Embracing Experimentation

As I move further with my artwork, I realize that it’s very easy to become stuck. As much as I like to have a set way that’s successful, I can start to get artistically bored. I decided to take a trip to my local Commercial Art Supply store to find my next project.

Since I began working with pastels, the surface I’ve been using has been either Strathmore Drawing Paper or Bristol Paper which works out great! I love the tooth and grit of the drawing paper, and the bristol is so smooth, blending is a breeze. But there’s one thing I noticed. I had one particular red stick that did not apply color whatsoever. I tried to add it on top of other layers, I tried working it on the first layer. No success. It stayed in my box never touched, until now.

I grabbed this unfamiliar surface called “Pastelbord” made by Ampersand and this morning I got to work. As I dragged my NuPastels onto a trial piece of this fine grit of a board, each pigment jumped out brighter and bolder than never before! Oh my gosh, I had such a great time layering color after color, placing colors here and there, finding out ways to blend, and even using water to literally paint with pastels! It makes me appreciate the medium even more.

First attempt at Pastelbord. I’ve never seen my blues so vibrant!

I also learned that pastelbord is perfect for pastels! Well, as the name suggests. The way the grit on the surface pulled the colored dust right off the stick was mesmerizing, and I can’t believe I didn’t know about this stuff!


Second attempt at Pastelboard. I was finally able to use that red and man, did it pop!

Being artistically aimless can feel awful at times. Drained of creativity, yet yearning to create is something I’ve been experiencing on and off since my classes have been over. I switched from having no time at all, to having so much free time I don’t know what to do with myself! I’m really happy I used that time to take that trip to the Art Store. Exploring, taking chances and learning something new is just what I needed.

For those reasons is exactly why I embrace experimentation.

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