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April 9th, 2018

Chalk pastel portraits

I made one of these for the doula, and it both came out so well I wanted to do more, and the colours were so wrong that I wanted to do more in order to fix it. So I've been on a chalk pastel binge, of my new favourite subject, using the awesome high quality pastels and paper that Shashigai once got for me. (Sennelier and Rembrandt pastels on 9x12 Sennelier pastel paper, if you're curious... this is what I was taught at art school anyway, and I think they're right, the pigment is beautifully dense and the textured paper just grabs it and holds it with the lightest touch.)

Pictures under the cut.Collapse )



This is the painting I was working on throughout pregnancy. It was my challenge to stick with only pregnancy-safe pigments - ochres, siennas, titanium white, ultramarine blue, a couple translucent yellows, and (I cheated a little bit; they're scientifically untested for pregnancy) quinacridones. Finally got it finished today.

It's Walkie the herbalist in her stall next door to Gillian's in the Tapolith market.

It's special to me because it's inspired by a photo that Walkie sent to Shashigai and us while he was in the ICU, of her in her garden that she nurtured from tenement weeds. I'm imagining it as two paintings, hanging side by side. This is the one on the right. The one on the left, which doesn't exist yet, would be a literal interpretation of another garden photo. Together they would be called Walkie/Ua'ke, and if there were a description hanging alongside them, it would talk about the things that exist on both sides of the fourth wall. I've never painted them in direct parallel before.

A brown-skinned grandmotherly woman with a halo of greying curly hair sits in a sun-drenched canvas tent, chopping herbs on a table that also holds bundles of flower cuttings and a mortar and pestle. Around her hang terracotta plant pots overflowing with greenery. Dried herbs are hanging from lines suspended from the tent's rafters. The faint silhouette of another tent is visible across cobblestones outside.
Acrylic on stretched canvas, 2017-2018