Monday, January 4, 2016

My New Adventure in Pastels

 As an artist for over 30 years I have learned to love the excitement when something new comes along that puts my creative juices’ in to overdrive. It doesn't matter the time of day or night when the new attack comes it’s almost a need to run to the workshop and see what happens. 

That’s what it was like when I watch a YouTube video late one evening. I have a passion for sunrises and sunsets and I was watching this fellow pick up several different pastels and scribble what I would call ugly marks on a piece of My Tense paper.  My computer mouse at this point was hovering over the delete button ready to pounce as what looked like a collection of ugly scribble marks were laid down and the supposed picture and it seemed hopeless, and believe me after 30 years of art and teaching I am trained to know ugly. But just before the tap on the delete button this fellow took the palm of his hand and began to rub, shoving pastel color up, down and in swirls and a miracle arose from the paper for sure, a beautiful sunset beginning. Then he proceeded to bring clouds and highlight out of the base sunset colors and I was hooked. Even better I had a cheap set of pastels in the shop I used in scrapbooking and 10 PM or not out to the shop I went.  It was a struggle to make the ugly collection of color marks but I ask the Lord to bless the palm of my hand and like magic it was happening. I felt my art journey had just made a huge turn in a new direction and I was excited.  I will never give up my watercolors but these are not only fun but are relatively fast in comparison to my oils or watercolors. 

My husband was somewhat impressed and that is a bit unusual. He was ready to immediately buy me a good set of pastels and pastel pencils. Pastels handle quite different than anything I have ever used but the experience has been exciting.  As a person who has struggled over the years with my love of detail pastels has help me ride myself of photo like detail and learn the love of applying a base that with on stroke of highlight the viewer is invited into the painting to explore on their own. I have a lot to learn but love the challenge. 

Here is a sample of some of my first with the ugly's and the finished piece as I tried to learn to handle these little pieces pastels. 

This last piece was on request from my husband which by the way seldom happens especially to request a snow scene. The look of pastels has a soft, I guess I will use the word romantic feel to it. This sunset just gave me a sense of peace as the Lord brings an end to another day with the hope of a new day coming. 

I'm not sure just how I would teach this in a class but I love demonstrating a few pieces for I have come to love the thrill of the first ugly stage and see the magic come forth out the mess. 

I have also been trying to move to other subjects like glass, birds and other animals. I want to try some flowers but my love of realism and
detail in my flower painting will be fun to try to over come in this new medium.                                                                                                                                                                                                       The moral of the story is to venture out of your comfort zone. Move to a place that feels unknown and just maybe you will be rewarded with a exciting new experience that was completely unexpected.

I so thank the Lord for the beauty of his evening and morning sky's to those who take time to look. Also for the love of creating he placed in me. For God is the Creator of all time. One must never forget all creation lives to testify to who He is.                                                                                                                                                                                        

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