Friday, October 21, 2016

A Pastel Sky

9x12" pastel on paper


"To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?"
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
The sky always reminds me of God's infinite power and glory.I guess that is why I like to paint it so much.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Little Palette Knife Painting

Abundant Meadow, 6x6" oil on board

I got out my oils and palette knife yesterday and had some fun painting this little 6x6" oil on board.
I really like using a palette knife because of the easy clean up afterwards, but I have to admit there are times when a brush comes in handy to knock down some of the texture in areas I don't want as much.
I am encouraged enough by my results that I think I will continue to paint some little oils as well as my pastels. The oils I am using are water-soluble and I think I might go out and purchase some regular oils just to compare and see what I like best.

Friday, October 7, 2016

I love Autumn


I painted this little Autumn scene today keeping mostly an orange and blue complimentary color theme. I used a little 7.5x6.5" scrap piece of dark grey La Carte paper I had laying around. I think I might do this scene in a bigger format and add more trees....thinking....maybe different paper, I think I have my project for this weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

An Underpainting and a Little Adjustment

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This is a little 9x9" pastel on UArt paper that I started and finished yesterday. I don't always use an underpainting with my pastels but I decided to do one for this piece. I started with a loose watercolor underpainting and then when that dried I added a layer of clear gesso just for a little more texture in the flowers and grasses. This also started out as a 9x12" but just didn't look quite right so I cropped it square and it felt much better.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pastels USA

Dreaming of Spring, 19x19" pastel on paper

I am so excited and honored that my pastel "Dreaming of Spring" was juried into the Pastel Society of the West Coast's "Pastels USA" international exhibit that is open now at the Morro Bay Art Center in Morro Bay, California. I also did a little happy dance when I found out I won the Terri Ford award!
The exhibit is open now and will be running through October 30th, if you happen to be in the area during that time stop by and see all the beautiful pastels that are on display.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

New Exhibit



I have neglected my blog for too long! I have a good excuse though, it's because I have been painting like crazy getting ready for a 3 person exhibit I will be in at the end of this month.
Today I have been doing a little house cleaning when it comes to my website sherricassell.com, I have added my new pastels and deleted a few older ones and just kind of brightened up the look of my website. 
My next step will be my Etsy store which is closed now because I haven't taken the time to work on it! I still have to figure out if I am going to close or keep my Linkedin and Flickr accounts which I barely use. 
Well, I do want to get some painting done today so I better sign off now. Hopefully I will post more soon.;)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Daily Painting

9x12" pastel on La Carte paper

I have been painting daily for several months now. It has now become a regular part of my life, if I skip a day which happens sometimes because of life it feels a little strange. I love this daily habit and I can see the improvement in my work because of it and it's just plain therapeutic for me!

I am working towards a landscape exhibit in July so I am painting a little bigger now. This is my latest pastel and it's a 9x12", I decided to go smaller first to see if it would translate well into a bigger piece and I think it will, maybe an 18x24 or 14x18".

If anyone out their is thinking about picking up the daily painting habit I highly recommend it! You will see an improvement in  your painting and build up a body of work at the same time.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wildflower Inspiration

14x18" pastel on paper

Went to a local wild park last week that overlooks the ocean and a seal sanctuary. The wildflowers were so beautiful, I could hardly wait to set up my easel and get started painting. I painted for a short time and then took lots of photos for inspiration.
This pastel was not done on site but in my studio a couple of days later from a photo reference. My plein air paintings don't always turn out but they help me later in my studio to paint from the photo references.Everything is still fresh in my mind and I have two forms of reference my photo and my painting I did in plein air which is so helpful because the photo doesn't tell everything.
I can't wait to go back there again and hopefully there will still be wildflowers blooming!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring, 8x8" Pastel on Paper

I have a love/hate relationship with my pastels. I love the richness of the colors and to be able to hold them directly in my hands as I spread that wonderful color over the slightly sanded surface. What I don't like is my dusty, dirty hands after I am done with a painting session. Even though I like working in watercolor and oils I still keep getting drawn back to my pastels......so I am trying to wear gloves while I paint with pastels to see if that will help. If it doesn't work wearing gloves I guess I will just have to put up with the dust because I do love my pastels.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blustery Day

Blustery Day, 10x10" Pastel on Paper

Thinking about a windy, blustery day when I painted this yesterday. I am wondering where our El Nino has gone here in California, instead its dry, windy and hot! It was 90 degrees where I live yesterday and suppose to be in the 80's today! Oh well, at least I can dream of cooler days while painting my skies.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Looming Storm

10x10" Pastel on Paper

This is my first painting after the 30 in 30 challenge. There is something about skies that I have always loved. They give me a chance to paint abstract but at the same time representational. 
This pastel is of a prairie waiting for a looming storm.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

And the Winners are.......


