Sunday, May 31, 2009

My WHOLE AZ Sketchbook_pg 1

"Gus and Cisco_The King Horses"__page 1 of my AZ sketchbook
If you missed getting my blog last week, it was because I had trouble finding hot spots to connect my lap top in Prescott, so I hope you enjoyed the break from all my ramblings!!...NOW I have some catching up to is a sketch from my first day out, in New Mexico. These are my friends' horses, eating breakfast! The sketch below is from my portfolio when I was 10 years old. I usually copied from my Walter Foster Horse book, but since the composition LOOKS juvenile, I think I made this one up...
I kept a sketchbook in AZ last week and now that I am home, I will put watercolor washes on the sketches and post them. I might auction the whole sketchbook as a unit...let me know if you think that's a good idea! I'll post the color versions starting tomorrow. I shoot my pics in daylight and couldn't shoot tonight...OH, SPRAKING of shooting our art, I came home to a pdf book sent to me by a friend, Jason Smith,who wrote it. "Exposeing Yourself" (Click's safe, I promise :) all you need to know about shooting your art for the web or for publication. Jason has done this for years for Greenhouse Gallery. Well, on page 25, Jason tells a story of a certain artist who has a secret way of shooting art...he doesn't mention me by name, but THERE I AM, contributing to a photography book! hahaha...he was pretty ammused by my technical prowess and how I shoot my art! ...I will share my special technique at the workshop this weekend, June 5 - 7 in Fredericksburg, TX e-mail for info!

"Horse Silhouettes"__by V....(Pedro) Vaughan, age 10...note the fancy signature!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Victorian Light

"Victorian Light_Demo"___9 x 12 oil on linen panel____ $190
The reason this looks "short" for a 9 x 12 is because I cropped off the part where a box slid across the wet painting. I will fix the smear tomorrow, and if you are interested in the "whole thing" I will send you the adjusted image ....I painted this one as an afternoon demo with some great painters from north Texas. Most are painting this week in the Plein Air festival in Waxahachie, so if you live up that way, make an effort to get over there to see the work they are doing. I can vouch for the REAL GOOD QUALITY of the works being produced this week! I was REALLY challenged by the group of 10 or so at the workshop I taught yesterday! Wish I could have stayed and painted with them, but two weeks away from home is my limit! I made it back am getting ready for my BIG workshop in Fredericksburg! Join us if you can....there might be one or two spots available, so sign up with a friend! I will go out there this week to scout locations and deliver supplies.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Waxahachie Sunrise_6x8

"Waxahachie Sunrise"___6 x 8 oil on linen panel____sold to Julie!
YEsterday I judged 175 works of great art here , featuring the DeSoto art league. The show was ERY well run and the artwork was beautiful! I was inspired! So, this morning we had a fine one-day workshop. There was amazing talent in this group, and some beautiful variety! Here above is my sunrise painting. It was a perfect sunrise, and this little painting sold to J. G. who will give it a good home!...I will get to go HOME tomorrow, after being gone nearly two weeks....I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Racing theThunder_24 x 24

"Racing the Thunder at Lucy's"__24 x 24 oil on linen___sold
I painted ths one a few weeks ago in Alabama, from a hill in Lucy's backyard. She and Archie happened by as I was painting and asked if I could come paint Lucy's view. A big thunderstorm was coming over me from behind, so I hurried to paint this one in near record time, (for me!)
Today I am in DeSoto, Texas. I judged the Art League's show: 173 works of art in a variety of media...WHAT A TOUGH JOB! ...and humbling. The work was SUPERIOR!!!! I found myself reverting back to teacherhood, taking notes, making encouraging critique (except on the winners...I was hard on them, to encourage them to get even better! Tomorrow they get their ribbons and awards$$, AFTER we have a workshop on some nearby farms...gotta get to bed now, to prepare for a sunrise demo~
My next sunrise demo will be at the Fredericksburg, TX workshop, June 5-7. E-mail if you think you can come...there are 2 spots left, so bring a friend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Past Grants

