Journey through Open Spaces

Journey through Open Spaces is officially open!

While I had all pastels matted and framed by Sunday night, there were few  small things that I needed to complete. I updated my biography and artist statement, created gallery tags for each piece, and finalized a price list.

August 1

I arrived half an hour or so after the library opened to hang my pastels. I met with a library staff member who helped me get the hook over plain rods for each pastel. Many gallery spaces uses these rods so that no nail marks are made in the wall. I was informed the gallery tags I created could not be taped to the wall. I hadn’t received any specific documentation about exhibit guidelines so it was a good thing she mentioned it to me.

Assemble Pastels into Groups

I laid out the pastels on the floor getting an idea which areas had the greatest amount of space allowing pastels to stay within a specific group. I have a number of pastels on a few National Parks, some pastels based upon a national wildlife refuge, other historical local areas, and land from a botanical garden

Once I had the space planned out, I began hanging each piece.  Luckily I had help from a family member, which made hanging the exhibit even easier.  Overall, from the time I arrived to the time I left the library, it took only a little more than 2 hours.

Forgot Something

The experience of hanging an exhibit wouldn’t be complete without realizing I had forgotten something.  I forgot the postcards I created and a guest book.  Later in the afternoon, I came back with the postcards and guest book.

Forgot Something Again

When I dropped off the guest book, I added the exhibit title and dates to the book. What I didn’t realize was that I forgot to leave the pen I brought with me for everyone to use. Fortunately for me, a friend came to the exhibit and left a pen.

The view of one wall of the exhibit.
A view of some pastels in the exhibit.

Textured Pastel

I’ve been taking pastel classes since 2015 (originally it was few classes and workshops). At the end of 2016, I became a regular member of a monthly pastel class. In May 2017, our teacher had the students work on trees as the subject matter for our works.

She wanted us to try an experimental piece to get us to think beyond our usual ways of creating pastels and to push our comfort level to experience new skill set as artists. Our teacher read an article about an artist who wonder what it would be like to apply Jackson Pollack’s drip paint method to pastels.

We began with a piece of foam core or gatorboard, which we applied a thin layer of gesso. Once the gesso was dried, I drew an underpainting on my foam core. I blocked out areas on the image where I didn’t want to have the dripped house paint. Next we dripped acrylic house paint on the underpainting making sure to have gestural lines (hoping to mimic trees and leaves).

The acrylic house paint dripped lines needed time to dry. Once it was dried, I applied the fine pumic gel to the surface. Adding the fine pumic gel would give the surface a texture or tooth similar to Mi-Teintes Touch paper or Uart paper that pastel artists use.

Now I was ready to use my pastels to create my image. Below is a detail of my textured/drip method pastel. This detail showcases an area of trees.

Detail of Artwork