Saturday, May 7, 2016

A fun play day

We had such fun at our pastel society meeting today. It was a relaxed and fun day for all of us, a pure "play day" and yet we all learned something very useful.

We had a nice turnout of 19 at the meeting in Ponte Vedra, a pretty good showing considering that a number of our really core stalwart members were not with us as they were participating in the Romanza festival in St. Augustine, painting plein air there instead of being with us.
But those of us who attended were greeted with a very interesting table set up by co-President Lyn Asselta at the front of the room.
Our topic today was how to make your own pastels from the leftover dust the little bitty odds and ends of pastels that you manage to collect over time.
Lyn showed us how easy it is to make pastels by taking the dust - as you already have it, or from grinding up odds and ends into a powder - and carefully mixing it with drops of distilled water, being careful not to get too gooey, but just enough for it to hold a shape.
After her demo everyone went back to their own tables to practice making their own homemade pastels.
Some had more chips, chunks, and dust that others and were willing to share.
Dust collected over the months and years tended to be mostly gray, but the chips and chunks could be any color of course.
Folks said that often when you buy a certain set of pastels there may be colors in that set that rarely, if ever, get used.
Lyn's lesson gave us "permission" to be fearless about grinding up those colors we find less than appealing.
By mixing in dust from other colors it's possible to create something new and unique. I was amazed at some of the gorgeous colors people were able to create.
After rolling or shaping the new pastels it's time to lay them on newsprint or paper towels to dry for a couple days, and then have fun using your new colors, and no more wastage.
We have a big month coming up in June with our next juried member show, and the mini-workshop with Karen Margulis. Keep tuned in here for more details.

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