Rose-by-Jeanne-Cotter-2017

Growing a pastel rose

Roses are my favourite flower and when I first started painting with pastels the subject I dearly wanted to master was roses.

Over the years I’ve painted many roses, I love the frailty of roses and the way the petals wrap around each other encasing the centre bud, they really are an amazing structure and formation of delicate texture. Pastels are beautiful for painting roses because you can capture the tiny ruffled edges of the petals and communicate the roundness of them and the transparency of light through the petals.

Here I’ve added a step by step process of painting one of my roses, this visual clue helps my students to see the structure and process of painting a rose, one petal at a time.

Why coming to an art class is so satisfying

Last week I had just one student come to class. It was one of those days when everyone else was busy, last minute stuff happened and they couldn’t make it.

And that is perfectly OK.

So Shalini got a one-on-one class all to herself. It also happened to be the day that everyone was to start a painting of their choice. Shalini had been to the art shop and got the paper and some new pastels and she had her reference picture all ready to go. I loved her enthusiasm! Here’s a summary of what she said:

After coming to classes for the last six weeks I finally feel ready to start my own painting. The first couple of classes really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t that happy with what I did.

(I interjected here and said “had you ever done this before?” and Shalini said no. “So how can you be good or accomplished at something if you’ve never done it before?” Good question!)

Coming here every Friday means taking time out of my business and some weeks I’m crazy busy, but I’m committed to coming every week and learning something new and it’s so good for me. Starting my own painting today has been a lovely experience because I had to think about colours and composition and find something I want to paint. I really enjoyed the process and having all the classes before this one has prepared me for this. I’m so excited to be doing this and I feel very content to take it slowly and work on it each week. I love your art classes Jeanne, it’s precious time I give to myself, it’s meditative, peaceful and relaxing. Thank you!

Pastels – are they drawings or paintings?

Do you draw or paint with Pastels?

Both! Pastel is the only medium that you can draw AND paint with. Pastel sticks feel a bit like chalk, although the more delicious brands feel more like butter! There’s no brush or tool between you and your medium, you can use pastels like a pencil with the sharper end of the stick to ‘draw’ lines and mark in detail and you can turn the pastel on its side to apply larger strokes of colour to ‘paint’ your pastel paper.

You can blend pastels with your fingers to create beautiful tones and colours, and you can apply different levels of pressure for soft transparent strokes or heavy thick layers of colour. Pastels are lovely to hold, working with pastels is a dance with colour, layers, textures, stroke and tone. Quite beautiful really!

So, are you ready to come paint AND draw with me?

Don’t die with the art still inside you

Wouldn’t it be sad to leave this world without ever shining and sharing your art? Or music, or dance… whatever it is that’s burning inside you.

As Marianne Williamson said “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

I love and live by this quote and I encourage you to do the same. We want to see and feel the beauty you have to contribute to the world because when you share your gifts you give others joy. And I believe that’s why we’re all here, to give joy and love and light.

Jeanne x