Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW

Artists at Work

I love circling the studio and seeing what everyone is working on. We all do it. It’s fun, and everyone welcomes comments and advice. Here are some works from last Wednesday.


Draft title: “Joy at the Piano.” Pastel in progress by Fran Tomlinson.

Here’s what Fran said about this: “I had this brilliant idea of doing a pastel portrait of Joy playing our piano. Ellen said I should go big so that the portrait part would not be overwhelmed by the piano part. I settled on 24″ x 18”. The sketch turned out pretty well, but now I’m kind of stuck. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Yikes!


“Rooster.” Watercolor by Lynne Mallonee Schlimm.

Lynne asked if she could use a photo I had of one of the many roosters wandering around Key West. I had tried to paint it a couple times but couldn’t get the effect I wanted so abandoned the project. Lynne asked to paint the rooster from the photos, and here is the fabulous result. She painted it four times to achieve this. I love the tail. I love the feet. I love the comb. I love everything about it. Lynne explained that she had used salt in the wash in the lower half, which created this great pebbled effect.

Eating Your Greens

“Eat Your Greens.” Pastel by Anne Shields.

Here’s what Anne said: “I’m calling this ‘Eat your Greens’ so I can enter it in the CHAL Appetite for Art show. It’s a painting of sea grapes in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where we visited after New Years this year. I don’t think they are edible, but who knows. If you’re hungry enough . . .


“Right Place, Wrong Dish.” Watercolor by Tara Hamilton.

Tara said, “I’ve been working on this painting from a photo that originally had two golden retrievers and a gray cat waiting for their owner to feed them. Ellen suggested that there was too much space between the dogs and the cat so I decided to focus on the cat and call the painting ‘Right Place, Wrong Dish.’ I overworked this painting, trying to correct mistakes, and it doesn’t have the light touch that should be in watercolor. But I do like the idea of the painting.”


“Portrait of the Artist.” Graphite drawing in progress by Eileen Leahy.

Here’s what Eileen told me: “This will be a portrait of my mother-in-law, Christine, a superb plein air watercolorist still painting at 95! Her high artistic standards will challenge me to do my best work. The gridded drawing is a tedious but necessary step to expand the image from the photo to the proper scale for the pastel paper.”


Working title, “Swiss Chard.” Watercolor in progress by Wan Lee.

Wan took a picture of the chard plants in a neighbor’s garden. He is using a photo he took on a hazy day, which showed the colors of the leaves better than the photo he took on a sunny day. These are his comments after he started painting: “At the beginning, I thought ‘why am I doing this–it is so complicated!’ But once I figured out how to paint the ripples in the leaves it went better, and I have really enjoyed working on it.”


So, there you have it. Another Wednesday at the studio . . . .  More to come in the future.

Marian Wiseman


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