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My first language, I am most comfortable speaking in pastel! Beginning with the set my Aunt Agnes gave me at 12 years old, I have expanded my palette to include thousands of handmade pigment sticks. Entering my first national exhibition in 1978, my pastel painting titled "Two Sisters" was accepted into the Pastel Society of America and I became the first Virginian artist member. My painting became part of the permanent collection of the City of New York.
I worked in pastel exclusively for 25 years, exploring the media and experimenting to create collage and hand painted substrates for my oversize pastel paintings. Some as large as 40" x 60", and diptychs twice that size. Around 2005, I switched to oils and now use pastels for smaller sketches and color studies.
I love pastels for their pure radiant jewel pigments, their softness to touch, and the immediacy I enjoy using them to capture emotions deep inside. You can see the influence of pastel in the calligraphy and dry brush and palette knife work in my oil paintings. Most important, my intuitive emotional color derives from the immediacy of pastel. No mixing on a palette, mixing with the eyes and heart on the painting itself!
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