Pastels

These paintings are done with soft pastel on 300 or 400 lb Arches rough watercolor paper. Before working with the pastel, I tone the paper with a dense acrylic wash. In the case of the deep-woods images, the paper is a very dark green. The paper for the fall blueberry barrens images is painted a dark burgundy red. Specks of the ground color show through in the final work. I like the roughness of the paper because it does not allow me to be too specific in my description of the things I am drawing. Rather, I am trying to convey a sense of chaos, flickering light, wind and the like, which I perceive as texture and random strokes of color. I also like pastel because one never has the right color, even when working with more than 300 choices. Since I don't mix colors on the paper, as many pastel artists do, the sensation of a particular color must be made optically, by marks of different colors close together.