Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Marta's Pastel, the Art Exchange

pastel on brown sanded paper, 4.5 by 6.5 inches,

Soon after we returned home from our recent travels I received a package from my friend Marta. This winter several of us promised to create a piece of artwork for one another, pretty much any medium. These days getting any mail that isn't a bill is a thrill, but to get an original piece of art from a person you admire, well, it doesn't get much better than that!

I've seen Marta's sketches, watercolors, and oils online, but not so many pastels. When I asked her why she chose pears as a subject, she said that her figure drawing instructor said that if you want to learn to portray figures, paint pears. As for using pastel, she told me that she loves intense color (as I do) and that pastels allow her achieve that goal, plus they have the advantage of less clean-up than oils. Please visit her blog here:

I love the repeated shapes in this piece, the texture, and the sense of mass and volume. I'm looking forward to getting this painting framed and up on my wall as a reminder of the good art friends I've made online, and how much I value their friendship and skills.

A bit of serendipity, when my husband read me the morning Super Quiz from our Madison newspaper there was a reference to this poem by Robert Browning. It mentions both springtime and pears, so I'll share it.

Home-Thoughts, from Abroad
by Robert Browning

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That lowest boughs and brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops--at the bent spray's edge--
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when the noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
--Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!


laura said...

Mmm, gorgeous--love the shapes and the colors, esp. that little bit of blue peeking out from between the pears.
What Marta's teacher said is interesting--I'll have to try it!

mARTa said...

I'm happy you liked it! Now to get to work on Laura's! I posted on my blog also and linked to yours. This has been fun!