Friday, December 5, 2008

More Pizzelle... In Progress

Here on my drawing table sits a work in progress, and the progress is... slow. Between holidays and a new three-day-a-week job, my attention to this piece has been snatched in odd little pieces of time. It's starting to come together, though.

This is my third still life that features pizzelle, a favorite Italian treat of mine. I have used an antique linen with a lace trim that relates to the waffle cookie's pretty design, and two of my favorite vintage blue pitchers to compliment their golden hues. Perched like this on a quirky old pedestal table, I thought they looked rather splendid!

16"x20", colored pencil on Pastelbord

Friday, November 14, 2008

Button-Spotted Goose Egg

No, this is not an egg from which will hatch a Button-Spotted Gosling.

What it is, is a goose egg, several years old, completely dried inside. I have drawn buttons all over it with my colored pencils, in a pattern that is reminiscent of a real spotted egg of some kind. I must admit that my child-like imagination kicked in while I was working on this, and now there's a little story in my head that includes a mysterious hatchling with button-eyes!

3.5" x 2.5" x 2.5", colored pencil and acrylic medium on goose egg

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lusterware & Oak Leaves

Here is a little still life I'm working on. This is the first time I've used Lusterware pottery in any artwork, but it won't be the last. The lighting on this set-up didn't highlight its iridescence very much, but even at this level, it's fun and challenging to capture.

I've always found this "duck" creamer to be a goofy looking item. Somehow, though, he seems to belong right here at the forefront of this piece, pulling together all of the colors behind him. I guess I'll never think of him as completely goofy again! (Maybe just a little bit goofy.)

6"x13", colored pencil on Pastelbord

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Water Plus Sunshine" Makes A Splash

What a wonderful weekend!

My husband and I drove down to Newport for the gallery opening on Saturday. The ride itself was beautiful, the entire route lined by the nicest display of autumn oak foliage I have ever seen. I'm not kidding! It was really striking... gold, bronze, ochre, rust, mahogany, burgundy... all with that polished leather sheen that oak leaves have. Fantastic!

Then, at the gallery, I discover that my still life entry, "Water Plus Sunshine", has won the Juror's Choice Award! Here's what she had to say:

Juror's Comments:

Juror's Choice:
"Water Plus Sunshine"
Elizabeth Patterson

Red and green; two colors I would never attempt to use together, they are complimentary colors that do not always seem compatible. Think about how hard it is to find nice Christmas paper that uses red and green! This drawing balances these two colors and their many nuances beautifully. I think the composition is very strong and I particularly like the unusual perspective. Once again, I am struck by how the use of colored pencil is different between the still life objects and the table top. The presentation is simple, clean and strong.

I am so appreciative of receiving this recognition, and reading in Ms. Touhey's comments that some of the things I was excited to share through this piece actually came across. I can't help but wonder sometimes if what I'm seeing and feeling in the process of drawing or painting is just "me", or if others will get it too. That's the real prize!

The gallery was pretty packed, and it was great to spend some time with the other artists of the group. I'm enjoying getting to know them and marveling at all of their different styles and techniques!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

'Young Eggplant' and Exhibit Details

Here is my little silent auction entry for the upcoming exhibit; a young eggplant plant shyly displaying its first blossom. The colors of these plants are so striking in the garden, especially at this 'adolescent' stage.

Also, I wanted to share the details of the show, which opens this Saturday at the Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island.

"H2O" Artistic Interpretaion of Water
New England Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America

Opening Reception Saturday, November1, 2008 from 5 - 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition runs: November 1 - November 30, 2009
Gallery Night: Thursday, November 13th from 5-8pm

Members of the New England Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America will exhibit colored pencil works at the Spring Bull Gallery during the month of November. The exhibit, titled "H2O" incorporates each artist's interpretation of water.

This diversified exhibit will encompass a wide variety of colored pencil techniques and colored pencil mixed with other mediums. In conjunction with the exhibit, the chapter will be having a silent auction of 5x7" original colored pencil drawings that will last throughout the month. Come meet the artists and explore this unique art medium at the opening reception on Saturday, November 1, 2008 from 5-7PM. Exhibit runs November 1 - December 3 2008, and Newport Gallery Night is Thursday, November 13, 5-8 p.m.

Spring Bull Gallery located at 55 Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island, is wheel chair accessible and open free to the public. Gallery hours are noon to 5PM daily. For additional information on this exhibition, future gallery events or member artists please call the gallery at 401-849-9166 or visit the gallery on-line

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5"x7", colored pencil on pastelbord

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Morning Shadows

Here is my second offering for the water themed show. This scene was so appealing to me, I just kept taking picture after picture as my grandson quietly played with some horseshoes at the edge of the lake. The shadows cast by the trees and the glistening ripples rolling in were creating these beautiful patterns and colors that were irresistible. Later, as I reviewed the images, I noticed that the stripes and print of his clothes were mimicking those natural designs. When the theme of 'water' was announced for this show, I knew I had to do this!

