This is painted from an image I took on the way to Colonial Beach, Virginia. It is of a sprawling farm in King George County. The land was as vivid at the deep sky.
Much of the foreground leaves the watercolor underpainting exposed.
King George Farm
soft pastel with watercolor underpainting on Pastelbord
I am going to try a bit of Marla Bagetta's style these days and do some repeation. While the first looks frigid, this one looks harsh due to its greater contrast. I especially like the deep turquoise sky and how it made parts of the snow look greenish.
Lancaster Snow 2
soft pastel and charcoal on Uart 500
I brought in the year with some fabulous news! I was juried to receive Signature Membership status with Maryland Pastel Society! This is a great honor from a long-established and respected society. I am very grateful. Here's my page at the MPS site - please take a look and "Like" it for me:
I begin another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge this month with a series that will come from our trip to Lancaster PA over Thanksgiving. Painting snow is unusual for me, because I generally prefer sunny climes. I think I will also try repeating from within the series for additional insight and looseness.
Run, don't walk, to the Workhouse Building W-9 this weekend! We're having a 20% reduction off on artwork sales over $100. I have many suggestions, if you need any. Plenty of my miniatures, crocheted scarves, photography, and fine art are just waiting on you and your last minute holiday gifting.
“Westpunt, Curaçao” is a pastel painting by Bonnie Ferguson Butler of the westernmost community of this Dutch Antilles island near Venezuela. It won a People's Choice award in December at Workhouse Building W-9. Based on a photograph taken by the artist in Summer 2014, this piece depicts a colorful jumble of architecture across Westpuntbaai, which is an expanse of turquoise water dotted with fishing boats. These buildings cling to the edge of an eroding cliff over the Caribbean Sea with an uplifting Caribbean flair that can only be found in this region. “Westpunt, Curaçao” is 12x16". Bonnie Ferguson Butler is an award-winning painter and photographer, who exhibits in W-9 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton and in many other regional exhibits. Her primary loves are painting outdoors and travel photography; she is Founder and President of the Pastel Society of Virginia. Butler's painting style is representational expressive, which is simultaneously loose and painterly. Keep up with her art activities and view her online gallery at bfbutler.blogspot.com.
Much of my work is done en plein air, French for "in the open air." People often associate it with the Impressionists, but the move to paint outside preceded them by a number of decades. The trend to appreciate landscapes as a genre at all was new for the time.
Several characteristics contribute to the distinctive beauty of en plein air painting. They are generally smaller in size in order to be able to capture a scene in a single sitting. Because of the time limit and environmental factors such as the sun and shadows moving, they often lack extensive details and might appear slightly fuzzy or unfinished. Lastly, they tend to have a freshness and spontaneity which makes them impossible to compare to traditional and methodological studio work. That said, my own studio work tends toward the same feel as en plein air, which then identifies my overall style: softness with an edge.
My aim when painting en plein air is for alla prima paintings, which roughly translates for me as "what happens outside, stays outside." It adds another level of difficulty to the work.
These are some local places for landscape painting; most are within an hour of the Beltway. Look here for the complete album, a couple hundred views from my photography collection, which are mapped here.