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
- 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)
- 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.