Art Wall: For the Love of Color

Art Wall: For the Love of Color

“…Standing in the cold with…a seismically red autumn leaf…it’s color hitting our senses like a blow from a stun gun,…we stand with a huge grin, too paralyzed by the intricately veined gaudiness of the leaf to move.” — Diane Ackerman, “A Natural History of the Senses”, 1990, p 256, Random House

It is all about color! I have always reacted very strongly to it. As my favorite author Diane Ackerman describes above, I am sometimes too stunned to move. I paint with pastels because of this love for pure color.

Pastel sticks are pure pigment with binder added to keep them together. The less binder, the purer the pigment, the softer the pastel. Soft pastels blend beautifully and create lovely, painterly brushstrokes. I use hard pastels and pencils for straight edges and fine details.

I layer color over color to create blends. I work with sticks, pencils, and rubber smudgers. With pastels, I can make wonderful marks to create texture and depth. Although I do tend to favor detail in my paintings, the freedom of loosening up allows me to experiment with a variety of styles. Occasionally, I begin with a watercolor underpainting which adds a glowing, atmospheric effect. I find pastels a fascinating medium to work in.

My subjects are eclectic. If a scene strikes me, I’ll try it. I find the challenge exhilarating! My paintings are about celebrating color I find in the world around me. I have fallen deeply in love with this medium and I am having way too much fun!


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