Since I’ve been working with oil pastels so much, it dawns on me that I could experiment with different ways of using them. Habitually I draw with hatch marks whenever I use oil pastels, but certainly they are very blendable, almost as blendable as paint is. Some people add solvents and blend them with a brush. I’m not a solvent kind of person. I’m more inclined to rub the crayons into the paper, or into each other, in layers of application. I got to wondering how I might exploit these qualities more boldly. And, well, I have to set the task apart as a particular question, since when I’m working with the bigger drawings, there so much paper to cover and so much stuff to look at and depict, that I just never get around to asking myself questions that are more overtly technical.
Had to add it to the “To Do” list and — happy day — today was the time I decided to begin messing around with them. For these purely “theoretical” questions, a small sheet of paper is better than a large one, a small honey jar with only a gazillion little nuances of color and keen vibrant edges of light and blur is universe enough. And to all artists who lament lacking a large studio, take heart that a small IKEA table top was all the atelier I required today. Indeed, a small table, a convenient lamp, the small set up, a single sheet of small paper — these are superior tools for my questions today than any 19th century lavishly spacious studio could ever be!
The honey jar was only meant to provide the provocation for thought. But nothing’s ever an accident, is it! After it had come around a little, I thought I saw some resemblance to Bonnard’s jar that I had copied when an exhibition of his paintings visited the Phillips Collection years ago.
So I was stalking Bonnard all this time? Okay, sounds good to me! I’ve only begun my little experiment and whatever news I get somehow needs to be applied to the bigger pictures. (All in good time.) Until then I am going small — into the little spaces of waxy pigment, asking myself what will it take to tame the wild crayon ….
You can see the texture. Like paint! I like that.