Archive for Pastels

There’s Something About a Sunrise

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Pastels, Southwest with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2017 by sebland

A South Texas sunrise always feeds my soul. Even a cloudy, foggy, rainy day is full of promise, but I especially love the sunrises when we have color. Once a friend told me she’d never seen a yellow sky. That evening, we had a storm, followed by the most beautiful yellow sunset I’d ever seen! Whether, red, orange, yellow, purple, even a bit of turquoise dawns outside my window, I’m waiting for it. This little piece, done in pastels, reminds me that no matter how dark the night, morning will come. And if you’re lucky, it will be gifting you with all the colors of a Master Painter. Look for it and remember to be grateful for those good things of life we often take for granted! This little 8 x 10 is available on my new gallery page:


Cooling it – On the Rocks

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Pastels with tags , , , , , , on October 2, 2017 by sebland


Living in the Texas Hill Country was always a dream of mine, and I’ve been delighted since we moved here several years ago. The friends and neighbors, the rivers and streams, the sunrises and sunsets have all been delightful and thrilling. Still, this land-locked person loves and misses the cool salty air from the ocean. We’ve made numerous trips to the Gulf, the East Coast, the West Coast, Alaska, and points in between, but on a warm autumn day my thoughts still head to the ocean. I love the smell, the sounds, the breeze and the excitement of watching each new wave break on the rocks. I’m playing with pastels for the first time, and had a good time painting this small work. Hope you like it, too. It is available at my new gallery:

Feeling the Challenge

Posted in art, inspiration, Painting, Pastels with tags , , , on September 19, 2017 by sebland

imageWhen challenged to post a painting every day, most of us would feel a wee bit intimidated. If you’ve been painting quite a while, you have a stash of work to fall back on. But when challenged to paint a new piece every day, then you begin to feel the challenge! Doing something in the studio every day requires showing up! It means you have to find a subject, make the time amid the meals, the laundry, the regular classes and chores that each day brings! There are benefits. You learn to budget your time. Maybe the dishes or the laundry can wait a little while.  You work a little faster, settle  for quick studies and learn a lot about the media you have chosen. For instance, pastels are very very messy and you learn to live with colorful fingernails. You learn your cat is very fast when she throws herself down on a pool of pastel dust, and she does not clean easily or willingly. You learn a watercolor floral can feel downright relaxing after trying to get eyeballs even in a pastel portrait.  Best of all, though, is you learn! And that is enough.

Sweeter than Honey

Posted in art, inspiration, Painting, Pastels with tags , , on September 15, 2017 by sebland

imageWhen painting on a daily basis, sometimes inspiration is hard to find. This precious little girl with her new flowered dress and freckles, just stole my heart. I’m showing these in my new gallery,  Thank you for visiting!

Homeless is Not Hopeless

Posted in art, inspiration, Painting, Pastels with tags , , , , on September 13, 2017 by sebland

imageMost of us have led fairly sheltered lives, and for that I am grateful. For some however life is much more challenging. Lost jobs, mental illness, domestic abuse, things happen. When I was painting this woman I saw the broken and grimy fingernails, the look of determination and the strong arms that will move mountains for her loved ones. I knew such a woman, and while her story is not mine to tell, I will share my deep admiration for a mother who hid her children away from danger and lived homeless for quite a while to keep them safe. Yes, she was homeless, but she never gave up and she never gave in. Her strength will not be forgotten. This  piece is  available through my gallery at

The Storyteller

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Pastels with tags , , , , , , on September 12, 2017 by sebland

imageMost of us carry memories of someone special, perhaps an aunt, a neighbor or just some distant relative. They seemed ancient to us as children. At gatherings they loved to tell the stories of our people. They knew things, stories our parents had never heard or wanted to forget. Sometimes they buttoned their clothes in random order, or they may have lacked a bit of grooming, but as children we seemed to gravitate to them. My Aunt Ila was one of those. She wasn’t much for housecleaning, but the smell of fresh bread permeated my senses when I hit her back door. In all the time I knew her I never heard the word: “No.” Her life was hard but she and her husband took in my widowed Granny and five children, and helped them through the Depression with grace and love. This painting is in honor of Auntie, the Storyteller. I hope you have a memory of someone like that too!

The Eyes of a Child

Posted in art, inspiration, Painting, Pastels with tags , , , , , , , on September 11, 2017 by sebland

image.jpegI have had children in my classroom from four to ninety four, and it’s the young ones I enjoy the most. They are not judgmental or hypercritical. They paint and draw, color, cut and paste, and just enjoy the journey. Nobody tells them that shade of green isn’t true to the color of the cat they just painted. In their eyes it’s a happy color and that’s what matters. I wish more of us would do that. Why not paint a tree with purple leaves, or a pink cow munching on blue grass? One of my adult students, painting plein aire on a beautiful spring day, decided to do her entire piece in oranges and purples. It was lovely! So the word today is look at the world through the eyes of a child. Being creative means to free up those rules that restrict us. Color that sky yellow and see what a day brightener that can be. Don’t forget to have fun along the way. Life is full of dark colors. Lighten it up a bit! By the way, this painting is available at Under artists, type S. E. Bland and you should be able to visit my gallery!Thank you for following me.

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