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Old 03-31-2018, 07:55 PM
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The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Welcome artists!

Here is a quick recap of what The Spotlight is all about!

The Spotlight is an activity thread for pastel artists of all experience levels working from photos chosen by a monthly host. Most months, the host will choose photos from only one subject, putting that subject into “the spotlight,” so to speak! For example, one month the subject will be painting water, another month will spotlight flowers, etc.

Some months, rather than spotlight a subject, the focus will be on a challenge of some sort. In those cases, we might have a wider variety of photo references, but “the spotlight” will be on the challenge itself.

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, “no-pressure” atmosphere.

And, remember, no critiques unless specifically asked for.

The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month were taken by me or are from the Reference Image Library. You have permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month's Spotlight is in memory of Paula Ford.

A couple days ago we received the shocking and sad news that Paula Ford passed away. Paula was a long time member and guide here on the pastel forum of WetCanvas. I think it is fair to say that every member of the pastel forum thought the world of Paula - not just because she was a talented artist who painting the most beautiful landscapes - but because of her generous spirit and her encouraging and positive attitude.

I can say without any hesitation that if it wasn't for Paula, I would not have become a member of WetCanvas. Like many newbies, I found the idea of posting my work to a worldwide audience of other artists a bit intimidating! But Paula was so welcoming and encouraging - and made it easy! If you were a newbie and got a harsh critique from someone, there was a good chance that you would receive a Private Message from Paula offering encouragement and letting you know that your painting was indeed a fine work of art!

Paula was still a guide when I became a guide and when the Spotlight was "born" in early 2010 and she hosted a few installments before she moved on from WetCanvas. I would like to dedicate this Spotlight to her memory. For those unfamiliar with Paula's work, I hope you will enjoy seeing her paintings and some of her threads for the first time. For those that knew her, I hope this Spotlight brings back some fond memories.

Paula's landscapes have a magical, ethereal quality that many of us find so very appealing. And her trees...we all wished we could paint trees like she could! Here are some of my favorite paintings from her website and WetCanvas:










While Paula was primarily a pastel artist, a few years back she began to paint in oils. And how quickly she mastered them! If you visit her website and take a look at her work, it's hard to tell if the paintings are pastel or oil. How she mastered oil landscapes so quickly is beyond me! I have been trying for 30 years with rather poor results! Here are some of Paula's more recent oil paintings:








(Please keep in mind that all of the above paintings are copyrighted. Please do not copy or print them. But please do be inspired by them!)

For a demo on how Paula paints those beautiful trees, here is a link to a demo that Paula posted in 2010:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=630093

Please take a moment to enjoy Paula's beautiful paintings on her website. Here's a link:

http://www.paulaford.com/

A WetCanvas thread with some more of her beautiful paintings:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1301251

Our references this month are a few photos that Paula has contributed to the Reference Library. A few may be familiar as they were used in some of the earliest Spotlights:









As a member and a guide on the pastel forum, Paula's paintings inspired many of us. For those who are seeing her work for the first time, I hope that you feel inspired as well.

May the spirit of Paula live on in our paintings and our pastel forum.

Don
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:55 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

What a lovely tribute, Don. I’m sorry to hear of Paula’s passing. Her work is beautiful and your choices are lovely. I hope to join in during the last week in April.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:46 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Thank you, Don. Paula inspired so many of us with her kind words of encouragement. It was her landscape paintings that really represented who she was. You can see her skilled and gentle hand in every piece.
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:14 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Thank you Don...it's a beautiful and fitting tribute to such a generous guide, as well as wonderful artist in her own right.
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Old 04-01-2018, 12:08 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

She painted the most beautiful trees and the demo of her process will always inspire me. Her paintings were so full of her love and respect for our fields and forests. Thanks for this tribute, Don.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:30 AM
Judibelle Judibelle is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Beautiful, Don....a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person and her beautiful paintings....Thank youl
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Old 04-03-2018, 04:59 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Thank you, Don. I miss her. I'm shocked and horrified. I love Paula Ford. I bought one of her small paintings, it's packed away now like all the art I own, but I had a 5" x 7" landscape of hers from back then nicely matted and framed. I meant to get more later on. I loved her. She was so encouraging and she taught me so much, she completely challenged me on trees. Where I live today is a place much closer to a Paula Ford landscape than I have ever lived. I look across the street to see trees like hers, driving around in the spring just a couple of days ago I saw the pink redbuds against the new spring trees and thought, Paula would love this... we were on a rolling road headed for one of my daughter's horse clients. Fields, barns, fences, smoky soft rolling mountains in the distance, trees ranging from pale haze green or gold to nearly leafed out and these lovely pink smudges of redbuds among the gay greens. Blue mountains marching forward with darker pine patches. Little ponds.

I'm living in her vision and it's so wrong that I can't invite her to visit in the springtime to see these redbuds and paint outdoors with her. I never got to meet her in person. But she has a special place in my heart and always will.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:16 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

So sorry to hear of Paula's passing, thoughts and prayers for her family and friends.
The least I can do is a painting in tribute to Paula and for all her generosity and inspiration on wet canvas. Thank you Don for this spotlight once again,I hope my contribution gets the ball rolling.
I liked the format of this photo, hope I did it some justice
Deanna
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:09 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Dea, they are lovely. Bright-eyed and feathery. Very nice.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:19 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Beautiful work on the ducklings, Deanna! A beautiful and fitting tribute.

Thank you Don, for this thread, and for recognizing some of Paula's legacy. I suspect that she will continue to inspire landscape painters for a very long time.

I remember seeing some of her wildlife snaps. When I asked if she was going to paint them, she said no, but generously stated that I was free to use any photo reference of hers. She also was horrified to hear I was pasteling in a small "studio" without a mask, and MADE me buy a totobobo. I've changed to various masks since, but still keep the one she sent me.

I'm fortunate enough to have one of her paintings, "Tennessee River View," which hangs in a place of honor in my home. Cherished even more so now that she has passed on.

Until we meet again, Paula!

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Old 04-21-2018, 01:44 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Dea, feathers or leaves, it's a matter of texture. This is a lovely tribute in many ways.
Kris, you are fortunate to have one of Paula's paintings.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:47 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Dea, Beautiful painting! Ducklings and water beautifully done!

Thank you all for the nice words in memory of Paula. I, too, am lucky to also have a small Paula Ford original pastel. I met her twice, once when we both attended the northeast Pastel show in Old Forge in the Adirondacks (back in 2009, I believe) and then a year or so later when she flew into Rochester, on her way to Old Forge, and we had lunch. I remember that it was Paula who insisted that I should submit work to the Pastel show in Old Forge. I never thought my work was good enough to make it into a National show, but I did get one painting in! (And none since then, I might add!). Paula had a way of making you feel confident and her enthusiasm was infectious.

Unfortunately, once she drifted away from WetCanvas we didn't keep in touch, but it is obvious in the comments from everyone how much of a presence she had here and how enduring her enthusiasm for pastels, painting and the beauty of the world around us is.

Again, thank you all for your nice comments and remembrances.

Don
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:25 AM
Dea Dea is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Oops!: technology strikes again, I forgot about posting more than one pic a day on my iPad.
These little fellas were for the animal and wildlife challenge but thank you everyone for your kind comments anyway
This is the painting I meant to post here
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:08 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

Serene. That's the feeling I'm getting from this lovely piece. It's a reat tribute to Paula.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:01 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - April 2018 - In Memory of Paula Ford

That's really beautiful, Deanna. I love those rich, atmospheric colors. I'm sure the ducklings would have made Paula smile - they're beautiful too!
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