View Full Version : The "Goal Post" for January 2010

01-01-2010, 05:13 PM
Hello, and Happy New Year to all.:wave:

What better time is there, to start setting goals? A brand new year and decade. Now is the time to join all of the regulars in setting artistic goals.

Goals will help you get to where you want to be. By posting your goals, you commit to them. You can make short termed or long termed goals. Any goal you set is your goal, and your goal only.

If you put an "I will" in front of your goal, it shows more commitment. Just remember to set yourself up for success by making your goals obtainable.

So come and join us. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We are all here to help each other.



01-01-2010, 05:39 PM
Starting off the new thread for the new decade, neat!

In January ...

1. I will continue to send out Vaumuru's Curse to other agents and some publishers, since I only got it out to one during December. (Albeit the one most likely to want it!) and work on writing and editing every week.

2. I will relax and take it easy.

3. I will host the January Oil Pastels Challenge and participate over there.

4. I will try new things in soft pastels and Pan pastels, participate in at least one challenge or event besides the one I'm hosting and enjoy pasteling.

5. I will think of ways to organize my pastels so I can get at them easier.

I think that's enough for January. I've got new Richesons coming on Monday to chart and play with, then the monster Dakota order arriving whenever that does to anticipate and then play with. I'm in love with pasteling again and really need to hang here more often, it's done wonders for me during December.

Happy New Year and happy new decade!

01-01-2010, 05:56 PM
Happy New year to you, Robert. Your goals seem to be very well thought out.

I am glad to hear you are in love with pasteling again. It is a medium you either love or hate. The haters don't know what they are missing.


01-02-2010, 09:38 AM
Rob, OP is P too. (I hope to get some more time to learn OP...)

Doug, good grief, is it time for goals again? Gee... gotta think.


01-02-2010, 10:18 AM
Happy 2010, everyone...

Robert...glad you are taking it easy on yourself this month...you can always add more later...
Charlie...sounds like you need to take it a bit easy this month, also, after your grueling december...

I have been giving some thought to my goals, not only for this month, but in general for the year. So here are my GENERAL GOALS for the year 2010..

1. SKETCH frequently....use the artwork From Life forum for inspiration if necessary
2. EXHIBIT outside of the art league....Contact places that offer space on a monthly basis
3. CREATE my Christmas cards for this year.
4. ORGANIZE.... my space, my work, my thoughts, and my actions.
5. ENJOY....all that I do

1. Create and get business cards printed
2. Do at least one of the Challenges
3. Put up shelving to hold paintings, paper, books, etc
4. Sketch a few minutes on the days I dont paint
5. Take the workshop with Frank Federico (Jan 30) with no expectations except to learn and enjoy.

A friend has a set of Angel Cards, which she offers to each to pull one for a 'word' for the year. The one I pulled is ENTHUSIASM, which is most appropriate for how I feel about this coming year.
Wishing you all the same, and a year filled with JOY...

01-02-2010, 12:14 PM
:wave: Happy New Year of Pastel Painting, Goalies!

I'll stop back in with my January and my new year goals soon, but just
had to pop in and wish everyone a very great year in painting and setting goals.

A few thoughts: (Oh, now, here she goes....Elsie is off an running!:eek: )
As a retired teacher, having lived 43 years with the need to have definite goals and that very necessary planbook close at hand, when I first retired 5 years ago (OMG: time flies!) I was at a loss each day, each week.
So I armed myself with a dayplanner calender book and forced myself to jot down what I was to do each day and week. Without goals, I tend to just spin in circles and the forward direction is lost! Yea for Goals!
Here at our Goal Post we have the added advantage of having friends that cheer one on and pat one on the hand when we just don't meet the goal as desired!:heart: A big thank you to all the regulars on Goal Post, both those who post and cheer and those who are regular readers.

A couple of days ago, I sat down to do a little "Think" (Like Winnie the Pooh in his "thinking place".): What is the difference between goal setting and New Years resolutions?
In general, the latter is for those who feel they drasticly want to change, to "start over". I view goals as a way of life.
So my yearly goals will mainly start out with "I will continue" with a few new "I will" ones!
Those that I have lived with this last year will "continue" as they are now just the way I do things!

The big trick is to move from "just doing" to a "habit" of doing! It takes about 20 repeats of a skill, remembering a fact, doing a thing, to move it from short-term to long-term...either memory or the habit of doing.

Elsie's Biggies:
It is ok to not do something, to not complete a goal, to change a goal.
Don't set goals for everything on the planet! Limit. Fewer is better.
Don't plan to go to the moon, if a walk in your own garden is what is practical.
Dare to take some risks. Stick your toe in the water. Don't leap off cliffs every day, but do leap frequently.....To quote Julia Camron ("Artist's Way"):
Leap and the net will be there.
Give yourself credit for what you have done, where you have been, and for the little things along the way.

Last year I:
:thumbsup: Solved the bad place for a studio problem: I now have a new studio.
:thumbsup: Moved back into graphite drawing.
:thumbsup: Greatly increased my knowledge and skill regards color in watercolor and pastel.
:thumbsup: Freed myself from the idea that everying painting is a finished, polished work and now regularly do more studies than finished work.
:thumbsup: Increased my knowledge of photography and digital photo work on computer.
:thumbsup: Purchased my new camera and have become comfortable with using its features.
:thumbsup: Improved my balance, walking/standing strength, and ability to climb and go down stairs....A biggie to free me to have a basement studio, to do more PA!
:thumbsup: I solved the problems related to my PA set up and purchased my SunEden Pastel/Watercolor setup.
:thumbsup: I participated in WC Pastel Forum Goal Post every month:heart:

It has been a great year! Thank you to all who have cheered, advised, helped, encouraged, and dried a tear or two!
:heart: :clap:

01-02-2010, 12:27 PM
Fantastic goals Judi! Wow, very ambitious. Ok, a bit more modest but:

I will sketch every day.
I will try to find a better balance between art (what I want to do) and work (what I have to do).
I will do at least two paintings for the January Monthly Challenge!

Argh, afraid that's it...:o Chuas

01-02-2010, 01:13 PM
Chuas, good solid doable goals, great way to start!

For your number 2, is there a way to find regular times in the week? For example Sunday afternoons, 4 solid hours, or something similar. That is, if you schedule it in, it is more difficult to just forget, as you'll be reminded.

Me, I'm still pondering... too tired to think ahead. Just want to relax today.


01-02-2010, 02:35 PM
Judi- Happy New Year to you. Out of all your long term goals, to me number 5 is the most important. If we don't enjoy what we are doing, why do it? Your short term goals are well balanced. I bet you are looking forward to the workshop. Enthusiasm is a great thing, and it is contagious, so bring it on.:D

Elsie- I always enjoy reading your thoughts. They are always interesting and educational. That's a fantastic list of accomplishments for 2009. Have a great 2010.

chuas- Welcome to the goal post. Finding that balance with work and art can be a difficult challenge. Charlie has a good idea. If you set a time, you are committed. Just like work. I bet you know what time you start work every day. Work is a four lettered word.:eek: Good luck. You will find a way.

Charlie- I'm still pondering too. That's okay. There is no time limit.


01-02-2010, 09:02 PM
Elsie, you are so right. New Year's Resolutions seem to be about "eliminate bad habits and make major changes in your life." I didn't like the critical tone of most of them, it seemed like "lose weight, exercise more, budget tighter" and mostly self denial goals whenever I ran into them. They wind up being almost an annual guilt trip as by February everyone's gone back to their normal habits having gained nothing except another failure to depress them.

I found the monthly goals here were a lot more positive, but I don't like to guess ahead as far as a year. There isn't anything about me that I could change that I'd really want to -- most of my habits are dictated by my disabilities and most of the major life changes I went through in the past years have left me feeling sick of major life changes. Life's better now, so my main New Years goal is to just enjoy it, get more used to enjoying life and not having those extreme stresses any more.

Judibelle, your goals are so well organized, both the year goals and the January goals. Your year goals look pretty good! If you do the Christmas cards art early on then it won't be a stress at the end of the year.

Chuas, your goals look great! You already draw well, so don't hesitate to think about marketing your art if you want a happier way to earn a living. I think you could probably do it at least part time even now given the skills I've seen. I am not kidding, you're better than I was when I did the street art thing for a living and I was living on it full time. Daily sketching rocks. I should get back into that, it was fun!

Charlie, with everything you've been doing firing on all thrusters, you do need a break! Maybe put "relax" somewhere on your goals when you post them.

Doug, makes sense to me. I came up with mine off the top of my head but deliberately went light on them for this month just to catch my breath after December and November and October.

01-02-2010, 11:43 PM

Chuas: Welcome! Great goals!
Oh, I hear ya', about the work and art! While I was teaching full time for 43 years (I loved teaching!), I just found my art time was a few min. here and there with graphite mostly! Looking back now...hindsight 20/20 :lol: , I realize
I really could have done more art, I really could have painted and done pastels. Balance...Yes! We'll cheer you on! :thumbsup:

Judibelle: You're off and going for a great year! :cat:

Charlie....Oh, yes, you deserve the word "Relax!" :heart:

Robert: Ah, yes! A year can seem like a long time. I so admire all that you ARE ABLE to do! My year goals are more hopes than resolutions. The monthly time frame is better suited! You are an inspiration to us all! :thumbsup:

Doug: Thanks for keeping this thread going and keeping us "on the path!":clap:

Happy New Year!

Mary Y
01-03-2010, 02:32 AM
Hi Everyone , I thought about posting goals last month but by the time I decided what I was aiming for it was almost the end of the month.

Elsie I have to hang onto that thought
The big trick is to move from "just doing" to a "habit" of doing! It takes about 20 repeats of a skill, remembering a fact, doing a thing, to move it from short-term to long-term...either memory or the habit of doing.

I will start Charlies Still Life The Colourful Way and post as I go .
I will take part in at least 3 challenges/threads and post what I paint (Pastel strokes/WDE/etc)
I will enjoy what I paint

01-03-2010, 03:04 AM
Hi Everyone , I thought about posting goals last month but by the time I decided what I was aiming for it was almost the end of the month.

Elsie I have to hang onto that thought

I will start Charlies Still Life The Colourful Way and post as I go .
I will take part in at least 3 challenges/threads and post what I paint (Pastel strokes/WDE/etc)
I will enjoy what I paint

This may well be one of the happiest months of your life then. I can't tell you how much joy Charlie's Still Life The Colourful Way class has brought into my life and everything I paint. She uses still life to show the method but it can be applied to any subject. Somewhere deep down in me, the little boy that liked all the really bright colors best got completely vindicated by the whole Colourist approach and I can't help seeing color everywhere now, in everything, in ways that have made me so much happier.

Even a half empty cat food bowl looks like a delightful dance of color. Or! Yikes! Starving, unhappy cats! I'd better get up and share my delight in a full cat food bowl and happy cats right now!

01-03-2010, 09:31 AM
Aye, friends, painting = relaxing, so... yes.

Here's a riddle for ya, goalies! A clue, it is a tool that helps us reach goals:

I am your constant companion
I am your greatest helper, or your heaviest burden
I will push you onward, or drag you down to failure
I am completely at your command

Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me,
and Iíll be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed, you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done,
and after a few lessons Iíll do them automatically.

I am the servant of all great men, and the alas of all failures as well.
Those who are great Ė I have made great.
Those who are failures Ė I have made failures.

I am not a machine
though I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or you may run me for ruin Ė
it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, and be firm with me,
and Iíll place the world before your feet.
Be easy with me, and Iíll destroy you.

Who am I?

Mary Y
01-03-2010, 10:07 AM
Of the top of my head on my weary way to bed--would it be a HABIT??

01-03-2010, 10:10 AM
....or maybe our Will...

01-03-2010, 12:53 PM
Wow, I'm so amazed, grateful, etc. for all of the encouragement and support. How can i go wrong with so many fantastic people who don't even know me, believing in me? :)

Robert, I think your comment is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me (my mom, a recent arrival in heaven, is smiling).

I think though, that my primary concern is keeping my art fun. I'm such a super neurotic obsessive compulsive perfectionist (no exaggeration...), that I stopped doing art for many years because nothing I did was good enough (do other folks have this problem?). So if I can successfully keep the work and art balanced (Charlie had great suggestions, as did others), I will be happy with that, hence the somewhat modest goals. :)

01-03-2010, 09:16 PM
Hmmm, Some good reading as to goals, habits and the self critical voice that sometimes needs to take a vacation.

Long term goals for 2010:
1) Put together a body of work, probably the white anemone series and the red poppy series, to approach galleries in Edmonton and Calgary with. As well as putting together the proposal and other assorted writings to support it.
2) Enter the Art without Borders juried show in Lloydminster.
3) Enter at least one other juried show/competition.
For January:
I will start the larger sized anemones series.

I will paint a small painting of meerkats for a friend as a housewarming gift.

I will go to Edmonton and scout out the galleries and collect business cards as appropriate.

I will collect reference material and paint from a collection of hockey equipment for the Alberta Winter Games art display in Feb 4-7.

I will make my studio usable. This probably should be goal #1.

Find some reference material for a WC painting evening I am hosting sometime this month.

Touching base on Wetcanvas every couple of days, so I don't feel so far behind in responding to others' goals and other postings. Sometimes it feels overwhelming.

01-04-2010, 01:05 AM
Elsie- You are welcome. It is just my way to try to pay back to our community. I can't teach much about art, but goal setting and I go back a long way, so I figured it was a way I could help out.

Mary- Welcome to The Goal Post. You have some great goals. You will learn so much doing Charlie's class. It will open your eyes to colour. Robert is correct when he says you will be seeing colour you didn't even know was there. Have fun and keep at it.

Charlie- A "mind."

chuas- It is a common problem around here. We always seem to be our worst critics. I am never happy with my art. It usually takes a day or two for me to appreciate what I created. Post your paintings in the Gallery and get some positive feedback and help. You won't regret it.

terri- I can't wait to see that still life painting. It's a very unique idea. You seem to be getting very organized for your attack on Alberta. Go for it.:thumbsup:


01-04-2010, 02:21 AM
Wow, Terri, your goals are impressive! I'm looking forward to the anemones and poppies as well as the hockey equipment still life -- that should be fascinating. Cool that you're doing something for that exhibition!

