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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Lavender Painting Emerges From the Ashes

'Memories of Provence'                  8x10                pastel                   ©Karen Margulis
available in my Etsy shop $175
What happens when you liquify a pastel painting? What happens to the colors when they get wet and pushed around with a paint brush?  The colors return to their liquid/paste state. The more you mix this sludge of pastel around the paper the more the colors mix. When more than one color family mixes together physically you get grayed down color. Sometimes we want this neutralized color and sometimes we don't. We then call it mud!

I made some good mud recently and I used it for my latest Provence lavender painting. I had a piece of Multimedia Artboard with a failed painting. It gave me great pleasure to take an old brush and some clear gesso to erase the painting. The colors turned into mud with some interesting value shapes. The clear gesso left a slightly gritty texture enhanced by my random brush strokes.

Clear gesso over a failed painting

 To counteract the effect of the texture I rubbed in the first layer of pastel. I used Nupastel for this initial block in. I rubbed the pastel into the grooves of the texture with a piece of pipe insulation foam.

The first layer of pastel rubbed into the textured surface

I took out my softer Terry Ludwig pastels to build up the painting. I began with the dark shapes. Then I moved on the the mountains and sky. I completed everything in the distance before I added the shades of violet of the lavender. I didn't want the dust from the sky and background to fall on the lavender. I wanted it to be bright and clean!

Before turning on the lights on the lavender
I painted the lavender with bold 'shouting' strokes. It was very satisfying to pull this paintings from the ashes of a muddy piece of Multimedia ArtBoard.

If you haven't watched my quick video demo on painting lavender you can see it on my YouTube channel. Here is the link:

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