Friday, April 8, 2016

New Website Announcement



I have a new website!  I have not added all of my images yet and I am still figuring it all out but I think it will be a positive change.

Please visit www.deborastewart.com to view and to sign up for my new email newsletter.




Friday, April 1, 2016

Desert Dreams and Huff Harrington

Desert Dreams
40x30 acrylic on canvas

I painted over a previous painting for this new work.  I liked the original last year but it no longer served me or fit with the direction I want to go.   My goal is to create a consistent body of work whether it be pastel or paint.  I have been trying to bring the two mediums together.  I get closer as I continue to work.  But now I have a basement and a storage unit full of paintings that are now three or four years old.  I may end up taking a razor to them and destroying them.  I had to do them to get to this point and I wish progress was faster but it is not.  That would make it too easy and it is not an easy thing.  I did use some drawings from the Desert Botanical Garden in Scottsdale for this painting.  I will continue this theme for awhile and will also work in oils as well.  Color palette will be more muted and soft.  

I have closed my Etsy site now.  It was successful and I enjoyed having it.  Shipping is not a favorite activity of mine.  I have decided to let galleries sell my art and let them manage shipping.  My goal right now is to create more balance and manage my time better.  I have taken on a new gallery and really want to devote my time to working with them and the other venues that carry my work.  I am now represented by Huff Harrington Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia.  I am very excited to work with them and hope a trip to Atlanta is in my future.  They expressed a lot of interest in my pastels and this was very positive and encouraging.  I have sent them a selection of pastels, acyrlics on paper and paintings on canvas.  

I am striving to find a positive balance.  I have enough workshops for 2016 and am now scheduling into 2017!  I have five scheduled for 2017 already!  My goal is to manage and be grateful for what has come to fruition with my art.  I feel blessed. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sonoran Breeze

Sonoran Breeze
20x30 oil on stretched canvas

I was gone for awhile as I spent five weeks in Scottsdale, Arizona. While I was there I also flew to Florida, taught a workshop and judged a pastel exhibit.  Back in Scottsdale it was mostly vacation for my husband and I. I did teach a workshop in Phoenix also.  I took time off from painting which was challenging on some days.  I think it was good to step away for awhile and be on a vacation.  I can come back with a fresh vision.  The experience of being in a different location and climate inspires me in an uncertain way.  I love the desert. It is so different from living in Iowa.  I love the catus, flowers and trees.  There was a definite scent to the warm breeze at times.  I just tried to soak it all in and wind down.  Now we are looking forward to next year's return.  Maybe even longer?  Who knows.  I also spent some time drawing at the Desert Botanical Garden one day.  I told myself I was collecting lines and inspiration for later.  I drew many different plants for intention on using the lines in a series of paintings and pastels devoted to the Sonoran Desert.  So, here is one of my first "official" finished paintings inspired by the desert.  More to come!  


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Synthesizing

Yellow Garden Abstraction
oil on stretched canvas
20x20 inches

This small oil painting has a lot of elements that I have been looking for.  I really look forward to painting more in the future.  I turned an acrylic painting upside down and used some of what I had painted as a foundation for this one.  I had been thinking about a yellow painting so I selected a variety of yellows, plus umber, ochre and white.  It can be so hard to synthesize a process.  Seems to take me years and years of trial and error to get where I want to go.  I have finally made some decisions about abstraction and abstract realism.  My bouquets will only be in pastel from now on.  I don't even want to try them in any painting medium as I can't replicate them in paint.  I've had gallery owners tell me they like them but want me to paint them.  I'm done with that.  Can't be done - by me anyway.  The magic, if there is magic, in the bouquets is the pastel medium itself.  My abstracted gardens will be primarily pastel also but I will use them for inspiration in acrylic and oil painting.  My purely abstract paintings will be in a mixed media approach of acrylic and oil.  All will be inspired by my garden drawings which I will continue to do.  I want a flow between all approaches and I think I am finally beginning to get there.  I won't be painting or posting for awhile.  I will be looking at a lot of art, teaching workshops and visiting galleries.  I also hope to do some more drawing from life in my sketchbooks and generating lots of ideas.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Striving Day by Day

Garden Impression 
24x36 oil on canvas

Oil or acrylic?  I've been painting on canvas with acrylics for the most part.  I love the speed of working as I really like to work fast.  I also like the luminous appearace of oil paints and the fact that they do not dry as quickly.  I will end up merging the two in the future.  I created a painting recently that I felt was really "dull" and had no sparkle to it so I got out my water miscerable oil paints.  I've used them before but not with a whole lot of success.  I painted over my acrylic painting with some oils.  I have since tried a couple more oil paintings and this is my last one.  This one is closer to what I am hoping to achieve.  Not quite there but closer.  I want a layered appearance, some open and undeveloped areas, lines from my plant drawings and mark making to echo some of my pastels.  I would really like to do with paint what I can do with pastels and that has always been challenging.  I love the pastels.  They really are my domain but I also really enjoy painting.  I keep striving to get somewhere.  Trying to improve day by day.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Shadows and Light

Shadows and Light
22x30 pastel on Rives paper

I'm very partial to this pastel painting.  I've left the Maine cliff series for awhile as I just wasn't able to get what I was after and I have returned to my garden memory paintings.  With each one I can explore different colors, compositions, line placement and values.  They are part memory and part total invention for me.  This is what I will stay with for the future however long that is.  Life is a garden.  There are shadows and there is light.  Things are blooming and things are decaying.  Always evolving into something else.   I began this one with just a few thoughts in mind.  I wanted a more monochromatic painting with some more subtle color and I wanted a large dark area. Everything else just evolved as I worked.  I think this one will end up going to France along with a large bouquet and a smaller bouquet.  I'm off next week to travel and teach two workshops.  Looking forward to being warm, experiencing new things and meeting pastel artists at the two workshops in Dunedin and Phoenix.