Monday, March 17, 2014

Breaking the Mold

Means risking criticism and negative response

South Florida Atlantic, Calm As A Lake (Flat Water),” a 32” x 40” pastel was the very first pastel painting I made in North Palm Beach back in 2006. For years I refused to do any rubbing and blending with chamois, erasers, tortillons or cloth. If colors blended together at all it was because individual marks ran over one another. So, the paintings were made of millions of tiny scribbles rubbing over one another.

When showing these pastels I had been criticized because my “approach to pastel technique was annoying,” which is just another way of saying it just shouldn’t be done that way. I’ve always rebelled against being told that something shouldn’t or can’t be done. To this day, I almost always use the pastel itself as the tool to rub and blend another pastel color together with other pastel colors, though now I may resort to turning the pastel on the side to blend, so I don’t always have to use millions of little scribbles.

I still like the diffuse quality the scribbles made in those old pastel paintings, especially when I made a new color with two, three, or four different pastels of different hue but very similar value scribbled together. Then too, whether working with pastel, graphite, acrylics, or oils, I’ve always enjoyed breaking with tradition, and/ or reviving old discontinued technique. Moreover, I wouldn’t be using my creative talent to the utmost if I didn’t play with ideas, and break rules.

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