Chuas, I've had that problem before and another ugly flavor of burnout -- what happened when I got too sick to produce enough art to live on was ugly. I couldn't afford to keep any of my favorites and lost heart for doing any of it. Literally what I produced seemed lifeless.

Many years later I started tentatively getting back into art again and swore off selling any of it for years so that I wouldn't get bound up in that horrible feeling again. It took a long time to recover, but I think some of it for me was the financial desperation and not being able to keep favorites. If I couldn't afford my own work it got depressing always letting it go. I never made time to sketch either, couldn't afford that time.

I used to do the type of intense careful realism that you do and since I got into WC and back into pastels, I started loosening up and doing these more impressionist things. Daring to make more changes to my references and now what I'm working on is learning some subjects well enough to compose them completely from imagination -- as well as if I had a reference.

So the moral of the story is don't jump too soon into full time. Your work is a lot better than you credit yourself for but I can see it's a slow and careful style. Maybe one of the ways to keep the fun in it would be to sketch lots. I'm just discovering sketching years after I learned accurate careful drawing, it's crazy but I'm enjoying it so much. I guess I learned backwards!

01-04-2010, 07:50 AM
Mary, you nailed it! It is "Habit", but of course Will and Mind play a huge role in creating (or re-creating) habits. It is said (above too) that it takes about a month to establish a good new habit. I think it is a wonderful tool, to train oneself to have good habits. (Yeah, so why don't I do it more and better, then...?). The more positive habits we have that will make up the "auto pilot", the less energy we have to spend on making us do things.

Chuas, the obssessive compulsive perfectionist can be conquered, wrestled down, made to behave. It is not easy. But as you've discovered, the Inner Perfectionist kills one's desire to create, as nothing is ever good enough, so why bother. The Inner Perfectionist has free board and lodging in one's mind, so evict it! Talk back! When you hear the thought "this isn't good enough" say "oh yeah, and who are you to whine? It's actually really good, so don't try to discourage me!" It is simply (yeah, so simply...) a habit of thought, the 'cd' playing in your mind. Change it to a better one that plays a tune you like. Now, striving for *excellence* is another thing. Excellence contains small errors, irregularities, as those are what makes it alive. 19th century painters often did an oil-sketch, a study (on location too) before committing to a studio work. Nowadays, we've realized that the sketch is so much more beautiful than the "perfect" studio painting. My trick was to do *many* sketches, where there was no self-imposed requirement of perfection. Slowly I'm forming the habit of being freer and looser in my strokes. It is exhilarating to discover that the sketches I do for pure play are way more interesting and alive than the perfectionistically and anxiously 'serious' painting. Took some while to let go with the 'serious' stuff, but the rewards are great!

Terri, yep, your goal number one is what it takes to realize the other goals. "Usable" is a good level. Thank you for sharing the well thought out and planned goals, you'll be wonderfully prepared to grab the chances as they swish by. Pace yourself regarding posting, it can be quite overwhelming.

Guys, would you like to be a part of making the Pastel forum a bit better? Some of the people who post, especially new people, do not get many replies at all. When you have some extra time, you'd do a very good deed if you checked the number of replies people have gotten, and maybe add a nice comment. I think there is a phenomenon of sort of waiting to see if they stick around before making friends with the new kid on the block, and I think it is entirely subconscious, as we do get many transients. It took forever before I got more than 3 comments, and it didn't feel good, but I continued to hang around here in Pastel, as I craved the info. So I know how important it is to be including and welcoming and encouraging. And I invite you to be a part of making Pastel forum a more pleasant experience for the new kids. An easy way to make the Daily Good Deed, eh? :-)


01-04-2010, 12:08 PM
Guys, would you like to be a part of making the Pastel forum a bit better? Some of the people who post, especially new people, do not get many replies at all. When you have some extra time, you'd do a very good deed if you checked the number of replies people have gotten, and maybe add a nice comment. I think there is a phenomenon of sort of waiting to see if they stick around before making friends with the new kid on the block, and I think it is entirely subconscious, as we do get many transients. It took forever before I got more than 3 comments, and it didn't feel good, but I continued to hang around here in Pastel, as I craved the info. So I know how important it is to be including and welcoming and encouraging. And I invite you to be a part of making Pastel forum a more pleasant experience for the new kids. An easy way to make the Daily Good Deed, eh? :-)


I hear you, Charlie. I do try to make comments to newbies, because I remember what it feels like. I don't post a great deal of work in the Gallery and when I am there, it's usually for a quick look. I will make sure I make comments to our new members, but it would be a great idea to have the more experienced artists take time and post a quick note to them as well. It is always a good feeling when someone you look up to, takes a minute out of their schedule to make a comment.


01-04-2010, 01:12 PM
A lot of food for thought and great arguments for not "thinking" too much. Robert and Charlie, great ideas for resisting creative barriers.

I have started doing gesture drawings, or as one art teacher of mine called them, "art for the trashcan" since she often saw that if I considered it "throwaway" art, I did a much better job than if I saw it as a failed Great American Masterpiece. Encourage all to do this, as well as casual sketching, as Robert suggests!

I'm getting a lot out of posting stuff, (another great suggestion Doug!) even though I don't consider the work good, finished, worthy to look at, etc. Maybe sharing inner demons (imperfection) is a good way to get 'em out, laugh at them and let 'em go!

01-04-2010, 02:15 PM
Chuas, doing little gestures helped me no end in getting more fluid poses. It's what finally gave me a good grasp of cat anatomy, because I could do a gesture in the minute or two my cat would hold the pose. I often wind up getting something really good when I decide to just Goof Around With Art instead of trying to do a serious painting. The other thing that helped me was doing the same subjects more than once and fooling around with them, getting so used to that subject that by the time I do a serious painting it's familiar.

Charlie, I finally figured it out about perfectionism a few years back. There are two different types of perfectionism. One's toxic and comes from social pressures against anyone becoming an artist -- the generic "It's not good enough" feeling. The other is natural and healthy, I call it Craft Perfectionism. That's the nagging feeling that "This landscape is almost perfect and something about it is bugging me," that led me to get critique on my latest landscape -- actually one of my nicest but I made a composition blooper and didn't see it at first.

People get criticism all the time on personal grounds. It may be endemic to Western culture and it's especially heavy in America where jealousy of anyone's success is taken as "natural." People run down and put down anyone who's doing anything well or doing something they wish they "had the nerve" to do. It takes nerve because you wind up going against all the people who start literally flaming you for doing it at all, be it art or writing or music or even something like going to college or getting a good job.

That kind of perfectionism can't ever be satisfied. Those critics are judging on subject and half the time they're nastiest when something comes out well. The better your chances really are, the more the jealous and malicious come out of the woodwork and say vague nasty or personal things about the work or you in order to discourage you. It's something I've fought all my life, especially in regards to my writing because a lot of people wanted me to quit writing and focus just on my art -- and paint the subjects and styles they liked instead of what I love.

Then they make fun of you with comments like "can't take criticism" if you get angry at these mind games or dare to disagree with their assessment. It's too easy to internalize that voice and those fears. That's the type of perfectionism anyone has to conquer just to be happy in life, let alone get good in the arts. It's cruel and it's damaging, because it can distort reactions to actual, helpful critique.

Critique talks to the craft perfectionism that's something completely different and healthy. Critique is when someone who understands what you're doing says something specific, like Scotty just critiqued my landscape and suggested shortening one tree and making the new focal point one taller. He knew what I was trying to do with it and understands editing a painting better than I do. I hadn't thought of doing that but I'm now preparing to go in and change a pastel painting for what might be the first time. It was almost great and it was better than my earlier ones.

I've noticed real critique, even when brutal always focuses on specifics and includes concrete suggestions on how to improve a piece. It's not about what subject you chose or what style you like, it's about helping you get the effect you wanted to in the style you wanted.

For writing I distinguish those voices as the Inner Editor and Inner Critic -- the Critic needs to be stomped flat and disbelieved. It helps to stop and remember that the Critic's ideas all come from people who have some personal reason to see you fail and want to make you miserable. If I remember that it's because they're jealous or malicious or controlling, that does help me shut it down.

Doug and Charlie both, thank you for welcoming me when I first came to the forum! I drift away sometimes because I'm interested in so many different mediums, but I always come back and I do take an interest in new people. Maybe it's because I'm in and out so much, I tend to choose which paintings to comment on based on subject if I'm not going to have time to comment on all of them. I'll skim down and comment on every cat, then landscapes, then on people I know, then on other subjects.

I'll try to pay attention to posts that don't have many comments too now, especially after I've swept through my favorite subjects. Whoever painted a cat is probably always going to get my first comments though. I should probably put a tip in the newbies thread about titling posts -- if you say what the subject is, people who love that subject will go to your post first. A title like "Archie" didn't tell me it was a cat and I might leave it till last thinking it's a portrait -- but "Archie the Cat" gets me looking at it first.

01-04-2010, 02:34 PM
Rob, I call the "good" voice "striving for excellence", and the "bad" voice "mom"... LOL! Actually, our self-critique should be just as focused on the painting as if we critique someone else, and we can be very hard there. But, as soon as the 'flaming inner critic' raises its ugly head, it needs to be stomped out!

Oh, tell me about envy and levelling... Jealousy is an artform, here. I'd have budded earlier if it hadn't been for some really harsh words, like "it looks like Nazi art", and "cheap and tasteless rubbish". Yeah, I was no master when I started, but that was no way to talk to a beginner shyly showing her first efforts based on little knowledge or tutoring.

01-04-2010, 03:12 PM
Yikes! That's just cruel. Those are also perfect examples of content free personal criticism. You get compared to the Nazis so that's a nasty personal slur, based strictly on subject because Nazi art was limited to idealized landscapes and people.

By that idea, anyone who does landscapes or portraits of younger or attractive white people is getting associated with the Nazis -- one day you're painting a barn, the next you're tempted to slaughter millions of people.

Then we get to "cheap and tasteless rubbish" as a phrase.

"Taste" is something of a red flag to me about control tripping fashion slaves. It means "don't like what you like, like what's trendy." Cheap of course carries a lot of other bad attitudes with it. That is part of the whole fashion thing -- suck up to the wealthy, pretend to like anything they do, don't admit that you're not rich, judge people by their wallets.

They're almost like keywords to tell if the critic is actually saying anything or just trying to sound important at your expense. What boggles me is that this kind of viciousness gets so much actual approval from people, that they find it acceptable. Part of why it's so common is that people take it seriously and believe it to their detriment.

I've noticed that when anyone says anything negative, people assume it's true and go through a lot of soul searching and struggle for self improvement -- even when it's a flat lie. Yet compliments get doubted, people will go "Do you mean that?" and question it or say it's nothing and run it down themselves.

I decided a long time ago that compliments and insults had an equal chance of being true, but the compliments made me happier. So I inverted that and took all compliments a lot more seriously. I discovered the difference is mostly slant and anything real about me or my works will get mentioned by both the people who love it and the people who hate it.

So I rudely share every positive opinion I have of anything I run across, don't bother with negative criticism at all and try to buck the custom. I still need to think through it sometimes and look at the source on negative personal comments, but common sense helps me to handle them. I try to be critical of criticism, look at why someone said what they did and what else they're saying with it, what their reasons are for it. I accept compliments freely because they're probably casual, well meant and real.

LOL -- I've gone off on one of my favorite rants this morning. I just don't think that toxic perfectionism comes out of nowhere. It gets reinforced too often or it'd be easier to ditch it.

01-04-2010, 03:43 PM
Rob, good advice, to take positive compliments more seriously! Oh, a very nice rant, I'll keep my fingers off the keyboard, as I have some pretty strong feelings, and my rant wouldn't be positive.

Happily, playing and doodling and sketching is a great antidote!


01-05-2010, 12:11 PM
Robert and Charlie some good points made that are relative to life not just art. There is a difference between criticism and critique for me. Criticism lacks the suggestions for change that critique supplies. It doesn't mean you have to change every thing that you have heard in a critique (even critiques can be conflicting) but it can be a tool for consideration for future projects. Apply what you feel is valid for you, use it or discard it as you feel fit and keep challenging yourself. Take risks, big picture, it's a piece of paper with scribbles on it that you can learn from. It's one of the safer forms of No guts, No glory for me. (My riskiest form is trying to make the leap from an advanced beginner white-water kayaker to intermediate level:-) which is more difficult now since we don't live near a "good" river anymore)
I did clean my room yesterday though. Yeah!!!!!

01-05-2010, 02:38 PM
Terri, you made a really good point that you don't have to agree with either criticism or critique.

Criticism, especially when it gets personal and isn't about the art, sometimes does make suggestions. They just aren't as useful. They may involve Catch-22 suggestions that conflict with each other, so that whichever you do it will violate the other one and give them another excuse to pick on you. One thing about a lot of the negative criticism is that it'll be more self interested than critique.

A good critique will look at an artwork from as close as the critiquer can get to the artist's viewpoint. "This painting is very dark and disturbing, its low key muted colors help to give it that feeling" is a statement that's a compliment if the artist intended it to be dark and disturbing, one that does contain a suggestion for how to make it more cheerful if the artist didn't intend it to be dark and disturbing.

"Paint something more cheerful, why don't you ever paint pretty flowers or anything nice like that?" is more personal criticism, it's also more about "do what I like" than how to do it well.

There is much more how-to in the suggestions that come from critique. "I think you could add a little light blue right at the horizon to cool the grass and that would help flatten the meadow" is a typically useful suggestion for someone who doesn't completely get atmospheric perspective. I've also noticed that critique is usually politer and more respectful to the artist.

Key words and phrases to watch for noticing intent is real critique - "If you want to" or "If you intended" and "You could try this" with a concrete, specific suggestion like "shorten the big dark tree and put some snow on it." I didn't think that would work, but wow, when I did it the big dark tree slid well behind the white one and adding a little more to its height so tey overlapped worked well too.

I also looked at my goals again today and posted them into the sidebar of my offline personal journal right at the top, so that I'll see them every day. I use a word processor called RoughDraft that has an attached "Pad" text file that comes up in its own smaller window next to what I'm writing, it's useful both for fiction and for personal journal to keep track of things like passwords, new address/phone, finances, goals.

That always helps but sometimes I forget to do it. So I'm a little more organized today! I also don't have to go back to the first page to find them.

January Goals:
1. Keep Submitting vaumuru
2. Relax and take it easy.
3. Host Jan. OP challenge
4. Pastel challenges & experiments
5. Organize my pastels.

