Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oil Attempts

Inspired by my recent workshop with
Carol Marine, I continue to experiment with oil painting. I began the lemon (Yes, it is a lemon) at the workshop, but it looked more like a half lemon/half orange. I listened carefully to Carol's suggestions on how to remedy that...and later, on my own, painted this half lemon/half lime! So hard to manage the subtlety of value shifts...and Carol consistently makes it look so effortless! 

I was pleased with the more subtle shifts in the foreground apple, but came into my studio the next morning to find the painting on the floor, face up luckily, but my dog had licked it! Hmmm...must be something lacking in her diet...Anyway, having great fun trying a new medium! And so is my dog.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Carol Marine Workshop

Recently I had the honor of meeting and taking a 3-day workshop with Austin, Texas artist, Carol Marine. I've been a fan of Carol's work for years and was excited for the opportunity to learn from her. I considered working with my pastels while there, but decided to work in her medium, oils. I'm so glad I did!

 Carol's paintings are much like her personality...vibrant and fun. 

Her work is loose but ultimately, accurate in every way. 

On Day 1, we did value studies. Using only burnt umber and a limited time frame, we were to vary our use of dark, medium and light values. Mine are above. I've never used oil paints and was far from my comfort zone handling a brush, so chose to go with the safety of my favorite painting subject, pears.

On Day 2, we did quick 10 minute sketches of the same object in order to capture its essence and accurate values. I chose these cherries. It's amazing how quickly 10 minutes passes!

After three very full and productive days of painting with an enthusiastic group of fifteen fellow artists, I came away with a taste of the oil paints, a wealth of information and a LOT to think about! I was also lucky enough to come away with my very own Carol Marine original (The above painting from one of Carol's demos).

Thanks Carol, for your generosity of spirit and a mega dose of creative inspiration!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

** Sunflower Workshop **

The sunflowers are in bloom and begging to be painted!

Join me for a day of pastel painting and instruction in the great outdoors on Saturday, August 28, 2010 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at my studio/home in Dixmont, Maine.
Weather permitting we will paint outdoors, plein air.
If not, we'll cut the flowers and bring them inside to paint.
Either way, we'll have a full day of painting and inspiration!

Though our focus will be sunflowers, the pastel techniques we use apply to all subjects.

All levels of experience are welcome. Ages 15-150.
Space is limited to allow for individual attention, so please contact me to reserve your spot by Monday, August 23
. The cost for the day is $75 per person.

To register and request materials list e mail brenda@brendaferguson.com or call 207-257-4215.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Woodlawn Museum Workshop

Thank you to Anne Keefe and  The Woodlawn Museum in Ellsworth Maine for hosting my pastel workshop on Saturday, August 7.

We had a beautiful day, a gorgeous facility for painting...

...and nine enthusiastic participants.

We did some 'value-able' exercises in the morning

And after an outdoor lunch in the shade of the trees amid the flower gardens, we really got our creative juices flowing!
Look at all the work we accomplished... and still painting at day's end!

What a great group of artists, eager to experiment and have fun doing it! I enjoyed my day with you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

From the Bowl of Life

I love how a small cherry can appear so BIG. 

Soft pastel, 12" x 12", $70 + shipping
To purchase please contact brenda@brendaferguson.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


More of the sweet peas. It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't bear to be inside, so brought them out to my deck and painted in the sun. 
Soft pastel, 9" x 12", $100 + shipping
To purchase please contact brenda@brendaferguson.com

Sunday, August 1, 2010


More of the Sweet Peas from our neighbor's garden painted on the same day as the previous post. I gave this one to Marcia and her daughter Camella, who planted the garden.



Our neighbors, the organic Peacemeal farmers, have a community farm stand every Tuesday. When I stopped by this week to get my veggies, I spotted a jar of Sweet Peas. Marcia, one of the farm's owners, pointed me in the direction of the garden where they grow and told me to help myself! I grabbed my camera and my scissors and did as she suggested. Then I came home and painted while surrounded by the intoxicating sweet scent!
Soft pastel, 8" x 10", $85 + shipping
To purchase please contact brenda@brendaferguson.com