Sunday, July 22, 2012

This is the beginning of a cover for Sidelines magazine honoring all the American horses that competed at the London Olympic Games in London this year. It is being painted in a larger size than necessary to make it easier for me to get the details, and it can then be cropped and reduced to suit the magazine's needs for banner and side information on articles inside. I'm doing it on pastel board in several kinds of oil pastel, with the harder textured ones underneath.
Several of you have asked why I prefer oil pastel: some years ago, I was a passenger in a carriage driving accident in Acadia National Park in Maine. I was thrown head first into a stone wall at high speed and altitude, and, aside from many broken bones and four surgeries, from the brain trauma I went into early onset of Essential Tremor. What this basically means is that my hands shake (very inconvenient for eating soup), and, as an artist who used to do highly detailed work, I had to find another way to create. I can't control a brush very well, so I experimented with oil pastel sticks and ways to brace my hand and arm to paint. It's kind of like using crayons. My technique had to change, but my creative spirit was always there to spur me on. As time goes by, the condition will worsen and I'll have to morph into the next method of handling art materials. As you can imagine with a wake up call like that, life became very precious to me, and I decided that my mission in life, and especially in this recession, is to cheer people up with my art. If you have ever smiled at my strange painting sense of humor, then you have made me very happy and I know I'm the luckiest girl in the world!

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