Month: May 2016

Embracing My Medium

Today I gave up the charcoal pencils and two pastel pencils I was using, trying to channel Jim Dine, for my Sennelier and Girault pastels, still in just a few colors, yellows, golds, blood red, and black/gray/white.  I’ve never been able to limit my palette before.  I’m not sure I always want to do that, but I like it in this picture.  I think it’s the Dine influence, still a bit there, letting me do that. Pastel is definitely my medium.  I just love its richness, despite the nuisance of the mess, it often feeling like I’m drawing with a broomstick, the difficulty of framing and preserving them, etc.  The richness and texture and depth of color trumps all that.  In the background of this picture it is thick enough, even on this Strathmore pastel paper – no grit – to let me smoosh it around, my absolute favorite place to find myself with pastels.  People often can’t figure out why I use Senneliers, because they’re so soft, but they do that smooshing thing so nicely. …

Whipping It Off In the Style of….

  I have been struggling with thinking I should whip off drawings that have a freedom and life to them, particularly at the Sundial Still Life Sundays and for warming up and sketching in between working on fully finished pieces.  Part of my motivation is that all the drawing books/classes/etc. say that you should do this, that it will make you a better artist.  The other motivation is that I feel that I’ve had a very static, fill-it-all-in, pretty boring way of working in all but maybe one of the pieces I’ve done.  But when I sit down to whip something off, I haven’t been able to do it.  When I try, what I produce is just a sloppy mess; I hate what I’m doing, don’t think it’s worth any time, and quit drawing for the day altogether in total disgust and discouragement.  I realize one thing I’m forgetting is that drawings that have the qualities that make them look whipped off might not be.