Figurative and Life Drawing Paintings by Elin Pendleton, AAEA, NAPA, WAOW
Recent paintings by Elin Pendleton. AAEA
Horse Paintings by Elin Pendleton
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Figurative paintings by Elin Pendleton, AAEA
Still life paintings by Elin Pendleton,AAEA
Landscape paintings by Elin Pendleton, AAAEA
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The Daily Paintings






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Updated 4/12/11

Paintings of People, Life Drawing (some), and Groups

Elin has been painting the human form for over thirty years, beginning with life drawing back in the late 60s. This body of work includes paintings from live models and also from her own reference material.

A couple of my reference photos of this girl washing "her favorite racehorse" at Del Mar caught my eye, and so I composited it up onto a 12 x 12 inch box canvas.  
  12 x 12 inches, on gallery-wrap (no framing needed) and I'm enjoying the painting of human figures these few days.  $400 from me, or

I'm so happy I brought my watercolors in a quick dash for the camper as we left for Santa Barbara! The aikido seminar with Seventh Dan Donovan Waite was absolutely exhausting in both mind and body! But what an opportunity to study the fluid movements of this master of aikido!

So what could I do but paint the effects of seeing the flow and energy in the training? Here is a watercolor, about 7 x 5 inches, of two partners in motion, one receiving the art and doing a high fall, and the one giving the art in a balanced, centered position.

This painting is a 6 x 6 gallery-wrap oil, and just a bit of fun.  Called "In the Park" it shows a man and his dog, both taking what we call "practice naps".  Perhaps he was at an obedience trial?  Or retired and just enjoying the day in the park.  No matter who or why, the scene is timeless, and tinged with humor. 

$125 from me


"A Swish and A Wash" I'm never more astonished than when I uncover something that I could hardly remember creating.

  The story behind this watercolor (!) is that I painted it when dirt was new while enrolled in a figurative painting class at Ventura College, on the coast of California.  Watercolor was how we learned to do quick studies, and I must have done fifty of them. This one was the best of the lot. I gave it to my aunt and uncle, and they had it professionally framed under glass in the gold you see here.  
  The work itself shows youthfulness, no color sense, and yet the proportions on the figure are better than one would expect.  I can remember putting in the squares on the lower right, exploring my new knowledge of negative space. I thought that they would add interest and movement.
  As you look at it, I hope you realize that making art is all about growing, not about arriving.  This work is signed in ink with the name I used at that time (Patricia Thomas), lower right, with a number 1/20 as though it was a print. I didn't know anything about print runs, so numbering this original is a splendid example of my ignorance.  20 x 13.5 inches, in gold frame, $300 for a piece of history.

"TSA" I found myself with about two hours wait until my flight to Dallas/Fort Worth sitting in the Ontario airport on a recent trip. I took out my watercolors and did this portrait of the many security people evident around the area now. He was restless, and moved a lot, but seemed to have that almost blank stare so often seen in folks with his job description. It was tough to catch his pose, but I did get his "look", which doesn't require too many details.
  I actually like the end result. It is a whole lot easier to translate the color system to a new medium--like having a familiar friend! 

This 6 x 6 unique watercolor painting is available for $100 from me, or with the press of the button below.

December 21

"The Rock Pickers" Many years ago, I traveled with some friends to Baja California. These two friends were developing a very special relationship together, and passed many hours on our four-day trip talking and collecting rocks on the beach south of Ensenada. I lost touch with them when they moved to Washington. Original oil on board, 8 x 10 inches. $200

"Memories" I just don't know WHAT is going on in my head. I have commissions to do, and yet here I am picking up old photo albums and finding images that just MUST be painted! Go figure. The end results are sort of astonishing to me, however; as they come off the brushes with incredible facility and strength. Something going on here. This image is an oil on masonite, and is of my paternal grandmother Bessie Dale Thomas. The source photo was taken in 1911 at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I love the dressand hat and the pose is pure Thomas. I've been told I look like her. This is a 12 x 9 inch image, and is for sale with all that thick paint, for $250

"At Ease in Himself" This painting came off the acrylic brushes tonight, with a "look". Do you see it? He knows who he is, what he can do, and where he's going. Lots of appeal in that kind of man. The Bushrod Gentry character in "Many Rivers to Cross" perhaps, or the Sam Elliot macho man, with attitude.  Without fail, though, this was the kind of man who made me sit up and take notice as a younger woman!  It's so much fun to have the skill now to paint them any time I want one. The painting is an 10 x 8 canvas, and if it doesn't sell, I just might hang it in the guest bathroom! I may do it anyway because I enjoy looking at him! $200

