Today was a perfect day in Portland, Oregon. From morning until evening the sun was shining and ..


Today was a perfect day in Portland, Oregon. From morning until evening the sun was shining and warming flowers, grass, and me! I was working inside, another day spent mostly at my computer desk as I’m in the midst of  a push to get some new lessons completed, arranging travel for upcoming workshops and just generally trying to be a more organized, artist/small business owner! Always a challenging but exciting balancing act. This week the balance is NOT happening as I haven’t been to my easel yet and I’m feeling it.

There is always, that little empty feeling when I haven’t managed to make into the studio. My mom always asks me “did you paint today?” because she knows how much it grounds me and fills me with the good stuff!

But there were some other redeeming moments. I think a pause or lull in the action can be revelatory. I’m working on archives of older work and I came across a cache of 35mm slides of some pastels from the 90’s. They are tighter and some of them darker. Some of them are on Canson paper and are really blended! I wouldn’t  have thought that I’d enjoy any of that work now, but perusing through, there is something sort of interesting and good about them. I’m really glad I have these slides! I think it’s worthwhile to revisit this older work and not discount it.

Spring Afternoon at Luscher Farm pastel on black Canson
Teton View on black Canson

I’m always imploring my students not to have biases about paper, pastels, techniques, so I think it’s good to consider style in that mix as well. Maybe there is something about the drama of that work to revisit and recapture? Maybe a lesson on work that is a bit more realism oriented. Maybe blending isn’t such a sin for pastelist? I don’t know how much of that imagery will filter into new work, but having an open mind and open heart strengthens everything.

So, I’m filled in other ways today…


As always…Happy Painting!!


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3 Responses

  1. I enjoyed looking at your older work. It’s different than what you do now, but still wonderful.

  2. Thank you for sharing Marla. They are beautiful but I can see the change. Good for us to see. My husband has promised me a little back yard studio much like yours! (Is that your studio?) I have the French doors!…… I’ll post a picture when it is actually a reality. Have a good summer.

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