Friday, April 1, 2011

The Quest




I love my Acrylic paints and pastels, don’t get me wrong, but I find I am a lot like my cat, constantly changing.  I don’t change my sleeping places but I do like to mix up whatever medium I am working with.

At the moment I am working in colored pencil.  I have quite a variety of pencils since I am on a quest looking for the one that lives up to my expectations.  I mix brands of all kinds, thick lead, thin leads and leads in between. 

What is my quest, you ask?  When I was just a little kid my mom would pretty much force me to visit my aunt for the weekend.  I wasn’t too crazy about visiting but there was something that made it a bit more palatable.  I knew on Saturday she would take me down to a store on Main Street and buy me a color by number set of Venus Paradise colored pencils.  I’d toss the color by number section as soon as I got home and use my notebook paper, paper bags, anything available to lay down that thick soft buttery color.

For weeks I’d use my Venus paradise pencils until I had sharpened them down to a nub.  I am what passes for an adult now and Venus paradise is out of business!  So, as a result, my quest has not uncovered any buried treasure.

Were these pencils really that good? I know that things seem different when you are little.  I remember returning to one of my old primary schools and discovering that it had shrunk!  How does an entire school shrink?  Maybe I am making these pencils somewhat of a holy grail and when I do manage to dig up a couple I will be disappointed to discover that they are just as ordinary as my school. 

Anyway for Paint Party Friday at paintpartyfriday.blogspot.com  I offer a pencil sketch titled “Reaching out.” Does anyone else remember these pencils?  Am I on a wild goose chase?  Only time will tell.


35 comments:

♥Jan♥ said...

Hi Crystal...this is just wonderful! I love your story too and I know this feeling only to well.
I hope you find your pencils so you will know the answer :) Or maybe it's better to just keep the memory...

SHERI C said...

Love the work. It makes me feel "friendship" or "mutual understanding".
I hope you find your pencils that you seek...

maddyrose said...

I don't remember the pencils you're in search of but do have the same memories about crayons. I remember them being so much richer and smoother than they are now. I also have many brands of pencils. Of the ones I have I prefer my FaberCastell Design Spectracolor ones that I've had for more than 20years. I like your drawing and the colors you used.

Lee said...

Crystal, never heard of those pencils, I favor prismacolor and have the thick ones, the blocks and very thin for various purposes.

I am on a similar quest for watercolor pencils.

Your painting is wonderful - excellent detail, shading and texture.

In edit, use Compose (not HTML) you can highlight/select the picture and click the hyperlink symbol at the top and type or copy in the URL. You can even test it before you publish and VOILA! the photo becomes a link.

Heather said...

Dear Crystal,
My school shrunk, too! hee hee!
do you know how talented you are? this drawing is AMAZING!
not familiar with those pencils. hopefully you can find them again someday, even if it just to relive childhood...why do we have to grow up anyway??? hee hee!!! have a great weekend!

Roban Studio said...

Hi Crystal,
Loving the hands. I like to use different mediums too, and I remember the venus pencils. I think it's a little of both...things seem different as a kid, but...products have changed over the years and clearly are not as good as they used to be. Crayons are a very good example..way more waxy than they used to be.

As for the link...copy Kristin's code for the button, click the HTML link in your new post and hit "Paste". Then go back to "compose" mode and you will see your button with link attached.

Happy Friday!

Gloria said...

Hi Crystal. What a great story, I really enjoyed it. I don't know about the Venus pencils. Try checking for them online. I love your hands, lots of detail. Hands are so hard to draw but you have done a great job! Hope you find the pencils,now you have me wondering. Tee Hee.

Gloria said...

http://sxchristopher.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/venus-paradise-regained/

Here's a link for the pencils you were talking about. Perhaps you may be able to find some. Take care.

Christine said...

Crystal, this is fantastic, reminds me of Michaelangelo and DaVinci!

LadyCat said...

I haven't heard of the pencils. Maybe try ebay...they have everything : )
I love the hands and the title "Reaching Out". When I was young, I did a drawing titled "Reach Out of the Darkness", inspired by the song. I hadn't thought about that in years : )

Maggie said...

Love your work, the hands are beautiful! I don't remember Venus Paradise colored pencils, but I do know that things change, not always for the better. The Berol Prismacolor pencils were much better than the Sanford Prismacolor.

