Sunday, May 8, 2011


Seagrass , 2011
11 x 14 inches, soft pastel on Fawn Wallis paper
The Pastel adventure continues - with a new paper and shredded fingertips.

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....



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