows and shapes were clearly defined so I drew it pretty much entirely using the side of the square pastel stick so I’d achieve geometric shapes with just a little blending.

. . . . . . .

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


Sketch: Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise

pastel painting Frosty Morning, Just Before Dawn, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski
pastel painting     Frosty Morning, Just Before Dawn, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, 17.25″ x 9″, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like this out there this morning.

I’ve always liked this view out my back window, and this morning’s hazy frosty look with the valley in shadow but the bright sky was very inspiring. I decided to finally do this sketch that I’ve been visualizing for years.

The colors in this aren’t entirely accurate plus certain parts of it smeared when I put in into my scanner, so I may try photographing it tomorrow and replacing this image if the colors are more accurate. I began it first thing then put it aside as the light changed, later working from the photo I’d taken and just from my visualization. It’s 10″ tall x 18″ wide.

Not just the colors of a snowy, frigid morning, but the steam rising from all the chimneys were part of the inspiration as well, I’m not sure why, but when everyone’s furnace turned on at the same time is when I knew I had to paint this.

The four houses across from me I’ve sketched a number of times before, but in this case I’ve also included what is Main Street in Carnegie off to the left, the little collection of square-cornered things are the buildings there with steam rising just as well.

The one element I did leave out was the trees in my back yard which were just featured in a dawn photo the other day. They were just too chaotic and detailed, and when I visualized the scene I realized my visualization had left them out. There is plenty of interest here without them. You can also see a portion of this scene in a frosty photo from last year before the heavy snowfall and ice knocked down a number of trees on the left.

This painting is done in hues of only four colors, a Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue, haze blue that is a warmer color with a red tint and has elements of violet, and one shade each of yellow and pink.

This was one of those times when the photograph just wasn’t going to work.


Sketch: Clementines

pastel painting of clementines on shelf
pastel painting of clementines on shelf

“Clementines”, pastel, 10″ x 5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A pastel sketch of my current crop of Clementines on the shelf in my kitchen.

This sketch is drawn entirely in Sennelier soft pastels on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper in the warm gray threaded tone. I wanted to use the laid texture of the paper to help convey the lightly pitted texture of the Clementines, and then also to soften the edges of everything to help capture the softened angled light from the window. The light comes mainly from the left, but several fruits are also catching a softer mid-tone highlight from a window in the next room to the right.

I had sorted them out of their bin since only a few were left and went to get a little basket for the. As I came back I saw the composition—the top of the cherry bookcase, my crocheted dresser scarf, the green-toned wall and of course the little stars themselves. The light comes in at a very slanted angle at any time of the year, especially winter, and for most of the day it’s reflected light from the sky with a cool tone and softened shadows. It doesn’t last very long, and I knew it was near the end of its journey on a short winter afternoon so I snapped a few photos and started a quick color sketch, but it was days before I got back to it. Glad I did, or those Clementines would have certainly lost their sweet and bright character in the meantime!

It’s the nice thing about art that you can leave out things you don’t like to be there. This shelf sometimes becomes a catch-all for things, and though they were actually in the scene I just left them out. There are also things hanging on the wall, and it’s a stucco wall that’s white which I rag-painted with vanity yellow and pale mint green. In this corner the shadows are dull and I debated having a cool gray-green wall to really bring out the orange of the Clementines, one of the reasons I began with this tone of paper, which you can see at the very top. I decided instead I wanted to keep with the rich tones in the rest of the sketch and worked the shadows in green—it’s not at all a realistic choice of tone or color or even quality of shadow, but I like it, and it works. I also decided to leave a loose edge at the top, I’d visualized it this way from the very beginning. I may have liked a loose edge all around but I ran off the paper on the sides.

I had mentioned with the last sketch of fruit that I was eyeing those Clementines…

. . . . . . .

If you’d be interested in purchasing this sketch, please contact me. Likely I’ll frame it and add it to my Etsy shop.


Sketch: Snow at Night

pastel painting of snow out the windows at night
pastel painting of snow out the windows at night

“Snow at Night” pastel, 11.75″ x 8.25″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

From the window at the back of my house I can see out over the valley and the hill beyond. When it snows at night the scene is transformed from black velvet punctuated by rooftops and streetlights and lit windows to a hazy wonderland of blue and creamy white, the familiar rooftops and trees given depth and dimension by the falling snow. Just like “Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, I’d been visualizing this little painting of the snow falling at night, the house with lit windows nestled into the snow-dusted branches and bramble and trees, silhouettes of rooftops beyond, the lights of Carnegie’s Main Street brightening the view behind them, then the haze of snowfall where normally I’d see only darkness. It looks quaint and kind of cliché, but it looks like home to me.

This painting is done in Sennelier pastels on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper, in the dark green hue. I knew that I could get the softness I wanted from the Sennelier pastels on this paper which has a nice soft surface to capture pastel, and though I wasn’t sure I wanted the texture of the laid finish it worked well to break up and soften the edges. I used three tones of Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue and tempered it with violet and gray in the shadows, then added pinks and yellows to the lighter areas. The windows, of course, are several shades of yellow.