Msartist said...

I love your hands! Like you I like to mix things up creatively. Happy PPF! Theresa

Jenny Blair said...

Oh, that is so funny but so true...my school shrunk too! I love how you have such a wonderful memory of those pencils..and what a reward for visiting an aunt! :) I hope you do discover a pencil that comes close to those you speak about!(Afraid I've never heard of them!)
Stunning pencil drawing and wonderful sentiments behind it...you have captured reaching out beautifully :)

EVA said...

I hope you find some! Unfortunately I've never heard of them.

I love this handshake! Beautiful and powerful!

Kristin Dudish said...

You expressed your sentiments with the shrinking school so eloquently... I know the feeling.

I hope you find your ideal pencils (I'm a prismacolor user, myself.)

Your hands are beautiful.

xo
Kristin

p.s. I can totally relate to switching mediums!

Pam Tucker said...

This is beautiful! Hands are very hard to capture, I think. I love these colors.
I found myself nodding in agreement with you when you said the entire school had shrunk. So true! My how things change over time. ;)
Good luck on your quest for the perfect pencils!

Marlene said...

The hands are done so beautifully. Never heard of those pencils either, hope you find what you want.

Theresa said...

I don't remember the pencils:( Your piece is AmaZinG!!!! I enjoy switching around too!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I was a big (BIG) Venus paradise color set girl! You can occasionally find them on Ebay--although they don't go cheap. I use prismacolor now.

La Abela said...

It is a perfect drawing, had long since I last saw hands so well done, I like the color and texture, it shows that dominate the picture. Have a nice weekend

ger chouinard said...

Hi Crystal! Thx for the visit. Had to laugh at your side bar re:changing your name after you get married. I didn't want to ... my dad was dying with cancer and was so sad that the family name would end since he had 2 daughters, I was a single mom with a young son and had gone back to my maiden name ... passed that maiden name to my boy and the name will live on ... I'll always be Geralyn Chouinard ... no one cares as long as I keep paying taxes! nice spending time with you @ PPF! xoxo

Anne said...

What a beautiful drawing.

I've never heard of the pencils, but I liked the story of your memory of them and your quest for the perfect colored pencils. Hope you can find some!

Magic Love Crow said...

I love the pencil sketch Crystal and I do remember the pencils! It's funny what you said about your school, because the same thing happened to me! LOL! Take Care!

Heather said...

This piece is awesome!!! I have never heard of those pencils. But I do know what you mean about things look different when you go back.
Great work!

Melisa said...

I love this! Wonderful pencil work! I've never heard of Venus colored pencils, but I hope if you find some they are as wonderful as you remember.

Carrie Wachter~Martinez said...

What an powerful and peaceful piece! Fabulous rendering of hands...and a great story about the pencils! Happy weekend :)

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

This is so expressive and there's just such a lovely sense of calm in this piece- I LOVE it!
As for colored pencils, I've almost given up on them! I don't remember the ones you are in search of replacing but for me, the ones *I* have tried start out fine, but as I add layers of color, it becomes impossible to add anymore and ends up looking waxy like crayolas!
Good luck in your quest- I really enjoyed reading about it :)
Happy PPF- a day late!
Stephanie

angelself said...

Sorry, I don't know about the pencils.
I do love "Reaching Out" I love everything about it. Great rendering of hands...so, so realistic and detailed but still soft. The colors in the background are genius because they compliment and showcase the subject perfectly. Great work!!
Thanks for visiting my blog, and commenting on my parrots. I have been quiet in the ACEO group lately, but I have seen your wonderful work there =)Do try to get into the playing card deck next year...its a blast! Kathryn

priti.lisa said...

Whatever the pencil you used here, it is fantastic work. I thought The Quest was the title of the work at first....but it could be, couldn't it?

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Wow..stunning work..i love this piece..absolutely beautiful!
Victoria~

Dawn said...

Great story and wonderful hands!

Love Dawn xx

Netty said...

OMG those hands are beautiful, never realised they were done in pencil, you are so very talented. Thank you for visiting me and supporting me on my adventure into art. Hope you find those pencils. Annette x

ThisTinder said...

Wonderful detailed work (and I enjoyed reading your story)!
~Kerry

NatashaMay said...

You write such beautiful stories. Love it!

Margaret said...

I don't know much about colored pencils. But I love your hands!

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