Oak Tree Bole
6" x 9"
Pastel on light blue Canson mi-Tientes pastel paper.

Painted from the second demo by Scottyarthur on http://www.wetcanvas.com in Soft Pastel Talk forum, the "Starting my Tree Studies" thread. This time I followed his demo tree for shape and successfully did a portrait of his specific oak tree instead of just loosely drawing a similar one. But I played with the colors and texture a lot and changed it dramatically in other ways.

I'm really enjoying doing a series of pastel landscapes. I'm working up to a Southern landscape posted for the January "Pastel Strokes" challenge of a big live oak tree in a quiet Southern neighborhood. I'll want to do that live oak before the end of the month -- it'll be tricky if I do include the road and parts of buildings that show and the mailbox as part of it. Trees are easier than buildings!

An Oak Tree
6" x 9"
Pastel on light blue Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper.

Painted a few days ago from a demo by Scottyarthur on http://www.wetcanvas.com in the "Starting my Tree Studies, Join In if you Like" thread in Soft Pastel Talk. The tree loosely follows the demo, the rest of the landscape is all from my imagination. It was a leap for me being able to get the creek and landscape to look that good without a photo reference.

Wrote a short story for a 3 Day Challenge in my critique group. After some trouble sending it because I had used the wrong email, it's now gone out to my critiquers. Also did three critiques on Challenge stories for my two required critiques for the month of January. I'm happy to be caught up there!

So that's why this post is decorated with my furry muse, Ari Cat. He crawled into my lap and laid across my legs purring while I was writing. I had my elbow resting on his fuzzy head and he didn't complain either. I love it when he does that!


Lone Tree
5" x 7"
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble oil pastels
Black Art Spectrum Colourfix sanded pastel paper
Photo reference by Bonnie "Artastic" on http://www.wetcanvas.com for January 15, 2010 Weekend Drawing Event.

I've been taking it easy since the first of the year. The weather's turned bad for my arthritis so life's been low key and full of pain. Spring will be wonderful when it comes though. I'm sure the spring in Arkansas is going to be a joy to me compared to spring in Kansas.

If I didn't mention this, I did complete last year's New Years Resolution with one pro submission. I sent out Vaumuru's Curse to Ethan Ellenberg Agency. Giving it time but once I start to feel batter, I'll send it some other agencies and publishers too. It's as good as I can make it without an editor's help.

I also want to get back to working on my oil pastels website, www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com -- it's been very successful and this painting will probably generate at least one article. If I don't add more this month, I'll definitely start getting to it in February.

Meanwhile, after the intensity of November's massive Nanowrimo output and December's exhaustive intense editing spree on Vaumuru, I need a break. The weather is insisting I take one anyway. So this is a time to relax, plan, think and occasionally paint when my hands are up to it.

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