Again, I'm having trouble with a title. 'Morning Shadows' sounds sad to me. Something better will come to me, I hope.

20"x10", Prismacolor and Coloursoft Pencils on Ampersand Pastelbord

Friday, October 17, 2008

Water and Sunshine

This piece is finally finished, and in the hands of a lovely local framer I just met last week. She is very kindly matting and framing my two entries for a group exhibit which opens on November first. Of course, they need to be delivered to the gallery a week before that, and, did I mention the second piece isn't finished yet? Yay Sylvie!

So, 'Water and Sunshine' is the title of the post, but I'm not sure if I like it as the actual title of the piece. I have a few days to think about it, but I eventually must write something on the entry label. 'Water Still Life #1'? (boring), 'Enamel Tray with Water'? (confusing?), 'Summer Tray'? (what does that mean?), 'Canning Jars, Water and Tomatoes'? (sounds like a list).

I'll be thinking about it as I finish the second piece, which is not a still life, nor a portrait, but something different (for me anyway). I'll post it next week!

16"x20", Prismacolor and Coloursoft colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Peek

Here's another detail of my water themed still life, in progress. It has been waiting way too long for me to get back to it, but my plan is to have a finished piece by Sunday. The biggest challenge in this section will be that super bright sun reflection on the water in the pitcher. I really want it to zing the eye a bit. Wish me luck!

16"x20", Colored Pencil on Pastelbord (detail)

Friday, September 12, 2008

'Water' Work in Progress... A Peek

This detail if from a still life I'm working on for a water-themed group show in November. I've always loved the variety of brilliance that results when sunshine and water meet. In this piece, I'll show that brilliance in, through, and on the surface of water, in glass jars and a pottery pitcher. The tomatoes and parsley are yet another product of water plus sunshine, and the swirling, free-form design of the vintage enamel tray seems to mimic water.

Perhaps I'll post the other three corners of this before showing the whole, finished piece!

16"x20", Colored Pencil on Pastelbord (detail)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sweet Sisters

Each of these portraits is about... oh, I'd say... 88% finished. I've been working on them both in a sort of back-and-forth fashion, which is unusual for me. As a rule, I tend to finish one piece completely before starting another, but since these will probably always be a pair, I decided to treat the two as one. They have been switching places on the drawing table for weeks now, taking turns, as sisters must often do!

By the way, if you know these two sweeties, don't tell their mom you saw them here until after her birthday!

8"x10", Prismacolor and Coloursoft pencils on Ampersand Pastelbord

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old Fashioned Blooms

These double ruffled daffodils may have been blooming here for all of my old house's 107 years. I love the ragged forms, and the random green and orange touches within these blossoms. They are keeping company here with some budding twigs of flowering quince in a couple of old white grapevine-patterned pitchers. Set against the black tole painted tray and some vintage linens, I thought they looked sweet... yet striking.

6"x18", colored pencil on Ampersand pastelbord

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pastry Wheels & Pitcher

These old pastry wheels have cut a lot of ravioli. Neither one really works any more, but they serve very nicely as models! I tried using them once, with the romantic notion that cutting my homemade ravioli with my grandmother's tools would transform them into "Nana's Ravioli". (Well, they do look like little magic wands!) They basically fell apart in my hand, as if to say,"We are done! Get your own pastry cutters!"

6"x6", Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord

Monday, April 21, 2008


Here is one of my favorite miniature pitchers... again. (It's the same one that Joseph is holding onto a few posts back.) The tiny vinca blossoms and vines were a good fit for this two inch tall container. These beautiful little flowers are blooming like blue stars in my front dooryard.

The snow is finally gone!

5"x7", colored pencil on Pastelbord

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two Teas

I happened to set these two teapots next to each other in my kitchen one day, and immediately saw a still-life in the making. The shape of the quirky old flowery one was such a contrast to the modern silhouette, yet they shared that apple green color. It made me think of an old lady in her vintage dressing gown having a visit with her great-granddaughter.

What I regret now is starting this on paper, rather than ordering, and waiting for, an appropriately sized piece of pastelbord. I've heard the expression, "Your patience will be rewarded". I'd like to add to that, "... and your impatience will be punished"! This has taken me way longer than it should have, and it has some problems. The pastelbord allows me to layer lights over darks, and I guess I've become accustomed to that luxury. Here, I was stuck with some early color and value choices because the paper just doesn't have the tooth to grab the pencil once there's a layer in place.