"Past Grants"___4 x 4 oil on linen__a tiny drive-by painting $75
I had a passenger last week on the way to Prescott. I picked up Cindy in Mountainair, NM at her ranch, and brought her to Prescott with me since her parents live there. It was a nice night spent on her ranch and here is a little view we saw on the way out. ...Need a ride some place??? When I give you a ride, I make you drive so I can paint, by the way....
...I drove from Las Cruces, NM to Waxahachie, TX today and am settled down at Sandy and Ken's place for the night. Tomorrow I will judge the DeSoto Art League's big art show, then I will teach a FULL workshop on Friday...I can't wait! On June 5 - 7 I will teach in Fredericksburg, TX and there are still a few slots left in the class. I like smaller groups so that I can spend more time with individuals, so e-mail if you'd like to come. We will be focusing on painting fast (and that includes PREPARING to paint fast: drawing well, designing efficiently, and knowing when to stop...and maybe painting "two at once"...not for the sake of speed, but to train your eye to decide and settle... )

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hook Em and Wild Bore

"Hook Em"___9 x 12 oil on linen panel___Framed and ready to ship!
Here is a nice little Texas Longhorn, painted loose and framed in black. I also post another old drawing from my childhood portfolio. This wild "bore" (a title that might make some of my students laugh!) was copied from a Walter Foster lesson book called "How to Draw Animals". I was 8 or 9 when I drew the "bore" and distinctly remember thinking how HARD it would be to draw, but I tried anyway.....speaking of longhorns...CONGRATULATIONS to the University's baseball team, headed to the regionals after winning the conference (again)... I am still "out west", spending this night in Las Cruces, NM, after spending some time today, exploring the San Xavier Mission south of Tucson, with artist friend
Lydia Dillon-Sutton who grabbed a barrel cactus with her bare hand when she lost her balance on a trail....yes, OUCH!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


"Saguaro"___by 10 year old V....
If the only art on this page is a few of my OLD sketches, that means I am still on the road and haven't found a way to post today's art....But on the road I will see plenty of these great Saguaro Cacti as I did long ago when I drew these. Our family traveled west a lot and I always drew what I saw out the window... from the back seat. Notice how these
look a little bit cartoonish? Best I can tell, I started to get "cartoony" when Iwas about 10.
Sorry for the "cheesy" art, but it was fun to come across this FIRST portfolio of mine from long ago :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


"Last Year on the Farm, May 20, 2007"___Two years ago, TODAY!
I am on the way top Prescott, AZ, and prepared this log to post on May 20. I wonder if it will work the way I set it up...we shall see....Below is another one from my first portfolio. I was about 9 when I drew this...This was a pony that belonged to a friend, and I used to love to ride it. It was the ONLY pony I ever liked. Ponies are mean, but not Smokey :)
Please note...there is NOTHING special about this cannot tell that this little artist would grow up to be a professional artist...the only thing I have that other artists might not have at this point is "brush mileage" ...those are the words of a mentor of mine, Ray Vinella. It is my opinion, and experience that BRUSH MILEAGE will make EVERY artist a better artist. I will show and tell about this in my workshop at the Fredericksburg Artist's School, June 5 - 7...Let me know if youy can come!

"Smokey"...a drawing by 9 year old V....Pedro

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Five Nineteen and Football 1967

"Last Year on the Farm 05-19-2007"
On this day two years ago, we had a good hay year at the farm. I painted this just after the first bale was made :)
I am on the road now, headed for Arizona and the Phippen Museum Western Art Show.
I had a couple of my new paintings in the camera which I wanted to post, but I erased them at the football game tonight...yes, FOOTBALL! It's the end of Spring training and my son played QB in the Spring Game tonight.
Speaking of football, I mentioned in yesterday's post that I found some drawings from my early "career"...this one (below) I did when I was EIGHT years old and I remember copying it from my favorite book at the time...yes, even THEN I was a huge football fan.!!
I found out today that my workshop in Fredericksburg is nearly full, but there is still time and space for about 3 more! June 5 - 7 will be a new crescent moon (which we will paint Saturday, as I give instruction on "Painting Fast..."...and not just for the sake of painting fast, but the purpose is to be a PRODUCTIVE PAINTER...I will also give lots of info on "...what to do with all those studies" that you will be painting. I have had a long and varied career in art, and have too many good ideas to get them all done, so I am inthe process of giving all the great ideas away!! ha!
Also, Friday, June 5, after painting, we will go to town to enjoy Fredericksburg's FIRST FRIDAY art walk, see a few galleries and shops and I might be doing a quick demo at Whistle Pik, the finest gallery in Texas! e-mail if you are interested in atttending
Football Drawing by V....Pedro at age 8 !

