art, Blog

Pastel Painting – A New Venture

Today I ventured out with my friend Lisa to take an art class. The class was a still life class using pastels. It was a stretch for me, but the idea of doing art and spending the day with a friend made the risk worthwhile. We started out having coffee together and just catching up which was a great way to start the day.

Why do we consider something new a risk? Perhaps it is simply the act of being seen. Or perhaps it is fear of judgement from either ourselves or others. It is such an important part of our humanity and mankind has been expressing themselves through art from the beginning.

We were asked to bring meaningful objects to use in composing our still life. I choose a cobalt blue glass pitcher given to me by my mother-in-law shortly before she passed away, a heart-shaped locket given to me by my niece to commemorate my sister’s life and a simple wool scarf given to me by my husband.

The conditions were not ideal. Too many light sources from multiple overhead lights and reflections from other still life setups around the room. It is problematic to have multiple sources of light because it makes it more challenging to determine highlights and shadows. We were all in the same boat. I also think only one person had ever used pastels before today — at least not in recent times.

Quick thumbnail sketches were done to determine composition. Those first strokes on paper are encumbered by our inner critic and the awkwardness of the fine motor skills necessary to complete the task at hand. Once the first few strokes are behind you, it is easier to move forward.

By lunch time, one student had already given up and left the class. We were all feeling a bit frustrated, but learning something new expands us. Art speaks things we cannot articulate.

Lisa and I ate our packed lunch out in the sunshine. It was a gorgeous day and the conversation was wonderful. What a lovely break!

After lunch, we started doing more layering with a softer pastel. This is when your objects start to come to life. I did not finish my piece, but that is okay. I consider it a study and perhaps I will buy some pastels and finish it. I learned so much and it was so nice to be creating something surrounded by like-minded people.

I took some photos. The piece needs more intense colors, but I am happy with what I managed to accomplish with this new medium. I am glad I stuck it out.

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Blog, SoCS

SoCS – What I Ought to be Doing

It’s Friday evening and I am writing my Stream of Consciousness Saturday post tonight. I will be in a pastel drawing class all day tomorrow so I want to get this ready to go tonight.

As always, the lovely Linda Hill is our hostess and she serves this treat to us this week:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ght.” Find a word that contains the letters “ght” in that order, and use it any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use three or more different words containing those letters. Have fun!


Here it is, day 8 of NaNoWriMo. I know what I ought to be doing – writing my novel. I have been writing like crazy tonight as opposed to yesterday when I was fraught with doubt and feeling like I could not or would not finish. Ha! I recognize you, inner critic, now back off!

My novel is choppy and will need loads of editing, but I am writing and that is key. It is eight o’clock and I still have plenty of time to meet my word count goal for the day. I will be out for the day tomorrow, but I am finding have a little break time between writing sessions has been good for me. I have all day Sunday to write so I am feeling good especially if I am all caught up.

Sometimes I think using our other senses helps find that often sought after muse. She’s a sly one I tell you.

I don’t know who taught me to write. I suppose a lot of people throughout my life. Maybe you cannot teach the love of writing. As Margaret Atwood (and many others along the way might have implied), “You become a writer by writing. So do it, do it more.”

Now back to writing. I have fought it long enough. It will actually be good to get a little ahead of the game.


You know what they say. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Want to join in on the SoCS fun? How about checking out the rules over at Linda’s blog? Be sure to stop by and read the links in the comments. There are so many great bloggers participating.