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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why I Never Throw Away Pastel Paper

'The Heart Rises with the Sun'         9x12          pastel       ©Karen Margulis
It was the perfect opportunity to repurpose some paper. I am in the midst of my Labor Day Weekend Paint-a-thon and I have finished 10 paintings so far. I began the weekend by setting up 10 boards with various pastel papers. I wanted a variety of sizes and paper types just to keep things interesting.

On a whim I decided to try to use the 9x12 pieces of Canson Mi-Teintes paper that I had used for my pastel classes last week. We had been discussing value and color and I used the paper to show how to develop form with value. They were covered with pears!  I hate to waste paper, even Canson but these were really just scribbles. Not worthy of keeping.

What if I could make the pears into something better?

See all of my demo pears? What could they become?
When it was time to tackle the pears, I used a stiff brush to brush off a lot of the pastel. Then I used a piece of soft vine charcoal to draw my new concept.  I wanted to paint the edge of the forest. I was drawn to the brilliant warmth and light of the rising sun contrasting with the mysterious darkness of the forest beyond. This was the scene that greeted me each morning at my Lake Tahoe workshop.

I had to completely ignore the pears but was able to get the background dark enough to hide all traces of them. I did have to use some workable fixative to build up the dark layers. The fixative added a nice extra touch of texture though. In the end I had given new life to a piece of paper that was destined for the trash.

So next time you are about to wad up your paper and throw it out....think of how you might recycle it. It is worth a try!

***Tomorrow I will wrap up my Paint-a-thon and will share my thoughts on how I have come to paint so quickly.


Priscilla said...

I think, Karen, that you are incredible, devoted, driven and passionate. If only I had one of these characteristics.

The most important is PATIENCE!!

ida mae poopsnatch said...

Karen, I've re-subscribed to your blog & I've already gotten a ton of great ideas (& a good kick in the pants to paint more). Can you please tell me what type of mat board you use? I want to do the 'gesso on board' technique but I'm overwhelmed by the choice of boards.
Thanks for any advice. Your paintings look great & congratulations on getting a slot to teach at IAPS! L&K, MaryB

robertsloan2art said...

Wow that is awesome! Not a trace of a pear - and unlike other reworking stuff, this time I kind of agree. They looked like a scribbly sketch page rather than a painting I would weep to see destroyed.

And the scene with the trees is fantastic!

I never throw out anything but I might want to have a second look at some old way too pale watercolors sometime. I have Colourfix primer and I can always underpaint right over the faint ghosts of what came before...

Karen said...

Thanks for the comments! They are much appreciated! Ida...thanks for resubscribing! I use regular matboard drop outs that I get from a framer friend.