topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, January 03, 2016


I am so slow.
I am slower than a sleeping cat sometimes.
Not at actual painting...this was only 6-7 hours...but in getting to the painting, and things leading up to actually painting, I can be slow.

But I finally finished my portrait swap painting.

Here is Alane.
pastel on pastelmat (awesome paper)
and my sparkly black pan pastel

Dru and Branwen stopped by yesterday which was nice.  Branwen and Daya always go off and do...Branwen-and-Daya-things.  Dru and I lounge and chat.  (I showed her my new pastels.) 

Especially after not having done an actual serious real-deal painting (as opposed to those little ACEOs) for a while, I think that maybe I can't do it anymore. And sometimes when I get to the easel and I can't get my head in gear, or when things are just not working, I really think maybe I can't do it anymore. I told that to Dru, and she says the same thing happens to her. And Dru is a really accomplished artist so that's very encouraging to hear.

This portrait went through a terrible ugly stage that was so discouraging I had to put the highlights in earlier than I usually do.  Then I started feeling better about it. All paintings go through an ugly stage, This one was just worse than usual.

Finishing a painting is always a good feeling.

Lisa asked about pastels since she has succumbed to my bad influence and will now turn into a pastel junkie. 
I fully support and approve of this endeavor.

Lisa, I think a really good starter set would be a set of the Blick artist brand.  They are good pastels. You will like them. I like mine.  Work vertically and don't blow your pastel dust around. Unless you are outside. Get some pastel paper too.... Mi Tientes is a good quality non-sanded inexpensive paper. Some papers can be very expensive too.... but you will have different working results on different papers. Clear gesso is a good ground to coat your paper, if you want extra tooth. (I prefer a toothier surface)  I do a lot of my aceo cards in pastel on clear-gessoed Bristol, which is a very affordable, available, and good paper solution for pastels.


  1. I think everything goes through an 'ugly' period when it's not completed...I think your drawing turned out really great Jessica xox ♡

  2. Hehehe, yeah, I think all artistic and creative things go through that ugly stage first before they get good, same with make-up, right? Half-finished make-up can look really bad. I think you did a great job here.

  3. I had to cure my DB from commenting on my paintings until finished because he always thought they were ugly. ha... It happens.
    Thanks for the pastel tip. Just what I need for the coming year. They sound like fun. I also have a lot to learn...

  4. Starter set purchased today. Plus a book to give me ideas about how to use these things. It will be fun no doubt to play with them. I got the landscape colors. :) It was so timely that you responded when you did because we were going to be near Dick Blicks today. yipee....


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