Looking back on the fifth, #3 is started and going well. I've mostly done #2 and #4, if I count doing the Landscape Challenge in pastels as "trying new things in pastels." Actually, #4 is a definite yes -- because I edited a painting and made changes that worked based on good critique!

I hardly ever do that, usually if I like a suggestion I try to remember and apply it to my next painting. But pastels really can be reworked pretty easily and I'm just discovering that.

01-05-2010, 07:43 PM
I sort of divide it in: Criticism is about the person, and critique is about the work. And yes, critique is someting to be wary of, too. I usually listen (read), consider, and weigh. If I agree (often), I may make changes. I've seen too many paintings destroyed by people trying to follow all contratdictory critique... we must use our minds, and also rember that what looks great on one person's montor that is calibered right, may look way off on anothers (calibrated wrong, or too few pixels, or summat).

Even 'wrong' critique helps a lot, as I decide "no, that's not a good idea". Then one path is closed, and there are less to choose from. Great! Truly. It really does help.


01-06-2010, 02:39 AM
You're so right, Charlie! Wrong critique or critique I disagree with is still information. I can't count the times in art or in writing that someone helpfully pointed out something to me as a problem I could fix that was actually my main point in the piece.

I think the funniest was the erotic short story that got rejected by the "triple X no holds barred" editor because the rape scene was too horrible, she'd like it if I toned it down. The only way I could have toned it down was by putting it in! I made it ultimately horrifying as a suspense story by showing the emotional aftermath on the victim. I laughed very hard, amused, then wrote that editor a bawdy comedy with a few fetish frills (she loved it) and sent the suspense story to a much milder fanzine.

I did something today toward New Things In Pastels too. I haven't drawn or painted but I primed four canvas boards in Colourfix, getting ready to try that surface for the first time.

01-06-2010, 12:12 PM
Robert and Charlie, good discussion.
A goal I had in December was to pick up a HEPA air purifier which I did which I finally set up on Monday when I was reconfiguring the studio. The white noise isn't too bad but I still keep the stereo cranked loud enough that I can't hear the phone, 2 walls away.
I have started on the 1st of the large anemones, it's 26 x 26 inches on a pearl grey suede matt board. I did spray it with Spectrafix (lightly) and found it changed the surface a bit where a larger droplet fell. Not a big deal but enough that I noticed it. Perhaps the Spectrafix maybe better suited for sanded papers for my working style. I think for #2 large, I will start with a darker suede matt.
I took my skates to the sharping store on Monday, so I'll get to speak to him about borrowing or renting the antique hockey equipment for setting up some still lifes. The equipment is in the arena with white painted cement block walls and bad fluorescent lighting. Not conducive for reference photos, plus it's a small noisy space.

I am waffling about a road trip to Edmonton(3 hr) for gallery research plus some other errands. Today it's -30 C but it's supposed to warm up to -1C on the weekend. I will have to decide by Friday.

Hope life is treating you all well!

01-06-2010, 10:06 PM
:wave: HI, there Goalies!
My, my, my, get busy for a couple of days and not get into WC Goal Post and lots gets said and planned, and talked about!
I loved all the discussion of the perfectionist self! :heart:
OH, wee, that can be a biggie to wrestle with! I know...been there, thought that, I hear ya'!

May I highly recommend Julia Camron's "Artist Way" books. She is basically a writer, but what she talks about is applied to graphic art as well.
I have a very big "IC" (inner critic) and if I don't deal with it, it takes over, moves in, takes center stage and orders me around: I "affectionately" /NOT call her "The Drama Queen" because she can overplay the simplist thing! :eek: :lol:
So, I have to talk her talk, dramatically (the only language she understands!), lead her by the hand and not too gently shove her out the door!:wink2: :p

When I'm working on a painting and I start to hear her voice, I know it is time to get up for a break, step back, take a look at the painting, and maybe even let the painting "cook" for awhile. On returning, I am always amazed at how good it looks compared to what that old "IC" had been telling me!
It has helped me to post a little sign: "Show up and do the work!"
Another favorite is: "I'll provide the quanity, GC will provide the quality."
GC for me: Great Creator.
This does not mean that I do sloppy work, or not use skills. I just release myself from worrying about will what I do be "good enough."
I started using these two in my violin practice and now use both in my drawing and painting.

As I was painting this afternoon, I suddenly realized that my painting style has completely changed. It has to do with the work I've been doing with color, with reading and experimenting with Sarback's book, with Henche and Hawthorne's ideas. I'm now not "drawing and filling in", I'm more sculpting and painting in color shapes, more like I was using paint and a painting knife. The pastel stick has become my painting knife.
Caution: Goal setting can be dangerous: Over time you just might start seeing results! LOL!:lol: :lol: :lol: :wink2: :p

Great start to January and the New Year, Goalies!:thumbsup:

Terri, great ideas and goals.
Chuas: Go gal! You're on the right track!

Charlie: Ok, good idea...I will spend more time reading and replying to posts, especially from new friends of Pastel Forum! :cat:

01-07-2010, 12:15 AM
Terri, that sounds so great. I'll have my SpectraFix when it arrives and test it on the sanded papers, frustrating that you got a big droplet where you could see it. I used to get that sometimes with normal fixatives though, so it doesn't necessarily mean the mister's a bad idea.

Great idea about borrowing or renting the antique hockey equipment, I can see how its normal place would be a bad setting for a still life. Athletic requirements for lighting and artistic photography aren't the same at all.

Elsie, I'm glad The Artist's Way helped you. I got it and tried it, agreed with about half of it -- all the parts about diagnosing the Inner Critic and looking honestly at its sources matched with my observations and experience. It's very good for anyone who's spiritual and Judeo-Christian-Islamic, it translates some zen concepts into the Religions of the Book with clarity and depth.

I had a bad experience with the book. I bought it and tried it, but it's based on a theology completely different from my own religion so it wasn't inspirational on that level. In a much bigger conflict, especially as I look back now, I ran aground on the emphasis on physical activities and financial activities that are completely outside my reach. I got depressed every week at the number of things that I was supposed to do that I either could not do at all or if I did, would mean that I'd wind up with three weeks bedrest.

I could understand where the author's coming from in the lifestyle changes, how they'd shift someone from a normative life with a sedentary job toward an active, healthy, independent self-employed life. Some of those things were lessons learned a decade before, when I stopped working a normal job and started enjoying life more (and being less broke) on a fifth of its income. Others were things I never enjoyed even when I was working that job because they took too much physical running around to leave me the energy to get to work and weren't enjoyable if I was in too much pain and exhaustion to appreciate them.

I guess I wasn't the reader she was writing for. I've often wondered if I met the author, if she would've called a halt to half of the things I was doing in my stubborn persistence to try to do this thing right to give it an honest try. It's the same thing for stuff like yoga classes, they tend to demand things I'm not capable of and do more harm than good even if they're great for other people.

01-07-2010, 09:13 AM
Got JCs book, read it, and from my rather conservative judeo-christian stance, I basically reacted like Robert. (Tangent: Btw, can you be a 'conservative rebel'? It is so funny, as in Sweden, I'm regarded as conservative, and in the US people usually take me for a liberal... LOL! I guess I'm just me.)

Anyway, the book... some stuff was good, other stuff I found 'zoned out', as I'm a very practical woman. (With a dollop of being "fey".) I don't do yoga, and writing every morning was managed by me for all of one morning...

There was a book that really helped, but I can't find it. Humourous, and with a title like "Imperfect, the perfect way to be". Might have read "When Perfect isn't good enough" too, and that is still in print.

Elsie, sculpting with colour is exactly how I think of it. It is nearly a 3 dimensional sensation, using colour as 'clay'. Pastels are perfect for the method.

Still too tired to come up with goals of my own... I need plenty of relaxing.


01-07-2010, 09:47 AM
Charlie....RELAXING sounds liked a goal unto itself!
Elsie....I tried JC book some years ago myself, and also found parts were helpful, but never could keep up with the morning pages for more than a few mornings. (now I meditate, and do it all mentally...LOL.
Good discussion....have enjoyed reading, although havent felt compelled to add to it....

01-07-2010, 07:34 PM
Charlie, thank you for mentioning that. Whenever you say you're conservative it always surprises me, because that's a different type of conservative than American. It's hard to imagine what radical Swedes would want, or what liberal Swedes are going for on issues, unless it's the "turn everyone vegetarian and enforce healthful calisthenics even on people who can't do them" sort of thing that crops up in American liberal circles. There's a certain type of do-gooding that turns oppressive very fast, trying to impose a different flavor of censorship that to me is as nasty as the old type of censorship. Is it conservative to be against censorship and leave people's judgment to themselves on things like art or writing?

I love that title "When Perfect Isn't Good Enough" -- that sounds like it'd be a great read. If you find that other book, please do post about it. I'm still interested in new ones, just want one that doesn't demand that I do things I can't and be who I'm not.

I'm with JB, why not make "Relaxing" your goal for the month along with "Enjoy painting" whether you do a little or a lot? Enjoying it is the root of all the beauty in your paintings. Your joy in doing them comes through at every glance, it always makes me smile to see one of them.

LOL-- Judibelle, I kept on the Morning Pages throughout my entire experiment. I discovered that when the first thing I do in the morning is write about my real life. I found out that my habits are actually good adaptations. I do my best planning in the middle of a good day after doing something through the morning to get my mind off things and having the day's sketch or accomplishment under my belt to feel good about life. Then I start getting optimistic and making plans, organizing things.

It's like I have to feed the right side of my brain before I engage the left side planning process at all, or I get way too frustrated with my limits and set unrealistic goals.

01-07-2010, 09:32 PM

HI, Folks,
The Artist Way ideas and books really meet the needs of some,but not for others. For me, I started out about 5 years before I retired from teaching.
The morning pages were more often evening pages with my teaching and teaching prep time taking all day and all evening...teacher's work is never done!:eek: But, each summer, when my schedule was different...taking classes, working on curriculum...No teachers DO NOT have the summer off...we're out of work three months! :p But, in the summer I would do the morning pages (for those who do not know, it is a three page, long-hand journaling that is suppose to be a brain dump, a cleaning and getting ready for the day). I had the problem of "stuffing my emotions" and worries and accepting everything my very strong inner critic had to yak about. MP's helped me open up and get it out. Then I became a much more creative, open person. It helped me in teaching and in life as a whole. When I retired, 5 years ago [time flies:wink2: ], I started my day everyday with MP's then planning for my day, planning in my painting, my household tasks, etc.
For me it is a great thing. For other's it is not a fit!
But, by setting goals, by getting my day straight and getting my "marching orders" for the day, I have developed so much as an artist, as a musician, as a writer. As for the religious part, that is not a biggie for me: Hey, I was raised a Methodist by a Catholic father and a Lutheran Mother, married a Presbyterian, consider myself a sort of Buddist, leaning to the Zen side! Ya' gotta' love it! :wink2: Sort of Christian who believes beyond the box of church.:p
My big thing that gets me over the hump is "Show up and do the work." Once there, I paint! :wink2:

Back to goals: I'm amazed how my painting/thinking/ use of color has transformed! With the long process of tearing down my old studio, building the new one, moving in, Christmas etc. I have not had painting of any extent in a couple of months. Only "studies" that I was doing on the fly, wherever I could do them, block studies, etc., plus lots of graphite drawing.
But, what is coming out now is different!
I'm scheduling time in the studio as many days as I can and will hope that will help get me into good habits for this year.
Also, I got a journal to keep in the studio. Yesterday and today, I made a few min. quick notes. Guess that is a new goal! :wink2:

Happy Goaling!
The snow was flying today, here in Wisconsin, so I stayed warm in the studio and made the dust fly!:p

01-07-2010, 09:33 PM
Charlie, relaxing is good. I had managed to perfect sloth as an activity for the first couple days of January. I was actually thinking about hibernating as it was so cold (-30 C ish with wind chill). PJ days and Wii with children was the extent of my exertions.

I realized I have to maximize painting in January as my kids have only 14 days in school in February due to various days off. So I am working hard in the studio now because I will do kid things with them in Feb.

I am almost finished the first large white anemone and it is in the studio gallery for critiquing.

Judibelle and Charlie sculpting with colour is so apt. I really enjoy the work of Lauren Harris (Canadian-Group of Seven) and I like how he and the others in the group modeled form. Pastel is the best fit for me to use those transitions of form and colour.

I pick up the hockey equipment tomorrow, Edmonton on Saturday to collect business cards for the galleries and to scope them out. Monday setting up still lifes with them. I think tomorrow I might have to take down the Christmas tree rather than play in the studio.
Now let's hope the motivation and the energy doesn't run out.

01-08-2010, 02:18 AM
Elsie, that does make sense. All the time I was fighting with it I could see how much it would help someone other than me -- with different situation and different problems they were wrestling with. It's good, it's just a bad fit for me and I'm still looking for something like that which would fit better with who I really am instead of who I'm not.

I didn't really stuff my emotions at all, was more just wrung out and exhausted from being sick and expected to be able to function no matter what else in real life was going on.

01-08-2010, 01:42 PM

Terri: you sound like one very busy gal!...or maybe two very busy gals!:lol: :wink2:
Make the most of your painting time. Been there, done that with children in and out of school! I hear ya'! Enjoy!

Charlie: Relax is good! :heart:

Robert: You inspire me so much! You do so much considering you health problems. One day at a time, one step at a time! :thumbsup: :cat:

I just spent the whole morning, along with hubby, on the phone between our health HMO and Medicare, back and froth with all the jumping through hoops on the phone...press 3 if you are....press 6 if...enter your number of your medicare card, enter your HMO number......Three hours shot before we ever got a simple problem fixed. I ended up exhausted, with a migraine, and there went three hours of studio time!
I shall have a nice cup of tea. Linger over it, eat a few bites of lunch, and then go down to the studio! My dear Bob will be here to answer the phone and I'll just "NOT BE AVAILABLE" to the world.
Art therapy! :angel: :clap: :cat:
My only goal for the afternoon is to paint!
Yes, you guessed it....there are rocks in the painting!
Yet another, "Gifts of the glacier to the Prairie" painting, with lovely light, shadows and reflected light on the grasses and rocks. :heart:

May you lose yourself in painting! Get dusty!:heart: :music:

01-08-2010, 03:39 PM
Have fun painting, Elsie! I am taking down the Christmas tree. (actually procrastinating about it)

01-08-2010, 04:03 PM
Elsie, that painting sounds so wonderful and that phone runaround horrific. I wind up getting sick on those too, when they get that complicated I wind up too sick to finish and need someone else to help do it. Go you for making it through the entire ordeal even if it gave you a migraine.

