Lime tree in pastel experiment

The Great Lime Tree pastel painting experiment commences.
I thought for Jenn's Artist Playroom challenge #30 - Botanical, I would paint my lime tree.
Great idea.  
Its accessable (on my patio), there is great light today, and I have about an hour or so before life calls me back to the mundane (grocery shopping or the troops WILL revolt!)
I did a quick pencil sketch to get my hand in. O.K. so far
Then I started.
hmmm I only have Monte Marte pastel paper left, but decide to give it a go.
Bad idea.  I hate it. It's too textured, and it has no substance to it.  I choose green ( thinking it would be a good idea) and discover I dislike working over the green tint.

But I persevere... Here's what it looks like at the end of stage 1:

Yucko... the soft blue for the sky turns a puce shade no matter what I try
and the green for the grass is vile.
So - when in doubt (and desperation) Attack!
I paint it with rubbing alcohol, add more pastel, and dubious quantities of spray fixative...
end of stage 2 it looks like this:
at end of stage 2 of the experiment
I am a little more happy with it... but not entirely.  So onto stage 3...
My plans for the next stage: overnight under some heavy books to get the crinkle out of the paper,
then maybe some gesso, or acryllic paint, adding some collage elements?  I'll have to mount it onto some heavier stock paper before proceeding anyway...
Heaven only knows... but it can't get any worse!

I have decided a couple of things...
1. Don't skimp on good paper - it's just NOT worth it! :-)
2. if something seems to fail - 
learn as much from the process as possible... what happens if I...??? You've got nothing to loose at this point so make the most of it!

Secondly:  I will make my best effort to participate in...Blogtoberfest!

As it is a countdown now to my 2nd Blogiversary, I have been wondering - so what do I do?
There seems to be many options out there in blogsville
But I need it simple, easy, and concise!
So - joining a month long blog celebration seemed appropriate! 

The first post by Kat @ I Saw You Dancing, included a list of suggestions for setting an intention for the month, such as:

I want to try and blog every day for 31 days.
I want to check out new blogs and meet like minded souls.
I have this creative project and I want to use this as an opportunity to stay accountable, get some feedback and get it finished!
I have no fixed plan, I'm just looking forward to seeing what happens. I'm open to surprises!

Can I set my intention as, "All of the above" ???
haha - but I don't really want to blog every day... so this will require some thinking!

I was  much happier with these recent efforts, look at them, please, rather than this woeful lime tree!

watercolour illustration...

Linking to:   artist playroom
Love your comments! :-)


  1. I like the way you 'rescued' the tree...looks great I think! Welcome to Blogtoberfest! So glad you are joining in! x

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks! I know we aren't supposed to have negative thoughts about our art (whispering so it doesn't hear) but I still have serious issues with this one! Thought it would be fun to share the mess as well as the finished ones :-P

  3. I love this little experiment :) Stage 2 definitely looks great!

  4. I love your tenaciousness with this, although I don't think it's awful like you do. I love your idea that if you don't like how something is turning out, USE that time to learn as much as you can about your medium and paper. Great idea!

  5. Hi Jennifer, I guess being a teacher I can't help make the most of every opportunity as a learning experience! Linda

  6. this is grand, though I am a great BEliever in loving my art as I would an "ugly child" [though that is a harsh expression it is spot-on]. one of my teachers once said that all paintings go through an awkward adolescent phase and if I can just hang on through that, all will BE well...

    I am working on a painting Now that has been worked, reworked, gesso'd over, collaged over, textured over, and is Now on its 3rd paint... it sits and looks odd but as I let it BE and don't get into "fixing" it in some way, I am noticing possibilities.

    I think what I am meaning to say here is that I have had a tendency to paint like I used to paint houses. FAST. Get it covered. So Now I am slowing down and savouring the process...

    so much of my work is like this. experiments and efforts and then I recycle them.

    really enJOYed visiting you, Linda!!

    1. Hi Currie,
      Thanks for your fab comment. There is a lot to be gained in letting an art-work sit and BE, I agree. I'm still at the 'get it done NOW' phase... I think that comes from trying to 'cram' my art/ creative process into small pockets of time - both as a necessity of being a wife, mother and home educator to two teens (!!) and as a necessity of being sometimes unwell... But I do allow my bigger works to start, then sit, then I ponder them, or put them away for weeks on end, then they come out again - they have a different process, but I am yet to savour it as you suggest - thanks for encouraging my thinking about this!! :-) Linda

  7. Yes, I think savouring the process is very satisfying. I do that with my stained glass. It means much more when the project is at last dinished.

  8. Like what you did in stage 2 and am intrigued to know what stage 3 will bring, will you be posting the finished picture? I'd really love to see it.
    Great idea to put the paper under heavy books overnight to get rid of crinkles, I've never thought of doing that, does it work?

  9. This is lovely I added it to the Show Me link up on my blog

  10. As a 'non-artist' I am always amazed at how harsh 'you artists' are about your work, when all I see is beauty and skill and am in awe of the talent it takes to create the finished piece. The tree is beautiful in all it's stages and the watercolour is so sweet :0)

    1. that is funny! - Thanks for the reminder to not be so hard on myself! :-)

  11. I love your attitude and enjoy being included in your learning curve. It is a puzzled that many times what we picture in our minds somehow doesn't translate to our artwork!??? And it is hard to figure out what we need to do to make it what we envisioned. I like what has happened so far and look forward to chapter three!

  12. i like point #2! and that's cool about the rubbing alcohol - i've been playing with that myself lately - you can really see the difference - amazing!

  13. So sorry I am so late for APR this week... but glad I got here in the end ... isn't the mont marte paper just so difficult to handle... I tried it once and gave it to Phantom to use... hope you got it flattened out, and you still managed to make a lovely piece despite the paper hassles...xx


I love your comments! I read them all, and I will do my best to reply to you here! xo L.

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