Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cloudy, Blustery Day

"Cloudy, Blustery Day"        Pastel        5" x 7"         $50        © Sharon Lewis
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        I tend to get comfortable once I've figured out how to do something but I've also found that there is great value to challenging myself to do something differently. I think challenges like this not only help keep our brains healthy but also maybe make us more interesting people.
        I had grown used to working on one surface that I love (Uart sanded paper) but an artist I admire (Tony Allain) mentioned in a recent workshop that he used Colorfix. This is a different and rougher type of paper that I hadn't used in a long time. I was at first reluctant to try this since I was already challenging myself to use very different techniques in the workshop but I found it forced me to paint a little differently. This reminded me of how important it is for me not to just search for different, interesting images but to keep trying different things because I never know what I might discover.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sails at Sunset

“Sails at Sunset”        Pastel         2.5” x 3.5”        $20           © Sharon Lewis
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             I’ll be spending some time in Maine this summer and I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to cool morning and evening breezes, hiking through the woods, and falling asleep to the sound of waves. I’m also planning to paint plein air. I’m still a little uncomfortable painting around strangers unless I’m with a group but since we rent a house, I can paint all around this beautiful property.
            This petite painting is based on some photos I took while in Portland, Maine several years ago.

            Happy Summer Solstice!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


“Sentinel”             Pastel                12” x 12”              $175                  © Sharon Lewis
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                 This painting is based on photos I took while traveling on Runde, an island off the coast of Alesunde, Norway. I was hoping for some great photos of interesting scenery but when we arrived, the island was shrouded in fog. Luckily, after a short hike, the fog started lifting and I was able to get this beautiful bird standing on a small seaweed covered mound standing watch.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cool Breeze

“Cool Breeze”           Pastel         9” x 12”       $100         © Sharon Lewis
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            It’s gotten warm and humid here in Georgia and although I’m appreciating the long hours of light, I’m already looking forward to cool breezes. This is exactly what we got when we stood on the banks of this fjord in Norway, with the wind driving small currents or ripples across the surface.  The water was a gorgeous turquoise color and with the dramatic peaks across the way, it was hard to leave this beautiful place.
            This is another painting that I did in the Tony Allain workshop and you may notice that the sky is uncharacteristically (at least for me) simple, an influence of Tony’s style.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

From Memory

“From Memory”         Pastel            9” x 12”           $100            © Sharon Lewis
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           I’m back from a wonderful conference in Albuquerque (the International Association of Pastel Societies Conference). I took a great class with Jeanne Rosier Smith, one with Mike Beeman, and a terrific workshop with Tony Allain. I learned how to paint more beautiful waves from Jeanne, more expressive still lifes from Mike, and more striking and dramatic landscapes from Tony.
            In Tony’s workshop, he challenged us to paint a landscape from memory, something that formerly would have totally terrified me since I had a hard enough time painting from reference photos. Fortunately, I had painted a few landscapes recently and had a vague memory of one of them though I was painting so quickly that the final product wasn’t very interesting. When I got back, I made some changes in the composition to remind me more of the beautiful, striking sky I saw one day while traveling in Scotland.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pear Trio

“Pear Trio”       Pastel         5” x 7”        $50       © Sharon Lewis
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          I’m leaving soon for an amazing art conference, the International Association of Pastel Societies, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It’s a wonderful gathering of talented artists, who teach, attend classes, and conduct workshops. There’s always an amazing exhibit of gorgeous art and it’s a great opportunity to talk with other people who are as passionate as I am about art. We joke and empathize with each other about the challenges of painting and drool together over the displays of art supplies. I can’t wait!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Windy Day at the Beach

“Windy Day at the Beach”      Pastel         5” x 7”        $50       © Sharon Lewis
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            I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately and wish I had just a little more time to paint some of what I’ve seen. Whenever I travel, I come back inspired to experiment with new subjects, colors, and styles. After attending a conference in a busy urban setting (New York) the week before, I traveled with my family to the beach last week for a very short family vacation. I thought I would have more time to paint but since the weather was gorgeous, we all took advantage of this to spend most of each day walking the beach or surfing the waves. Given how busy we all are, and how far a part we are geographically, I feel so very fortunate that I was able to spend some time with my son and daughter. I was also lucky that I was able to sneak in some time to do this small plein air study of the beach and beautiful sky.