Yesterday was a sick day, most of it I just slept 14 hours. No art. Today I wrote some online articles and sketched, so I'm sort of picking up. New things in pastels -- sketching is still in some ways new to me so practicing it is good. Also I mixed the darks in my sketch, used very little black to accent.

01-10-2010, 05:12 PM
Keeping up on my OP challenge, going in to comment even when I'm not up to painting. I've been doing a bit of online writing too. Yesterday did a couple of gouache monochromes so that's an experiment at least related to pastels. Many thanks to Deborah Secor for that article showing me how similar they are to pastels in some ways. I think the gouache may also improve my pastel painting.

I've been doing some reorganizing too, restacked the small sets that are out on my table. Still trying to find a good safe place for the big Richeson box. It's a bit wider than the shelves on my bookcase and sticks out in a mildly dangerous way. Had a bad crash yesterday with a stack of oil pastels sets that my rowdy cat knocked over, fortunately none of the tins sprung open.

If they'd been softies I might have lost a lot of them to the impact, glad it was the oilies he decided to toss.

I think I'm glad I put rest and relax on my goals because the sick days are scheduling themselves with this cold snap and today has been one so far.

01-10-2010, 06:21 PM
robert...sorry to hear you're not feeling up to par...hope things improve quickly for you...

I signed up to take a pastel workshop with Frank Federico the end of January. (He's a Master Pastelist and an honorary member of the art league I belong to). Well, today he gave a demonstration on 'The marriage of Chiarascuro and Color', which is also the theme of the workshop. He calls himself a 'colorist', which made my ears perk up right away.

He chose a lovely pond scene to demo, and used gator board to which he had applied a sanded medium mixed with pumice. (I think. I didnt take notes, so may have missed some of the details...lol) anyway, it was a black surface he worked on. After his first basic shape-colors, he took a brush and wiped (blended) with alcohol. Made a beautiful 'underpainting'.

After what seemed an eternity (it was only an hour) of dabbing and fixing, blending and adding,...the finished work was stunning. I wish I had had a camera to record his steps and the finished work.

Looking forward to the workshop. I can only attend 1 of the 2days, but I'm sure it will be fun. If you're not familiar with his work, he does have a website...he does a lot of local stuff, lives just over the line from us, in CT.

01-10-2010, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the information on Frank Federico, Judi. Lots of colour. I think Charlie will be interested. Here is the link to his web site: http://www.frankfederico.com/index.htm

Sorry I haven't been around much, but I haven't been able to paint or do much else. It has been better the past two days, but I didn't feel like tempting fate, so I have been sitting back and relaxing. Hopefully I can do some painting tomorrow. I have this idea bouncing around in my head, and I want to try it. :mad:


01-10-2010, 11:56 PM

Robert: Hope you are feeling better! :cat:

Judibelle: The Frank Frederico workshop sounds wonderful, enjoy!:thumbsup:

My dear family members have shared a cold with me, so I'm all nose and sniffles! I felt so rotten today I just sat and read! :eek:

Hope to get back at that painting tomorrow!

Doug, I hope the inspiration butterfly lights on your shoulder! ;)

Have a great week, everyone!:heart:

01-11-2010, 09:46 AM
Doug...so sorry to hear you haventbeen feeling well....wondered why you hadnt been around much. hope things improve for you and that you can get back to painting!
........thanks for the link to frank's website....his statement about sums up what he said yesterday...except that currently he sees himself as a 'colorist'! He gave out a lot of information as he was painting...too much for me to remember. Should've taken a pad and pen.... but thinking about his surface, I think it was pastel-board with a covering of black gesso mixed with pumice. Yes, I think Charlie would be interested...
elsie...sorry you are sporting a cold...hope it blows away soon....

Hoping to get back do doing some art today....havent for a few days now...just been too busy with other stuff...

01-11-2010, 11:11 AM
Doug, I hope you feel well enough to put on paper the idea bouncing around. Sometimes things need that time to mature before being hatched (for lack of a better word). Plus pushing through being ill isn't always the best idea either. Somehow, we(as a society) have gotten the idea that recovery from an illness is slothful and that is just so wrong. In the same vein, I hope Robert and Elsie are taking care of themselves also.

Judi, enjoy your workshop. Happy painting today.

I am looking forward to the summer series in Red Deer. I get 5 days of being immersed in something artistic and without other life responsibilities. There are not too many workshops around here for an intermediate level artist.

I get to start playing with setting up the still lifes with the antique hockey equipment today. I borrowed a set of goalie equipment as well as a pair of gloves and out player skates. I toured a couple of galleries on Saturday and got some ideas of where I could fit and definitely where I would not. Not much work under glass and no pastels at all, perhaps I can find a niche.

01-11-2010, 12:38 PM
Doug, thanks for the link as well. Colour is such a vital thing in my life.

01-11-2010, 04:07 PM
Robert- Hang in there. You will be at it before you know it. I know it sucks to have all the time you want, but the body just won't let you. There will be better days and I hope they start today.:)

Elsie- I hope you are getting dusty. Let the dust fly and mess up that studio. :evil:

Judi- Thanks for the thoughts. I am doing better today and I hope to start a painting in a few minutes. You should have a great time at your workshop. I am glad you got a taste of what's coming up. Federico does amazing work. I spent quite a bit of time browsing his web site. I hope you got all that other stuff done and you are painting up a storm.:thumbsup:

Terri- You are welcome for the link. I went to his site and thought most people would like to see his work, so I thought I would make it easier for people to take a look. I wish I was with Judi for the workshop, but it's just a little to far to go.:rolleyes: I am about to get that idea on paper. Cross your fingers for me.

Thanks to everyone for their concerns. I am starting to think my problems have to do with the weather. I am keeping track now. I don't know what I can do if it is, but it will be one other thing I can fret about.:lol:

Happy painting everyone.


01-11-2010, 05:49 PM
Doug, get well! Might be the weather, some of us humans are more sensitive to it than others.

Thanks for the link. The guy had different styles in different media, pastels tended to be less expressionistic. Really like his works.

Me, I'm still just so tired (SAD), reading up on Monet, Pisarro, need a book on Sisely, and did a small colour study.

Rob, we've still got real communists, so your liberals being accused of being commies are really entertaining. Too many political parties think that "one size fits all, and if not, we're by gawd gonna make the people fit the one size"-- and that is regardless of left-right bias.

My goal for January:

I will survive until the cold and dark is conquered by more clement and bright days.

I will paint, painting *is* relaxing, and lessens the SAD-triedness.

I will get the stuff together for PGE's first Annual Meeting.

I've been stressing too much, and need to breathe and think, or even not think at all, just be.


01-11-2010, 09:44 PM
Doug, thanks for the link! Yes, his work reminds me of Charlie's but some of it's looser. Interesting artist.

Yay for your goals, Charlie. They do sound great. You must have SAD worse for short days way up in Sweden. The days in Colorado were shorter than here because it was farther north and because of the mountains, you probably get some of that. I get it too and have been making an effort to try to get up in the morning so that I at least see some light.

Yeah, I have met some communists and you're right about that, they tend to have everything planned out and if you don't fit then you're to be sacrificed for the good of the many. So maybe I'm a conservative or would be if I were in Sweden! That's still an amusing though.

Everyone, thanks for all your get-well wishes and encouragement. Seems like I'm not the only one getting slammed by this winter. Take care of yourself whether it's a bug you caught or SAD or something like arthritis. Y'all are right, there is time and I will feel better later on.

I'm still fighting my joints and haven't done much. But today I addressed ATCs and got stamps on all the ones for Americans in my swap. Since I have till May to get them all out the door, I think I'm doing really good with six ready to go and seven that need postage bought. I've got four more yet to paint in some medium and all of them are going other places in the world like Australia. Should be easy enough to count on painting four more small pieces in what, four months?

Especially since I did two at once last time, but I kept one of my monochrome blue trees ones since I liked it too much to let go. ATCs are fun for that, I can keep the ones I like without overwhelming my sketch wall.

01-12-2010, 09:39 PM

January Goals:
1. Keep Submitting Vaumuru - need to
2. Relax and take it easy - been doing that
3. Host Jan. OP challenge - been doing that
4. Pastel challenges & experiments - been doing that
5. Organize my pastels. - today!

I've been rearranging the stacks of soft pastels sets on my shelves tweaking them toward greater accessibility and trying to find the best place for the big Richeson wood box set. That's still a work in progress.

Today my Dakota packages showed up a day early. I unpacked them, got everything sorted, discovered that the full sheets were seriously dented and bent. The package got kicked or banged into right in the middle while it was soggy, it was damp and falling apart when I got it. Dakota used lots of plastic around the paper so it wasn't cockled, but all the big sheets were bent in the middle and crumpled.

The other package with everything else, the cardboard fell apart literally. They packed it so well that didn't matter! Inches of bubble wrap held together with enough layers of tape to wrap an Egyptian mummy kept every one of the pastel sticks intact. Nothing was damaged, not my Greens Sampler or my Paper Sampler or the fixative bottles or the PastelMat pads -- or the Pan Pastels.

I went nuts trying to find the extra lids to rearrange them. In three searches I could only turn up four extra lids, which wasn't enough to arrange them the way I wanted but got the tall stacks broken down to two-color stacks. Then I got the idea the lids might be in the three-drawer pastel box behind the Pans. So I moved them all and cleaned that side of the table.

They weren't there, but I counted up and knew there were lids missing. So I checked the taboret again more carefully and there they were in the back of the top drawer. I now have all the colors of Pan Pastels sorted out by hue with the pure tone on top, Tint under that, then Shade and Extra Dark Shade. The set's organized and easy to grab any color I want with only one unscrewing to get at it.

It looks much nicer too.

Of course now that means I have to clean the other side of the table where all the little still life objects accumulated along with meds, ATCs to send, ATCs I received, Daniel Smith watercolor sticks, Pitt pens, sweetener bowl, Sascha's markers... oh lots of disorganized stuff.

But it's a start and my Pans are easy to get at now. I'm feeling very proud. Okay, so most folks would get more housekeeping done than two square feet of area, but they're two complicated square feet of area! I reorganized the drawer too while I had the pastel box open, to put more of the loose small cool things into it instead of wandering around as clutter.

I did good. Tomorrow I can paint!

Edit: here's the photographic evidence that today I got organized!


They are so inviting like that, all the colors out gleaming and dazzling me with pure tones! The two white stacks are Paynes Grey and Neutral Grey respectively, with Black on the bottom and White on the top.

Edit to the Edit:

Charlie, now I know you've corrupted me. Look at the way I arranged the colors. Chromatic, yes? But I wound up shoving all the cool colors to the back in taller stacks and put the warms in front with the brightest warms nearest the light, muted warms off far to the right. That white-looking one the light's washing out is Hansa Yellow.

I wound up arranging my Pan Pastels to create atmospheric depth? You rock. Thank you again for your class!

01-13-2010, 09:06 AM
LOL, Robert! Can you corrupt the easily corruptible? (Philosophical tounge-in-cheek musing.)

Them Pans have such a neat little 'footprint' when stacked, but not when spread out. I'm drooling over your pic. Smart arrangement. And they'll only have to replace the paper.

Would you satisfy my curiosity? Why did the warms end up at the front and the cools at the back? I have two theories as to why, but in order to avoid leading questions, I'll say what they are later.

I've embarked on a large (for me) painting, size corresponding to a full sheet of Colourfix including the white edges. I'm working on Fisher paper, though. Seems like my new project is to conquer city-scapes. I'm not happy with the one I painted last fall, it is too stiff. So the problem is to stay loose while painting square buildings with ooodles of windows. Anyway, I'm happy, as I've been working too much on non-painting things, although art-related.

Doug, you gave me such a wonderful gift earlier in the thread, when you said "you were born to paint". I think you said the truth, as it resonated within, and I'm cutting down on other activities and increasing painting time.


01-13-2010, 10:20 AM
Oh my, Robert....That is a WOW! I still havent learned to store my pastels in any order except by eye...the darkers and the lighters. I am so impressed with all of you who have a method and stick to it! (I'm not great at determining values, except perhaps intuitively...)

charlie...so glad to hear you are painting again!

Doug..& Elsie.thinking of you and hoping you are getting back to painting, as well.

I havent done anything this week. I was experimenting with color on black, even before Frank's demo....but not covering the black, but using it as the background....
Half-way through the month, and have only completed one Challenge, though I do have a second one started. Must get back to it this week!

01-13-2010, 11:10 AM
Robert, bummer about the paper but glad they packaged the pastels well. It's amazing how much time organizing a small space can be when there is so much small stuff to deal with. It looks great.
Charlie, sounds like a great challenge you set yourself. I hope you share it with us when you are done.
I started the first of the hockey equipment paintings yesterday. It's still at the drawing stage, hopefully this morning I get some colour blocked. The laces in the skates are going to be the challenge, I think.
Judi, there is still another 2 weeks to finish off that other challenge you started. Which challenge did you do? (Sorry, I am being lazy and not wanting to cruise the site, but want to see it, if you posted it.)
The weather here has warmed up and I am thinking skiing on the weekend will be a thing to do. Taking the camera of course to collect reference material. (LOL, as if I need to justify non-art stuff when it's fun. Still ignoring the dusting though.)

01-13-2010, 11:16 AM
Hi Terri....the Pastel Strokes for January...i did the gnome and toadstools, which are posted there. Still working on the ChatArt challenge...wont be posted til the first of Feb in the cafe guerbois...
Happy to hear you've started your hockey equipment paintings...looking forward to seeing them...

01-13-2010, 12:19 PM
All of you have made me feel horribly disorganized. I've got pastels going every which way, boxes on the floor, dirty sticks lying on the countertop. NO organization whatsoever. :(

I'm hoping this is because I have a relatively small pastel collection and can pretty much find what I'm looking for easily. I guess I'll have to buy more so I can organize them. :evil:

01-13-2010, 12:43 PM
Chuas, we're two who are horribly disorganized, then. To get an idea of my chaos, you can add towels on the floor kicked under the desk (since PA summer, I'm going to wash them free of dust, someday, but am keeping them from laundry basket), and still-life props standing in corners, and stacks of odd papers and cardboards wherever. I have a very academic studio, it will become an archeologist's thesis... :-D

Terri, great you started the hockey painting! I'll show mine if you show yours. :-D Seriously, I'll post, but this is one of those that'll take forever. I've barely finished stage 2, as I had to brush out parts and do a little re-designing, and darken a value.

