Land O’ Lakes Iris and Sunflowers 18 x 24 pastel 2006
The “one that got away” series is all about work on its way to the dumpster. I have one more chance to record the remains, and this is it. “Land O’ Lakes” was my first pastel after a long period of working in oils. My schedule does not allow long stretches of time to set aside for painting and I was continually grousing about dry paint, dry canvases and ruined brushes. My husband, and fellow painter, suggested I try a medium that was dry to start with and eliminate the problem at the root. I love living with another painter – it would have taken me another year to figure that out.
“Land O’ Lakes” was named for its resemblance to the actual lakes and not the butter. I have another yellow iris called “Evening Sky” – it’s very confusing. That pale blue translucence makes a beautiful flower but a very difficult drawing. And there are other problems: the composition is large and sprawling, the figures complex and the color range much too close for my inexperience. Also pastel is very fragile, even on the very forgiving surface of the Ampersand board. You’ll notice the turquoise vase is looks flat and unconvincing because I added layers of chalk to get it right. Doesn’t work, does it?
Another day, another drawing to Strawberry Hill.