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“Blue, Near and Far” – Pastel Painting by Bethany Fields

Bethany FieldsPastel Landscape Demonstration

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately about exactly what it is that drives me and motivates me to create. Recently, I discovered this sonnet and it so resonated within me.

Not in a silver casket cool with pearls
Or rich with red corundum or with blue,
Locked, and the key withheld, as other girls
Have given their loves, I give my love to you;
Not in a lovers’-knot, not in a ring
Worked in such fashion, and the legend plain—
Semper fidelis, where a secret spring
Kennels a drop of mischief for the brain:
Love in the open hand, no thing but that,
Ungemmed, unhidden, wishing not to hurt,
As one should bring you cowslips in a hat
Swung from the hand, or apples in her skirt,
I bring you, calling out as children do:
“Look what I have!—And these are all for you.”

~Edna St. Vincent Millay

To me, this states exactly what I want to give when I paint a painting. “Love in the open hand.” I want to give sweet and true loving kindness. I want to fill people with emotions and sweet remembrances…moods, feelings, longings. I am a painter of beauty, light, and love!

This week, I’ve been focusing on my list of New Years resolutions and (as my sweet daughter used to call them) New Years revelations.  I realize that we are only a few days shy of February but really, isn’t everyday the start of a new year?  I am focusing and focused and feeling so happy and free these days. It’s wonderful to create with love in your heart and mine is full to bursting!

This week’s time-lapse (posted here on Youtube) was a labor of love.  My first video capture this week didn’t work out like I had planned and I needed to re-do (which also means re-paint).  Isn’t it amazing though how things work out if you let them?  I worked on this piece inspired by some photos taken last year in Massachusetts.  I had painted similar scenes before but wanted a different feeling and mood.  I began with a thumbnail sketch and relied on that instead of a photo reference, as I didn’t have one from this particular angle.   (see sketch above).

In regards to photo references….when not able to paint en plein air, I don’t rely on a photo past developing general composition and value.  I often turn my photos black and white to take away the distraction of color.  The lure of color can be intoxicating, distracting, and tricky, and I often want to change the season, lighting, or color anyway.  This painting was no different.

I hope you enjoy watching!  These videos actually teach me a ton about my own work.  Seeing my work “at a distance” and separated tunes my eye and helps me notice strengths and weaknesses.  I encourage you, if you have the capability to record yourself, do it! (Even if for your eyes only).

As always, keep painting with love.



P.S. If you would like to see more of these videos and posts, please consider subscribing to my channel.  Every like, comment, share, and subscription helps me target my content to produce more for artists like you!

P.S.2 Here is a link that takes you to some products I love on Amazon! These are affiliate links (meaning if you choose to purchase, at no cost to you Amazon gives me a small commission). These are products I use everyday in my work! I never suggest something I haven’t used and tried myself.

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By | 2017-03-18T17:20:19+00:00 January 26th, 2017|

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