Why Pastels?

Of all the mediums to use in art, why do I love pastels? From the first time I “played” with them at a workshop, I was hooked. I didn’t think I would take to them because they are messy, have a noisy gritty sound on paper and sometimes are clunky.

But something happened when I began laying the rich colors down on sanded art paper. When I finished my first painting, I was intrigued by the richness of the colors. Pastels are total pigment with no binders. They make different colors just by layering or changing the amount of pressure. Yes, I did end up with pastel on my face, arms, clothes and fingers but it was worth it. I found something that I love.

I began my art exploration by taking as many workshops as possible: colored pencil, sketching, water color, alcohol ink, oil painting and finally pastel. It takes that sometimes to find what you enjoy and are good at. One art mentor had been watching my progress and when she looked at my first pastel paintings, said to toss all the other art mediums and stick to pastel - she saw what I had discovered - it had all finally clicked.

I have continued to take numerous pastel workshops with teachers from all over the nation and Scotland. Every instructor gives you the next step you need to improve; they push you to try new techniques, explore color and push the darks and lights in each painting.

I am very glad that I accidently discovered pastels and I hope I never quit learning or improving.

I have found my passion but I will never quit learning and hopefully improving.

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Rhodema Cargill