|Seagrass , 2011|
11 x 14 inches, soft pastel on Fawn Wallis paper
The piece above is based on a visit to New Smyrna Beach, Florida a few years back. Having never been on a sandy WARM ocean beach, I took hundreds of photos of sand, grass in sand, gulls on sand, water on sand .... I was mesmerized by the soft white sugary sand. This year I thought I would like to paint some sand ....
I thought I would try some Wallis pastel paper for this latest piece, and bought a sheet. Little did I realize it was basically a heavy grit sandpaper giving an Oscar-winning performance as a specialty art paper.
Don't get me wrong - it's a beautiful paper for pastel work, but oh my, does it tear up skin!
You see, after a couple days of frustration with the piece not working the way I could see in my head, I decided to erase the grasses and just focus on the sand. So I became mesmerized yet again by the shifting shapes in the sand, blending the pastel colours into the paper with my fingers, applying lavenders, pinks, blues, yellows, blending again ....
After a few hours I stood back and said - Yes! That's how I remembered the sand. I washed my hands and - OUCH! I had a monster blister, which when it flattened turned out to be grooves in my fingertips -- I had sanded my fingertips down!
That was yesterday - my fingertips still hurt (you would not believe the difficulty keyboarding with shredded tips).
So today the grasses went in with pastel pencil, and my fingertips were covered with band-aids and finger cots (think latex gloves with the palms missing). Much easier on the fingers, but a little strange for blending.
Oh well, I'll get used to it. The things an artist does for her art - sigh.
Anyway, I'm learning about pastels in leaps and bounds, and they are fast becoming my second favourite medium.
I think I'll do another beach scene - hmmmm....