Has it really been 3 weeks since my last post? Graduate school, coordinating preschool and elementary school schedules, children's social calendar, responsibilities at work, at home, etc, etc. have consumed my time... (sigh) leaving little room for conceptualizing art and painting...and therefore, little time or fuel for blogging.Struggling for balance, I find myself retreating from the unnecessary... "stuff" that I often feel compelled to do relating to art... the exhibits, juried competitions, gallery responsibilities...and even teaching and blogging. Allowing time for the doing...allowing myself the time to clear the chatter in my mind and paint. Art is good for that, not only in the doing, but also the viewing...quieting chatter...calming the spirit.
This is a painting in progress I began a few weeks ago. Pastel (18X24) on an Ampersand Pastelbord. Most pastelist will agree I have an odd method for approaching the painting...to compartmentalize and work a section to completion. Having never taken a pastel class, this process feels natural for me. Much of my work is grounded in realism and therefore, requires a degree of spatial believability. That is...for me to create the feeling of perspective necessary to make this object (a stem) appear in front of that object (a blossoming bud for example), I must work that shape in the order as it occurs in space (from back to front). Since I have tested the composition and design as either a thumbnail value study (or after so many, in my mind), I have a mental picture of what the completed painting needs to be, the placement of lines, shapes, values to make the painting work and maintain a sense of harmony. For me, pastel is a precise medium, every stroke deliberately placed. If I have plan and know where I am going from the beginning, I can work one shape at a time. Sure, I probably don't have to work each shape to completion...but I just can't help myself...each shape is beautiful in itself.