To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

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Monday, January 19, 2009

THE MYSTERY OF A SNOWPATCH - life of an artist

All my Pastels and pastel pencils were laying scattered on the coffee table for several weeks. Only for an hour in the afternoon the sun would shine into the living room. It was then that I would work on this small pastel (11 x 15 inch). When I can't be sure of the value (intensity) of my colors, I refuse to paint. Later, my hubby was so good to buy me a daylight lamp!
I first made an underpainting with the watercolor medium. Usually I go with gusto, and work and work on a painting till it's largely done. Slowing down my normal pace for this little pastel felt like "hibernation", but it did give me time to journal why I was taking on this small scene with so many details.

Again, unusual for me, because even in my choice of scenes I go for big and bold. I like to journal about the process of a painting anyway, because I can look back later and see how I solved certain painting problems.

The mystery of the snowpatch unfurled itself when I started thinking about the actual location where I took the pic for this painting.
Since I grew up in Holland, life does not seem complete if there is no wintertime. Now I live in California, whenever the snowlevel on the mountains drops to about 4000 feet, we make plans to drive 2 1/2 hours to Big Bear Lake to spend a day in the snow.

In the past, when our kids were little, we used to go up to that area - one time in the summer and one time in the winter. We had discovered an area where not too many vacationers would go to, because the road is unpaved. Our kids called it "the lumpy bumpy road" and made up songs about it, while our Suburban would hobble over the bumps of that road.

In the summer we would collect and dry the wild flowers we found along the way, and hiked as far as their little legs could carry them. In the winter this area was closed off for cars. We then walked and sled on this snowy road and inhaled the crisp virgin air of this incredible serene and breathtaking scenery.

The snowpatch is somewhere on this road, where the bank of a small stream is lighted by the sun, with overhanging branches as the focal point. This small scene tells about the seasons: dried up grass from the summer, branches stripped from leaves in the fall, all blanketed by the mysteriousness of the snow in the winter.

I cannot part with the original yet, so you may purchase a print.
*Log onto www(dot)stgermainart(dot)com for prices on the last page,
*please email me at castlestgermain(at)hotmail(dot)com to order the print, because my outlook express on my website does not work (sorry!).
*Pretty please make it clear in the subject title, like:snowpatch or pastelpainting, or something like it.


William F. Renzulli said...

Very nice! I really like the contrasting values.

Peggi Habets said...

I can see where this is a deviation from your other paintings. The bright, bold colors of your landscapes are replaced with a Wyeth-like approach, subtle and subdued. A wonderful homage to the master, whether intentional or subconscious. Nice work.

jeannette stgermain said...

I lOVE Wyeth! wish I could even come close to paint like he did. Thank you for the compliment. If you would be closer I would take a class from you in portraiture, cause you do it in a bold approach and colors (most are too mousy or trendy for my taste)-again, wishing you a speedy healing of your foot.

Reader Wil said...

It first looked like a photo of a snow patch. Only, when I enlarged it, I saw how beautiful it is and that it is a painting! Excellent!

GutsyWriter said...

Very beautiful work. I love bold colors too, especially tropical paintings. I started copying Steve Barton's work. Do you know of his paintings?
I'm a fairly new blogger too, and in answer to your question about awards, you can copy then from others and paste them into your posting. That's what I did with the lemonade and butterfly ones I received.
If you have other questions, you can e-mail me at:
Tell me about your similar situation t mine. I know you were born in Holland?

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil, thank you! When you saw the enlargement, you saw the technique I am using is "crosshatch" - you crosshatch one layer of a color, and crosshatch the next layer on top with another closely related color (or a contrasting color). Some pastel artists make their crosshatching really big, and that is their signature mark.

jeannette stgermain said...

Hi Gutsywriter, I wrote you an email about the similarity in moving from country to country, because it's too long for a comment.
I think I've heard of Steve Barton, do you have some of his art on your blog?
thank you for the comment and the compliment.