Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blessings to all for the New Year!

No new painting unfortunately. I just wanted to send my good wishes to  those of you who have followed this blog this year. The paintings were not posted as frequently as I would have desired, but that is a goal for the coming year. Thank you for checking in periodically!

Hope that 2014 holds many blessings for all of you and your families! Looking forward to all the year holds and many more paintings.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Caffè Italiano

Caffè Italiano
5 x 5, pastel
Another cold day in south Texas and a wonderful day to paint!! I have wanted  to paint this for two years. I showed the original photo to another artist friend and she was sort of surprised that I would take a photo of three empty coffee cups in Italy. I was enthralled by the shadows, the cappuccino residue in the cups, and shape of the cups. So today I set out to paint it.

Next door to the 13th century church that we had the opportunity to paint in, was a coffee bar with a large outdoor courtyard with tables. They were always busy. I am sure many of the world's problems were solved over those cups of coffee each afternoon.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meet Oscar

10 x 8, pastel

This I my first commission of a pet. Oscar lived to the ripe old age of 19 and had quite a "tude" from what I hear. I am thrilled that the owner is happy with this painting. It's a daunting task to try to create a likeness of a pet that was loved so dearly.  

If you get a chance, the Small Works for a Big Christmas is still going on at the gallery. A number of paintings/photos have sold, but there is still a large selection to go view and maybe, take one home.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Living a Fairytale

Italian Farmer
10 x 8, pastel

Some of you who have been following my blog since the beginning may recognize this guy. He was formerly titled, Citta Della Pieve Farmer. I entered him and 3 other paintings in the Small Works for Big Holidays show at the NBAL gallery, and that title was too long.

I have a bad habit of tweaking paintings and then NOT taking an updated photo of them, such is the case with this painting. Oh, well, on to the fairy tale. This painting received 1st place in the show!!!  The judge was, Vi Dunn-Harr, a fabulous artist (Google her). She was very encouraging with her comments. She spent several minutes sharing her wisdom with me. I just feel so blessed to have great artists, Angie Banta Brown, Rita Kirkman and now Vi Dunn-Harr willing to guide me in my quest to be a better artist.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall Study

Fall Study
5 x 7, pastel

Thought I was using less vivid colors------well, maybe not.  I am happy, it was another wonderful, crisp day!! Plus, I got to play pickleball!!!!---Google it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guadalupe Color

Guadalupe Color
12 x 9, pastel
You just know you are a photo realist painter when your smart camera says you are taking a landscape photo while zooming in on your landscape painting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, well, it is what it is.

It is fall and the weather finally feels like it (some days) here in south central Texas. I just cannot seem to paint enough fall paintings. We get so little fall color here, in fact this was last year's color, but that's OK!

Monday, October 21, 2013

More Biltmore

Autumn Stroll
8 x 10, pastel
Here is the original painting that I took Strolling at the Biltmore from (split participle there, I believe!) Really like this painting, too, but Rita was correct about the other being more intimate. I am so blessed to be able to have Rita Kirkman as a friend. I have learned so much from her.

This Saturday is Market Days at the CRRC on Mabel Dr. just below Canyon Dam. The other times I have participated I have felt like I did not have enough paintings to hang----not so this time!!  There will be live music, food and numerous booths to explore. Hope you can drop by and visit with me.

Friday, October 18, 2013


7 x 5, pastel
Click to Bid

This is a smaller version of an earlier post. It was started as a demo while working at the NBAL gallery months ago. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my reference photo--bummer. So I painted it from the photo I had on my Blackberry's tiny screen. Think it turned out OK though.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

100th Blog Post!!

New Braunfels Art League Flyer

Above is a flyer produced by the New Braunfels Art League has been distributed around town to acquaint visitors to the gallery. I am excited to have Cow Dog in the upper right corner for all the visitors to see!!

