Monday, 1 September 2008

Where are my pastels?

... 80% of the medium has to be (not oil) pastel - that's one of the requirements to enter any painting into the Pastel 100 Competition.

I timed it rather tight with the submission deadline being today. I had this in my diary for a while but the way things turned out, I was in Germany sifting through the murky depths of my rather confused computer to find pictures of what to enter. And I discovered two things

(a) I am a lousy photographer of my own work. Most of the pics are poor snapshots of various Work in Progress stages; and then there's nothing until it's framed. Incredibly useful.

(b) I was running up against the 80% pastel requirement with all the mixed media stuff I was doing. Most of it figures pastel but some rather sparingly so.

Well: there were two likely candidates but no useful photos. So I took my tripod out yesterday and came up - despite the greyest day in Glasgow since about 20 January or thereabouts (or maybe I just luckily missed six weeks of grey?) - with a reasonable setup for taking pictures. My favourite choice was this one from the Colored Sands series.

Colored Sands Series #1

Colored Sands Series #1
Mixed media (acrylics, gouache, graphite, pastel) on board

Do you see the problem???

Exactly: far too many other things on the surface than pastel, notably gouache, bare paper and acrylics. I think even with a 50% requirement this would have been rejected. That only left this one here:

Three Three One
Three three one*
Mixed media (acrylics, pastel) on board

So, the only one I submitted is this one here. It has some acrylic unterpainting which does some nice things in terms of texture. It's the only 80%+ pastel I have. I'm a bit hesitant - even ambivalent - about it. I loved the composition when I finally got to it (see the Study Plains for some talk about it); I also love the lemon yellow and some of the lush marks across the blue fields and the skies.

And still.... I dunno.

Well: it's submitted in the abstract/non-objective category. Having seen the previous years landscape entries, I figured that the judges are firmly with my Dad on the unconditional need for landscapist realism, and seeing that I'm not, I better leave that one alone...

I now also have some good shots of some of the detail in this flickr set (yes, I know, a tripod is a much better option than my shakey, impatient hands). And I need to find a mixed media thingy to submit the glorious Colored Sands #1 to.

*An attempt at a less representational title: is it a landscape? No it isn't!


Yellow said...

I know what you mean about feeling ambivilent about the piece you chose. I don't mean that in a negative way - I mean that it's interesting that an artist can feel strongly in both a positive and a negative way about their work. Or someone elses for that matter. Does this mean you'll intentionally work more in pastels with an aim to next year's competition?

Gesa said...

Hm... intentions to be made and overhauled as we go along. I don't know, to be honest, I do like my mixed media stuff a lot: it's so much more playful, but it may make sense to 'plan' something for the competition next year. This year my plans from May onwards changed a lot and left me with virtually no time to paint from end of May onwards - that was rather unusual.
Yes - definitely: positive/negative, strong/indifferent. And the funny thing is that others find different pieces fantastic than I do. Well, thinking about it, maybe that's not funny at all :)
Glad to hear you're back, I was beginning to wonder if you were ok since I hadn't heard for such a long time.