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I'm so close. Forty-four oil paintings. While I feel some excitement about reaching my goal of fifty, there's a bit of a sense of melancholy to go with it. Really, I'm just getting into my groove. I finally feel comfortable painting in oils. I suppose that means I set a good goal for myself. And, it will be interesting to see how my oil work affects my pastel work. But I don't want to stop!

I'm especially happy with my latest piece, Ascension. It was one of those that could go either way at the planning stages, then becomes a pleasant surprise in final form. Some aspects of it were deliberate, such as the stormy gray-greens contrasting with red and orange. But the tasty deep-reddish purples sort of appeared unexpectedly at the end, after I had signed the piece, in fact. I walked away for a few hours then came back to find the painting begging for purple. Paintings are quirky creatures. They just do that sometimes.