Thoughts to share, ideas to ponder

Warm light, cool light, studio light

It has been a monumental and enlightening challenge and discovery to paint under many different lighting conditions.  Each type of light informs my inspiration by setting a distinct mood and telling a different story.


This was painted from life under a color rich halogen, which tends toward the warmer side.

"Homespun", 15 x 30, pastel


This next one was painted under a cool daylight bulb in my studio:

"Flowing Blue", 19 x 15, pastel


This last one was painted under a sunny outdoor sky around midday:

"Aspiration", 15 x 30, pastel


The difference between the paintings doesn't seem hugely significant....but it feels and looks different when painting them. 


Painting is about seeing.  Expanding and exercising my visual perception is a huge part of growing for me, as an artist.




Comment on or Share this Article

Flowing Blue--A Demonstration

Flowing Blue

I love the color blue and am enamored with any objects that are blue in color: clothing, flowers, ceramics.  I found some wonderful flow blue ceramics on ebay with several still lifes in mind, one in particular which would emphasize the loveliness of the flow of flow blue via painted watercolor-y cloth and simple white iceberg roses, a particular favorite.  It was a lot of fun to infuse this sheer wispy fabric with ultramarine blue watercolor.  (The white square is a piece of paper towel which absorbs some of the water and allows me to see the result).


Next, I set up the beautiful flow blue pot with this painted cloth in my studio under a very cool light.


And the painting begins:

Initial drawing and beginning of the block in.


Focal point established.


Working from life.


Adding more shapes and refinement.


Almost finished!


It was really a thrill to bring this idea to fruition.  I love blue...but flowing blue, which aims to capture a sense of movement, really sets my heart on fire! 

Flowing Blue, 19 x 15, pastel




Comment on or Share this Article


I completed about 75% of this painting in plein air, with remaining details completed in the studio.  What a thrill it was to paint this piece!


Comment on or Share this Article

Art Along the Coast

Have you ever wanted to see the inner sanctum where an artist's creation happens?  I am pleased to be participating, along with a group of esteemed artists, in Art Along the Coast, where we are thrilled to welcome you to our studios during the weekend of April 25 and 26th.  We are located in Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente...all of us within an easy reach, allowing you to enjoy a day of art as our guests.  Please click on the picture below or call me at 949-812-1429 if you have any questions.   We look forward to your visit in our very special creative spaces.



  My studio in Laguna Beach.

Comment on or Share this Article

Pastel Journal 2014 Year in Review

I was pleased to be alerted by a friend that one of my paintings was featured in the Pastel Journal's 2014 Year in Review

There are so many excellent artists featured...thrilled to be in such great company!


Comment on or Share this Article

The "why" behind "Ancestral Memory"

I finally "put myself out of my misery". On my bike/hikes, I would see these beautiful aged plants, with their soft blooms having faded and giving way to soft seed. I LONGED to paint them. They reminded me of sunflowers and one day, I "saw" the painting in my head and raced back up, sunflowers in hand, to do a plein air study.



Why did I call this painting "Ancestral Memory"?  I have been fortunate enough to do some traveling and when I first visited France, I had this powerful experience of "knowing" and it occurred to me that ancestral memory must be a real thing.  I have visited other European countries, but have not had this experience.  My ancestors are from France, England and Ireland.  I have been to England and had the same feeling.  Though I have never been, I am guessing that it would be similar in Ireland. 


These faded thistly, sunflower-like blooms, receding in the distance, and paired with their more contemporary sunflower cousins, immediately recalled that notion of ancestral memory.  Hence, the title.


It is such a relief to give flesh to this inspiration and finally, lay it to rest.

Comment on or Share this Article

Demonstration of my pastel painting, "Crescendo"

In creating the new painting "Crescendo", the images below show the painting in progress:







 Crescendo, about 3/4 finished, 19 1/2 x 25, Pastel

Comment on or Share this Article

Informed Collector recognition

I am thrilled that by virtue of Blush and Happenstance winning outstanding pastel for the month of September 2014 in the Bold Brush competition that my work was featured in the November 5, 2014 issue of Informed Collector.


Thank you Fine Art Views jury for this award!


Note: This article appears courtesy of by Clint Watson, a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists, collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art) .For a complimentary subscription, visit:



Comment on or Share this Article

Pastel Journal featuring pastel paintings in process

Beth Williams wrote a lovely summary of three paintings in process in the on-line edition of the October 14 Pastel Journal. 


Here is a clip of the page.  Click on the image below to be directed to that page!


Comment on or Share this Article

Feature article in the Pastel Journal

I am honored to be featured in the upcoming October 2014 issue of the Pastel Journal!

Into the Light
In addition to soft, painterly florals, artist Mary Aslin paints grand, large-scale figures. Learn how in her step-by-step demonstrations.
By Robert K. Carsten

Comment on or Share this Article