The Long, Hot Summer

24 Aug 2014

The light of summer is a powerful and extreme thing. Getting effects of extreme darks and stark, searing lights is not something every painter can do. There's an acuteness of vision that must come into play to see the color that resides in the light as well.

When I look at the work of pastel painting artist Jane McGraw-Teubner, I see that kind of vision. Take any one of her pastel drawings and there is a sense of time of day and seasonality present. This probably comes from the fact that McGraw-Teubner spends a good deal of time outside of her studio, painting the landscape outdoors.

End of Summer by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on paper, 11 x 14.
End of Summer by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on paper, 11 x 14.

You can always tell an accomplished painter by what they can do when they are painting outside because nothing is a given and there are challenges galore. McGraw-Teubner always seems to find an interesting vantage point that makes her composition stick in your head. And then there's the way she uses color, light, and texture to reinforce a composition. For example, she might play with a diagonal direction in a painting. She'll not only establish this with a physical element--like a tract of road or a field of flowers--but she'll reinforce the direction or sense of movement with color contrasts or a pattern of light and shadow. Smarty!

Avalon Barn by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on pastelbord, 11 x 14.
Avalon Barn by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on pastelbord, 11 x 14.

I'm also drawn to the way she incorporates different natural elements in her pastel drawings. There's a sense of the land, but usually a waterway and patch of sky as well. All of these combined give a plein air painting a breadth and scope that is really welcome.

If you have an interest in pastel painting in the great outdoors and want to make the most of your time when you go, Johannes Vloothuis' Pastel Landscape Painting Essentials is definitely worth watching. It delves into all the elements that make a great work of landscape art. Enjoy!


Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

lizetart wrote
on 21 Jul 2012 11:55 AM

"a calming peace on a summer's day"

April Lang wrote
on 17 Sep 2012 12:10 PM

I love the work but don't know what pastel painting is. Is it just using pastels or is a medium involved