Soft Pastel (bargain pack from Lidl!) on ingres paper
I had a ball in Lidl last week as they had artists’ materials on special offer. I managed to pick up a desk easel (FSC wood) for less than a tenner, and it’s perfectly good quality and a nice simple design. I also bought these pastels, which are a bit gritty to use, but perfectly OK for practising. This is a study for a painting which is currently on the easel, background painted, composition sketched in oil pastel, and ready to paint.
Looking at this pastel study I have just realised that one of the many things that fascinates and draws me into your work is the lack of definite faces. There is something about this blurring that, for me, allows the meaning of the painting to become about ‘everyman’. It somehow seems to encourage contemplation about the general meaning and the personal meaning, both that of the artist, yourself, and the viewer. As always, your wonderful art draws me back to my childhood photographs and memories.
I often find that if I have been lucky enough to find a bumper crop of inexpensive creative materials it allows a wild sense of freedom to experiment to burst out. It’s very liberating as it removes all pressures. It also reminds me of how I feel when faced with a large piece of expensive material and a sharp pair of scissors. That first cut is excruciating!
I’m so glad you feel that about the faces (or lack of). I did wonder whether it would make the paintings more relevant to a viewer somehow, as if they could project whoever they like onto the figure. I’m glad, too, that my paintings remind you of your own photos and memories. This is so reassuring to hear!
You’re absolutely right about the freedom that comes from having inexpensive and plentiful materials. And I don’t think I would dare even attempt making something with expensive material – curtain making, for example, is something I have never dared attempt. You are brave indeed if you have done so!
I’m looking forward to this painting…it has all the promise for a great piece!