Extreme Plein Air Pastels

While cleaning out my inbox—a task that has filled up most of the morning—I came across some cool images I received several months ago from plein-air painter D.F. Gray, who served as a panelist in Deborah Secor’s Special Report for our April issue (“The Best Bang for Your Buck,” on page 78).

Ship Points September 8th (28×38)

The report focused on smart investments for artists, and Gray’s item of choice was his Olympus C-5060 Wide Zoom digital camera. The artist uses the camera not only for reference images, but also for the benefit of clients. Whenever someone purchases one of Gray’s paintings, he or she also gets a photo card of the work and a CD containing the photos shot the day it was created—“to show them the flavor of the day their pastel was painted,” Gray says.

Here are some images from Gray painting on a dramatic day at Ships Point in the Gulf of Georgia on Sept. 8, 2007. As he explained in an e-mail, “The day started out blue with scattered clouds depicted in the pastel, but ended up dark and threatening.”

The start of the piece

Gray working

The sky just a few shades deeper than in the beginning

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