I thought it would be fun to make a collage of my paintings that got the most Instagram likes during the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge. It was so interesting to me and fun that I made more than one!
It's also very informative to see what subjects, colors....etc. that speak to people and catch their eye.
I wish everyone happy painting and a wonderful and blessed 2016!


Top 2

Top 4

Top 9

All 30




Friday, January 29, 2016

It's finally here - Day 30!

Watercolor on Paper
It's finally here, day 30 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. My last painting for the month is a little watercolor skyscape of a stormy day. I think my mind was on the weather report which said we are suppose to have a storm come in on Sunday. I welcome all the rain we can get here in California!
I really enjoyed doing these daily paintings and think I will continue on but give myself a break if I skip a day now and then. I loved seeing all the art from such talented artists that was posted and also meeting new artist friends from around the country.
I wish everyone happy painting and hope you come by and visit my blog once in a while. I am going to try and post on a regular basis now that I am going to be painting daily.

Tulips for Day 29

6x6" watercolor on paper

Something sweet and simple for day 29 of the 30 in 30 challenge. I bought some beautiful tulips at Trader Joe's yesterday and they were the inspiration for this painting. I might try another go at them for day 30 and hoping I can get that one posted early in the day. I guess then after tomorrow it will be time to do the collage, it's always a nice feeling to see all your paintings together and a good feeling to have accomplished the challenge!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Watercolor Bouquet for Day 28

5x5" watercolor on paper

Today was a beautiful day in Southern California and had me thinking of spring time! This was done from my imagination of bouquets in the past, but I think I might go to Trader Joes this afternoon and pick up some real life inspiration. Maybe some tulips or daises will end up in my basket, Trader Joes has such a nice selection. 
I can't believe only 2 more days, I would love it to continue longer!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pastel Landscape for Day 27

5x5" pastel on paper

Just a quick little pastel for day 27 of the 30 in 30 challenge. Really not so quick but that's a whole other story! Getting our new refrigerator delivered so got to go for now

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day 26 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Watercolor on Paper.


After my third try to paint something today I finally finished something I like. I could have worked on this longer but I thought I should leave well enough alone. This was done in my sketchbook but gives me an idea for a larger piece.
I just went to link this up on Leslie's site but alas I was too late since it seems to only go up to 200. I will try to get done a little earlier tomorrow!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Watercolor Iris for Day 25

Watercolor on Paper
Refrigerator broke down so had to go shopping for a new one today so I am posting a little late in the day. A new one will be delivered on Wednesday and we will have cold food once again. I don't think about my refrigerator much until it's not working and then I realize how wonderful it is!
I have changed my original direction that I had at the beginning of this challenge to do abstract pieces. But I feel good about my direction because I think painting everyday has really helped me understand what I am naturally drawn to paint.
I can't believe there is only 5 more days left to this challenge! I am definitely going to continue doing a painting a day.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 23 and 24 - Finally Caught Up!

7x5" watercolor on paper

5x7" watercolor on paper

Posting both day 23 and 24 today because I got a little behind. Yesterday was one of those days I just want to put behind me, it started out weird and didn't end much better! But today has been a peaceful Sunday playing with my watercolors, it's amazing the difference a day makes.
These are watercolors done on Arches paper, I have been using Daniel  Smith and Windsor Newton colors, I really like their intensity and the way they react on the paper.
Maybe I can get tomorrows painting done early!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Skyscape for Day 22!

