Demo in process, Still Life in Chalk Pastel class

I am working on a two week pastel painting, a demo for my Tuesday night class. I will finish it up next week, but here are some in-progress images…

Note that I am keeping as loose as possible, with overlapping edges that I can refine as needed. Symmetrical objects like vase usually need tweaking near the end to make them ‘feel right’.

BTW the apples are real, but the jar of peonies is pure fiction, just donated to my pile of props by a business neighbor.

First Sketch, Peonies and Apples
First Sketch, Peonies and Apples


Peonies and Apples, layering color
Peonies and Apples, layering color


Peonies and Apples, continued layering
Peonies and Apples, continued layering
Peonies and Apples, fleshing out peonies
Peonies and Apples, fleshing out peonies


Still Life set-up and painting, in progress
Still Life set-up and painting, in progress

Come visit us in Crockett this weekend!

crockett-open-studio-mapJoin us to celebrate the opening of Sugar City Atelier

and enjoy the

Crockett Artists Open Studios and Gallery shows



Jody Mattison, Doug Riggs, Anna Rockwell and Randall Sexton

have opened a new teaching and studio space
in the historic Epperson Building

We will be showing work as well as opening our new studio to the public


Historic Downtown Crockett

Saturday and Sunday November 5th and 6th, 12PM-5PM

Epperson Building

1400 Pomona St, Crockett, CA 94525
Gallery and Artists Open Studios
Epperson Gallery opening for new exhibition EAT, 4 -7 on Saturday

“Milano” Building

706 2nd Ave. Crockett, CA 94525
Gallery and Artists Open Studios
Milano Arts Gallery opening for
new exhibition INGREDIENTS, 4 – 8 Saturday

And Much More…..

Come Celebrate The Arts in Crockett and explore our very unique corner of the Bay Area!
Grab a drink at Toot’s or The Warehouse, lunch at the Valona Deli, bring your bicycles, dogs or Harleys, shop at 2nd Hand, eat at Bull Valley, visit C&H Museum, Old Historical House, fish, walk, or hike with or without dog, enjoy the view at Dead Fish or Nantucket Restaurants.

for information contact
or call Jody at 925-997-3315

An enjoyable evening at Las Juntas Artist Association

This is me, demonstrating still life painting for a most gracious group of artists in Pleasant Hill, the Las Juntas Artist Association.

 This is the second time I painted in front of this group… The first time, five years or so ago, I did an burnt umber underpainting and partial grisaille of a teapot in residence at St. Mark’s Church Center where they meet.

The painting has been kicking around my studio ever since, mocking me as an unfinished representation of a still life series I am slowly working on. Not having the actual teapot in my possession, I have been reluctant to work from the photo I took.

I brought this unfinished painting along, just in case the teapot had survived all of these years intact. I also brought a grisaille of a pear and cherries to lay color on, and a blank canvas and vase should I have no teapot set to work from.

Amazingly, the teapot still exists, along with its lil friend sugar pot! So I set them up, fixing the light and positioning as best as I could based on the painting, and used it for my demo:


I used the grisaille pear to demonstrate layering color over the gray

And so ends another Wednesday night!


Omg black pastel paper

I decided to use up some of the black paper left after I have used all of the lovely gray in my Strathmore pad… Mind bender! 

Many artists used toned paper or canvas, something in a middle tone. I prefer that myself… Lets me work in the darks and the lights, and the value of a color is more easily determined.

Some artists trained themselves to work on a white canvas, and I sometimes work on white, and easily get my darks laid in before going to mid-tones and lights

But working on a black ground, wow! My mind flipped. It was a real struggle to block out mid to light shapes first, rather than mid to dark. 

Started getting the hang of it towards the end of the session… Whew!

Portrait of Chris, pastel on paper 

Contemporary Realist Painting

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