Why Pastels?

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Why Pastels?

Out of all of the media available to me as an artist, I chose pastels. There are many reasons, but here are the two main reasons: 

  • I love the feel of the pastels on sanded paper. It is sensuous and keeps me attentive to what I am trying to accomplish. 
  • There are a myriad of colors, from subtle to brilliant, waiting to be chosen.

We have pastels from the16th-century that have retained their color and brilliance. Many people think that pastels are second-class compared to oils. It's actually the other way around. Pastels have the most stable and longest shelf life. A particle of pastel pigment looks like a diamond with many facets under a microscope. They thus reflect light like a prism. 

They were used by Copley and Delacroix, by Manet and Renoir and Toulouse- Lautrec, by Bonnard and Whistler and Hassam. All great artists depicting their world in pastel. 

There is no drying time, and therefore the colors do not change. l can put my heart into my work and know it will be there not just when I finish, but years from now.