8x8" pastel on paper
My husband and I both had the day off so we drove to this little beach town close to where we live and ate at this tiny burger stand near the beach. They have the best burgers and fries!  We did make a detour to Barnes and Nobles before going home and I spent about an hour in the art section. I love the bookstore and that section is the first one I go to! Then it was home after that to start on my painting for the day.
This was done on Pastelmat again with a watercolor underpainting. I let the watercolor peek through just a little bit in places. I also added just a little more texture to the pastel paper by putting on some clear gesso over the watercolor after it had dried.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Watercolor Poppies for Day 21

9x12" watercolor on paper
I think I am going to have to order some more watercolor because I am loving it! I mostly have Windsor Newton and Daniel Smith but thinking about ordering some American Journey from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. The American Journeys come in bigger tubes and I remember using them many years ago and they where pretty nice and reasonable in price.   The quality of Daniel Smith and Windsor Newton are so good that maybe just to be safe I will just buy a few colors and see how they compare first.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pastel and Watercolor for Day Twenty

8x8" pastel and watercolor on paper

This was done on a pastel paper called Matboard, it comes in several colors but I used white. It is great for taking underpaintings like watercolor. I started with a loose painting of the vase and flowers with watercolor, then waited for it to dry and applied the pastel leaving some of the underpainting showing through. Since I love watercolor and pastel it was great working with them both in one piece. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day Nineteen of Thirty in Thirty

6x6" mixed media on boa

Went to the theater with my mom today and saw 13 hours, very good movie, she had not been to the movie theater in years. We had a great time and agreed to do it on a regular basis, especially on discount Tuesday for $6.00 a piece!
So here is my painting for the day and hopefully I will get my painting for day twenty posted a little earlier tomorrow!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Art Journal Idea for Day Eighteen



I enjoy keeping art journals to work out compositions and just to play in for fun. During the 30 in 30 challenge I have kept an art journal next to me and cleaned my brushes off randomly on it. If I am doing line work with ink or paint or making circles with stencils I will quickly do a few on the page. I do it pretty much with no thought as to where I am placing the paint. This makes great background and starts for my future art journal pages and I am using paint on my brush that I would otherwise waste!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

More Hearts for Day Seventeen

9x7" watercolor on paper


I am having more fun with watercolor and ink this morning. It's too early in the morning to get a nice photo with natural light so I will take a better one later.
I have been learning a new job in retail and it's been a little stressful so it's been nice to paint these happy watercolors the last few days, very therapeutic for me.
I started out in watercolor and then discovered pastels which I worked in for several years. The last couple of years I have been restless wanting to do something different. I have been trying a lot of different medium in different styles, liking something about all of them. I keep getting drawn back to watercolor because of its beautiful transparent nature and glow. I am not sure yet what direction I am going to go but having fun in the journey.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Simple Heart for Day 16

Day 16 - 8x8" watercolor and ink on paper


My husband and I went to our favorite deli for dinner last night and they already had it decorated for Valentines Day! There where red glittery hearts everywhere in pink and red and the dessert section was filled with perfectly wrapped cookies and cakes to take home to your sweetheart. So I had to come home and paint this heart because Valentines is a favorite day of mine. It is a little more representational than I was going to do for this challenge but I am using my artist license to change direction a little bit.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Watercolor and Ink for Day Fifteen

9x11" watercolor and ink on paper

I decided to do a little watercolor and ink painting today. I so love watercolor I need to paint with it more often. I think one of the things I love about it is it's transparent qualities and how it has a glow to it. This was done in my watercolor journal using mainly Windsor Newton and Daniel Smith watercolors.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Experimenting with Yupo for Day Fourteen

5x7" mixed media on Yupo

I have some Yupo paper I bought a few months ago and have not got it out to play with up until now. I just started out with a little 5x7" piece of Yupo to begin with and used watercolor, acrylic and alcohol ink, just experimenting to see how all of them react on the paper. I love the way the paint makes wonderful organic shapes, I will definitely be playing with this some more!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pastel Landscape for Day 13

7x7" Pastel on Paper

This is a quick one for today, have to get to work this afternoon. If I had a little more time I might lighten the value in the sky a bit, but I love the red and pink combination. This was done on a paper called Pastel Mat which has a smooth texture but surprisingly takes a lot of layers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Red" Day Twelve of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days

"Red" 8x10" acrylic on paper

Had the red paint out today and boy did I make a mess, I may have some of that red paint on my walls now too!! As usual this painting went through a  lot of transitions and turned out nothing like my original idea. I think that's what the process is all about adding and subtracting, covering up and revealing what's underneath.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Puzzle 1 for Day 11