Judi, will check out Strokes.


01-13-2010, 03:57 PM
Charlie, I put the cools at the back and the warms in front because warm colors come forward and cool colors recede. I put the tallest stacks at the back to the right, but the white and grays are there in theme because white cools and mutes. The muted warms are a little farther away than the bright warms because pure intense spectrum hues come forward versus muted colors.

So that's what my recognition was after I'd done it. I did it intuitively because I've been thinking about that literally in every medium and every painting I've done since your class and Deborah's class on Snow. It's not about convenience in reaching the stacks, I use all the stacks and every one of them is in reach.

Though I can see that having the extra storage jars under the blues in the back row reminds me of "blued mountains in the distance" too, and does make the shadowed last row of colors more visible. By day the shadow of the pastel box and the stuff on top of it falls on those colors but not on the greens row or anything more forward.

I rearranged what's in the storage jars too. Got all the minis and knife covers out of the box with the sponges and put them into the storage jars. Why not use them and have them all in one place?

Judi, if I were going to rearrange my sticks I'd use the method Deborah Secor and so many others do in a Heilman box or anything like that. Darker to one side and lighter at the other, then have spectrum hues going across in the other direction whichever way worked better for that axis.

I'm getting so many that I may have to think about investing in one and breaking all my sticks to have everything handy in one box with unslotted foam. Currently my sticks are all in their original packing, though I arrange them chromatically if they didn't come that way. Loved your Strokes painting, that was so great!

I have the reference on the Chat Art Challenge too and haven't started that one yet. I feel like I've been so into every challenge I run across that I'm going nuts deciding what to paint any given day. It would help if I was back to daily painting and did more ATCs, those I can sometimes do more than one in a day.

Terri, it's not that much of a bummer about the paper. It's a delay but it also gives me lots more paper and scrap to play with -- enough with the damaged bits that I don't have to get obsessive about everything on it must be perfect. In another week I'll have so much of it around I can relax and use it with any medium I want. Also it would have been very hard to let go of even a small scrap of it for color tests at that price -- using the bent and damaged parts of the damaged papers will allow me to actually do things like that without feeling like I'm wasting the best supplies.

01-13-2010, 06:00 PM
Charlie, mine is up as Goalie skates as still life in red. I think I'll start another set up tomorrow. I get to go have lunch with some of the other moms which cuts into my painting time but I am supposed to be a sociable sometimes.
Chuas, my husband still cringes every time he looks into my studio. But it is workable for me and the rules are no kids in the studio, which is strongly enforced so I can get away with it. I am a bit like a kid in a candy store. I can rarely go into an art store without buying a few pastels. So I have a lot of them and now have them organized in 6 cookie sheets on a table next to my easel. Easy access, I have them at a slight angle, foam lined with art spaces as the stoppers so the pastels don't roll every where. Unfortunately I have no space to use my oil paints though. I should start going once a week to the club studio so I don't get too rusty with them.
Jud I will check out the Gnome shortly. Very cool colour combinations. Like the variety of pastel strokes in the mushrooms in the second painting.
Robert There is always room for smaller pieces of paper in my life as well. I like having a framer friend who passes on small (less than 8 inch) pieces of suede mat board.

01-13-2010, 11:15 PM
All of you have made me feel horribly disorganized. I've got pastels going every which way, boxes on the floor, dirty sticks lying on the countertop. NO organization whatsoever. :(

I'm hoping this is because I have a relatively small pastel collection and can pretty much find what I'm looking for easily. I guess I'll have to buy more so I can organize them. :evil:

Chuas, I hope this will make you feel better. I took these photos this morning. Nothing is staged.:o






01-13-2010, 11:36 PM
Robert- Way to knock off those goals. Your Pans look delicious. Candy for the eyes. Have fun fun all your new supplies. Too bad about the ruined paper, but as you said, you now have some practice paper.

Charlie- I am glad you are painting and leaving all the other stuff behind. You should paint, paint, paint. I am looking forward to seeing your BIG painting.

Judi- I a happy that you are back painting. You have one and a half painting done, and that is one and a half more than you could do a couple of months ago. Keep at it.

Terri- I can't wait to see the hockey themed still life. I don't know if all our friends here realize how important hockey is to most Canadians. There are two seasons in Canada. Summer, and hockey.:D


01-14-2010, 07:36 AM
Doug, Swedes are fairly fanatic about hockey, too (maybe not *as* mad), and most of our best players are sold to Canadian teams. For me, hockey is marginally better than football (the kind where the ball is *round* as a *ball*, and you kick it with your *feet*, called socker on the other side of the pond -- not the kind where an *ovoid* is *held in hands* and legs are used for running away from the hulking murderous other guys). Hockey has a faster pace, but the little black thingy is harder to see.



01-14-2010, 11:14 AM
Doug...Love the pics of your work space....the table with the boxes of pastels looks like mine....the lights look familiar also. I have them in the same place.
Today should be my last 'busy-ness' day, hopefully. So I may be able to get back to my play tomorrow. (I have a check-up appt. with the knee surgeon today...it's been 4 months since the last one...hopefully maybe the last...)
We'll see...

01-14-2010, 05:13 PM
Doug, thank you for the photos of your painting area! Wow you have a lot of space and it's nicely organized. It doesn't look that messy even with a handful of pastels out of the boxes in use. Like the block and bowl still lifes in the backgrounds too, finished and unfinished art around always makes a studio look cheerier!

Charlie, yep, I do understand the different types of football! The small black object in hockey is the puck. I do enjoy hockey, just stopped watching it when I wasn't allowed to play it and found out I'm too disabled to play. It's too frustrating being benched rather than watching good players to learn how to improve my game. I think I'd have been keen on certain sports if undisabled.

Today, I did a Pans painting for the WDE, so that falls into Pastel Challenges & Experiments, using Pans on an Aubergine Colourfix primed canvas board. It worked about as well as Colourfix paper but was much more dusty than using PastelMat for Pans. I'm spoiled by that grabby sticky PastelMat surface!

I am continuing to slowly reorganize everything so it's easier to get at my pastels. Right now the new pads and the Greens Sampler reside on top of my scanner so I can get at them without getting up and get put on the bed when I'm not in the bed, easier in reach. The result of that was that today I need to change the sheets on the bed.

THere's a lot of green pastel on the sheets from my cleaning the Sofft tools on paper towel right there, so those sheets go in the laundry now. lol

01-14-2010, 11:30 PM
lol! Thanks Doug, I appreciate your posting. I still have you beat in the messy dept. I'll photograph mine, Judi can do hers, and we'll have a WC Award for "Most Disorganized" in the pastel group. :clap:

01-15-2010, 05:51 AM
Chuas, that would be hilarious. I think it'd be fun to have a "Most Disorganized Pastelist" award. Heh, I could be in the running for it if I'd gotten a pic earlier today before I cleaned up and made the bed. My cat was in hiding!

Judi, good luck on your knee surgery checkup! I hope this is the last and you don't need any more medical appointments. Yay for painting time!

01-15-2010, 10:24 AM
Chuas...LOL...yes, I'll try to do mine. Was embarrassed the other day when my artist friend saw my 'area' for the first time....all the pastels lying out , open , sketches in a pile, etc. Made me think I'd better 'get organized'. (Although, she looked through my pile of sketches, and saw several she thought I should frame and 'show') :)
Robert...thanks....yes, the appt went well. He looked at the xrays that were taken right there, and said "Beautiful!" He explained about the hardware he put in, which was an excellent job. I told him that I still experience pain, swelling, etc, but that it's bearable. He indicated that if it gets 'un-bearable' come back and see him. Otherwise, he's 'done' with me!
He was so very pleased with the way I have healed, but still concerned that I'm doing too much of the care-giving for my husband. He just doesnt want me to fall again! and neither do I!!!

So...hopefully today I'll get back to the drawing board...

01-15-2010, 11:27 AM
Yay Judi, glad to hear it. Sorry there's still pain and swelling though. Very, very glad you're getting back to the drawing board.

Looking forward to the Most Disorganized pastel area thing. I should take some photos of the rest of it -- not just the neat little stack of Pans but what's going on around it and what got shoved to the other side of the table when I did that. hehehe. Or really stand back so you can see the mess on the floor under the table too and off to the side and usually also piled on the bed.

I should've got one when the red sheet on the bed was covered in green pastels dust from that Pans landscape! But this month I am organizing.

Maybe what I need to do is take one of the bath towels from my bathroom and spread it on the bed when I'm laying out pastels sets. That way stray dust goes on the towel and I'm not a) sleeping in it or b) having to throw my back making the bed myself on an emergency basis.

Usually my daughter or son in law will come in and clean up my room and do the things I can't do for myself, but this is naturally more on their schedule when they've got time to. It was an eye-opener to realize that nontoxic or not, it's probably not a good idea to sleep in the pastel dust.

01-15-2010, 12:00 PM
Judi, glad to hear you're up and about and painting! Knee problems no fun.
Ok here's my "workspace" which is about 5' x 5'. We're talking enough room to turn around...and if I turn around really fast, all my pastels go into orbit around me.


01-15-2010, 01:06 PM
Aww yours isn't that disorganized, Chuas! It's all sensibly pastels and most of them are in drawers or foam lined slotted foam boxes. Looks well organized, just a little crowded for space.

Well, I got most of mine on photos...

The Bookcases. That top shelf has colored pencils sets and little stuff in that drawer unit. Notice the Colourfix primers wound up completely obscuring an entire shelf of books. I need more shelving!

The Taboret, with Printer
This really helped, the printer table used to be stacked much higher. A lot of pads and papers are in the drawers along with a lot of loose stuff that would get banged around. It's actually easy to find things in. On top are the PastelMat pads and Greens sampler, which haven't been put away yet. I think there's room for the pads in a taboret drawer.

Under my drafting table, there's the wood box set of Erengi, some pads and books behind it vertical, and unseen behind that the wooden Mayfair Box of oils. Also the paper towels for using with Pans and some other stuff. More books and sketchbooks are stacked on the floor next to my chair too.

Left side of my drafting table. Behind that bit of Colourfix paper sticking up is a stack almost that high of oil pastels, colored pencils and pastels boxes plus watercolor blocks and watercolor palettes and assorted small things all for some reason in a butcher tray. Maybe just because the butcher tray palette got put there first and the little things wouldn't roll out of it.

Right side of my drafting table after actually using the Pans and the SpectraFix. That fleeting moment when everything was clean and lined up perfectly on one corner of the table has passed. It's back to normal, burrow through everything to get what I need and push the other stuff around for it.

I generally wind up using a drawing board in my lap rather than actually drawing on the table. Maybe if I had an L-shaped arrangement with a desk as well as the table, I could get and keep the table clear enough to use as a drafting table. Maybe... but it'd still fill up pretty fast!

Anyway, there's my Messy Studio/Work Area. My room really is a studio that happens to have a bed in it and the bed acts as an extra place to spread out pastels sets when I'm painting. I just need to remember to spread out a towel under them next time so I don't need to do emergency sheet changes!

01-15-2010, 01:13 PM
and here's my easel, with stuff tacked to the wall behind me.

LOL ok, yours is pretty bad Robert! do you keep pastels in the rx medicine bottles?
Notice the common theme among all three of ours are the rolls of paper towels and tape (amidst the clutter). Ok Doug's looks pretty neat compared to yours Robert. Any other brave souls want to enter the "Contest?"


01-15-2010, 02:06 PM
Judi, great on the knee! An exclamation of 'beautiful' sounds really good!

Chuas, come on, that's *neat*! It's a workshop, and as long as you know where everything is, then it is highly organized. I did show pics of mine, a couple or 6 months back, or was it a year... when I begun my Organize and Clean the Studio Project. Suffice to say I have to start all over... LOL! I might get brave and show new pics...


01-15-2010, 02:23 PM
Ok, I'm humbled, and a little disappointed. Wait, I should be happy?!

01-15-2010, 03:20 PM
Well, both of yours look more 'full-up' than disorganized. I dont have a lot of stuff accumulated yet, so I will have less to show. But messy, it is. My set-up bottles are lined up on the floor, as I dont have real shelves yet...
oh yes, I will show, have to practice with the digital camera a bit first.

BTW how did you get the red print across your items??? very clever...

01-15-2010, 06:34 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head, Judi, when you said "yours look more 'full-up' than disorganized." My room is 9 x 11.5 with a 6' closet, but when you put two old kitchen tables, easel, bookcase, printer stand, end table and an old sewing machine table, it gets a little crowded. I am not complaining, because it is all mine. :clap:

I think I know where everything is, so I guess it's not that bad.:evil: I think the reason it gets this way is because when I take the time to clean up, I get pain in my back and legs, so I have to go lie down in my recliner. I have all the time in the world, but my body doesn't always cooperate.:mad: I know I am not the only one here who has that problem. Oh sorry, I mean challenge. (That's the politically correct word:rolleyes: )

My wife and daughters have told me that they could really tell a difference in me, since I joined WC, three years ago. It was something I needed in my life to get me through the day, and my youngest daughter gave up her bedroom on the main floor for me. I am a lucky guy to have a loving and understanding family. Forgive me, I have been rambling on and it was all started by a messy studio.:o

Good news about your checkup, Judi.:thumbsup: I am very happy for you. It was a long haul and you got through it.


01-16-2010, 12:07 AM
New pics, Charlie! Capture it at its worst!

You're absolutely right. It's a workshop and things arrange themselves by use rather than by neat & clean esthetics. In the thread with the neat new wooden pastel cases from Lowe's, Sonja showed her studio area entirely spotless with everything in its place. Looked like she was getting ready for a studio tour or something.

Judi, yep, "full up" about describes it. I bought bookcases after moving here and bought the taboret right before moving and now have so much stuff and so many books in a small room that if I hadn't gotten those things -- it'd be much much worse. I lost some book shelving in the move that was built-in back in the Kansas house and still haven't got enough feet of shelves for everything that ought to be on shelves.

Edit: How I got the red print on my photos.

