March 1

"Power of Pastel"

So why is this blog called the “Power of Pastel?” If you are familiar with my recent work at all, you know that my travels have led me down a very dusty path to a love affair with pastels. I believe pastel paintings – yes, they are considered paintings, and not drawings- can be every bit as powerful as other mediums- oil paintings may get more respect in a gallery setting, and command more money, but there are artists that can create images in pastel that can blow your mind. Here are a few from Rosalba Carriera (top two) from over 250 years ago! So lush and alive! When I first started, I had a hard time getting the pastels to do what I wanted them to do, so over time I have found a system ranking pastels according to their “power” . This has given me a lot of control over the medium and I guess it is like anything – you have to practice until it becomes secondary. NO one can pick up a violin and expect to play amazingly well in a few weeks or months, and yet we, as artists, expect that to happen in art! Weirder still, others expect us to do that too and when we create what I call “struggle pieces” boy, are people ready to give their opinion! More about “powers” to come! Also shown below are piece by Robert Nanteuil from the year 1663 (second to last) and Maurice-Quentin de La Tour in 1741 (bottom).

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