My Blog List

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

That's a Wrap.

I finally got away from my stove and back to the studio where I stumbled on this pastel in it's primary state of finish lying on the floor. It needed a tad more deelopment--even though I had sprayed it with fixative a few days ago. I took it back to the bar--my watercolor, pastel, graphite, colored pencil drawing station,(and Honey's source of irritation since my stuff has spilled out of the confines of the studio into his space)and lit into it again. This time paying no attention to the reference photo. When nothing more occurred to me to do, I was done--it was done.

Pastels are a wonderful sketching medium. They're fast. No mixing of colors to get a color. That goes on on the support. I like them as much as I like water soluble markers. But they are dirtier--lots of chalk dust on clothes, on the bar counter top, on hands--and they don't travel very well. The direct approach and speed they allow makes up for the shortcomings. The attributes allow for spontaneous response to the subject, a mindless, right-on link to whatever emotions the subject conjures up.

When I say mindless, I don't mean like duh. The years of doing, laboring and learning have been absorbed and have become part of you. With a piece of chalk in hand, you just respond to what you see. You can get the same spontaneous action with charcoal, markers, graphite sticks, conte crayons, Crayola crayons with no drying time outs.

The drawing sessions are easy going, but feverish too--just you, the chalk, the paper; all are one. The drawing session is a totally automatic affair with the best results: The finished product is always much more lively than longer, slower more calculated drawings. There's nothing static about it. There's motion and emotion in every stroke. These kinds of paintings are called action paintings and I do love the action. But there's a time to stop and call it a wrap. With my action drawings, it's usually after two sessions with some degree of separation in between.

Late Fall Woods, pastel on medium textured Strathmore drawing paper, 14 x 17, had it's final finish. I signed it and went frame shopping. I like the effect of the gold brushed bamboo. What do you think should the frame compliment the painting or the furnishings of the home it will decorate?


  1. It should compliment again, if you are daring u can pick something that will draw attention to the painting to make that your focal pt.

  2. Dear Linda,
    Congratulations on your finishing up the lovely work. The post on pastels is spot on, and indeed, the relation between an artist and her/his favorite media. I feel your great love for pastels in "personification;)" Of me, watercolor:)!
    Cheers, Sadami

  3. Hi Chrissy: I agree picture frames should complement the painting and then the furnishings. This painting is too small to be a focal point though; it could only be a unit in a grouping or on it own in an area of lesser importance-- i.e. a position on a stairwell.

    Hi Sadami: This is what makes horse racing. I like pastels and similar for sketching. You like the wet mediums. All of it is makes for a good time.