Passages, 12 x 6″, soft pastel on Ampersand Panel
© 2009 Marianne Post
About three weeks ago I blogged about loosing my reference photo materials for an interrupted plein air session. After a family vacation I have finally been able to get back to the painting I attempted to start while on location in Skagit Valley, Washington. Back in my studio, I had my sketchbook notes, but I admit my memory was beginning to fade. After all, it has been over eight weeks that I envisioned capturing the scene. But to my surprise I found it very liberating not to have a “kodachrome” (does anyone even know that what that is any more?) image influencing me one way or the other. Mood, color and composition were all up for grabs. I had little to direct the painting, just lots of options to explore. I started with a watercolor underpainting on an Ampersand Pastelbord panel. I found that this approach loosens things up and since I wasn’t too sure where I was headed anyways, I had nothing to lose. Responding to how the underpanting dried I applied pastel. In less than an hour I was ready to say “done.” Passages is the result that came with the freedom of letting go and letting the painting lead the way. I think a part of my “control freak” nature is beginning to crack.