"Now what?" He's got his coffee, and has a *look* on his face.  Could be he broke too many broncs and the pieces of his face don't fit together so well any more.  Could be he thinks you're a greenhorn!  Could be he's got some inner joke going on, but regardless of the reason, he has a Mona Lisa smile on his craggy face.  Can you see it there, in the twinkle of his eye?  Original oil, 12 x 9 inches.
  Enough already, it is after midnight and this is the same fellow pouring the coffee from yesterday, but now he's going to down some of his brew. Featured on my advertising post card.
  Fun to paint tho', even if it is night owl time!
Today's painting is another 6 x 8 (I have a couple boxes of them and they just keep popping up on my easel) of a girl I'm either calling "Yellow Dress" or "Before Milking".
  Had a lot of fun painting the figure, trying to get the nuances of the arm shapes and her pose to look relaxed.  Buckets are a passel of fun to paint!  And the source was a black and white old time photo, so I had to brighten up her dress and give her a contemporary hair and "look".  Using the Color System made painting the lights and shadows on the grass near and into the distance a piece of cake.  
  Now I have a cat sitting here next to the keyboard wondering if I am going to feed her.  That's the Pesto kitty, so named for her consistent need for attention.  Perhaps she will be tomorrow's subject?
"Sharing a Cup"  I drink coffee.  Love the stuff.  I even have a Capresso 1300 automatic machine in the studio, I'm that bad about it.  OK, I drink decaf.  Now don't jump all over me about health risks, I know the story.  I just love the aroma, the flavors, the... nevermind.  Today's painting is about coffee.  It is about sharing the pouring of a cup of java between friends.  It is only 12 x 12 inches, and FELL off my brushes. I just love the guy's hands.  Nice to have the muse back in the house!  This from source material taken at Big Bear in 2003.  I keep references for ages, because back in '03 I didn't have the skills to tackle this subject.  We can grow into our source material!
$300 from me.

"Military Re-enactment Memories" This painting is all about the color notes in the shirt, really.  I wish you could see the amazing array of color in the shadow side of thie garment, and also enjoy the purple in the hat. There is much more than this digital shows. I like the nondescript loofk of this fellow--no urges to make him into Tom Selleck! He is "Mr. Ordinary", which means he is probably somebody pretty extraordinary to a lady out there somewhere. Original oil, 12 x 9. $200

"Madeleine Thomas, Jan. 1, 1908 - April 8, 2006, aka Mom" When one chooses to remember a loved one, it ought not be the image of the last moments spent with them, their physical frame hardly recognizable as the specter of death approaches.  Better to remember the light in their eyes, imagery of earlier times, and more.  My vigil continues with my mother, and I brought my brushes again.  Concentrating on the image of my mother as a younger, vital woman distracts me from the reality of the shell of the person I love beside me.  I'm sending this from her room, as I am staying the night, since her time is near.  I do these paintings because I love her, and I need to be here to lift her spirit to the next life.
  This amazing woman got her private pilot's license while living in Hawaii in the late 1930's, and was there for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, too.  I chose a black and white photograph of her in the flying cap and goggles, as I know her spirit will be soaring again soon, to meet up with my father who left in 1998 after 57 years of marriage.  
  Here on Earth I will have her sparkle and smile in this painting forever.  Original oil on board, 12 x 9 inches. Not a chance it will be for sale.

(Three hours after I painted this, she died.)

"Mom, Resting (Last Days)"--April 2006
I spent my day caring for my mom, and as you can expect, brought my brushes. I did this 8 x 10 oil while she was resting. When I look at it, I see so much more in the painting than it's just being a painting. I see technical certainty from miles of canvas, I see good design. But I also see a complete infusion of me, the artist, in the work. Along with that, I also see the reason for the work, the merit of the subject, and what I have been trying to do for many years--connect the work to the world at large and capture a specific moment of living--of life.
"Mom, Resting" is not for sale.

"Detail Man" Folks not familiar with the horse industry might not know the significance of folks like this fellow and hundreds like him, who are the real backbone of what goes on in the show ring and race track. Men, and women, who work in the stable area cleaning tack, cleaning stalls--to me they have great value, and I honor them by painting their portraits. And besides, they are very appealing!

Original oil, 12 x 9 inch canvas, currently showing at the American Academy of Equine Art Spring Show, Georgetown, Kentucky, at the Spindletop Hall.

