There is nothing as intense as a line of pigment from a soft stick of pastel.
I’ve always loved the texture in this medium and the variety of line, smudges and sketches that are possible. My favorite contemporary pastel painter (pastel works are confusingly referred to at times as ‘paintings’, and sometimes as ‘drawings’.) is abstract floral artist Debora Stewart.
I wanted to figure out how to integrate soft pastels with acrylic paint, onto a canvas and and to seal it with a protective finish. But how? Isn’t pastel supposed to be on paper behind glass?
The process of figuring this out took me through a few seasons of Turk’s Cap Lilies and alternating layers of paint and pastel until I was satisfied. In between, as well as afterwards, I sealed the pastel with SpectraFix, a casein-based fixative that has been used by artists for hundreds of years. Mine came in a pump bottle, not aerosol. Each spraying changed the colours of the pastel so that I was back to the drawing board, so to speak. After many layers and experimenting with colour, line and pattern, I was finished.
Both paintings can be stacked as one work or purchased separately.
They are on public display for the first time in Bear River at Sissiboo Coffee Roaster in January, 2023.