Monday, May 18, 2009

Picacho Today and Yesterday

"Picacho Clearing" 8X10 Oil on linen panel___see my 10 year old version below!!!
Picacho Peak rises alongside I40 between Tucson and Phoenix, AZ. I painted this one in the car last year on the way to Prescott, a trip I will take tomorrow! I decided to spiff up the painting for the Phippen Show (changed the sky a little), and THEN>>>>
I came upon this drawing, below, which I drew with a ballpoint pen on school paper! I REMEMBER drawing this in the car when I was 10 years old!!!
We traveled this way alot when I was a kid, on the way from Texas to California to visit family. Even as a youngster, I LOVED to draw western things, and I constantly drew in the car. I LOVED road trips then, and I love them, now. ...after posting these side by side, I am amazed how OBVIOUS it is that the painting was done from one direction, and the drawing from another....I REMEMBER drawing this in the back seat, looking out the window on the right, whereas last year, my painting was done looking out the window on the left!
I scanned a bunch of these early drawings, and will share them in the upcoming days> If you can, come see my new works at the Phippen Show in Prescott, or sign up for the workshop in Fredericksburg, June 5 - 7. Sorry, but the Waxahachie workshop filled up real fast (so I have not talked about it much)...
Picacho Drive-By____by Virginia Pedro, age 10

Spreading Out__16 x 20 oil on canvas

"Spreading Out"__16 x 20 oil on canvas__available
Yesterday I posted my second painting of the day, but this one was my first on a windy day last week near Llano, Texas. We were driving a back road looking for something else, when this little scene called to us. The light was still low enough to have red in it, and the clouds were spreading out to end the cool morning. The cows seemed anxious to eat some more before the heat set in :) BOY was it windy!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Night Drive-By_6x8 oil on linen panel

"Night Drive-By"____6 x 8 oil on linen panel____available
A few months ago our family took a ski trip. On our way home we traveled before dawn, and as we passed through the small towns near Santa Fe, I memorized the view out my window. It was too dark to see if I had tried to paint "en plein air", so I took memory notes of shapes and color (a good exercise, you artists!). But you must put it "on paper" as soon as you can
or the memory fades (or is it just me?)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Llano Sparkle__11 x 14 oil on linen

"Llano Sparkle"__11 x 14 oil on linen___available
Hey Chris, there IS a yellow blinking light where you turn right off of 1431 to get to this spot :)
I had to get directions on the fly from my fishing guide, Chris, who wasn't quite sure about some details, but we got to this location just fine a few days ago, and painted on the Llano River. I painted with a painter friend, Becky, and we fought some mighty winds all day. The wind caused the usual adventures like knocked over turps and blown over tripods, but who can complain when the view was this nice!
Another reminder to sign up for three days of painting fast in Fredericksburg, TX...near this river, by the way!
If you think you are "rusty", I can fix that! We'll have three full days to be "maestros" with pigment, and do some gallery visits and eat some good food! Let me know if you want to come June 5 - 7

Friday, May 15, 2009

Red Roper_14 x 11

"Red Roper"___14 x 11 oil on linen__Framed___ for Phippen Western Art Show
Travelling back from town last summer, I crossed paths with a rodeo in progress. Here is another painting from that stash of photos. This painting was hard to photograph (I have been saying that a lot lately...I wonder if my camera is dying?), and the cowboy's face looks REALLY red here, but the title refers to his shirt! I kind of like the exaggerated redness of the photo! hmmm
...As I get ready for the Phippen Museum Western Art Show, and my travels to Arizona next week, I am painting smaller ones for the sale. You'll see them in the next few days, with a few surprises, too!
Join my Fredericksburg, TX workshop, June 5 - 7:
"Painting Fast Every Day, and What to do With All Those Studies"
YES! I will teach how to paint better, as you paint more often, and give lots of instruction that will automatically make you faster. If you are coming, start painting NOW...use a small canvas, do a simple composition, spend an hour or less, then lay everything out to do it again tomorrow!!...See you there!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cowgirl Roper_15 x 19

"Cowgirl Roper"___15 x 19 oil on canvas with an AWESOME western frame__for Prescott
Driving back from town in Colorado last summer, I went past the Rainbow Trout Lodge corrals and they were having a little rodeo there. I stopped, did some sketching and photographing, and got in big trouble for coming home late....and I have been ITCHING to paint from these photos...till now!
I am headed to Arizona next week for the annual Phippen Museum Western Art Show. This one will go with me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Angus Moonrise_16 x 20

"Angus Moonrise"__16 x 20 oil on linen___available at the Phippen Show next weekend