"Puzzle 1" 8x10" acrylic and collage on paper

This one went through a lot of transformations before it arrived at a place that said yes to me. Actually I  could have worked on it a lot longer but sometimes you have to know when to quit!
I am just about out of gesso so I need to make a run to Michaels this afternoon so I better get this posted and get on my way!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Circling Together - Day Ten

"Circling Together" 8x10" acrylic mixed media on paper

I gessoed some watercolor paper for today's challenge and painted with acrylic paints and a little collage. Did some deconstructing and reconstructing for the texture by tearing collage off that I had glued on. I thought at one point I had totally destroyed it but I kept going and it turned out to be one of my favorites so far. I liked using the gessoed watercolor paper, the paint glided on it really well and it held up pretty well to the abuse I gave it.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Another Pastel for Day Nine



Got out my pastels today again. They were fun using in this abstract but I don't think they are as fun as using runny, drippy paint and not as flexible as acrylics. They do create texture and are very rich in color, they have a look you can't duplicate with acrylics. I have worked in pastels for many years and specialized in landscapes, you can see a few at my website www.sherricassell.com.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pastel Abstract for Day Eight

8x8" Pastel on Paper

I dusted my pastels off for my day eight abstract. It was nice working with them again they are like old friends. I specialized in pastel landscapes for years before I got the desire to change and do something different, maybe I can use my pastels more often in my abstract work.
I'm going to have to get started on day 9 now, I really like to get my work posted earlier than this, Hmm....maybe I will do another pastel!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Day Seven of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days


Day 7 took me a little bit longer several times starting from the beginning but finally came up with a design I was happy with! To make my circles I used the end of a paper towel roll again and also used a stencil. The squiggly lines where made with india ink on deli paper then glued on to the surface of my painting. I also used a liner brush to make additional squiggly lines with acrylic.
Today is my daughter's birthday and I was going to make a special dinner for her tonight so I better get going to the grocery store. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day Six of Thirty Painting in Thirty Days

6x6" mixed media on board

It rained hard yesterday but we need it here in Southern California. It was nice working on this piece while listening to rain fall on the roof. 

I love texture and had a lot of fun creating it in this piece. I used the corner of a metal ruler to get the scratches on the bottom and for the grey and white marble effect I painted deli paper and collaged it on. The circle was created by a paper towel tube and then I used india ink to add to it.

I am getting excited already about turning these little 6x6" studies into larger pieces after the challenge is over. My local Aaron Brothers is having their annual January sale on canvases so I just might have to go over their and stock up on a few!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day Five of Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days


Finished this a little early so decided to go ahead and post it. I had a lot of fun working with orange, blue and yellow with black and white. It's fun looking around the house for different items I can use for my circles, just every day objects make very interesting circles.  I also used a Pitt pen to hand draw some circles and they are permanent so they won't smear when I varnish my painting.

Day Four of Thirty Painting in Thirty Days

6x6" acrylic on board

I decided to add a little bit of collage to my abstract today, I think the script added a little interest. I find letters, words, and numbers to be so interesting when added to abstract art. My color theme for today was red and blue-green and then I added a little line work in black ink.
I got up and started painting around 5:00 a.m. this morning and it is 7:30 now and time for a cup of coffee!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Day Three of Thirty Painting in Thirty Days

6x6" acrylic abstract on board

I was working on day three yesterday and it kind of went south on me, so I tossed it and started fresh. I started again this morning and like this one much better! The color combo  of yellow and purple is another one of my favorites. I used yellow cad, orange cad, bright aqua green, medium violet and white.
There is something about circles and dots I like and you will find them a lot in my abstracts. One of my favorite ways to make a circle is by taking a paper towel tube and dipping the end in paint, it make a great rough, imperfect circle which I like.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day Two of Thirty Painting in Thirty Days

6x6" acrylic on board

I used the orange-blue complimentary combination for my day 2 abstract. The neutral grays are a mixture of ultramarine blue and cad orange, the only other paint I used was white Nova paint and black india ink.
I am using MDF board or something like it as my substrate. I had it cut from a huge piece at my local lumber yard and you can imagine how many little 6x6" squares that made! I did this a couple of years ago and still have quite a few left, but I have to say they have come in handy.
Well, I better get started on day 3, I am trying to keep ahead of the game. I started a new job in retail just before Christmas and I am working today from 2:30-6:30. 
Happy painting everyone!