Artist's Prayer

Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pastel~ing, Anyone???

Couple of weeks ago I decided to do a painting for our freshly remodeled master bedroom, so I bought a 4'x2' piece of wood at Home Depot and set out to work.... I can only remember the numerous stages of development that my painting has traveled so far thanks to my camera..... as it continued to changed backgrounds, more and more mediums were added and last night I felt that it was time for the oil pastels to join in the Fun....
I pulled out an old box of 69 oil pastel colors and begun to work them into the surface of my painting. To me, pastels, and oil ones in particular, are the most therapeutic medium I've ever experimented with..... here's a little list that is intended to pay a small tribute to the Awesomeness of this Divine Medium:

Unlike paint of any kind, pastels give a very intimate connection to the medium and through it a more direct and closer contact with an artwork.... no more clumsy attempts to manipulate the paint with a brush or a palette knife ~ thanks to this 'physical~ness' of pastels in the process of art making I can be more present, observant, aware of how images come to life right through my hands.... it's very beautiful in a quiet tangible way, in fact I feel very grateful for being a channel for creativity flowing through me thanks to this up-close and personal Pastel~ing experience....

I feel that using the word 'pastel' as a verb, for example: Do you Pastel? or in a progressive mode: Pastel~Ing emphasis the PROCESS versus just denoting an object.... which seems so boring and uninspiring, don't you think?

Another Awesome attribute of pastels is its inherent forgiving nature.... I can deposit numerous layers of color and shapes over the surface, covering a previous imagery with a new one while in the process creating a fabulous texture and depth.... If I could recommend only one thing to use for engaging one's 'blocked' creative flow, Pastels would be my Creative Rx of choice..... what else could offer more flexibility and fun to your precious Creative Self? Most of us carry within ourselves many fond memories of oil crayons from our childhoods ~ pastels can be seen as a more 'adult' version of crayola and build a fast rapport with our inner youngster, perhaps by soothing down some of creative anxiety for a moment.....?

Oil pastels exude a bit of smell and ALWAYS leave colorful mementos of their presence on our hands, clothing and anything we come in contact with on our way to wash our hands..... By engaging more than one of our senses while exploring pastels, we step back into our bodies and leave our 'heads' and critical voices behind for a moment. What a relief.
Here's my suggested prescription for one dose of Creative Nurturing: get a box of pastels (oil ones would be ideal) with at least 10-12 colors inside, or purchase single pastels separately at a hobby or art supplies store ( it'd be more expensive than purchasing a pre-packed set, yet on the other hand YOU will decide which colors your Creative Self will indulge in...). Next pull out a rather sturdy piece of paper, ideally a Big, Big one ~ for additional fun either pre-paint it with a water color paint or purchase a dark color paper background. Using a dark background with lighter pastels' color palette and/or iridescent ones will add some Magic to your artwork.... Lastly, put your favorite music on, grab a pastel color that you feel the most attracted to and begin moving your hand across the surface.....

I'd love to hear about your Adventures in Pastel~Ing!

Below you can see some snapshots from my painting's journey so far....

... to be continued....


  1. My goodness, I just found your blog by way of Carol Anne Strange. I think I will enjoy this tremendously.

  2. I had recently enjoyed getting oil pastels under my fingernails! Then the dogs ate my set! Must get more!