The artwork here is inspired by a photo I took while on a walk with my kids at the park. I chose this image over some of the others because I liked the blur effect of the background. This is called 'bokeh' in photography. It's when the main subject is in focus while the background is usually blurry. On an iphone this can be achieved in portrait mode. I thought it would be a good challenge to use pastel for this. I use only my fingers to blend, rub, and blur the colors. I have to wash my fingers frequently to avoid colors becoming too muddy, as I'll use different fingers to blend different colors and don't want to contaminate a light color for example, that I've used a finger to already blend darker colors. My home doesn't have a basement, so my studio space is limited. I therefore tape my work to a collapsable table that I can put off to the side, or in the garage when I'm not working on it.
This week I wanted to give my students something fun to do while at home and doing virtual learning. A colleague told me about The Getty Challenge https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/getty-artworks-recreated-with-household-items-by-creative-geniuses-the-world-over/. I felt the Getty's art selection was a bit limiting, so I allowed students to use https://artsandculture.google.com/explore. Here are a few examples I provided for them of my own.
I've been playing drums since I was 8 years old. Over the last several months, I've been starting to play guitar, and especially with staying home so much due to social distancing, I've been making more use of the time to practice. Here's a little taste of that; some things I've just been making up. However, I too have been practicing Dust in the Wind, which I will try to upload later when I get a decent recording with minimal mistakes. Forgive me for now, I am a super beginner.
Today my kids and I, along with a neighbor friend of theirs, took a walk at the park. It was so nice to feel the sun on us, and see the flowering trees blooming. I had to get some pics, and once again, I'm finding inspiration for additional artworks, using the reference images I've taken. One of the things our department has our students do is maintain a creative bank account. This is supposed to be filled with imagery and text of things that students are passionate about, drawn to, enjoy doing, or experiences they're having. For me, being outside and in nature is both cathartic and grounding. I hope my students find things to do during this period of social distancing that brings them joy, is healing, and perhaps then find these experiences to be a sparks for artistic expression.
I'd mentioned earlier how I wanted to create something artistic from my hike the other day. We've been doing so much staying at home and nesting, that it seemed an appropriate image to begin with. This pastel artwork measures 9" x 12"
My son didn't want a crocheted scarf like I made for his sister, so he opted for me to make him a tie blanket instead.
My sister took off for a couple of months to travel west and while away, took a lot of beautiful photos that inspire me. With her permission, I've used her photo as my reference. This is only the second chalk pastel drawing I've ever done. The first is in the home of my department chair. I began this piece last semester as a sort of working demo. I've been trying to have an artwork ongoing in my classroom that students can see the progress of. We'd started a pastel assignment in my drawing class. When i have time, and students are working independently, I will use five minutes here, ten there, and slowly finish. This one stalled for quite a while as the students' needs of course come before my work. When we were to told we could grab things out of our classrooms prior to a full school closure, I wanted to grab this and finish it, so I can hopefully inspire my students in the same way they inspire me. It's important to me for my students to see me as an active artist. This work is 16"20".