Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Issues, Issues...

Thank you ,for all those lovely suggestions and comments; I really appreciate it.You have brought me back from the edge ;)
Another issue to discuss,though....Framing them!
The only framer in town is good, but he is charging me a bomb...I tried ordering online and I got a nice frame for half the price.But the problem was that all the online framers are offering acrylic glazing instead of glass.Now, its good because it reduces the weight.But when I tried framing my pastel work ( even after a put  foam board  strips all around between the mount and the artwork as 'spacers') I found that the acrylic sheet attracted a lot of my pastel pigment.In fact when I took the painting out again, there was a ghost of image stuck on the acrylic glazing !I have cleaned it up and put the painting back again, hoping that this time there would be much less damage.Now I am keeping it for a few days before I check it again.I am afraid to check, actually!
So the question is, one- would the acrylic glazing work for pastels at all?
Two, is it acceptable at exhibitions? They don't mention it , but I need to be sure before I submit any work.
Any suggestions are truly welcome...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pastel Issues

No artwork to show today, just some concerns...
I have been working a lot with soft (dry) pastels in last two weeks.For a few days I have been experiencing symptoms of sore throat, coughing and a general feeling that I can't breath easily.Could it be because of my pastels? I don't have a studio and work in my living room it a good idea working with soft pastels in your home? Wouldn't the fine dust particle be moving in the air all around?
I have been reading about it online and many say that pastel dust is hazardous if you breath a lot of it. Hmmm....what a shame; I was really enjoying my pastels but since my kitchen is adjacent to the place I work, I guess it is not advisable to do a lot of pastel work !At least not till I get a studio space of my own outside my home.I may still work with them,just not as much as I thought.Meanwhile, I am thinking of trying oil pastels instead ..they won't shed so much dust! Comments?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mary Taking a Break

35 x50 cm
Soft pastels on Pastel Mat
As I said, I HAD to paint her in color! Worked on it for about 4-5 hours in two sittings.
I have painted it differently this time, adding the background too.I think that completes the story...
I have entered this and the 'Man from Ladakh' to the Pastel Society 2013 Competiton's  pre-selection round; keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Taking a Break

Charcoal and white Pastel on Grey Paper
I started this sketch last night, thinking that I would utilize that one hour just to sketch the out lines- before I went to bed ;and would continue the drawing later.As it happened I picked up the white pastel pencil and lightly etched the highlights.It looked good and it was hard to leave it till the morning- but I had to! Anyways, I rushed to complete this as soon as I finished my morning chores around the house.. 
This is Mary, a hair dresser where I had gone for my son's haircut last Saturday.She was having her break, sitting on her chair sideways, munching on some crisps and staring at the road outside the window.It was a perfect setting...but when I approached her she told me she did not like her pictures taken and my heart sank! Eventually she relented and I took some pictures.She was wearing a red jumper and some chunky gold chains around her neck.I will be painting her again very soon, this time in color.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Man from Ladakh_Pastel Portrait

Soft Pastels on Pastelmat
I am so excited to share this new work- I sort of like this; though my husband thought it looked 'dark and unfinished'.......I would like to gather a vote from all of you over this subject, as I am thinking of entering this in a pastel contest.I have used Pastelmat for the first time, and I liked it very much. Pastelmat is velvety, heavy paper but it grabs colors so easily that there is hardly any dust- and virtually no need for a fixative...a huge problem solved.Thus, I am going to repeat this paper in future, though its expensive as compared to lighter paper which are three times cheaper.
I have been so busy painting that I have not been spending much time on blogging; I hope all my friends out there would forgive me for not visiting as often; I will be there, eventually...

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Charcoal and soft pastel pencils
This is Michael, a local resident with whom I had a chance meeting in the neighborhood park a few days ago.As we sat enjoying the sun,I finally plucked the courage to ask a complete stranger if i could take his pictures for a painting!Thankfully he turned out to be a kind gentleman and allowed me to take his pictures as he chatted with my husband.Although he was convinced that he had an 'ugly face' and there was no point in painting him! But as you can see, he is quite handsome and the portrait turned out to be rather nice.
I am yet to to a black and white charcoal-every time I end up adding some color.
I hope you like this one :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Art Show

My Art Show last evening...a small gathering but a pleasant evening at Fairfields Art Center, Basingstoke.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

As I Pray...

Pastels on toned paper
I love this old man's face and would paint him again and again.I have already drawn him in pencil in the past, now its the turn of pastels.In fact I wanted to experiment with some background color.Frankly, I am not too thrilled with the results-it looks rather it a good thing ? I don't know.
I ran out of my white pencil towards the end- just a stub left; so it was not much fun finishing his hands.Next time I am sticking with my 'drawing' mode.Not too impressed with the saturated background color.
Enjoy it while the next one is in progress.

My group show opens Friday, 8th March at Fairfields Art Center.Will update the pictures on the day!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Old Lady close up in Pastels

Soft Pastel pencils on buff colored paper
Another one in the pastel series..While "Devotee'' was detailed and took 5-6 hours to complete, this one was softer, with less color applied and more paper showing.I wanted to experiment with only white and brown pastel with paper providing mid tones-but I guess I painted it too large.Had to add some mid tones,too.This one took one sitting of about two hours.