|" Dust in my Sandals" Pastel 9 x 12 © Donna Gross|
Decades ago I taught my self to surf in the little bohemian neighborhood of San Diego named Ocean Beach. It was an earlier chapter of my life...definitely with a lot less responsibility... single, employed as a nurse at UCSD ... no kids...I had a keen 1966 Dodge Dart convertible white with red interior that had push button transmission...it was a good time.
I remember, after watching the locals surf the spot next to the pier for sometime and becoming bored with boogie boarding, I marched down to one of the local surf shops and bought a used 8 foot plank that I dubbed the Poseidon. I donned my used wetsuit and walked down to the break. With the leash firmly placed around my left ankle, I plunged in, belly on board and began paddling....and paddling...and...I not only got nowhere where I wanted to go but was taken briskly by the current right for the pier pilings. Somehow I got out to re-evaluate my circumstances and spent the next 6 months just learning how to handle the 8 foot long piece of foam and fiberglass that was attached to my left ankle like a ball and chain ready to drown me!!
I eventually learned how to handle the board...and it took lots of time and wiping out...
So too it is with art medium. Pastel is a very delicate medium. I have been at this seriously now for about a year and a half...painting most everyday. Learning just how much pressure to put on the paper and how to handle the bulky sticks....It is not an exacting practice but rather using the luscious sticks of pigment to "suggest" form and composition...to give my viewer a painterly expression of my intention. I am beginning to feel the rewards of perseverance and patience. Many of the colors you see in the piece I painted above, were done with one swipe of the stick...some were manipulated a bit more. The point is...patience and perseverance pays off ..