Thursday, December 31, 2020


pastel on pastelbord 6"x9"

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky! Goodbye 2020! 

It's wonderful to work on a scene quickly, limiting myself to 1-2 days, before my strong feelings for the subject have a chance to die down. 

Still entranced with pastels, I'm finding they are sweetly agreeable when tackling the soft subject of clouds. Photo credit goes to Roger Brown, a lifetime good friend. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Turban Squash

pastel on pastel card 14"x17.5"

I'm continuing to try and teach myself pastels. My likes and frustrations are probably the same as other artists who struggle with the medium after being comfortable with using oils. I'm entranced by the texture, and the way areas can be left showing either lots of pastel strokes or else easily blended softness. I'm frustrated at not always having the exact colors I need (I have a somewhat small supply), as sometimes only a pure color is what is needed. 

This drawing took me two weeks, and is larger than I normally work. An oil this size would have taken me at least a month. So that's a plus. A minus is the way the dark colors of the background would rain down on the squash whenever I worked back there. And that I can't spray it!! I did purchase some expensive fixitive made specially for pastels and tried it on something else- it darkens and dulls the colors just like any other fixitive. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Half a Shell

pastel on pastelbord 9.5" x 19"

An instructor of mine from my days at PAFA (The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) thought that the practice of cropping a subject is a detriment to the world of painting. He would say that it broke the illusion of a "poetic" dimensional space by bringing too much attention to the edges. Since then I've become a fan of cropping intentionally. I like the tension it can create, and the element of surprise.