I use The Gimp from http://www.gimp.org, a freeware photo manipulation/digital art program as good as Photoshop. I opened my photos in Gimp to fix the contrast and color. Then because I saw red text on Chuas's photos, I decided to label mine too. I clicked the T icon for text, clicked on the painting where I wanted it to go and used the color selector by clicking on the black square on the icon with overlapping black and white squares.

Once the black square turned red by my clicking in a patch of red on the selector, I clicked where I wanted the labels and typed in a dialog box. After all of them were on there, I couldn't do any more.

I had to choose "Merge Down" from the "Layers" menu and merge each caption down with the rest of them until they were all merged onto the bottom layer, the photo itself, for anything I drew on it to show. Then I used the pencil tool to draw the little arrows.

So there is a trick to it in Gimp, it's a slightly complicated process with the merging layers thing. But it works really well and you can choose any font in any color you want as long as you have that font.

Doug, that's exactly why mine is in the state it's in. I've begun the slow process of reorganizing by picking something up and finding a place for it en route to the bathroom every time I need to go. I have to get up anyway, so I push only a little more and put something away. It's the slow way to do it, but it helps keep the chaos at bay.

It would be far worse if I hadn't started clearing up at the start of the month.

I'm touched by what you said about WC. I know when I started getting involved here it was gradual, but I too have become a lot happier since I started hanging out. Most of all I enjoy my painting so much more.

Chuas, be happy! You could be short some shelving and not manage to keep it down to the nicely organized state yours is in. But I liked your fun contest. It's a good feeling to know I'm not alone in letting it get that messy because I'd rather be painting than cleaning up.

Today was a resting-up day from yesterday's overexertion. But I got a lot done and the bed's still very clean, go me. I found out that a dark green bedsheet didn't fit my current bed when I tried it, then found the brand-new unused sheets in the cabinet that came with the bed-in-a-bag so used those. That leaves a dark green piece of cloth to use for a still life backdrop.

So next time I get cherries, the background will be cool colored and push the fruits forward. Or even apples. I should set up a still life once I get my energy back...

01-17-2010, 05:54 PM
The Real Thing

How it looks right now. Lemme tell you, this is *tidy*, for being me.


There is a plastic bag by the door, and I have no idea what's in it. I think it is some sort of framing supplies. The black cloth bag should have been cleaned out and away in September... On the stool, right under the pad, are some prints and photos.

Under the desk is a plastic thingy with wheels (coasters?), brand new.... that is, I bought in several months ago, and assembled it a week ago, and it swalled a lot of stuff that was on the floor. The red plastic bucket has a plastic bag in it and does service as a waste basket.

I have other pics.... revealing the actual state of the 'coral reef' on the desk. Coming soon to a monitor near you.


01-17-2010, 09:19 PM
Oh that is tidy! Well, it's January now. If you procrastinate a few more months, when it turns spring you'll still have your Stealth Plein Air Bag all set up and ready to go, just put in some new panels and take off. I really liked that when you blogged about it.

Light, bright, clean and tidy. You have a beautiful work area. Looking forward to the "coral reef" photos and their captions.

01-19-2010, 07:28 PM
Got in some virtual organizing today. I went into My Pictures and ruthlessly shoved everything in it into separate folders except for the current January challenge photos and the ATCs that I'm sending out and need to post to the project as they get received.

It was a lot of work but it's a great relief. I put all my 2009 art into a folder separate from current art too, so now the scanner's folder isn't this long long row of folders to sift through by date. It makes a new folder for scans every day. That's great for figuring out when I did an artwork, not so great for scrolling ever farther down to get to the folder with current scans.

I might even turn that into monthly maintenance to keep it in hand.

I've also been finding a direction this month in landscapes and tree studies. That falls under "experiment with pastels" but it all seems to be experiments with trees! I might make that my February goal -- improve my landscapes.

01-19-2010, 08:59 PM
Robert, direction is fine. I am finding focusing on a theme is helping me progress.

01-20-2010, 09:01 AM
Robert, LOL! Yes, I figured out that if you don't deal with seasonal stuff, the season will come back and the stuff be totally up to date.

Are you talking computer files? Even if they sit in the scanner. Oh, my advice is to device a system you do every time. I have folders, and subfolders, and everything goes into the right place immediately when scanning or uploading photos to computer, sorted by name of painting. The dates are there too, but I could never work with a date-based system.

My "Coral Reef" isn't so impressive anymore, as I've managed *some* putting in place of things. (Is that awful grammar? It feels more French, and I've been reading French.)

To the left of the desk, same but opposite view as previous photo upthread:


And coral reef right:

Oh, the roll of box-tape (what do you guys call it?) is for removing pastel dust from paintings, according to the advice by Donna A. Works really well on sanded papers and colourfix, to get the more stubbornly stuck dust off. Also great for removing top layers without disturbing lower layers.


01-20-2010, 09:37 AM
Very impressive, Charlie!..., and Robert, on your folders.

I have tried to get a picture with my little digital (cheapy) camera. must get myself a better one...cant control this one, and have been unable to capture a picture.
But I do have all my scans by month, in my computer. I use the HP scanner/programs. Not the greatest, but I've gotten used to it. But only know one way to do things with it! Oh well...

01-20-2010, 04:30 PM
Charlie, your coral reef looks very organized. Not messy at all, completely focused on what you're doing. Thanks for the detailed captions! Okay, something like "mystery plastic bag" is a bit quirky but things like that always emerge.

Of course I love all your colors. Your Unison set is amusing -- all the colors little half sticks and stubs of brilliants and tints, then one row of blue-grays and browns still wrapped and looking new. That 72 set is tempting to me. I'd probably even use those neutrals, sometimes I like a muted palette.

I had some of the stuff organized but had too many folders, so now I've nested some of them. It's much easier to find anything now than it used to be. I needed to do that for some time and finally got around to it.

01-20-2010, 07:46 PM
Charlie- It's not messy if you know where everything is.:evil: Thanks for the tour.

Robert- It sounds like you are now virtually organized. I look at the stuff scattered around my studio, and I can imagine that's what my laptop looks like inside.:lol:

Well, I did something I have been putting off for a while. I cleaned my filthy pastels. Since I built my boxes, they have been lined with paper towel. The dust sat on top and my pastels got dirtier when they were moved around. The dust was also floating around my studio and causing my eyes to go red. :eek:

It took two days, but it was well worth it. I now have my beautiful pastels back. They are now line with some kind of material my MIL sent me. It cleans pastels well and holds dust.:thumbsup: The sticks looked so good, I started a painting today. Here are a couple of photos.



Ain't they perty.:D


01-20-2010, 08:31 PM
Doug, they are beautiful! You can see what color they are now too. No wonder you started a painting as soon as you got them into order. Luscious rich wonderful color saturating your mind as soon as you glance at your work area.

This is why I was thinking of buying a Heilman box sometime, so that I could consolidate all my sets by breaking the pieces and putting a part of each stick into the Heilman box.

Clever putting the color wheel into the photo so that when you color correct it, you get all of it as close to accurate as possible. I ought to do that sometime, just make up a good one to have handy and put into photos.

You have a nice setup! Mine's still physically a mess but it's getting to be a more organized mess in that gradual way that happens when I decide to clean up. I'll move one thing and rearrange shelves as I go past doing something else. I'll do another one the next day and so on. I'm reaching limits of shelving though and that's not something I can do anything about anytime soon.

Next month is framing, that comes ahead of organizing. I bought some art that needs framing and found some good frames on Clearance at Blick so I'm getting extras to frame some of the best pastels I've done. That'll keep them safe without burying them in the archive box or portfolio.

01-21-2010, 05:04 AM
Doug, very 'purdy'! Hey, you're cheating -- where's the "before", we only see the "after"! ;-D

I guess my mess isn't so bad, after all, and yes-I'll-eat-my-own-words. It is a 'shop', after all. (Why is a place where you 'tinker' and a place where you buy things both called 'shops'?) And I got it organised enough to actually find things, so yes, if I know where stuff is, it is not a mess. Phew! I can relax! This thread is so therapeutic.

Doug, wasn't it you who had that thread with the pretty cabinet that is useful too? Love that reversal! I'd like to have a really pretty studio. In fact, I'd love to have a whole Orangerie/conservatory, with beautiful furniture, paintings beautifully framed on the wall, a small fountain with koi fish, a chintz English sofa, lace curtains... Instead, I tell myself that it looks *highly* professional to have strictly utilitarian stuff, nothing artsy at all.

Robert, isn't it funny about the unused greys? hardly used.

This is the goal thread, right? :-) I'm doing fairly OK, with one painting to finish, and three in my head of which I'll start at least one today, as I (gasp!) actually *washed* the Pan sponges, and can use them again without depositing mud.


01-21-2010, 12:36 PM
Doug and Charlie, GREAT job in organizing (to some extent) your colors. I like this grouping colors together, but how do you know which is which brand and if you want to replace one what brand and what color? That's the only hesitation I have with mushing all my sticks together..

01-21-2010, 01:14 PM
Charlie- I was too embarressed to show how dirty my sticks were. I 'found' colours that had gone missing.:o

Chuas- Believe it or not, I can tell you what brand (six at last count) each and every one of my pastels are just by the feel of them, or how they go onto the paper. When I get new pastels, I cut them in half. One is used and the other is stored with the label still attached. When I use up a stick in my boxes, I just go and get the other half that is stored, and the info is right there so I can order one.


01-21-2010, 01:50 PM
Charlie, your dream studio sounds like my fantasies, though it'd be more fun to have that palace and share it with great painters like you. Throw in a power chair so I can roll around in all that spaciousness and I'd be delighted to work in the Orangerie. Besides, then I'd get to see you work in progress, I'd learn so much!

Chuas, I had the same hesitation about that. I think that I'm nearing the point where I might do it this Spring though. One way to organize would be to keep the labels on the pieces that are still in the boxes -- break the sticks and put a piece of everything into a Heilman box. Then when I have to go back to the original set boxes for something and take the second piece, reorder that color. It'd be a way to find out what gets used up fastest.

I can also see though that once people settle on a favorite brand, the colors that get used up fastest are easier to remember. I suppose you could take a tiny stub to an art store to go matching it with open stock too if you shop in person offline. On numbered long square sticks like the Richesons, I'll have to keep the bit with the number pressed in as the last piece to be used.

01-21-2010, 01:55 PM
Doug, I too just had a I-thought-this-was-a-green-but-look-it-is-that-blue-I've-missed experience. :-D

Chuas, I make neat grids, and write down names and numbers of sticks, and then fill a square with the colour. That way, I can take a nubbin almost too small to hold, make a mark on the edge of a paper, and then hold it over the squares and find the exact match. Doubly safe, as I also keep the wrappers on the parts of sticks that are in storage, and only use the inch or so that I break off from the stick. Funny with the charts, actually, as I wouldn't bother if it didn't have the definite purpose of making life *easier*.

Of my 5 round brands, I can also feel which is which, usually just by picking it up.

Rembrandt Chart (half of it). x are non-existing colours.


01-21-2010, 02:09 PM
I like Charlie's color chart. I'm actually getting some handmade ones from Dakota, because I really can't tell what some of the Sennelier ones are (print is obscured or not printed clearly to begin with). And not experienced to be able to tell which brand is which, although the newer Senneliers are a tiny bit wider in circumfrence than the older ones (but now are the same as my Rembrandts, which I don't like anyway).

I probably worry about replacing colors too much because I've experienced having that little lipstick nub with the label worn off and I don't know who made it or what the color is, but to not have it anymore would be devastating :lol: .

I guess if you did the color swatches, you could at least take that to an art store and they'd be able to match you up with something close.

Now if I had something to organize them ALL in, like a polished cherrywood cabinet....:evil:

01-22-2010, 03:26 PM
I had to attach the studio photos after following everyone else's posts. I've too much stuff to identify it. I know there is watercolour stuff/scrapbooking stuff/ pastel/ oil painting/ printmaking and assorted other junk in this room. The WC stuff is out as the intro to painting was last night and I haven't put it away yet. I have a feeling my kids are going to want a crack at the leftover palettes to explore with.
White anemones #3 just got back from the framer yesterday, so I had to have it out for a brag moment or two. I'll frame goalie skates today after I pick up the frame from the framer. I get to drop it off at Bonnyville for the Alberta Winter Games display.
I am not organized enough to keep my pastels coded. I am writing down my favorite colours before I tear off the label. I try to keep the pastels whole just because my hands get sore if the pieces are too small.
In my ideal world, my next major purchase will be the full set of MVPs. The more I use them the more I like them. Unison are a close second for me, with a small collection of Schminkes to supply the bling. Moving in summer 2011 is going to be a challenge packing up the studio. I hope I get studio space in the next house.

01-22-2010, 04:05 PM
Wonderful mess, Terri! With beautiful paintings everywhere! How many rooms would you actually need, for all this? I've figured out that I need three rooms, and one can double as storage. :-D


01-22-2010, 06:29 PM
Thanks for sharing your organized mess, Terri. You have a lot going on there. It looks like you really use your area. Keep at it!


01-22-2010, 09:42 PM
Terri, that's a great studio! Wow you have a lot of stuff. You seem to be overflowing the way I've been too, like there aren't ever quite enough shelves or cabinets for it all. Great to have all the framed paintings up too. You still have wall space, so fill it!

Chuas, you're so right. If I keep nicely labeled color charts then when I do run out of a good color, I can just bring the chart to a store or check the name and number online to order from open stock. Charting is really that essential.

I've been doing it but haven't got the charts organized. I may want to start a charts folder so they're all in the same place.

01-23-2010, 08:27 PM
Terri...looks like you've got things under control in your studio...
Charlie....great-looking chart you have there!
Robert, like you I can kinda tell what they are by the feel....

I've started another, a winter scene, but got sidetracked and inspired by Doug to clean off my pastels. Once I got going, I couldnt stop til I had done all the boxes. Whew! my clothes and fingernails are loaded with pastel colors. But it's done. I needed to do it anyway, in preparation for the workshop next weekend, so now I just need to figure out which colors I will need and get them into the travel box.
Wish I could get my camera to work....I'd show you...

01-24-2010, 12:43 AM
I am so excited for you going to the workshop next weekend, Judi. If I step back a bit too much, I start to step on things. LOL Monday back to work on the hockey series.
I signed up for a workshop with Tim Okamura, oil portraits this summer in Red Deer.

