Friday, April 18, 2014

i braved a first this week.   armed with a fellow artist, i attend a live model 

drawing session.  i even sat in front and did this using nupastels.  the 

instructor suggested that i start by blocking in shapes and 

use three colors, a dark, medium and light.  i discovered

that pastels are forgiving and allow lots of layering.

i visited the norton simon as I mentioned last week.

it was a perfect spring day.  

the entry with sculptures on either side of the grand walkway

we had lunch here next to 

the lily pond and another sculpture garden

the reason for my visit, the  mulberry tree by van gogh.

and other amazing art

i felt transported for an afternoon.  the collection is just the right size to

be able to enjoy and not feel overwhelmed and photographs are allowed.

there were no crowds.  i stood in front of these masterpieces and more

imagining the artist, brush in hand, paints at the ready.  to see their 

brushstrokes, the colors no further than inches away....   the experience is 

still with me.  as for the mulberry tree, it was a troubled time in van gogh's life.

after his argument with gauguin and another breakdown.  he admitted 

himself into a hospital for rest again.  he painted many paintings

of the landscape and this was one of them.  i have begun reading

his letters to emerse myself even more.

happy paint party friday.  if you haven done so before
please visit these dedicated artists by clicking on their sites.


  1. Wow! You got to see some incredible work! How cool!

    I really dig the work you did at the life drawing session as well. The model has such a great face, and I am especially impressed with the way you rendered the nose!

  2. how nice that you were allowed to take photos to share with us. Must have been very inspiring. Lovely little park area. And your portrait- so lovely and beautiful!

  3. When I am next in Pasadena I will definitely check out this collection. It looks heavenly. I enjoy using pastels too and think your face turned out very well indeed. Happy PPF

  4. Sounds a lovely outing, Irene. I really appreciate a gallery which is not too large and has beautiful surroundings. I went to Upton House one of our National Trust places recently and saw a personal collection of paintings and porcelain - some wonderful pieces. And the grounds were so perfect in spring sunshine.

  5. What a rich experience to visit that exhibition, and see all those wonderful paintings that changed the way we look at the world. I would so love to see all those works in real life rather than in books or on TV. The van Gogh's are wonderful and how I would treasure seeing the Modigliani. Thank you for sharing this event with me, your enthusiasm and interest in the painters as well as the artworks shines through, and it is so good to 'meet' somebody else who likes to study the artist as well as the paintings.
    And I am amazed at your beautiful portrait, lovely modelling of the face and I love the way you have shown the hair. It seems a good idea to focus on three colours - no teacher in any portrait class I've been to has ever suggested that. It certainly works well, and I like the earth colours you have used.

  6. I love that face you drew! So beautiful and expressive. And that museum looks awesome. It looks like you had a great day.

  7. A very lovely portrait Irene, nice work. Thanks for taking the pictures at the gallery to share with us, loved looking at them. I must read Van Gogh's letters, interesting to explore his life and understand how his paintings came about.Thanks for the comment on my blog, much appreciated.

    Have a lovely Easter weekend,
    Annabelle : )

  8. Wow excellent portrait! What a interesting post..loved having a gander through your eyes! Beautiful works!

    Hugs Giggles