In the midst of Christmas commissions

This is a pastel, 11x14, on Pastelbord, started as a demo from a photo for one of my classes and finished up later. I took it for our annual Austin Pastel Society Christmas show n' tell Thursday evening and got such enthusiastic feedback for it that I had to look more closely to see what I did "right." One member, our past president Kathy Gray, even asked me to email an image of it to her so she could 'study' it. She wrote back and cited my bravery in leaving strokes unblended and in using such saturated color in places. I had to agree with her about the bravery. It does take some bravery and some bit of bravado (probably from the same root word, right?) to trust and then emphasize those flashes of color and then to leave the strokes as they are and not rub them away. Every time I manage bravery of that sort, I feel rewarded, so I do it more and more.
I'm in the middle of two commissions, both oil, with looming deadlines. One is actually overdue and the commissioner is being very patient. But there's emergency shopping to do today and I'm being my sister's 'date' to her company Christmas party tonight, so I don't know how much painting I'm going to be able to squeeze in today.
I'm being helped in the sanity department by the emails I get several times daily from Flylady and her helpers. If you haven't discovered Flylady, you might want to take a look at It's a system for decluttering, keeping house by way of routines and baby steps, and FLYing : Finally Loving Yourself. I learned about Flylady from someone who was also participating in National Novel Writing Month two years ago, and have been grateful for her daily influence since.
Ok, I'm off to find festive clothes for tonight that I can wear in 70+ degree weather. It's warm and humid today.

Have a fun weekend, Ya'll!


Joanna said...

I don't know from brave strokes. I do know that the expression on that face is absolutely precious. Being able to catch that seems almost magical.

Bag Blog said...

I just came via Jo's blog who said to take a look at your latest portrait. It is great! I love it that you left your strokes and did not blend. I teach art to young people, and I have a hard time keeping my students' fingers out of their work.

Professor J said...

I love this sweet boy.