Pastel, 9" x 12"
30 May 2010

"The Gulf of Mexico is a globally unique ecosystem, with a diversity of habitats, fish and wildlife that make it one of the nation’s great natural treasures. Gulf habitats are essential to the annual cycles of many species of breeding, wintering and migrating waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds and songbirds. 
The U.S. Gulf Coast is of particular significance to beach-nesting birds, species that breed on beaches, flats, dunes, bars, barrier islands and similar near-shore habitats. The northern Gulf Coast, from the Mississippi Delta of Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle which represents 18 percent of the southeastern U.S. coastline, supports a disproportionately high number of beach nesting bird species." —U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Yes, another pastel. I'm getting hooked. In conversation with an old friend from art school, I learned something very instructive.

Eleanor had spent a full week on a pastel portrait in one of Daniel Greene's workshops. At the end of the week, she could not see where or how to make one more stroke and thought the piece was complete. Greene took a look at her work, said she'd done well and that she now had a very good beginning.

Her little story helped me get a grip on how long it might take me to develop a pastel. Suddenly I found that I was much more relaxed about the process. I spent days on this piece and used some Sennellier soft pastels which gave me an idea of what it will be like to work with the best materials. I found myself looking through catalogues at box sets of Sennellier pastels. Uh-oh.
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RHCarpenter said...

Oh, this is beautiful! I had no idea how long it takes to work on a this was informative for me.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Thanks, Rhonda! I love the way this came out and really could have worked on it longer. I think that I like showing paper and rough marks at this stage.

As you know, each piece we make teaches us something and leaves a little (or a lot!) to be desired. That's what moves us forward...

Happy this provided a little information!

Art with Liz said...

Now I know why I don't do pastels! This is lovely Suzanne and so different from your gorgeous watercolours! Fingers crossed that the wildlife won't be decimated from that dreadful oil leakage in your part of the world.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Thanks, Liz! New mediums take some getting used to. It's funny, I had no plans whatsoever for pastels. I just picked them up one day for fun.

This is one reason why I stopped the Landscape into Art blog. I felt confined and in need of expansion. We'll see what develops. It's as much of a surprise to me as it is to anyone else.

As for our wildlife... if only finger crossing would help.

Anonymous said...

Haha. Go Pastels~! The rock so much, once you start using them, you can't stop. :D

Suzanne McDermott said...

You're right, Hazel! You're right!