I spent this morning finishing up this fellow for the lesson page--don't have a title for him yet.  You can see what I've done to finish up the painting by comparing it to yesterday's image.  I also included a detail shot of his head and torso below. 
I think I will take him up to Cattlemens next month, and might spend another couple hours on him, making some corrections.  Sometimes the paint just goes where you need it to, and some other times, what seems easy on reflection is going down the wrong road! Still, US $550...  

"You've Got A Friend" I was sent a photograph by a member of the Equine Art Guild, and finally made the time to do this 9 x 12 oil painting. I just loved the idea of the young girl going through the angst of being a teenager, and the only animal that seems to understand is her horse. Available and entered in the Animals in Art show at the Louisiana Veterinary College.
"Junk Man" I have wanted to paint this fellow and his valued possessions since I took the reference shots way back in the 1980s. Imagine having a painting stick in one's head until one's ability catches up to the task. I paint this one in honor of all the new friends I have made because of the kind generosity of Robert Genn in his latest newsletter. There is some really sly symbolic humor poking fun at myself in it as well. Original oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches. This museum-quality painting can be purchased directly from the me, for $1400, framed or unframed.
"Fishing Buddies" Another big painting, this one 30 by 36 inches! I went back to my palette of five colors plus white again, as an exercise to refresh my hand with these colors. Available for US $ 750.
"The Young Spinner" My goodness, it is 11:30 pm.  These daily paintings are getting later and later, but you know?  It seems to help somehow.  This is a 7 x 5 inch linen canvas mounted to board, and I just thoroughly enjoyed painting her from reference material I'd taken years ago over where many re-enactment folks gather.  The rim light on her face, bonnet and on the spinning wool just gave me such joy to depict!
"Merry Go Round" Miniature This is one of my pleasures, painting these tiny little canvases. This one is only three inches tall by 1 7/8 inches wide. Orignal acrylic on silk canvas

"Three on a Roll" When reenactment folks get together, the action never stops! Here are three of the Cross Creek Cowboys having a fun time (all in play for the camera) and Elin has forever captured their play on this 24 x 24 gallery wrap canvas. Available for US $650 from the artist. Fabulous!

" The Trainer" Girls and horses.  And coaches to help them succeed in jumping courses.  Here is an adorable scene of four pre-teens with their coach walking the course before they are to take their horses over the jumps.  Original oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches. US $ 500 Purchase from the artist
"Californio" With oils, Elin paints the re-enactment figures that have modeled for the Women Artists of the West on occasion. This fellow is "Sweet Eyes", so named because of his liquid dark, sensuously kind eyes. Original oil on canvas, 24 x 12 inches, US $400 Email to purchase or inquire
"Remembering: Civil War" Elin paints figurative works that are more than just portraits.  This studio work is from many reference photographs of period constumed individuals such as the Cross Creek Cowboys.  In the story behind this painting, the wife holds the hat of her officer husband, missing in the Civil War.  Original oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches US $400 Email to purchase from the artist
"Lisa in Black Gloves"    The model Lisa stayed in this pose for an hour and a half, with several small breaks in between.  Elin found this piece to be the most "finished" of her paintings, and then decided to work on the smaller 12 x 9 studies.   Original Oil Painting, 12 x 16 inches. US$ 225  Purchase with your credit card
"The Hotfoot"    Elin takes many photographs of the people she rides with, and here are several of the weekend cowboys playing a prank on the sleeping figure of one of their own.  Original acrylic painting on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.US$ 2100 Purchase with your credit card

Life Studies

As a part-time faculty member of the Art Department at Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Elin drops in on the Life Drawing class for a few painting sessions during the semester.  The poses hone her skills at capturing a likeness, and painting intuitively.

"Sage Woman, Lifting Eyes" One of the images from the 20 minute poses.  Elin captured the strength of this woman, with her hard life and practical outlook.  Oil on canvas, 12 x 9 inches US$ 185 Purchase with your credit card
"Waiting" A reclining woman, aloof and impervious to her nudity, she awaits...what?  Original oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches.US$ 225 Purchase with your credit card
"Another Lily" I recalled line about the "pound of flesh"  (was that Shakespeare?) and renovated a life study I had.  I love the pensive look of this lady, and also the loose brushwork.  This study probably was from a 15 minute pose, as that was the length of these studies.  This is an unsigned oil study (I cropped out my signature for better design) of a model named "Lily" 14 x 11. It was done with thin layers underneath before the thick lights were laid on in the second pass.
  I wish more of my work would get like this.  But it seems to work best for quick studies only. 

Available for $249 from me.