Well, for what it's worth, here is "Two Teas". And now I will return to my pastelbord!

9"x12", colored pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I cut some forsythia branches and put them in water because I was desperate for spring. I knew that eventually, something would sprout from those bare twigs. It was a joy to see the bright yellow blossoms, especially since there is still quite a bit of snow out there!

I will sharpen this up a little, but I like it at this stage too... soft and sketchy.

6"x6", colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Work in Progress

My almost four year old grandson, Joseph, very graciously posed for me the other day. I told him my idea, of an assortment of pitchers on a cloth, with him peeking over the tabletop. He got right into it, wanting to do it immediately. I set up the pottery, and he stepped behind the table. Well, he was really too tall to just peek over, but before I said a word, he crouched down just enough to create the scene I had imagined. What a guy!

I plan to finish this up over the weekend. Seeing it in this format helps me identify those areas that still need work, even though the colors are kind of weird in this scan. The yellow wall is showing all kinds of oddball hue variations, and the "seam" is definitely showing. I'm not the best technician! Hopefully I'll find a way to show it more accurately when it is complete.

6"x18", colored pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I think it's done...

Since my last post, when this was a work in progress, I took a little trip to visit my sister in New Jersey. (I put a sign on my studio door that read, "Precarious Still Life Set Up. Please Do Not Disturb!) Unfortunately, I brought the flu... or some such nasty bug... home with me, and as a result, wasted several days lying around like a lump. I finally made myself get back to work on this yesterday, and I felt much better right away!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Espresso & Lace/ work in progress

I am going to be away from my studio for a few days, and I know I will feel the need to look at this once in a while, so I'm posting it here for myself! This is slightly cropped at top and bottom, almost fitting onto my scanner.

The pizzelle theme is continuing, despite the challenges these pieces present. (Tricky to render, difficult not to eat...) I have one or two more compositions "cooking" in my mind, and hope they will be an interesting subset in a body of work I'm currently putting together. More on that later!

9"x12", Prismacolor and Coloursoft pencils on Ampersand Pastelbord

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pitchers and Pizzelle

Every time I make pizzelle with my grandmother's old pizzelle iron, I think, "These are so beautiful, I should paint them!"

Then, we eat them all.

So, the last time I made them, I put some in a tin and put them aside so they could have their portraits done. It's hard to believe, but I did not eat them ( luckily, I forgot about them!) and yesterday I started working on some still life set-ups. They are quite fragile, so I've been locking my studio door when I'm not in there, to keep out the cat. Also, they smell heavenly, and could easily tempt a hungry passer-by!

Here, I have grouped them with two little pitchers, which also belonged to my grandmother.

6"x6", Prismacolor and Coloursoft pencils on Ampersand Pastelbord

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bride & Groom

Here is a commissioned portrait that I finished recently. The idea of adding the stained glass window to the background had me a bit concerned, at first. The strength and intensity of it could easily take over, and visually overpower the happy couple. I think that toning down the brightness of the glass colors and lightening the value of the leaded outlines between them kept the window "in its place".

This was a joy to create! I'm wishing many years of love and happiness to these newlyweds!

"Heather & Jeff", (crop), 11"x14", Prismacolor and Coloursoft pencils on Ampersand Pastelbord

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sophia in Summer

Feeling the need for some warmth, I looked through some photos I took last summer, and found the inspiration for this little portrait. The day was not warm... it was HOT. Over 100 degrees. In the shade. My niece, Sophia, my two sisters and I spent a wonderful, yet sweltering, day together at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania in mid-July. Just thinking about it makes me feel all happy and toasty!

5"x7", Prismacolor and Coloursoft pencils, on Ampersand Pastelbord

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sophia & Josh

After finishing a half dozen pieces with Prismacolor pencils on the Ampersand Pastelbord, I was still undecided about continuing to use the boards. The process of matting these pieces for framing makes me a bit nervous, because of their weight and thickness. I haven't been able to find any guidelines for the best way of doing this, so I've resorted to what I would have to call a "Mickey Mouse" method, which involves lots of framer's tape and odd bits of matboard for support... an untidy mess hidden on the back side of the artwork and mat. If anyone has a good system for securely matting these boards, I would love to learn about it!

Anyway, I wanted to do this portrait of my niece and nephew together, but did not have a Pastelbord large enough on hand. I used a toned sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper instead, and, while I'm pleased with the result, I really missed the toothy surface and the sturdiness of the board.

Materials aside, with this wonderful pair as my subjects, I have no complaints!

9"x12", Prismacolor pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper