Last Wednesday I tried a sheet of 300gsm superfine sanded pastel card. I wanted to produce a pastel painting of the Macdonnel Ranges near Alice Springs in a contemporary way. What a disaster!

I chose a black sheet as I enjoy working on dark colours. I noticed that the surface was quite shiny and had the minimum of tooth, so i set about drawing up the basic outlines. At this stage all was well. The surface readily accepted my coloursoft pencil and in no time I had finished and immediately I began applying areas of soft pastel. The conte I used went on easily, but I struggled with the other soft pastels to get anything like a smooth, even finish. Talk about smudging! One only had to wave one’s hand in the air and pastel started to fall of the surface!!

I stopped after I had covered the pastel card. I had intended to add a good deal more detail from the reference photos that can be seen to the left, but it was becoming blatantly obvious that this was not going to work. Time to stop and have a think.

The pastel card is ideal for pastel pencils and coloured pencils, but not for what I had intended, so off the board it came, to be replaced with a sheet of Canson paper, The results of the following painting can be seen on this blog on Wednesday.

Artists need to experiment from time to time in order to keep their work ‘fresh’. Any experiment is fraught with danger, but I find this quite invigorating and one must expect things to go ‘haywire’ at times.

Despite the ‘failure’, I am still keen to experiment when the occasion arises.

Wednesday: A Zen landscape


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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6 Responses to FAILURE

  1. dalesart216 says:

    This looks good…..what happened to the other one? Did you ditch it or did you keep it as a reminder? I hate reminders!!! I especially like the way you have ‘framed’ it.

    • artkleko says:

      I rarely trash any artwork . Since my return from the mainland I have ‘filed’ everything that i have started and stopped for whatever reason. One never knows Dale, when one feels like ‘resurrecting’ a failed artwork.

  2. Lorraine McNeair says:

    I am confused Richard. So, is the one shown the new work or the old? Why do you think it was a failure? Was it the wrong paper for the medium? I have used pastel on all kinds of paper, although I do not use pastels as you do, or anyone else for that matter. Are you coming to the TASART Preview Dinner?

    • artkleko says:

      The one shown Lorraine, was what I started on Wednesday. It was the paper that’s to blame. If we have a workshop in November I’ll bring some for you to try. I didn’t feel like starting again, so I moved on and painted another, different pastel which I’ll post on Wednesday.
      We’re not up for the opening but we’ll be up that way on October 20 for 3 days, and we’ll see the exhibition.

  3. Good for you Richard. Creativity is born out of experimentation. And some failure as well. If we even dare to label any part of our learning journey as failure. I admire you for all the hard work you invest in your art.

    • artkleko says:

      I suppose it’s a matter of ‘sowing what you reap’, Walter. Complacency is no good in the arts. We must be ever mindful of possibilities, especially those ‘outside the square’. Thanks for commenting.

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