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July 31, 2017 / Mayou Art

July Tracking

The last day of the month seems like a good day to hold myself accountable for tracking any progress on portraits and figures.
I did not get as many done as I wanted, and I don’t see any progress. My faces are still very flat and don’t look the person I am drawing, but what did I really expect with 5 drawings.

My goal is 31 faces in August!

Pastel, Sharpie, HB pencil

July 13, 2017 / Mayou Art


The only way to improve is to produce… and track any progress.

So here we are, still struggling with portraits, tracking has officially begun!

Ally, 9 x 12, HB pencil

July 11, 2017 / Mayou Art

Blue Hyacinth

Blue Hyacinth, 9 x 12, pastel painting, July 2017

July 10, 2017 / Mayou Art


I am sure not everyone spends near as much time on the road as we do, but I learned as a young child that road trips rock! You can leave when you want, stop when you want, play the music as loud as you want, play silo and the license plate ABC’s. You learn what towns and cities are in each state, and a bit of their history, thanks to the brown history signs. You learn what IHOP to eat at and gain an understanding for distance and how big this great country and world really is. Only after you have spent 16 hours in a car with your family can you really understand how far from home you have gone – and you’ve only passed through 2 states!

I have always loved just sitting and looking out the window, examining the different types of clouds and watching the landscape slowly change as you drive from one area to another. While stationed in Kansas we would drive east to visit grandparents, about 22 hours drive any way we went with three young children. As we would enter West Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains or exit 271N onto 90W in western PA, my husband I would get giddy like little kids, it looked like home; the trees, the hills, the sky. A very different view from the midwest and all of it so beautiful to see.

Add the spectacular views with the ability to start and stop as desired and some serious quality family time and you have my definition of Freedom. In control of our destiny, our timeline and our relationships.

Kids are all grown and doing wonderful things in the world so our road trips are quieter and less crumby, but the scenery is just as gorgeous and the conversation as enlightening, the games are just as much fun and the music is still good and loud. Most of all, we still feel like the road is a great way to experience this country and enjoy our freedom.

Freedom, 9 x 12, pastel painting, July 2017


June 30, 2017 / Mayou Art

The Shadow

My girlfriend brought me flowers Tuesday, I finally got a few hours to paint them. I loved painting the shadow. I’m not sure I have ever looked that closely at a shadow before! 

Hydrangea, 9 x 12, pastel painting, June 2017

June 29, 2017 / Mayou Art

Third Times A Charm


I have been having a loud painful argument with this painting for the last three days. It started out so promising, but all those damn leaves – it’s very frustrating to not be able to paint leaves when you live surrounded by trees.

I learned that brushing off pastel is a messy business but you do get the paper tooth back and are able to start over.

The first painting was pretty good. The leaves on the branches high in the sky were not my favorite, but it was the warm deep blue sky color that caused me to brush it off and try it again, it was too warm against the green and yellow.

1st attempt, sky blue too warm

After brushing off the top of the painting I set in to cool the sky blue. I was successful in that, but lost the rest of the painting and the tree branches and leaves high in the sky were horrible wimpy marks. I couldn’t brush it off fast enough this morning!

2nd attempt, sky blue is cool, the leaves and branches are not.

I think I may have finally captured the feeling of the Allegheny Trail I was trying to convey. The sky is dramatic, it looks like a bright spring day and the feeling that the trail needs to be walked even though it heads into dark unknown is there. I would love to hear feedback on this one. I don’t think I can paint it again for a minute, but I will definitely be back to this scene to give it another go.

Allegheny Trail, 16 x 20, pastel painting, June 2017

June 2, 2017 / Mayou Art

Dismal Swamp

It has been almost a month since I have posted a painting, how time flies! It has been a wonderfully busy month, but it was nice to get back to the easel. And after an extended absence from painting why not start with a nice painting of the swamp – because that’s easy to depict artfully!

Dismal Swamp, 6 x 12, soft chalk pastel, June 2017

May 4, 2017 / Mayou Art

Spring in Connecticut

There are so many flowers here, flowers I haven’t seen in years. Many hang off walls in lots of front yards and entrances.

I believe these are wisteria. They are on a cemetery wall along the road not far from us. Every time we drive by I’m enamored.

Wisteria, 9 x 12, Pastel, May 2017

April 17, 2017 / Mayou Art

It Matters

Tried a new paper today, pastels got muddy quick. Seems I like sanded pastel papers best! I’ll work with it a bit more, maybe I can learn!

Daffodils, 4 x 6, April 2017

April 15, 2017 / Mayou Art

Something Different

Started this months ago, though it was time to finish it! Now I think it needs color and/or shading! That’s the beauty of art, never completed, just rested!

Diamonds, 9 x 12, ink on paper