Also, I was notified last week that Cow Dog was awarded Honorable Mention in the Mungyo Gallery Pastels 2013 Summer Contest offered by Jerry's Artarama. The contest was open to anyone who used Gallery pastels to complete their painting, any one in the country. You can check out all the winners here:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Strolling at the Biltmore

Strolling at the Biltmore
9 x 12, pastel
Really thought I had posted this painting. (It is heck to get old!) There are two versions. The first has 2 couples on this path as the original photo showed. The photo was taken last November at the Biltmore Winery on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

One of my very talented artist friends, Rita Kirkman, was over and said it would have more intimacy if I reduced it to one couple. I immediately decided to paint it again, something I would never do years ago. Of course she was right, much more intimate, plus I simplified the foliage and increased the size of the painting.
Still pleased with the original and will post it another time.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gypsy in Italy

Gypsy in Italy
12 x 9, pastel

Well, folks this is the final painting accepted into the Artoberfest Show and it is a 1st place winner! This painting won the pastel division. I was so thrilled, excited, speechless, but it gets even better. My good friend and long time art teacher, Angie B Brown, purchased it. Angie is a fabulous artist, winning many awards. In fact she won the oil/acrylic division tonight. To have her purchase one of my paintings, is very humbling.

I had traveled to Italy with Angie, where we saw this woman standing against a building in the street in Citta Della Pieve playing her hand organ. But there is more to the story than I have painted here. She had wooden marionettes attached to her feet and legs. As she played the the organ, she moved her knees/feet and had the marionettes dancing to the music. It was amazing. So I can see her being the subject of more paintings down the road.

If you have the opportunity to visit the gallery this month and the first 2 weeks of November, please do so. There are some lovely paintings. The show will run through Wurstfest.

Orvieto Alley

Orvieto Alley
24 x 18, Pastel

I know you have seen this painting before, but it is one of the 3 paintings accepted in the Artoberfest show. Last fall it was accepted in the Texas Pastel Society National Juried Exhibition. I am thrilled that it was accepted in the Artoberfest show. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn in the Carolinas

Autumn in the Carolinas
8 x 8, pastel

I promised that I would let you know if any of my paintings were accepted into the Artoberfest Juried Show at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery. Well,----------all three of them were!!! Woohoo!!! And it gets even better, they told me that one of them won an award!!! Woohoo, again! I won't know what kind of award or which painting won until the reception tomorrow evening 5-8pm when the winners are announced. If you are free and would like to enjoy free food, wine and lovely art, drop by tomorrow.

This lovely area is on the Biltmore Estate, I believe. I took so many photos last fall while in Asheville, N. Carolina that I cannot keep them straight. It is one of the three paintings on display in the Artoberfest show.

Also, other good news received today, Daily Paintworks chose my painting, First Peek, to be a Facebook Pick of the Day. It will be on display at the site all month I believe. They choose 6-8 new ones each day. You may check it out at, www.facebook.com/dailypaintworks  or go back a couple of posts to see the painting.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sky Study

Sky Study
6 x 8, pastel

Decided to try to paint a beautiful south Texas sky yesterday while working at the NBAL Gallery. We witnessed this scene when returning from a TAMU football game. There were intermittent showers and then the blue sky shown through. Think I got a pretty good likeness.

Today I submitted 3 paintings to be juried in the Artoberfest Juried Art Show at the NBAL Gallery. I will let you know if any were accepted in the show. The reception and awards will be Friday evening 5-8pm. Drop by if you can, I saw some beautiful paintings.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Study #12

Study #12
5 x 5, pastel

This painting has been sitting on the shelf for months, not happy with the original. Being a rainy day, Praise the Lord, I was wanting to paint but undecided as to the subject. This painting and another caught my eye, so I just picked them and up and started applying pastel, much more pleased with the result!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


10 x 8, pastel
This painting is my third and final entry in the NBAL show this month. The deer loves to eat the bird feed that the birds flick out on the ground. I took this photo as he was checking out the feeder, as if to see if he could get more out of it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Boa Baby

Boa Baby!
10 x 8, pastel
This is Kia, wrapped in a red, white and blue boa on July 4th.  She seemed to be enjoying the frivolity. 

You can see her and other great animal paintings/photos at the NBAL show in New Braunfels. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Peek

First Peek
7 x 5, pastel
This baby squirrel lived in Kyle, Texas last summer. I was visiting a quilting friend and just happened to catch him as he stuck his head out to catch a few rays. So tiny and cute.

