I found myself attracted to exploring pastels, charcoal and chalk over the last year.  I suppose there are multiple reasons for this.

I started working on this in February or March of 2014, at the same time I was experiencing some life changing events.  I was practicing yoga and meditating heavily throughout the day. For two months, I attempted to sit in silence – as much as possible – with no music or television, very little social interaction or computer usage that involved communicating.  My computer time was spent conducting research on emotions, relationships, the body and communication.  I developed a practice of making myself a small dinner late at night after everyone in my house was asleep.  I would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor in complete silence, eating my meal and making an intentional effort remain present in my consciousness.  I focused my awareness on my breathing, making observations about the food and thinking about the source of the food (from seed to store to stomach).   I was also writing extensively throughout this two month period.

I’ve brainstormed a short reflection listing my observations on this media (pastel, chalk and charcoal), its aesthetic qualities and how I experience working with it:

  • Soft and light, there is an intrinsic delicacy
  • Saturated color, vibrance
  • Visceral quality
  • Resists control to a certain degree
  • Emotionally expressive
  • Records movement well
  • Presence
    • Body – Increased awareness of my own bodily experience (conscious awareness of feeling, touching, moving, etc)
    • Mind – Mentally present in the “now” act of making and the ability to analyze and record thinking (space for metacognition)
  • Ephemeral
  • Requires no tools to mediate between creator/creation/created
  • This medium requires lots of open space (for me)

I hope to continue my explorations with soft pigments for drawing and mark making. I find it to be intimate, which contrasts with my daily experience of pushing around pixels.

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