GOOD MORNING WORLD
In the summer at some point for the last few years we have celebrated our grandchildren with Grandcamp. As I may have mentioned before, the first year I made schedules, menus and matching T-shirts. It was a fun time tie-dying t-shirt, drawing, swimming and handprints in concrete. Another year we were with other of our family and had a guest day when we invited others to come participate in the crafts. This year we have been less scheduled. All three grandchildren are involved in a family move one from town to town and the other two from state to state so relaxation and enjoying each other seemed more appropriate. Still our afternoons have had some form of activity.
Yesterday with two left I had no plans. I asked them what they wanted to do and our granddaughter said ‘Art’. Our oldest grandson wanted to continue exercising his thumbs! Getting out all the art supplies seemed such a chore. There was a picture that I wanted to try my hand at so started the search for brushes, pastels, pastel pencils and crayons.
I found my pastel chalks and pencils in a nautical bag that they have been in since I started using them back in the 70s. What a mess as the moves and years had chalk all over the inside of the bag. I really should have kept them separate. While Lady J drew and colored picture after picture I cleaned pastel pencils and chalks. I determined if gum erasers were worthy of keeping and generally cleaned and tossed not work at any art.
I showed the Miss how the pastels worked. Before long she was covered in magenta dust and had a lovely picture of pink with a flower in the middle of it. Our grandson had joined us and was drawing a man who we decided looked like John Travolta when it was completed. I finally got out my picture and started to interpret it on my paper with pastel pencils and chalk.
It was the picture of a sleeping baby. It just caught my eye so I copied it for painting later. I was so interested in replicating this photo to paper that I even bought new pastel pencils. There is a difference in art supply pencils and box store colored pencils. I was glad I found the old standbys.
I drew the picture originally in yellow then added a flesh toned chalk and liked it better so began another drawing. As I got into the picture and was drawing the jaw line and the cheeks I remembered some of the old techniques. I was reminded why I liked pastels so much. You can feel your way through a picture.
As I drew the little ears I imagined touching them and cleaning them as after a bath so I could put all the little parts where they belonged. As I drew the jaw line I was touching this sweet child with the love of a parent who adores that little face. The nose and lips usually create problems for me and did this time as well until I envisioned them moving in their sleep. The sleeping eyes shut were the easiest and most important as the long lashes captured the whole photo and I wanted to do them justice in my drawing. For me drawing with pastels is tenderly caressing the subject and turning those touches into a picture.
My favorite pastel experience was on the living room floor of an art teacher years ago. I was drawing a spider plant. I had my paper out and the green and yellow pastels handy. There was music playing and I was following the beat and rhythm with each stroke of the pastel chalk. I remember the feeling of harmony and peace as I worked the chalk to bring the spider plant to life on the paper. The feeling was calm and soothing. It was like I was floating back and forth in a hammock. Each up or down of the hammock left a stroke of color to the picture. When I hear people speak of being ‘one with something’ that vision of that morning comes to mind for me.
Yesterday afternoon evaporated. The next thing I knew the garage door was opening and I knew the workday was over. I looked at my drawing and was pleased. Our granddaughter had already created the gallery on the sliding door. I added mine to the mix and started dinner.
I forget how much I like art. I think I would have loved to make pottery as your hands and fingers create what goes in the kiln. I like watercolor and acrylics as well. I have not ever used oils – the clean up frightens me as neatnik I am not. With water color and acrylics you are away from the paper due to the brush. I usually do landscapes or object when using either of those.
The pastels I believe are relegated in the art world to last place to all other mediums. Yet the pastels – oh the pastels and the feeling of creating under your fingers. It is tactile much like kneading bread or mixing meats for a meatloaf or breads for a stuffing. I have decided that is why I like to use pastels when I do faces as I can touch these people. Through this touch I can caress them with love and bring them to life on paper. It is very rewarding, meditative, almost spiritual and I think I must do this more.
…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…