Of all the painting mediums, I find that working with pastels gives me the greatest pleasure for several reasons. If seen under a microscope, a particle of the pastel pigment looks like a faceted diamond. Facets reflect the light like a prism. This characteristic is what gives the pastel painting its brilliant luminescent quality. In addition, the pastel stick is composed of pure pigment combined with a minimal amount of binder to hold it together which results in its purity of color. Because of this, paintings created with pastels never oxidize, crack or darken with the passage of time. Another reason for my prefering this medium, is that I find it very exciting that it affords the artist the option of creating an effect that is bold, intense and brilliant, or if he choses, one of exquisite delicacy and softness. In addition, depending on the technique used, a pastel painting can resemble an oil painting or watercolor, or applied as a light sketch with much of the paper visible, a technique used by many of the masters.
Having been a sculptor, I love the "hands-on" nature of working with this medium. Getting my hands "dirty" by holding the pastel sticks, and at times working directly on the paper with my fingers to achieve certain effects gives me a wonderful tactile pleasure!
At present, I find that the syle of painting that best reflects what I am trying to express is representational with impressionistic influences. When painting a scene that has deeply touched me, it is my hope that it will stir memories and emotions in the viewer who can then personalize that scene and make it his or her own place.
The ever-present challenge for me as an artist is to be able to capture and interpret the incredible beauty of our earth and the fascinating people on it.