Autumn Storm, pastel, Jan Blencowe, copyright 2010
It's been probably 6 or 7 years since I've done any work in pastel. After taking about a dozen years to raise my children I went back to creating art in 1999. I drew every day for two years straight. Mostly pencil and pen with the occassional watercolor thrown in.
When I thought I was ready to go back to painting I decided to use pastel. My kids were still young and pastels avoided the need for turpentine and other noxious fluids. Pastels came in a box and if I was called away in a hurry I could close the lid, wash my hands and be off to tend to my family in just a few moments.
I had never used pastels before, I was always an oil painter and a closet watercolorist (which I still am!) So I took a few classes and really loved the saturated colors of pastels. After working in pastels exclusively for a few years, the hassle of keeping unframed pastels safe, and the expense of matting and framing under glass drove me back to oil paining.
After a number of years oil painting, I switched again to the new slow dry acrylics, which is what I currently use. My daughter is studying with master pastelist Claudia Post, and I gave her all my pastels. But seeing them again, watching her work with them really gave me the pastel bug once again.
I also missed drawing. I still do a lot of plein air sketching, but that's a bit different from developing a drawing into a finished work of art. I've been doing some charcoal work, and some monochrome pastel work, but yesterday I just couldn't stand it any longer I had to break out the colors!
So, I guess I need to buy myself a new set of pastels!!