As you may already know, I've spent several months exploring the realm of oil pastels. I began the journey on a whim. We had just moved (for the second time in less than two years.) I still had most of my stuff in boxes in the garage and no photoshoots scheduled, but most of my kids' stuff was unpacked and at least accessible. I don't know why, but I always feel like I need to get the kids settled in a bit right away, especially if it's during the school year.
Anyway, I had access to their artist kits (cool sets of everything a kid might need to make some art, like watercolors, markers, scissors, paint brushes, and, yes, oil pastels.) In all the time they have had those kits neither of them had used the oil pastels, so I decided to give them a whirl.
Cut to September, when I find I have over twelve pretty interesting pastel pieces. I think it is something about attempting something totally new that I loved. After photographing families for so long, and then trying to move my photography into a more artistic direction for longer, I must have been craving something different. I didn't really do it on purpose or based on wisdom I'd gleaned about the creative process. It was purely out of the need to create SOMEthing and the availability of those specific tools.
Fortunately, a little reflection has given me some insight into my creative process. I thought I was feeling a bit tired of photography. I had, after all, been working on one series for most of a year. It feels amazing to work through a series of images like that. I should write more about that experience, actually, but this post is about a different part of the process- the what now? part, the am I still into this? part, the can we afford for me to do this for a living? part. I realized that I have many, many times been to this part of the process. It's the time where I am most likely to spend time online, dividing my time between looking for a "real" job and searching madly through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Both of those things are depressing wastes of time, by the way (yet, another blog post begging to be written.)
I had no idea what I was doing when I made that first stroke on the paper, but I felt a huge release of tension-- an excited urge to keep making lines. I was literally seeing things unfold in fold on the page in front of me. I just let instinct guide me through the first piece. I actually really liked what resulted, even though it was evident there was little technique or practice involved. I was hooked, though. Here was a way to create work without my camera, without a model, and with no drawn-out planning period.
I got kind of addicted to making these pieces. In fact, writing about it today is giving me the urge to make another! My portrait work involves quite a bit of planning and orchestrating, so I think I am naturally drawn too a more spontaneous type of work when I need to recharge. I think that's also why I get caught up in "finding" or "noticing" art in the everyday, as in nature or architecture, and why I spent a lot of time cooking and photographing foods last year.
It is therapeutic.
It feeds my other work, even when I'm not sure how yet.
I can't wait to see how this series of oil pastels begins to affect my portraiture. I'm starting to get some new ideas, so maybe I won't have to wait long to find out!
In the meantime, please enjoy my oil pastel pieces!
They are bright and bold and curious, AND they are all available as
9x12" signed art prints in my shop through November 15th.
Only $50 each.
Perfect for gifting or
spicing up your gallery wall!
Making her website debut....
She was the third oil pastel piece I created, but this is her first time being showcased on my site!
She is definitely part of the $50 Print Sale
Signed, 9x12" Fine Art Prints only $50 through November 15th.