First Place Portrait in Austin Show

"Caldo" won a nice blue ribbon at the Austin Pastel Society show on Sunday.
Yesterday was the pastel class and those who came got lots of good work done. Today I'm finishing up paintings. I've finished two small pastels, and have another pastel and an oil to put final touches on. Then errands and a patient late afternoon.
I spent my weekend in Bastrop at Jo Castillo's house in the pines. She and her husband, Gene, took Karen and I to dinner and amazed us with stories of their travel-filled life. She had an art opening and reception at a local restaurant so I got to meet her daughters and her adoring friends, too. The bluebonnets were out in great heaps and mounds and we took a two hour hike through the beautiful state park in Bastrop. Thanks, Jo! The weekend ended in Austin with the reception of the Austin Pastel Society's annual Exhibition. I know I've mentioned it before, but I just love that group of artists.
Hope you're all enjoying the beautiful Spring! Happy Spring Equinox.

Sweet little still life from Pastel Class yesterday

As a departure from dishes and fruit and flowers, I set this simple still life up in class and three of us worked from it. Ron and Neka and Stacey worked from a lovely still life arrangement of nectarines and an ivy plant with flowers. Gene did further work on his self portrait. I worked another hour on this one today and am calling it done. It's an 11"x9" pastel on Colourfix sanded pastel paper. Will likely frame it down to a 10"x8".
Karen did well with her dental work yesterday and is out running errands today. Such a big girl. Not at all a whiner like me.

Oil on linen profile of girl in pink hat

This painting is 16" x 12" on stretched linen, done yesterday at Diane Manousos' studio. What a fun day! I only got to be there from 10-1, but got a good start on this, then came home and finished it here. I'd like to do this painting again sometime and try using much cooler colors in the little girl's face to see if it works even better.
Today is the pastel class and then I'm handholding Karen while she has dental work. She did the same for me last week.
Hope everyone's enjoying this great Spring weather!

Commissioned portrait of a girl and her dog

This was fun. 18" x 18" oil on stretched canvas from a digital photo. It's to be a birthday present for the woman.
More like this, please! It was such a pleasure to paint more loosely.

Small portrait commission finished.

I finished a small (14"x 11") oil portrait commission today. It was a posthumous painting of a young man his sister commissioned for her mother for Mother's Day. He and I have been eye to eye for two days. The reference photo was tiny and bad. His face is less than a half inch tall. I scanned it into a file at a high resolution and brought it up lifesize on my monitor, which helped, but it was still grainy and poor. But I could tell it would mean a lot to the family to give it my best.

Anticlimactically, neither of my paintings were accepted into the Salon International. I'm a little disappointed. But not too surprised. I will keep working to improve my oil painting skills and plan to try again next year. Thank you, my sweet friends, for sending words of encouragement these last couple of weeks while I pushed to meet the deadline.

My jaw is starting to feel human this evening. Of course, it could be the 800 mg of Ibuprofen I have swimming in my system. Thank you Jo and Sharon for your sympathy. I needed every bit of it!