The October 2017 Pastel Challenge!
It’s October and I am back to doing the annual pastel challenge! It means that, along with a group of other pastel artists and enthousiasts led by Gail Sibley, we challenge ourselves to paint with pastels every day of the month.
Paint every day; easy, right?
Well, not as easy as it sounds! Doing something every day builds routine, but finding time to do it is the real challenge for me. With a very energetic 2-year-old in the house, plus all the other chores, tasks and jobs that need doing in any family household, it’s not easy to find time every day to pick up pastel and paint.
Apart from the time constraints, the other big challenge is focusing on what you’re doing and picking subjects that inspire you to paint. Last year, as you may remember, my inspiration came mostly from the natural world; I painted a lot of owls and flowers last year. This year I am finding more inspiration in vintage vehicles, and still also some birds, yet to date I’ve only done 1 flower so far in the challenge.
I am finding challenge in getting the patina of ageing paint, rust and chrome down on paper with my pastels, and also the smooth, non-negotiable curved shapes of a vehicle challenge my skills. Vespas, VW beetles and vans are on the drawing board this month.
Painting on the road.
Earlier in the month we went to Chiang Rai to get out of Bangkok for a few days, and get some fresh air and soak up some time in nature. We stayed at the lovely Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Elephant Sanctuary. Set on an outcrop overlooking the rivers separating Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, it’s surrounded by thick jungle, rice paddies and some hills where the rescued elephants roam freely at night.
As I was committed to the daily pastel challenge, I brought some pastel pencils, pre-cut pastel paper, a sketchbook and some soft pastels with me, and managed to draw and paint every day. I painted what I saw around me for a few days; elephants, a poolside setting, a signpost in the middle of a rice field and a small still-life of a fedora and a piña colada.
I’ll be uploading my pastels here as they are created, and you can also head over to my Facebook page for daily updates and seeing them at the end of each day. There’s about a week left in the Challenge as I write this; send me some suggestions of what you’d like to see me paint in the October Pastel Challenge and beyond!