Old Work: pastel still life

Still life with chair, Vivien Blackburn. pastel

I came across this old drawing when rooting through the plan chest, looking for something else and decided to show it. It's on red Ingres paper in a mix of pastels - mostly Unison. I love their velvety softness. It's fairly large - a full sheet of Ingres.

This was done at a pastel weekend workshop - I think it was in the first year of my degree, during the holidays. The colours of the set up were wonderful and so I chose the red paper so it could flicker through the other colours.

Still life isn't usually my 'thing' though once started I can get hooked. The battered velvet chair with the dent in the seat was fun to do and I played with the perspective, exagerating it slightly.

I need to get my pastels out asap as there is a pastel society exhibition in March I must put work into.

I may put this on Etsy as it's just sitting there in the drawer doing nothing. What do you think?


Billie Crain said…
i think this one's a winner, Vivien! put a price tag on it and get it out there! i'm not a fan of still lifes either but this is wonderful.
vivien said…
aah thank you Billie :>)
vivien said…
aah thank you Billie :>)
Robyn Sinclair said…
I think it's fabulous! Just look at that how that turquoise sings on the red ground. Gorgeous, Vivien.

What other treasures are you hiding in your plan drawer?!
Anita said…
I like this too - considering I do still lifes, I'm not really sure that I am in to them either. Odd! Love that red paper - I just bought some and have no idea with it now that I have it!
laura said…
Yes, it's gorgeous--the colors are lush and harmonious and so appealing! I tried pastels too, awhile back, but could never use them to their best advantage: this is a perfect of example of their best advantage!
dinahmow said…
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
Now, Vivien, I (and 8 other printmakers in a local group) accepted a challenge to cut a self portrait in lino, to be printed in black on A4 paper.
Your mission, should you accept it, is to do the same! (Unless, of course, this email self-destructs!)
Seriously, lately there has been some terrific printmaking displayed by both professionals and newcomers. I'll toss this to the wider field on my blog, but feel free to spread the word.
vivien said…
thank you all :>)

Yes, I loved the way the colours sang - but can't take any credit for the set up as it was a workshop - I just knew that red paper would be perfect though :>)

Anita you'll have fun with the red paper I'm sure - set up something with lush complimentaries - think Shirley Trevena !

I think you need to work on a larger scale to get the lushness from pastels - they lose something if you work smaller - or maybe someone can prove me wrong! actually thinking about it, David Blackburn (no relation) does the most Beautiful small abstracts as well as larger one, in pastel.

Oh Dinah - what a cruel challenge!!!! a self portrait - my nightmare! and no colour either .... Ok - I'll have a go < shakes in shoes at thought >
dinahmow said…
Thankyou, Vivien.(And, yes, it is a daunting task, but I'm sure you're equal to it.)
Ujwala Prabhu said…
i just love it! it's beautiful!
caseytoussaint said…
This is lovely. I've never used Unison pastels, but I've read a lot of good things about them!
Private said…
Nice blog!

vivien said…
Hi Ujwala :>) your work is going really well!

Casey I think you'd love Unisons - they are soft and velvety and luscious but don't crumble like some soft pastels

Rachete - your blog is really interesting, I enjoyed visiting and will return :>)

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