I'M IN LOVE!    

It's true; in my senior, waning years I've fallen head over heels in love. I'm embroiled in a passionate affair of the heart with soft pastels! I sit on a perpetual cloud way up in the stratosphere, caressing each little stick, breathing in its precious dust - and sneezing and hacking and wiping my inflamed, doting eyes filled with lovesick devotion. How did this happen? How did such an intense adoration burgeon recently? For decades the siren song of  these lovely pastels packed away in a dark corner fell on deaf ears. I was rendering in pencil, ink, watercolors, oils and then, most recently, computer art. I was swept away and utterly consumed by that - until now. I still loved all of these mediums, and utilized them; but those pastels nagged at me somewhere in the back of my mind, like spots that flit constantly in front of your eyes, but always dart away from your direct gaze. Then, a couple of years ago I got a commission to paint a portrait in pastels. The project frightened me because I had never been comfortable with those things that would get my hands and clothes so filthy; so I decided to thoroughly research that daunting medium. During these forays I came upon two artistic giants - Jean Siméon Chardin and Maurice Quentin de La Tour. It was as if these two 18th century French masters of the soft pastel portrait had lit a fire in me! I studied their every breathtaking stroke on the paper, every tiny nuance of the features of those faces each one imparted so much life to. When at last I started the work it seemed as though my love emboldened me. When the pastel I was holding touched the paper it became Cupid's arrow piercing it! Here, above, is the result.




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