Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oil Pastels at the Met メトロポリタン美術館のオイルパステル

I fell in love with oil pastels when I was a junior at Parsons Schools of Design. I could not believe how rich the colors were on black papers, and ever since it's been my signature style - oil pastels on black paper. I must have used thousands of pastels over the years, and to me they are like living creatures.


Their texture is affected by my body temperature and the weather. When it's hot they become soft (because they are made of oil), and they melt between my fingers. On a very cold day they are hard, so that I must be careful not to create harsh strokes that I don't like.


At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York they were having a special exhibition on the pastel master pieces. Several photo panels were displayed showing how the pastels are made. These are hand-made pastels.


Each pastel is carefully made by hands... it must have the craftsman's heart and care... :)


During the hot and humid summer in New York my oil pastels used to melt in my fingers. When the pastels are very soft you must draw very softly, too, otherwise, the drawings become too smudgy. On a winter day in New York I used to hold them between my hands so that they would become a bit softer. They are my dear living materials. In SoCal the weather is pretty consistent - it's never too hot, not too cold. My pastels have been pretty consistent, too. They are probably feeling at ease :)


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