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Pastel clouds

Driving to work one day I was stopped at a light and saw the most beautiful clouds. I grabbed my camera and took a photo before the light changed.

Clouds over Garwood, NJ

Clouds Over Garwood, NJ

The photo inspired me to try some small cloud studies in pastel. They are in a little 5"x7" spiral sketch book I bought at A Paper Hat in Maplewood, my favorite art supply store, just two blocks away from my house.

Cloud Study in pastel

I've begun combining my cloud studies with landscapes from my travels. These are my first attempts. I want to plumb through my photos to find more inspiration and I am seeking ways to go as minimal as possible while still making the scenes recognizable.

Top left: Along the Rio Guadalquivir, Seville, Spain

Top right: Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Bottom left: Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Bottom right: Along the Rio Guadalquivir II, Seville, Spain

I'm learning that pastels are a messy business! Two items have been of great use in keeping tidy: a fluffy makeup brush that my daughter was throwing out -- it is very good at getting extra pigment off the paper and brushing aside eraser detritus; a large portable drafting table -- my neighbor was deaccessioning it and gifted it to me :)

My next idea is to go back to watercolors and try some of these same scenes again. Stay tuned.

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