Here is the second painting I did the other night, It was hard to photograph,
...sorry. But the fun was doing this one and yesterday's painting all at once inthe span of about an hour... Being in an unfamiliar location, I had to guess where the moon would appear on the horizon. I know that the moon and sun follow a very similar path in the sky, so I used the reflective rays from the sun, which trace across the sky at sunset and pointed directly to where the moon would worked pretty well and I was able to compose and paint much of this before the moon made an the time I finished this one, it was hard to see the paint on the palette, but I was prepared and able to finish even in the dark! I will be teaching this important lesson on Saturday night of my weekend workshop at the Fredericksburg Artists School on June 5 - 7. We will have a great moon night, with a waxing crescent moon, and a cool Texas sunset...I can't wait to meet all those of you who are coming...If you are interested, sign up soon...there are still a few spots

Monday, May 11, 2009

Angus Ranch_11 x 14

"Angus Ranch"__11 x 14____available
I went to Calvert, TX on Friday afternoon so that I could be there early for a pottery lesson Saturday morning. My friend Barbara and I found this neat place and waited for the FULL moon to rise. I painted this one quickly while waiting for the moon. Tomorrow, I will tell you a secret about knowing where it will rise!
I am preparing for NEXT month's new moon in Fredericksburg, TX, where I will teach a workshop called "Painting Fast Every Day...and What to do With All Those Field Studies" . The title says it all. I will be sharing all I know about capturing impressions quickly, doing it often, doing it well, and IMPROVING your painting skill by improving your knowledge and EYE for color, form, and MORE! And once you begin to be a "busy" painter, you will need to know what to do with all the studies you make. I have a lot to say to the working artist and "hobbyist" alike, and will share it all on June 5 - 7. Join us if you can! Email me if you want more info. Our Saturday lesson will be about painting in quickly changing light...what better way than to capture the sunset and moonset...I will show how to paint TWO at a time.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Arizona Gold

"Arizona Gold"__18 x 18 oil on linen__available Memorial Day Weekend at the Phippen Museum Western Art Show
I have been preparing works for the Phippen Museum Western Art Show in Prescott, AZ. Here is one I favorite time of day in the desert: sunrise, when the air is cool, the quail are calling and the color is "full spectrum"...
I have another adventure on the way, as I will be leaving for Prescott, AZ in a few days, and painting along the way. Till then, I will preview new works, which you are the first to see, before I offer them at the shows and galleries...don't forget to ask me about my Fredericksburg, TX workshop on June 5 - 7... HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Heavy Morning on the Coosa

"Heavy Morning on the Coosa"__5 x 7___$100 (…I will remove the clip at the bottom…promise!)This was my warm-up painting on the day we painted on the Coosa River at the Southeastern Plein Air Festival in Gadsden, AL last week. It's a tiny one, but the mood is good. There is a little Egret flying by and sparkles in the water...This is a beautiful river in the northern hills of Alabama. The area reminds me a lot of Austin.... Workshop season is winding down for me. My Rockport workshops are done till Fall, the May 30 Workshop in Waxahachie, TX is full (well, we have room to squeeze in one or two more, MAX). But my big workshop in Fredericksburg, TX, June 5-7 has a few spots left, still. This will be a real working workshop, and I guarantee improvement and inspiration! I teach a few things that no one else touches and it's in the most beautiful part of Texas. I make myself available even "after hours" because there is always someone like me, who hates to end the day! in this case, we sill be painting at sunset and beyond on Saturday...a special session I have planned. The Friday evening is set aside for Fredericksburg's famous First Friday Art Walk event, and we'll have a reception at the school for my Last Year on the Farm paintings, but since the class will have already spent the day browsing the show, I will urge everyone to go to town and visit Whistle Pik Galleries and some of the other neat shops and restaurants...I am calling the workshop "Painting Fast Every Day...and What To Do With All Those Field Studies"...the long title says it all...I promise a good time and a LOT of improvement and info. Email me if you are interested