01-24-2010, 03:22 AM
Judi- Did you find any lost colours? ;) Glad I could be of service. It feels good, doesn't it. It's one of those things we put off until it's too late. Now you can relax until your workshop.


01-24-2010, 09:27 AM
Judi, have great fun at the workshop!

Can you guys believe it? I cleaned all the pastels I used in my latest, as I finished it. Usually I have to start with cleaning them, before being able to start a new painting. Which I will, today!


01-24-2010, 10:05 AM
Charlie..:clap: yay for clean pastels!
Just wondering....what do you use to clean yours? There must be a better way than what I did, using paper towels (lots and lots of them :D )
Doug...you mentioned some material you MIL sent you...do you know what it is?
would love to hear what others use...

01-24-2010, 11:23 AM
Judi, upthread, in my "coral reef" pictures of mess, the one from the right side of the desk has "babywipe clamped to plate". That is what I use ongoingly to 'scrape off' dirt from sticks. And when I'm finished, I wipe them gently on it, all around the stick. Mostly loose dirt is wiped off, very little loss of actual stick. Wipe fingers too. The dust sifts right through the foam, is catched by the plate, and I can save it for home-made unique neutrals, just as I do with what falls on the foil under the painting. (They are great for the 'cartoon' drawing, being neutral.)

I also have a little tin box filled with rice flour. Put sticks in, close lid, shake, take out clean sticks (reusable for many years without changing flour). Though, the rice flour tends to stick to sticks, just enough to be annoying. I'm going to test rice (polished), or crushed cornmeal or something that isn't powdered to atoms.


01-24-2010, 11:37 AM
I've heard of the rice box or cornmeal cleaning method, that's neat! Yay for everyone's pastel cleaning!

I've been mostly cleaning a stick as I handle it, with toilet paper roll that I keep on my table. Or by swiping it on a scrap of paper to find out what colors are on it and get them off before I use it. Lazy me. I should go through and clean mine one of these days so that it's easier to see what color they are before I pick them up.

I probably will try the cornmeal or rice box method when I do since that seems a lot easier than anything else, just put them in and shake them. It was in Bill Creevy's "The Pastel Book" and I meant to get a piece of Tupperware and set one up.

I have been working on goal #2, relaxing and taking it easy. This is the hardest ones because I've had sick days and feel so bad when I get a whole day and look at it at the end and did not accomplish anything. Getting used to that emotionally is harder than actually doing stuff sometimes.

Probably because the only days I do nothing are the days I don't feel up to doing anything. If I feel good enough to do something, then I'm bored and want to do something instead of just relax! So getting on good terms with the relaxing is part of that goal too.

Lisa Fiore
01-24-2010, 02:18 PM
Reading through this thread, I've found I must be the biggest pastel slob of all! When I'm painting and I pick up a stick to use, I give it a quick "swipe" across my jeans to make sure it's "clean". My jeans are incredibly multi-colored when I'm done with the painting session, but fortunately they're easy to wash!! To formally "clean" pastels--gosh I never thought of that!!

01-24-2010, 05:47 PM
Hi Elizabeth....Have you goals to share? Yes, formal cleaning isnt something I would have thought of either....in fact, this is the first time in the 2 years I've had my workspace......

Thanks, Charlie..that helps a lot. much easier and less time consuming than wiping each and every piece with a paper towel! One of my goals for next month....get a container with rice or cornmeal to regularly clean them...
I do keep a container of the wet wipes, but never thought to use them on the pastels...just my hands!
Robert...hope you get to feeling much much better!
BTW...anyone heard from elsie lately????She's been MIA for a few days...hope eveything is ok with her....elsie, if you're reading this, please check in....

Lisa Fiore
01-24-2010, 07:32 PM
Hi Elizabeth....Have you goals to share? Yes, formal cleaning isnt something I would have thought of either....in fact, this is the first time in the 2 years I've had my workspace......

oops--sorry Judy, I guess I shouldn't have piped in without stating goals...:o My goals are the same as always--to try to fit sketching or painting time in every day. Some days are better than others, of course. I was thinking I'd like to try to participate in the Feb goal post thread--a little late for me for Jan! Who knows, maybe I'll even clean my pastels with something other than jeans!! (doubt it :rolleyes: )

01-24-2010, 08:08 PM
Lisa, do join us now and in February. I wipe dusty hands on t-shirt and jeans... Before, when I painted in oils, I had a *crust* on my painting clothes... Opened the door once in that elegant outfit, and a delivery man just stared at me, and then it dawned "oh, you're painting!".

01-25-2010, 11:44 PM
Great and very ambitious posts for 2010!
As a beginner, I am always stressed out and judging what I am learning my only resolution this year is to continue learning and enjoy the process. Above all have fun painting!

01-26-2010, 12:54 AM
Judi- The material I used to clean my pastels is vellux. I believe it is used to make blankets. It works like a charm. Now, when I am doing a painting, the pastels that I am using lie on a piece of vellux. It serves two purposes. It cushions them and, with a little swipe, it keeps them clean . Works like a charm. I also have it in the bottom of my white pastel boxes. It seems like I have started a trend with clean pastels.:evil: :angel:

Lisa- You are more than welcome to join us. Don't tell anyone, but I started this thread and I didn't make any goals for this month.:eek: Join in whenever you want, and set your goals when you are ready.

SunFace- Keep at it and have fun. Nobody can ask for more.:thumbsup:


01-26-2010, 02:00 PM
Doug, you DID start a trend with clean pastels, darn you anyway! Now I'm wiping off each stick at the end of each session, rather than waiting until they are all the same color. lol!

Where do you get vellux? Never heard of the stuff...

I had to start wearing my dad's carpenter's apron because I'm always tempted to wipe my hands on my front (I've got multicolored smears across the abdomen of a bunch of shirts).

Btw, anyone who's not organized enough to write down their colors and do their own color chart, the handmade ones from Dakota rock! Not cheap, but perfect for someone too lazy or not together enough to make their own. I got one for Schmincke and one for Sennelier, put them in page protectors and in a binder.

01-26-2010, 04:40 PM
Lisa, it's never too late to set goals for the month, even if they're goals for the next few days. I wound up posting my goals on the 28th one month a ways back but it was good to get them out there and I succeeded in one, doing it!

Speaking of goals, I wound up doing something for the past couple of days that I'd meant to Get A Round Tuit for, well, most of a year? Last year I bought a good webcam, it may even have been in 2008, don't remember when I got it. Only that life interfered with my actually making any oil pastels videos.

Then yesterday and today I wound up finally doing some oil pastels videos posted on YouTube and on my OP site, which I need to put the last two-part one on the videos page and update it today. I'll go do that now!

01-26-2010, 04:46 PM
Beware! Cleaning trends are contagious, do not read this thread unless prepared to clean sticks. ;-D

And the other theme: My studio area is the messiest... sort of an anti-hero competition. "My home town was so poor..." :-D

Goal report (yeah, that's what the thread is for... LOL!)
Busy painting, swearing over the fact I chose the wrong paper for it. Have almost decided what to do with "Scape", too. And one entry for PGE's challenge Get Dusty finished.

Also reading in the book "The Secret Monet", about his drawings and pastels.

And, am clear on one goal for February. Will hold an exhibition, self-arranged.


01-26-2010, 04:55 PM
Chuas- I think the vellux that my MIL gave me was a piece of a blanket, because there is a finished edge on one edge. I just did a search on google and this popped up. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10232632#ShortReviewTitleBar I am sure you can get the blankets at other stores, but there is usually a Walmart around every corner.(Except here. The closest one is 3 hours away.)

Robert- I will have to take a look at your video. I am sure it will be interesting.


01-26-2010, 07:16 PM

Do you have a a link for your video? I would love to watch it!!!!!!

01-26-2010, 08:26 PM
Elizabeth....I didnt mean to sound unwelcoming....you're certainly welcome, with or without goals! I apologize for my rudeness....
and hope you'll continue to post here...
Doug...thanks for the name vellux....sounds a bit like what I call velour...i have a throw-blanket made of it, which my Cihuahua calls his own...loves to snuggle both in and under it...I'd be hard put to get it away from him...:D
Robert....YAY for your video...i'd love to see it, too...
charlie....that's a good one to be clear on!
Chuas...yep, I do the same thing. But now, cleaning after each use. (we'll see just how long THAT lasts....lol)
Sunface....that's what it's all about...enjoyment! Good resolution!

i've still got a couple of days to go to complete my one big goal...getting business cards made. Will I make it? We'll see...mostly depends on the weather the next couple of days...it's gonna be a race to the finish!

01-27-2010, 06:22 AM
Robert, links, links, links!

And I was unclear, I'm going to have the exhibition later, but must start planning and working for it soon, like, yesterday...


01-27-2010, 07:32 PM
Early this morning, I went to the bus depot to pick my pastelmat. So, of course, I had to use it. I painted a similar set-up of the goalie skates on blue to make a comparison. It's okay but I am still partial to the suede mat board because it restricts my tendency to blend with my fingers. I can soften an edge but that's about it.

Good luck with your planning, Charlie.
I've been approached to do a painting for the ambulance service here and I am tossing around ideas in my head. Definitely a messy process. LOL
As for the vellux, check your local Sally Ann store or Value Village, and you may be able to pick a blankie up for less.
Robert, a link would be nice, please. Sometimes I am a bit lazy on looking for things. Good job on your tree studies, by the way.
As for the pastel cleaning thing, the ones I am using on a painting get put into an old plastic container with rice. I sometimes give them a wipe with paper towel before using them, especially if it's a light one.

01-29-2010, 12:23 AM
Oh, yes, Elsie is still kickin'! Just that life got more hectic than usual.
Some family stuff..good stuff, but time consuming!

Yikes....What happened to January?
Actually, a lot did!
Artwise, I've been pretty productive. Between all the family running around to attend some local functions....daughter starting grad school...Yea! Life is good! Granddaughter in a program and back in college etc. A family dinner or two, etc.

But, having that studio downstairs to "go to" is wonderful! "Where's MOM? Where's Elsie?" "Oh, she's downstairs in her studio" "Oh, well, don't bother her, I'll catch her later! " It is wonderful! No longer am I just in the other room and handy! :lol: :p :wink2:

Besides the pastels, I've been getting some graphite drawings done and on a lark, I plunged back into colored pencils! I had some and had used them quite a lot a few years ago. But, Blicks had this sale.:wink2: .....hubby caught me drooling over the sale flier and said, "Oh, well order them! I can't figure out what to get you for Valentine's Day! " Oh, what a sweetie! They arrived last week and I've been playing! :p :heart:

Also, I've been digging back through my computer files of photos I've taken and thought I'd paint "someday" and found several I want to do. So my next two pastels are lined up! Oh, and my last painting was on PastelMat! I'm in love! :heart: Wow! I still love Wallis, too. But, they are so different, so I know I'll go on using both depending on what I'm painting.
I took a little piece (of PastelMat) I was using for trials and tried colored pencil on it! No... the CP's just sink into the stuff! Well, worth a try.:p

It took me awhile to read back through the thread and "catch up". You guys have been busy! Welcome to the new Goalies!:wave:
February is just around the corner! Hmmm! Better dig out Jan.'s goals and see what I'm going to do in Feb.


01-29-2010, 07:48 AM
Elsie, that all sounds like January has been a very good month for you! Love how your own separate space gives you more privacy. (In reality, they're too lazy to go down the stairs... :-)

I have daylight today! Sun is *visible* behind thin veil-like clouds!

Oh, photos, made me remember. I've seen somewhere that the RIL now accepts uploads, but only one at the time.


01-29-2010, 11:13 AM
Elsie....so good to see you back. Robert & Doug..hoping you both are feeling well... Terri...congrats on your new commission...
Nearing the end of the month, and I will be gone all day tomorrow at Frank's workshop. Sunday I will be celebrating my birthday,
so thought I would check my goal situation today:

1. Create and get business cards printed
2. Do at least one of the Challenges
3. Put up shelving to hold paintings, paper, books, etc
4. Sketch a few minutes on the days I dont paint
5. Take the workshop with Frank Federico (Jan 30) with no expectations except to learn and enjoy.

1. yep...will see the proof Monday or Tues next week
2. yep....actually did 2...the CAC and Jan. Pastel strokes
3. nope But DID clen my pastels!
4. yep...to some extent...not EVery day, but some.
5. ...coming up tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Wishing everyone a happy-end-of-January....

01-29-2010, 11:42 AM
Judi, doing great! Have great fun at the workshop, just sponge it all up, and sort it out after.


01-29-2010, 01:42 PM
Elsie- Hello, Stranger! I am happy to hear you have been busy with the important things in life; family and art. Watch out, those pretty coloured pencils can be as addictive as pastels. Believe me. I know.:o I now have my pastel table and a coloured pencil table. Who says we like colour? Have fun painting/ drawing in YOUR studio.

Judi- You have had a great month. Good for you!:thumbsup: Now you get to finish off with a pastel workshop, taught by a fantastic artist. Does life get any better? Enjoy the workshop, Judi. You have earned it.

I am trying to kick my aches and pains in the butt, but I can't lift my leg high enough.:lol: My Dakota order arrived yesterday, and I am off to my studio in a few minutes to try the Pastelmat that people have been raving about. I think I will use the Terry Ludwig, Maggie Price value set I have had my eyes on since in was first introduced. It's all my wife's fault. She saw the Dakota email about their winter sale and asked me if I was going to order anything.:lol: That's all I had to hear.:evil: She said Happy Anniversary, even though that's not until May. I think the 28th anniversary is pastels, isn't it?

Happy painting everyone.


01-29-2010, 02:28 PM
Doug, absolutely, and the 29th, and the 30th and... :-D

So, how did you like the paper we're all raving about?


01-29-2010, 04:54 PM
:wave: Hi, there, Goalies!

Charlie: Oh, LOL! Yes, somehow the trip down the steps just signals, maybe MOM is working! Also, Do I really want to walk all the way down there? :lol: :wink2: :p
Charlie: We have a lovely sunny, but cold winter day here! I'll soak up a little sun for you!:heart:

I spent the morning in the studio again! Lovely!
Bob...the retired professor...is teaching a class this semester :wink2: , so I have some time three mornings a week that are not programed to someone else's schedule! Hey, I need a break! :lol:
I know, it take awhile for retirement to really sink in! He is having teaching withdrawal :heart: It took me awhile to get used to being retired, too!