Really, you need to go see the show at the NBAL gallery this month. It is awesome! Some fabulous paintings/photos of critters, all ready to go home with you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You Lookin' At Me??

You Lookin' at Me??
11 x 7.5, watercolor

Finally, I have paintings to post. The New Braunfels Art Gallery show for September is "For the Love of Animals". I turned in 3 paintings for this show and this was not one of them----maybe it should have been?? You just never know!!

This cat lives in Italy and is the resident cat at the hardware store on Vannucci Street in Citta Della Pieve. He had the most perturbed expression in his eyes the entire time I was getting pictures--typical cat.

The NBAL show opens tomorrow. It should be a great one. Drop by if you get a chance this month.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

TAMU Pride

TAMU  Pride
28 x 18, watercolor

This painting was a labor of love for the ideal of Aggie Pride. I took a dear friend to the next to the last Aggie home game last fall and she took me to the Quad to see the 'step off' prior to the game. Season tickets for two years and I had never seen that. The Quad was packed with people besides all the Corp members. It was awesome.

While snapping pictures of the activities, I captured this moment. This man was the Commander of the Corp last year. In that mass of people, he seemed to be taking in the importance of the moment. So I worked on this painting for months, with the intention of giving it to a man I had never met, but felt I knew. When we went to move our Aggie home in May, I took this painting and left it at headquarters for him. From the email I received that afternoon, he liked it.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Galveston Gulls

Galveston Gulls
6 x 6, pastel
Click to Bid

Can you believe it??? It has been almost a month, OK, it has been a month since I posted a painting. Excuses are futile, but I have been working at my job a bunch.

This painting is from one of my assignments---9 days in Galveston. Galveston in August can best be described as miserable, sticky, hot and humid. Nine days there and my toes never touched the sand--you could say that I am a lake person not an ocean/sea/gulf person.  The water is much more colorful in this painting than it actually was. My hotel was less than a block from the seawall and the beach. Really enjoyed walking the wall and taking pictures either early am or late evening.

I have been painting when home, but they are paintings for the "Love of Animals" show at the NBAL Gallery in September. Hoping to post them closer to the show opening, September 4.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


5 x 5, pastel

This is an attempt to see if I could create an interesting painting by merely painting a reflection, would it be recognizable. The tiny area left little room for detail. The jury is still out......

But, it is good to be back to at the easel!

Monday, July 15, 2013

More about the Dog!!

I know everyone is tired of hearing about Cow Dog but I just had to share this new development!!

But, I won't force you to look at the painting one more time here.

Jerry's Artarama is a national chain selling art supplies. There is a store in Austin. That's where I took the pastel portrait workshop from D K Richardson. I used the principles learned in  that workshop to paint Cow Dog.

Today I received an email from D K Richardson with this link:


Please check it out. I am so thrilled to be highlighted in the blog of this store.

Friday, July 5, 2013

1st Place Winner!

Cow Dog
8.5 x 11, pastel
Cow Dog was entered in the the Texas Show sponsored by Heineken at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery. This evening he won first place in the 'under glass division', watercolor/pastels! I was just thrilled and was on my way to hang my ribbon on the painting when the painting was whisked to the desk to be sold to a lady from Austin!!

I am feeling a mixture of emotions, thrilled to win, thrilled for it to sell, but disappointed that I never got to see the blue ribbon hanging on the painting for even a minute. I really believe 'happy' is winning out over 'disappointment'!

Also, I was notified earlier today that Lucky sold at the Arthritis Assoc. in San Antonio! I was already tickled to death about that! It has been a good day.

6 x 8, pastel

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cow Dog

Cow Dog
Pastel on toned sanded paper

It has been a great day!!! I got to paint today. I applied the information learned from the D K Richardson workshop and painted Cow Dog. I hope to enter it in the Texas Show at the NBAL Gallery on Tuesday. There are a couple of areas that need to be tweaked, but all in all I am pleased.

I really do not think he is a cow dog, took his picture at the last Market Days I participated in. He was a sweet dog. In fact in one picture, he seemed to be smiling for the camera!

