Sunday, August 11, 2013

Playing With Pastels

The Mackinac Arts Council has been offering a series of workshops this summer; they offer a great opportunity to explore different mediums and to just play a bit, with no expectations of serious work...and it's been great fun!

I recently attended a pastel workshop by Nicki Griffith, here's her description:

Luminous, versatile, portable, painterly, contemporary and ageless...pastels are all these and more!  From the caves of Lascaux to Picasso's Paris to modern times, soft and oil pastels have been an enduring art medium.  They have a unique ability to bridge the divide between drawing and painting.  Plus there's something about holding that slightly messy crayon-like stick that brings out the inner-child artist in all of us!
In this workshop you will learn a brief history of pastels, see simple ways to handle the medium and go home with your own small floral study.  There will be a handout, short demo and personal support and suggestions (with lots of encouragement).

Here's the setup, including Nicki's example:

And her fabulous collection of colors!

A few finished works:

And here's mine!

I really love the pure colors that can be achieved and I even managed to work loose, which is a rarity for me. I usually tend to very realistic and tight and working with the pastels brought back some memories of childhood crayons.

Pastels are messy, which is both a joy and a hazard - I came home covered in color!

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