It always feels great to finish a big piece and today was the day for the final touches. This pastel was a big break through for me as far as trying different things. I started this piece first with a drawing in charcoal, then I did an under-painting in gouache filling in big areas of color and value. Gouache paint for those who don't know is a water based pigment similar to watercolor, but opaque not transparent. Edgar Degas used gouache and pastel together so I thought if he did it so could I. After every area of the paper was covered with a thin layer of gouache paint I then proceeded with the pastel. The gouache gave a great base for the pastel even providing an extra gritty texture for the pastel to bite onto. I will most likely being using this same process on my next piece.
The image itself evokes a sense of stillness. The girl is my neighbor Morgan whom I see everyday. She is definitely one of those people who brightens everyone's mood wherever she goes. Her nickname is sunshine which describes her perfectly even down to the color of her hair. I always have to paint people that I know, people that I have a relationship with. I do not create work just to make a pretty picture...I always have a deeper meaning to each and every work of art that I make. This particular image evokes many feelings to me. When I was young we had a big bay window in our kitchen nook with a window seat in it. I spent a lot of time playing there propped up amongst all the pillows looking out that window. Whether it was raining, snowing or sunshine I hung out there with my nose pressed against the glass daydreaming and imagining other places while my mom worked in the kitchen. The imagery of the window is seen in other works of mine because it conveys the idea of two worlds...the safety and stillness of the interior space where everything is familiar and comfortable verses whats outside of that space through the window....the unknown. The girl sits almost anxiously, even somewhat awkwardly waiting.....the glass of water is full and the sunlight floods the room.
The title to this piece is "Outside My Window" I'll leave it up to you to interpret that!