Then I had a tough job this afternoon...needed some Gamsol and some other art stuff....so I just HAD to go to the Wisconsin Craft Mark shop!
Also, I wanted to see if the new PanPastel trays were in yet..they weren't...aw..I just might have to go back soon to see. I'm hopeless! :p
Great fun and it got me out into the freezing winter air for awhile! :heart:

01-29-2010, 08:41 PM
Oops!:o My math was wrong. It's our 29th coming up.:o Oh well, my wife knows I usually get birthdays and anniversaries correct.:angel:

Yes Charlie, I started a painting using the Pastelmat. WOW. I couldn't believe my eyes. It feels so smooth but holds a ton of pastel. I think I will be using it for my next few paintings.


Mary Y
01-29-2010, 09:46 PM
Hi everyone,
I thought I would look in and say Hello.

Doug, Hope your aches and pains are improving.
Thanks for the tip on anniversary presents. Would it be pastels for a 27th?
I received a Maggie Price values set for Christmas and apart from a few touches here and there have not reallly used it yet. I have not brought myself to break them although this has never been a problem with other brands.(That might have to be on Febs list of goals)

Elsie, Lovely to hear you are enjoying your private studio space.

Judi, Well done on your goals. Enjoy your workshop and your birthday this weekend.

Terri, I am enjoying your series of hockey paintings and congratulations on your comission.

Charlie, Enjoy your painting and good luck for the PGE challenge.Thanks for the tip with the baby wipe on a plate.I clean my pastels in a container of semolina and just swirl them around and they usually come out clean.

Robert, I had a look at your videos on your OP site they are excellent. It made me want to dig out an old set of oil pastels I have and try them.

Lisa, Sunface& Chuas Hi.

As Far as My January goals went--
I will start Charlies Still Life The Colourful Way and post as I go .
I will take part in at least 3 challenges/threads and post what I paint (Pastel strokes/WDE/etc)
I will enjoy what I paint

I have started Charlies Still Life,
I have read up to page 16 and I realise this is a very long term project.I am amazed at the amount of work you put into this Charlie.
I have not yet posted and won'.t for a while.
My three postings in challenges turned out to be only two this month (unless I find some time this weekend).
I have enjoyed what I have had time to paint.
Doug thank you for starting this thread.

01-29-2010, 11:51 PM
Mary- You are doing a great job on your goals. Charlie's class contains so much information, it can be a challenge to digest. Keep at it, because you will learn so much. If you post your painting/ studies, I am sure Charlie will comment on them.

It's good that you posted in two challenges. That's two more than I did.:) In regards about starting this thread, you are more than welcome. It's just my little way of helping out around here.

You are going to love those TL pastels. I promise. And it's pastels for the 27th, 28th, 29th....... Charlie has it right.


01-30-2010, 10:04 AM
Doug, isn't it amazing how much pastel that 'wimpy' paper can hold. Have you noticed that what falls off whilst painting is less than on many other papers?
(In our household, it is my husband who remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I always go: "What, already?" or "What? That long? It was only yesterday..." :-)

Mary, you're doing fab! Ah, yes, that class absorbed me for a good while, but after it, I painted better paintings. It was really good to go back to basics, and I really enjoy teaching people who want to learn. The most precious moments was sharing the joy of people's discoveries! Oh, did you notice that towards the end of that monster-thread, there is an index listing the posts of special interest? Might not be on the last page, but. Probably second or third last. The Maggie Price set looks great! I've been eyeing it, it is quite perfect for the colour method. I'd change a row or two, but that's all.


01-30-2010, 12:33 PM
Elsie, yay for studio time and making it all the way down those steps. It rocks that you have a space just for art, that's so cool.

Judi! Happy birthday, hope you're having a great time at the workshop and post all about it when you get back! What a cool way to spend your birthday!

Doug, that pastelmat is a joy! I got my replacement sheets so now I'm thoroughly stocked up on it and may start doing some challenges and things on it now that there's plenty in all the colors. I still want to try a landscape on the buttery yellow color.

Mary, I wouldn't break Terry Ludwigs because they're already short. They're like using half sticks, so that's not such a big deal. But they have eight corners so it's not like they really need breaking other than to keep track of what colors get used up. I've been very tempted by that Maggie Price Value Set. So glad you liked my OP videos!

Charlie, thanks for recommending the Maggie Price Value Set. I might actually use the ones you don't since I sometimes do things in a muted key as well as an intense key. It sounds like that set would be very useful. Maybe later, next month's budget is for framing... or netbook replacement.

I started getting distortion on sound, really nasty distortion. It began with YouTube videos I was watching and the President's voice slooowwwing dowwwwn till he was nearly unintelligible, then extended to everything inculding the Windows chimes. I'm at my wits end. Tried to update the sound drivers but the stupid Windows wizard didn't update them because it didn't find any newer or better ones than I have in the machine.

I bought my netbook last April. It's off warranty of course, it's a refurb and only had three months warranty. So despite dreams of more pastels I should probably lay off and start saving up for an actual laptop again, hopefully with better success. I tried everything in the troubleshooter and none of it helped with the sound problem. So I may not be making videos again till I get that sorted out one way or another.

Glad I got a good dozen of them up though before the problem started. I can't believe running my camera was what did that though, it's just annoying timing.

End of month look at my goals... ow.

January Goals:
1. Keep Submitting Vaumuru -- haven't.
2. Relax and take it easy -- Had more trouble with this than I thought I would. It sounded so easy! Time off spent miserably frustrated and sick wasn't actually taking it easy, just getting benched being sick. I wound up resenting it just about every time I did, including yesterday.
3. Host Jan. OP challenge -- yes, did pretty well on that.
4. Pastel challenges & experiments -- yes, did pretty well on that
5. Organize my pastels. -- In a temporary way, they're now just as disorganized as when I started and it's the usual rotation of whatever I'm using at the moment is on the table and the rest migrates back to the shelves when the table stacks too high. I think the way I organize stuff is something continuous, it's already optimized, not something I can improve on. But I know now that I've got enough lids to put the Pans out in one-color stacks, which is great. They're back in tall stacks at the moment because I did the videos but when I get them out again I know where to put them. So I did organize a bit, finding the lids was a good thing!

01-31-2010, 12:18 AM
:wave: Hi, there, Goalies!

Old January is almost over! Hmmmm!

Well, funny old thing...I made my January goals and I think I never actually got them posted. I flipped back through the thread and I found I promised I'd be back to post them and then never did! :eek: Oh, well!:p
Better late than never, actually I managed a surprising lot!:clap:

1. Do more "studies" than paintings. This was to let me off the "I have to be completing a whole painting" hook, use some time to work out some ideas and try some new stuff!
This worked out really well! I did some of the Sarback/Hensche block studies and experimented with lighting them, etc.
2. Try out PastelMat.
This worked out really well! When it first arrived and I touched the surface, my reaction was: This is way too soft to hold pastel! Was I ever WRONG!
While my daughter, Julia, was here, I told about the PastelMat and said I had some ordered. She was quite excited. So since I had ordered two pads, one of each color range, when it arrived, I took one sheet of each color and sent them off to her to try. She had not had a chance to yet.
Besides cutting up a sheet to "play" with, I did a painting of rocks (glacial boulders) in a rock wall along a local tall-grass prairie. I took the photos about a year ago and it was one of those that I picked to try. I am really pleased with the paper and with the painting. I know, I know...I can hear Doug now..."Where is the photo?" Well, I have been meaning to do that!
3. Settle into the studio.
OOOO! I really am glad I made the move! So far, I like the set-up and how I have things stored.
4. Continue my graphite drawing lessons: This is from Sandra Angelo. It is taking me right back to the beginning and in the several months that I've been doing the lessons, I'm amazed at how much better/accurate my drawing is! Besides really making be see/draw/see/draw exactly, I'm really learning how to do the shading/texture in much better ways. It was a very humbling experience since graphite drawing was my main form of art production for so many years. Anyhow, that one is really been accomplished. But, it will still continue in the future!
5. Then I added this one in after I took the Colored Pencil Plunge! :p
As I posted earlier, I got to drooling big-time (ruined a good sale catalog!) over Dick Blick's sale on colored pencils. I know, Doug: They are very seductive! Also, I got a great book on using them by Alyona Nickelsen and then watched Gary Greene's video on Artistsnetwork.tv and am having great fun! So....Explore Colored Pencil. I've had great fun with this one!

Watercolor, pastels, graphite, colored pencil...Pastels are still my favorite! :heart:

February: I have several more prairie and other photos lined up for some more paintings. See you again in February: Valentines Day! :heart:

01-31-2010, 11:03 AM
Judi, Happy Birthday! And tell us all about the workshop!
Elsie, that's great!
Rob, you've done much! But with you, it seems like doing nothing is the hardest part. I have days when I don't function well, and I use those as rest-days, allowing myself to relax and trying not to think I have to cram 80 years into 20 years (as I came to seriously doing art late-ish in life).

OK, On the last day, I reckon it is time for some reckoning:

I will survive until the cold and dark is conquered by more clement and bright days. Seems I'm still alive and kickin', and the days *are* brightening!

I will paint, painting *is* relaxing, and lessens the SAD-triedness.
I did, and it did. Have not painted as much as I wanted, as SAD slows me down, but it is getting better.

I will get the stuff together for PGE's first Annual Meeting.
A WIP, proceeding. Still got about a month and a half to work on it.

I've been stressing too much, and need to breathe and think, or even not think at all, just be.
Gee, I was really "upbeat" at the start of the month... :p I've taken time to read books for about 2 hours every night. And I've also started a study (yes, that *is* relaxing!) of Monet, especially his pastels. This will influence my painting, I hope. It will, at some time, become an article on his impressionist methods, but no date set, I'm still just playing with ideas, investigating, etc.
It's been too cold for me to spend time outdoors, but when the thermometer creeps up closer to freezing point, I'll be out with my trusty camera, 'shooting' winter. That is relaxing and being, too.

My brain is still mush, from SAD, but it *is* getting better. Do remind me of things I've forgotten.


01-31-2010, 01:47 PM
Fantastic goals Judi! Wow, very ambitious. Ok, a bit more modest but:

I will sketch every day.
I will try to find a better balance between art (what I want to do) and work (what I have to do).
I will do at least two paintings for the January Monthly Challenge!

Argh, afraid that's it...:o Chuas

I think I had the most "modest" goals, but I didn't do very well, even on these.

I haven't sketched every day. I never know "what to draw." How do other folks get past this stupid block??

I did manage to carve out more time for art, but I waste a lot of time too. I'm going to blame that one on football. We'll see if I do any better after the Stupor Bowl.

I did do two paintings for January Monthly Challenge, and thanks to Pete, did my first landscape (which opened a Pandora's box in a good way).

BTW, many thanks to Pete for hosting January's Challenge! AND for all of the great tips, tricks, sage advice, etc. Thank you Pete!!!

01-31-2010, 02:20 PM
Chuas, you did great! You set the goals that work for you, and even if you didn't reach them, didn't they help you get more done, or more focus?

Sketch anything in front of your nose, for example footballers on TV. :-) (Two birds, one stone) Take a look at the threads in WC that are daily sketches (I think Drawing and Sketching forum has one), and the All Media Art Events, AMAE, have a daily painting thread. The Scavenger hunt is another great one... where is that found? Drawing? Mixed media? Anybody who knows? And, of course, the WDE, in AMAE. You can definitely get ideas for every single day that way.


01-31-2010, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the birthday wishes. taking it easy today.
Yes, the workshop was wonderful. Dont have any pictures, though, as I cant get the little digital camera to work.

I did a thread about the workshop in Soft Pastel Talk, with the snow scene I worked on. Not quite satisfied with it, and tried to fix what his critique was....but anyway, it was fun. I also did another abstract snow scene, which was a monochrome in shades of blue. He said it was a real challenge, but that I did ok with it. Wont post it, though...it's a little boring.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to doing some more experiments with the alcohol....one of my goals for next month!

01-31-2010, 03:52 PM
Judi, going to go look at your workshop painting!

Chuas -- I found that if I really can't think of anything to draw for a daily art challenge, either I go surfing WC up and down the subject forums and the WDE till I find a reference I like (or part of one) or I do gesture studies of my cat.

If I'm having a bad day, I'll just sketch my cat sleeping. I used to think this was just goofing off and a cheap shot to get around the problem of doing anything daily -- till I compared my cat studies with my older cat studies. I've gotten a lot better at cat anatomy from doing frequent cat studies.

So if you have something you really like drawing that has started to come easy to you, try redoing that in different ways if you're stuck for a subject. Or draw from an earlier sketch, that can help too.

Charlie, yay for all your goals accomplished! I'm with you, spring can't come too soon. You have it worse up in Sweden, here last night it was actually six when it got to full dark. So the days are lengthening... slowly. I can see how copying a Monet would be relaxing, totally makes sense to me.

Elsie, that is so great about your goals! You had a fantastic month. Hehehe... that PastelMat is such a fooler. Doesn't even seem coated -- till it keeps taking pastel and taking more and more...

01-31-2010, 07:07 PM
Robert- I can relate to your computer problems. Mine was so slow and would freeze when using PS. It was so frustrating, I am now typing on a new laptop.:D The funny thing is, it was less than half the price of my old one I bought four years ago. My wife knows I need it to make my world larger than the small northern town we live in.

You did a good job on your goals. Hats off to you for hosting a challenge thread. That takes alot of time and I am sure the participants are very thankful.

Elsie- I can understand your plunge into coloured pencils. They are similar to pastels,because you can layer them, and they don't dry out if you leave them out. It's another medium to help understand colour and it's another way to spend your money.:rolleyes: I know.:o

It sounds like having your own space is really working out for you. Good luck with your graphite drawing lessons. It is a good to get back to basics.

Charlie- OH, I can't wait for your article on Monet's impressionist methods. It should be a fun challengs for you. I'll bet you will find some very interesting things about Monet and his ways. I hope your are starting to feel better. The sun hasn't been shining here much and the snow is piling up. Oh well, in another two months the snow should be gone. You had fun painting this month, so I guess it was agood month. Keep at it. (I know you will).

Chaus- You did great this month. The monthly challenges are a great way to improve you drawing and painting skills. I am looking forward to the new Spotlight thread. We will all be learning a specific thing. It will be fun, and I think the best way to learn is to have fun while you are doing it.

Judi- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!


02-01-2010, 02:33 PM
Judi, Happy Birthday!