Dorris Ranch

July 27, 2014

Day one of the Field to Studio workshop at the Emerald Art Center in Springfield, OR. Nine artists joined me for three days of working on location and in the studio.

Field Study

Field Study

Field Study at Dorris Ranch in Springfield, OR

Studio Painting

The studio painting was done on Wallis Sanded paper starting with alcohol washes, and finished with soft pastel.

About the forth wash with hard pastels, alcohol,l and a hake brush

About the fourth wash with hard pastels, alcohol, and a hake brush

Hard pastels are applied lightly in layers with each layer washed in with at least 90%1 alcohol. This gives the underpainting a stained glass translucent effect upon which to further develop the painting with softer pastels.


Field to Studio

July 24, 2014

This past week I had the opportunity to work with a great group of artists at the Emerald Art Center in Springfield, OR. The emphasis of the workshop, Filed to Studio was gathering visual information on location so we could come back to the comforts of the studio to produce a painting. I have outlined below the steps we took along the way.

Big shapes, simple with emphasis on designing the painting. I tried a couple of different formats and decided on the portrait orientation to emphasis the vertical presence of the trees.


Value map using three values of tomboy markers and the white of the paper to limit the value structure to four values.

value map

Notan, a further simplification of values down to just black and white to see the underlying structure of the painting. f at this stage the shapes looked uninteresting or the distribution between the darks and light were two balanced I would revisit the composition and make adjustments.


My field study,  a 5 x 7 on Wallis Belgian Mist sanded paper to capture the color nuances of the scene. Done in about 20 minutes.

field study


Photgrahic references show how much the camera doesn’t capture, but are useful for details. As it turned out I didn’t really even look at these when back in the studio. How liberating is that?

photo reference

Sttudio painting done on Ampersand Pastelbord using a watercolor underpainting.

Delta Ponds


The best part of the workshop was how enthusiastic all my students were. They were not only willing to dive in and try new approaches but were so encouraging with each other and supportive of their fellow classmates. Read what  a student had to say.

Blown Away

July 2, 2013

catch-the-breezeOnce Upon A Breeze, 8 x 10, pastel on panel
©2013 Marianne Post

It’s all a blur, and I am still unwinding from a fantastic weekend in Cannon Beach. I joined fifty other artists who were on the streets or on the beach painting their impressions for the 5th Annual Plein Air and More event.

Friday evening the Cannon Beach Gallery Group and the Chamber hosted an exhibit and reception featuring the works of selected participated artists. It was fun to mingle with the artists, visitors and representatives from SouthwestArt magazine. Congratulations to the new owner of one of my featured paintings, Approaching Storm! 

Saturday the weather couldn’t have been better for plein air painting. I set up at the corner of 2nd and Spruce to capture a street scene while I could still see the street! By mid morning the sidewalks were packed with ice cream cone lickers and iced tea drinkers watching the artists and listening to their process.

2nd_and_spruce2nd and Spruce, 8 x 10, pastel on panel,
©2013 Marianne Post

By mid morning I moved across the street to the local kite store, Once Upon a Breeze, which happens to be the oldest kite store on the Oregon coast. It also is the most colorful shop on the street. The blue shingles and kaleidoscope colored buoys hanging from the eaves screamed, “Paint me.” By now the crowds were everywhere. I met so many interesting people. If you were one of them that stopped by to say hello and watch me paint it was my pleasure to share the experience with you.

At 2:30 I called it quits and headed back to my room to frame my paintings for the evening reception at Primary Elements Gallery. In my haste I had everything framed when I realized I hadn’t taken photos of the paintings. So the images I am posting are not the best. I but I think they capture the “spirit” of the piece.

Saturday evening the gallery hosted a lively reception. It was not only fun to once again talk with people I met throughout the day, but to also mingle with the other gallery artists and hear about their day and see the work they produced. The evening ended with a Raku firing on the beach at sunset. The organizers for the event thought of everything and sponsored an art filled weekend that would have blown anyone away. The event is always the last weekend in June, so if you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the Cannon Beach Plein and More event, add it on your 2014 calendar. I hope to see you there!

Cool Day and Hot Picks

May 16, 2013


Hot Picks, 8 x 10 pastel on panel, ©2013 Marianne Post

Yesterday was the first “official” plein air gathering of our local group of artists known as Vistas and Vineyards. About fifteen hardy souls braved the rain and ventured forth among the hydrangeas and the rhodies to paint the rioting color at Garland Nursery in Corvallis.

Talk about a morning of sensory overload,  the nursery is filled with garden starts, herbs, flowering shrubs and over 70 types of tomatoes! I found refuge in the begonia and fuschia “barn” and found a vantage point overlooking the lettuce starts. The flowers were dueling it out with the signs for one’s attention. My intent was to capture the cacophony of color and finish sooner than later. After weeks of weather in the eightes, the dampness seemed to really sink in its teeth.

Where’s Scotty When You Need Him?

May 1, 2013

We have all been there, wishing to be two places at the same time. Captain Kirk’s plea to be transported through space resounds through my head as the weekend approaches. Saturday at the American Art Company in Tacoma, Washington is opening of  the Northwest Pastel Society’s International Open Exhibition. I was honored to have River Rapture juried into the show by renown artist, Lorenzo Chavez. It is a privilege to share the limelight with some of the best in the pastel community.