Monday, June 24, 2013

D K Richardson's Workshop

 Almost completed workshop piece
10x8, pastel on Ampersand board

I know it's been about 6 weeks since my last post--believe me, I know!!! I have been working on a commission piece that I cannot share on the web without permission AND I have been working my new job. Just returned from 12 days in Memphis, which is a neat place, but it is sure good to be back home.

The best part is I arrived home in time to take a wonderful workshop given by D K Richardson at Jerry's Artarama in Austin. To me, her art is breathtaking, the realism and detail amazing. I really enjoyed the class, learned sooooooo much, and hope to be able to apply it to my work. She is an excellent instructor and very supportive/encouraging. Three of the five participants had never used pastels before. They ended up with wonderful, portraits they created all on their own. D K never touches your work she simply guides you (verbally) in seeing and applying the pastel to get the lifelike results.

I am very pleased with my painting. I have included several progress shots taken over the course of the 2 day workshop. Her method is very labor intensive, but so very worth the effort. Check out her website at www.dkrichardson-artist.com.

Initial grid and drawing
This is where my affliction of 'seeing too much" comes in handy!

First application of color.

 Putting in the undertones of the cheek.

 Fairly, happy with this but the nose is wrong.

Pretty happy here, but sweating the scarf on her head.

Think it may still need some tweaking.
 Just have to worry about the background now.

Thanks for checking out my blog and not giving up on me!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


8 x 10, pastel

This is a painting of the pond and water feature at my brother and sister-in-law's home. It is so relaxing to sit and enjoy the sound of water trickling, sort of serene. 

It was a challenge to create the the image of water both flowing and as a flat surface. Always good to challenge yourself.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Exciting Barn news!

Carolina Barn
9 x 12, pastel

Had some exciting news today. Daily Paintworks chose this painting as a Facebook Pick of the Day on their Facebook site. Over one hundred artists submit paintings daily to DPW and out of those 6-8 are chosen  to be featured on their Facebook page. If you get a chance, check them out there are some lovely paintings.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Winkin' Llama

Winkin' Llama
8 x 6, pastel

This llama was too cute. He looks like he is puckering up to kiss, or is that spit???????

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunlit Iris

Sunlit Iris
22 x 15, watercolor

Painting days have been few and far between these past several weeks. This painting has taken weeks to complete. There were weeks that it only got attention one day that week. It is a large painting by my standards and those are always a challenge for me. Another challenge, when do you know a painting is finished? Sometimes I just have to "step away from the painting".

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Painter's Block

Bath Time
about 20lbs.

Goodness gracious! Attempt to paint after 2 weeks of not painting at all and it is like never ever painting! My attempts today at a pastel study were woefully sad. I had intended to paint yesterday but my new job threw a wrench in that idea. So I got up early and finished my work and hit the pastels. Ugh!

But the good news is, today is over and I get to paint everyday next week. WooHoo!!

So since I have no painting to show, thought you might like seeing a visitor who frequents our backyard. He/she likes to bathe in the tubs of water we put out for the deer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Weathered Beauty

Weathered Beauty
12x9, pastel

This is just the first of, hopefully, many more paintings with this woman as the subject. She is a gypsy woman, who lives in Italy. I was blessed to get to see her while visiting Citta della Pieve. She played the hand organ as marionettes that were attached to her feet and legs danced. It was such a joy to behold and the small children loved it.

This is also my first attempt at a portrait of a female using pastel as the medium. I truly believe that portraits are easier in watercolor. Now there are plenty who would argue that point with me. 

Monday, April 15, 2013


22 x 15, watercolor
Click to Buy

I had to pull this painting out of the past. Unfortunately, painting just has not been a part of my life for the last couple of weeks.

Painting large is not something to which I gravitate, but I enjoyed this one. As always filling the the background is a challenge, didn't want to detract from the the stars---the poppies!

Four of my paintings are on display and for sale at the Arthritis Association, in San Antonio, off Medical Dr. It is a beautiful office and I hope the original art displayed by several artists brightens the day for visiting patients and their families. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sir Basset

Sir Basset
12 x 9, pastel

Love basset hounds, those sad eyes and droopy ears.  I have been wanting to paint this guy since I saw him at a Farmers' Market. He had a buddy (another basset) but he just wouldn't cooperate with the camera.