If snow is what you’ve got, then snow is what you paint—I’m going to take advantage of it while it’s here. I’ve started another sketch from this morning when there was still snow in the air but the sun was shining.

See “Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, and also see other pastel paintings and original art.

This painting and others are for sale, please ask if you are interested.


Sketch: Afternoon Apples

pastel sketch of apples on counter
pastel sketch of apples on counter

“Afternoon Apples”, pastel, 5″ x 7″ (paper size) © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A pastel sketch of Granny Smith apples, mixed pastels and pastel pencils on 2-ply vellum bristol.

An independent produce seller visits my neighborhood every two weeks, in the growing season carrying all local grown stuff, in winter fruits and vegetables that were good deals from some of the larger local suppliers, along with local cheese, butter and honey. We used to call these guys “hucksters”, but that almost seems derogatory compared to this entrepreneur, who is also a small farmer himself, who took the chance to knock on a few doors and start getting customers.

We also exchange conversation about our holidays and the things we’ll be cooking. He had a special on Granny Smith apples, which I like to eat and bake with (so I guess an apple crisp is in my future), and I joked that I’ve also painted them and I should count the purchase as a tax deduction for materials. Immediately I envisioned two apples on the table by the dining room window in the cool indirect winter light. And so I did paint the apples, two of them at least. There was a baker’s dozen of apples in each bag. Should I claim a deduction for 2/26 or 1/13 of the cost? I may also paint the peppers and cucumber and maybe a few more apples. I think I’m creating an accounting nightmare. I’ll get more out of the apples if I just eat them. But I think you’ll be seeing a few more little still lifes like this. I’ve been eyeing my Clementines too.

. . . . . . .

If you’d be interested in purchasing this sketch, please contact me. Likely I’ll frame it and add it to my Etsy shop.


Sketch: Main Street Sunday

pastel painting of main street in carnegie
pastel painting of main street in carnegie

“Main Street Sunday”, pastel on sanded paper, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is one more sketch from my art and photo extravaganza Sunday a week ago, and this is what happens when you try to do six sketches in one day—they are finished at a later time.

This sketch I had not had the chance to begin that day, only took photos with intention. It was near noon and I’d already been out in the sun for about two hours, and the only place to stand to get this sketch was in direct sun. I don’t mind the sun, but I knew that would have been too much.

As I always do when I photograph people where they might be recognizable, I went to the nice young couple with the baby sitting at the table by Papa J’s and told them I was only photographing for reference for a painting I’d like to do but I would likely never use the photograph unless I had a release since they were recognizable. That was fine with them. I took several photos and packed things up on my bike to continue on my journey to a shadier spot for mid-day.

So I began this sketch entirely from a photo, and sometimes that’s okay, but there’s a lot going on here and something just didn’t feel authentic with the sketch I’d finished a day or two after. I had to let it sit…and sit…and sit until I decided I just had to find the time around noon on a sunny day to go back to that spot and look at it again, and work on the painting for a bit if I could. Then I had to wait several rainy days for a sunny day. And so today I did. It seems I needed deeper shadows and sharper highlights. If I’d been able to I would have removed the two cars, but that wasn’t possible so I toned them down. The street’s a little out of proportion…oh, well.

So here we are, Main Street in Carnegie on a Sunday in June, just about noon! It was June 9, to be exact.

(If you see a couple of stripes about 1/3 of the way from each edge, that’s my scanner, still unhappy and not getting any better. I really have to look for a new one.)

Main Street is a frequent subject of mine:

West Main Street August Afternoon

Memorial Day Parade: A Pencil Sketch

Evening Lights: Painting

And an exhibit entitled “My Home Town”


A Day of Spring Sketches

pastel sketch of leafy trees
pastel sketch of leafy trees

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

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.

Below are two small sketches I did of Robinson Run along the Panhandle Trail. Both are pastel, and while there are areas I am very pleased with there are also areas I am not…but it just means I need to restock my field boxes of pastels with some of the colors I’m missing.

The first sketch was:

pastel ketch of creek with trees

“Robinson Run Early Spring”, pastel, 8″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The second sketch was:

pastel sketch of stream

“The Swimming Hole in Spring”, pastel, 6″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski


April Cloud Study

pastel painting of clouds
pastel painting of clouds

“April Cloud Study”, pastel, 9.5″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Now that the weather has turned warm and sunny the world is coloring  up nicely. I decided to take some time this afternoon and paint the clouds, literally and figuratively. It’s just a little thing and really only took about ten minutes—and by that time the skies were completely different.

This is Sennelier pastel on Wallis sanded pastel paper.

Below is the cropped version. I used a scrap of sanded pastel paper and it was cut unevenly, so there is a little bit along the left trimmed off that I liked. Well, that’s the way it goes.

pastel painting of clouds

“April Cloud Study”, pastel, 9.5″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski