I work in soft pastels, which are wonderful for capturing fleeting effects of light and weather. I find pastel very suitable for working on location, in order to achieve a quality of immediacy and liveliness in my work. I am constantly scanning my surroundings for shadows passing over hills, sparkling light on water, or a particular moment of harmonious color in a sunset. I often discover subjects by chance, and will get out my pastels and complete the painting on the spot. What interests me is a sense of movement, and by implication, the passing of time. I am inspired by the challenge of capturing this fundamental aspect of nature. I make and prepare my own painting surfaces and pastel chalks. I make my pastel chalks from raw pigment powder, creating colors I could not find in commercially available pastels. As balance to the immediacy and spontaneity of working in pastel, I also translate landscapes into woodblock prints, using a Japanese method called moku hanga. Woodblock printmaking requires a careful plan and lots of time to create an image, making it completely opposite to the way I work in pastel. I find that each technique informs and influences the other. I can see a landscape as either a light-filled, atmospheric pastel, or as a more stylized and graphic woodblock print.
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