|"Your blocking my view" pastel|
Why do so many artists shy away from the medium of pastel? Why does it always seem to me as if pastels are the ugly stepchild of other artist’s materials? Maybe I am a bit biased. I love pastels and I have worked with them for years.
I get the reasoning. There are issues when using pastels. The pigment dust gets everywhere, the painting can smear and you must frame it under glass. When you spray a fixative (which I rarely use) the whole painting changes colors. And then there is the issue of your hand that always seems to be a bit large and can wipe the slate clean in a moment of carelessness.
Through the years I have learned certain things. I always cover my work in progress. This guards against little art critic birds that somehow manage to fly in through a door carelessly left ajar without my knowledge. Oh, yes, bird doo doo is impossible to remove from a half completed pastel.
And while I am on a rant, why do I always feel the need to explain to non-artists that pastel is a kind of chalk? Sometimes they stare at me like they totally understand and then I realize that the quizzical looks are really quite quizzical!
I just finished a new pastel painting with the intention of entering it in a local fine arts exhibit and I discover that there are very few entries, so few in fact, that they will not even be judged. This particular exhibit is in its 60th year! I work in many mediums. I like acrylic, watercolor and graphite. And stigma that it may be, I like pastel.
So tell me…”Who’s afraid of the big bad pastel, la la la la la?”