I took a hint from Rita Kirkman and under painted the non-white areas of the dog with Azo Gold acrylic paint (diluted). You can see it peeking through on the body, ears and head. I tried really hard not to go heavy with the pastel and leave it showing through. Thanks, Rita. Without the under painting, I don't think I could have covered the Wallis white paper without using heavy pastel . You can see below that with the layers of gold acrylic, I had a head start on completing the painting.

I also added green and violet in the white shadows--who knew! What they say holds true--value is more important than color!  If the value is correct, almost any color will work and it is way more interesting than gray!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Study #11

Study #11
6x6, pastel
Click to buy

I really have been painting. There have been multiple minor catastrophes in the Beard household this week, so painting has been my calming force. The good news is the college kid survived his ski trip to Taos and made it back to TAMU, the reception for the Austin Pastel Society at the Corridor of Art was great yesterday. The art will continue to hang there until April 21, so drop by if you are in the area. Also, I have been invited to hang art in the Arthritis Association in San Antonio. That will be up around the first week or two of April.

So even though this past week the bathroom heater burned out, the refrigerator died Friday and the upright freezer died last night, it's all minor. Life is good!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Workshop production

Orvieto, the Ratindra Das Way
15 x 22, watercolor
Click to Buy

Well, there is a little bit of normalcy returning to the household following the new addition. So it seemed like a fine time to take a workshop! I was able to attend the workshop because the Wimberley Fund Raising event did not have enough interest, unfortunately for them, but as they say, "When one door closes, another opens." That just might be what happened to me. I wasn't just chomping at the bit to take this workshop, but very glad I did.

I had a wonderful time exploring a new way (at least for me) to complete a watercolor. The paper was saturated, but as you can see I could still get hard edges. The opportunity to play with color, a number of them I rarely use was a freeing experience. So the weekend was a great time for learning.

I have been working on pastels of a most interesting Italian lady I encountered on my visit there. Will hopefully post one of those soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bundle of Cute!

8x14, shih tzu
Click to Love!!

As if I didn't need another excuse not to paint on a daily basis! Dan named him the day we test-drove him, because he goes in circles when he is nervous. He is 8 months old and a joy! He loves to play, something our sweet rescue Yorkie was too brow-beaten to ever understand. We try to play and she cowers so all we do is give lots of love. 

I did paint a portrait of an Italian woman, just a head shot. It looks like her but not thrilled with it. I plan to try again. She is going to be the subject of several paintings. She played the hand accordion and had marionettes attached to her feet! She made them dance as she played the music! It was too cool. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Biltmore Lake

Biltmore Lake
9x9, pastel

The last full day we were in North Carolina, Hurricane Sandy finally decided to move on and allow the sun to shine. The November sun was glorious that day. The grounds of the Biltmore Estate were beautiful.  I have a friend from Ashville, North Carolina who has painted plein air on the Biltmore grounds. How awesome would that be!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Study #10

Study #10
6 x 6, pastel

After completing the challenge painting yesterday, I couldn't wait to get back to pastel. I just couldn't decide on a subject-----so I turned to my old standby to get back in the swing.

Several new happenings going on, joined Facebook (don't have a clue what I am doing), and sold a painting on line last night! Exciting and overwhelming times---feeling like I am getting old if that is overwhelming.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Challenge Painting

Challenge Painting
10 x 6, watercolor

Weekly on Daily Paintworks there is a challenge offered for those artists interested in a challenge, or stepping outside the box, or just want a different subject to paint. This week Carol Marine, (great artist, formerly from Austin area, Google her) offered a photo taken during one of her many workshops. This was taken in Texas, when one of her students graciously agreed to pose. 

I thought it was such a cool idea and decided to give it a try.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


15 x 11, watercolor

This is the watercolor version of Bountiful Harvest. It was painted after the pastel was completed. 

By the way, I didn't mention it but Bountiful Harvest was also juried into the Austin Pastel Society Member Show in Austin along with Italian Man. It is extremely exciting and humbling to have Terri Ford select these two paintings to be included in the 50 paintings chosen for the show.. That show opens Monday, February 25 at the Corridor of Art on Lavaca St. in Austin. There is an award reception on March 17, from 3-5 pm if you happen to be in the area.