River Rapture, 16 x 20, astel on panel, © 2013 Marianne Post

And Friday kicks off the Annual Cannon Beach Spring Unveiling event. Over a dozen galleries open their doors to throngs of visitors who descend on the village to see new work by each of the gallery’s artists. Great art, demonstrations, live music and terrific receptions continue throughout the weekend. I have been invited to do a pastel demo on Friday evening from 4-6pm and again Saturday morning from 10-11 at Primary Elements Gallery, located in the heart of town in Sandpiper Village.

Wish I could be both places at once, but my painting will have to represent me in Tacoma. If you happen to be on the Oregon coast this weekend hope you can make it to Cannon Beach. The weather promises to be a show stopper as well.

Just a Pile of Rocks

April 20, 2013


Somewhere in Between
pastel on paper, 9 x9,  ©Marianne Post 2013

Today’s sudio painting is from a field sketch and photo reference of a pile of rocks. But there’s more to the story.

This week I had the incredible opportunity to offer a workshop to a group of talented, professional artists. There is nothing more intimidating than having thirteen of my peers standing behind their easels poised to explore, paint and listen to what I had to share with them. Our subject was color, how to see and paint it.

In covering the basics I felt like I was preaching to the choir. But the setups I had prepared opened their eyes to the phenomenons of simultaneous contrast, the effects of variable light sources and the color of ambient light. We saw how even a few inches of space effects color, and that white can be as dark as black and green can really appear as red. We experienced that context is everything.

During our lunch break I shared with the group Beau Lotto’s TED presentation on how the mind perceives color. We wrapped up the day working with big color masses gradually broken down into color spots to create form and space.

The discussions and questions were the icing on the cake for me. We talked about finding beauty in the mundane, and how values and color can elevate the simplest of subjects into something to be admired. So with that in mind, today I just painted rocks.

Good News

March 27, 2013

river_raptureRiver Rapture, pastel on panel, 16×20, © 2013 Marianne Post

I recently was notified that River Rapture was juried into the Northwest Pastel Society International Show. The exhibit will open in May at The Art Company in Tacoma, Washington. This is a scene from one of our favorite hiking spots in the Cascades below Paulina Falls, just south of Bend, Oregon.


Sizing Things Up

February 24, 2013


This past week, a student brought up the dilemma we have all faced at one time or another. That is getting our field sketch or preliminary thumbnails in the same proportions as the final painting.

The ViewCatcher is an extremely handy tool to aid us in siting our composition.  I slide the inner panel to align with the premarked canvas sizes on its outer frame. Then looking through the window I can see how the scene will “fit.” Once I decided on a size and view that workes I lay the viewer onto my sketchbook and trace the opening (middle image).

But taking it a step farther using a trick from design school days, I now draw the same picture plane outline with the ViewCatcher but I use an diagonal extension to enlarge my box to a more workable size. I extend a vertical and horizontal pair of lines and anywhere they meet on the diagonal is a proportional picture frame. The dotted lines in the right image above show what I am talking about.

Of course this is all usually done in pencil so I can erase the original box and get to work on my compositional shapes, values and notan. Below you can see an example, but this time I left the original box so you can see how handy it is to work just a bit larger, than to be confined to such a small picture plane.


Just a Few

February 1, 2013

PicMonkey Collage2some of my 30 in 30 challenge

On Leslie Saeta’s blog today she posted a tip on how to create a collage of images. Using the PicMonkey online collage creator was a snap. I just picked about half of my paintings since I had a variety of sizes and formats for my 30 in 30 challenge. It is a quick and easy way to make a jpg of a number of images. Check it out.

Just One Bite

January 31, 2013

day3030 in 30 challenge, day 30

Temptation, allurement, seduction. I am sure you know what I am talking about. For instance, take eating a donut you know darn well you don’t need. “Okay,”  you say, “just one bite.” Before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole thing.

Leslie Saeta’s 30 paintings in 30 days challenge was sort of like that. The whole idea sounded interesting, actually very tempting. But did I really need to produce 30 paintings for the sake of 30 paintings. The more I thought about it, though, that clearly was not the point. My objective was to have uninterrupted studio time, EVERYDAY.

So I took the bait or the bite and started in with the challenge of a new medium, oil painting with a palette knife. I figured if I just did small, 5×7 paintings of simple subjects I could make a valiant start at mixing color and working with oils. The added bonus, the icing, would be that everyday for 30 days I would be trying something new. Any other time I would have been distracted to pick up my pastels and get comfortable using my usual medium. I have a couple of shows and events coming up and I could easily spend time developing some new work. But I have wanted to play around with oil paint and this seemed like an opportunity that would keep me focused. My pastels would have to wait.

Thirty days and thirty small oil paintings later. I stayed on track and learned a lot. I guess I can say I ate the whole thing. Feels good, actually!

So what’s next? Leslie Saeta, founder of Artists Helping Artists, and creator of the 30 Paintings in 30 days Challenge has some new ideas up her sleeve. On today’s blogtalk segment, Leslie will share the insights from artists who participated in the challenge and talk about the tomorrows in the studio.

Maybe I should order a baker’s dozen and get revved for round two.