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mill Creek Morning_5x7

"Mill Creek Morning"_5x7 oil on linen__$100
Here is my warm-up painting at the vineyard, last week. I forgot to mention that these are local, native muscadine grapes grown here, and that they make wine from them. We had a little wine tasting for breakfast, and it was nice...very different from the "usual" wines...what I noticed first was the smell of the winery. It smelled sweet like grapes...rather, like the "grape flavoring" of Kool-Aid, or Pixie Stix or Skittles...that GRAPE that comes in purple, but doesn't taste like the grapes at the store...Muscdine grapes are really sweet and the wine really smells "grapey"... I bought a bottle of juice (really) and drank it up in two days....yum!
There is a winery very near the fredericksburg Artists School, and I just might take my workshop class there to paint...will scope out locations soon and let y'all know. One thing's for sure, we will paint the full moonrise in Fredericksburg, It will rise at 8:03 pm on Saturday, June 6...since the sun sets at 8:35, the sky will be light when it comes up and get darker slowly as the moon rises...PERFECT for painting...JOIN ME if you can!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Bad Day Fishing is STILL Better Than...

"A Bad Day Fishing is STILL Better Than..."__7 x 5 oil on linen panel__$100
Another one from my recent adventure at the Southeastern Plein Air Festival in Gadsden, AL.
I painted two different people fishing at this spot and never saw a fish get caught...but I never saw HAPPIER people, seems to be a lot like painting, on the "happiness scale"...
Please keep the sweet folks of Gadsden, AL in your prayers: a week before their first ever plein air festival, they lost Pat in a car wreck...she was a beloved museum board member, and we even had a party for her last Wednesday night. I sat by another board member, Sylvia, who was SO beautiful and interesting, telling me LOTS of stories about Gadsden and her rich life as a professional ballerina. Well, Sylvia was killed right after the event, in yet another tragic accident. Gadsden and the Museum are reeling from these two great losses....

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sunrise above the Falls

"Sunrise Above the Falls"___7 x 5 oil on linen panel___$100
A week ago I woke up in Gadsden, AL, ready to begin my week painting at the Southeastern Plein Air Festival. I was staying at this great little cabin above Noccoloola Falls, in a very secluded part of a campground. The water was roaring below and the morning was cool and bright. This was my very frst painting there. Each morning I started with a tiny canvas...painting quick and loose, not allowing myself any "oil changes", but just leaving it there as a sketch...THis one came out OK, I guess... My favorite part was when a couple geese flew by. See them up between the branches on the right side?
I will teach my "warm-up" technique at the Fredericksburg workshop in June (5-7). Please e-mail me if you wnat some details
* While travelling I lost a few mails :( I had a couple e-mails about the workshop last week...if that was you, PLEASE write back! :)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Down from the Waterfall

"Down From the Waterfall"___10 x 3 oil on linen panel___$150 click image to enlarge
ou'd have to buy this one from the Museum if you want it, but let me know if you do! ...A few days ago I posted my second (big) painting from the day we painted at the 100 foot high "Noccaloola Falls" ( though I probably called it NECK-aloola, or NUCK-aloosa)'s taken me a while to get the name right ...but I LOVED this long view of the water running away from the falls...the cabin I stayed in was down at the end of this water...and the place my hat blew over the edge was right here...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Rainy Early

"Rainy Early"---8 x 10 oil on linen___available in Gadsden for a reserve price of $200 or so
If you watch the Weather Channel (my favorite...and ESPN), you see the rain stretches across the South...I made it home from Alabama this morning and dodged the storms, even though that big one hit Dallas about an hour after my flight to Austin...whew!!!!...but yesterday morning I painted in a DRIVING RAINSTORM in Gadsden, Alabama, on a cozy porch downtown...Help the museum, if you some of this art for a steal!
Come to my June workshop and paint with me! Kevin from Gadsden will be there, and 6 or 7 other folks, so far! Sign up soon, because I keep the classes small, and we almost have enough!...HAPPY SUNDAY!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Her Fishing Spot

"Her Fishing Spot"___16 x 20 oil on canvas___Available this month for a special reserve price at the Gadsden Museum of Art__$900
Yesterday at Southeastern Plein Air, we spent the day on the loely Coosa River. I found Michelle there and she stayed long enough for me to do this larger canvas. The price on this is incredible, so give it a image to enlarge.
This has been the best run plein air event I have ever been to. What a team they have here, all working together to make it so special for the artists...none of us want to leave! We have been spoiled by great food, orderly schedules, super accommodations, beautiful locations...and you KNOW it's been done right when you hear the comments of the public looking at the art tonight: all making suggestions for next year's locations, and moving through the museum to find all the pieces by their favorite artists....If you are an artist, look into this ebvent for next year!...if you love great art, I hope you can get to Gadsden this month for some BEAUTIFUL WORKS by the best artists in this side of the USA...