I always knew that I wanted to be an artist... someday.
According to my Mother, I grew up with a pencil in my hand – always drawing something! (And it was usually horses - I LOVED horses!) My parents encouraged me every step of the way! I even remember being introduced to their friends as "our little artist"!
I married my high school sweetheart and together we had two boys. Ron (my husband), took over where my parents left off and became my biggest cheerleader! Slowly, between raising kids, milking cows (yep, we used to dairy farm!) and life in general, I began my art "career"!
After we sold our cows, Ron even built me a little studio out of a former calf shed! This is a wonderful space where I can simply look out into my little fence-lined courtyard and find inspiration! Every spring through fall, there are birds singing, bees buzzing and all kinds of critters running around! The tranquility of winter brings its own beauty!
It won’t take you long to notice that the subjects for my artwork revolve around nature. There is something very satisfying for me – to see something so beautiful, then recreate it on paper... capturing a memory or a moment in time.
God has given me so much to be thankful for. I have been blessed with the love of my family, three of the sweetest grandkids in the world (spoken like a true grandma!), wonderful opportunities and through it all, amazing support. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to work at what I love to do... and being able to call so many of my customers, my friends, is the icing on the cake!
Why Did I Choose Pastels For My Medium?
Well, I didn’t actually choose pastels.
In fact, I was never fond of the medium when I was introduced to them in high school! Graphite pencils and charcoals were always my first choice. (I still love using them!) I enjoyed the fine details I was able to achieve by using any kind of pencil... just sharpen to a point and away I would go! I felt that pastels were cumbersome and awkward to use (not to mention MESSY!) and with them, I wasn’t able to get that detail I desired. (I’m kind of a detail freak!)
Fast forward a few years...
When my boys were young, I was able to sneak in some time during naps to do a few drawings for family and friends. One year for my birthday, my Mother-in-Law (who I adored and now greatly miss) bought me my first set of pastels. She wanted to see what I could do in color! She had no idea how strongly I disliked this medium (dare I say HATED!) And of course, I never did tell her! Instead, I was so grateful for her special gift and that she wanted to invest in me. So... obviously I decided I better give it a good shot and see what I could do.
The rest is history!
I ended up falling in love! With lots of and practice (and patience!), I discovered how the velvety soft pigments of pastels worked perfectly for all the subjects I enjoyed painting. From birds and their soft feathers, the powdery texture of a butterfly wing – to the fur of an animal, and of course, the beautiful landscapes! It took a little time for me to get it right, but I’m grateful for the journey.
So, you see... pastels found me!
PS. It’s STILL a messy medium, but I’ve come to terms with it!
What Are Pastels?
A pastel consists of pure powdered pigment and binder in a stick. It's basically the same pigment that is used in all art mediums. Pastels come in 4 forms: hard pastels, soft pastels, pastel pencils, and oil pastels. The hardness or softness of a pastel is determined by the amount of binder in the stick. Soft pastels have less binder and more pigment. They normally have a rounded shape. Hard pastels are usually rectangular and have more binder to keep the stick together. Each has different qualities and creates different effects. For example, soft pastels are easy to smudge and blend, whereas hard pastels are good for creating tight, precise details. Pastel pencils are pastels that are encased in wood, allowing for less mess and more control over details. They can be easily blended with regular hard or soft pastels. Oil pastels are great for creating painterly effects, but their wax binder means they're incompatible with other pastel types.
To make a pastel painting or drawing, it is essential that the surface have some degree of abrasion or toothy surface. The pastel particles can then rest on the paper, whereas smooth surfaces are too slick to accept pastel. Pastels can be blended with fingers, a blending stump, or a cloth. Unlike the process of painting, the colors are mixed directly on the paper, rather than on the palette. This is why blending is so important!
When handled correctly, pastels are permanent and can last just as long as any other medium. Pastels never crack, yellow or darken over time. When properly framed and securely hung, the particles will stay fixed in place for centuries.
What Is A Giclée?
The Giclée (pronounced zhee-clay) process is the art of accurately reproducing an original piece of artwork. Typically the Giclée process is used to produce limited edition prints of higher quality and value than standard lithography. To qualify as a Giclée reproduction the process must meet three basic criteria. First, the image must be digitally captured and processed. This ability allows the image to be fine tuned to closely match the original in color and depth. After processing, the image is then sent to the Giclée quality inkjet printer. Second, Giclée means to spray on ink, so it must be printed on a high-resolution inkjet printer to create an image as precise as the original. Third, and most important for fine art, is image longevity and permanence to last throughout the ages.
It is important that your fine art reproduction maintains it’s value. To achieve this, archival ink and media are used in production of your artwork print. With the proper media and inks, the reproduction can last from 100-200 years without noticeable fading or image depreciation. Although special materials and technology are used to create this limited edition artwork, it should be treated as if it were an original piece and care given to the environment in which it’s to be displayed. Much time and teamwork between the original artist and the reproduction specialist have gone into producing this artwork for your lasting enjoyment, appreciation and investment.
What Is An Off-set Lithograph?
Offset lithography involves transferring the image onto an intermediate surface before printing it onto the final sheet, (rather than printing the image directly from plate onto paper as is the case with most printmaking techniques).
This process is one of the most common ways of creating printed materials. Compared to other printing methods, offset printing is best suited for economically producing large volumes of high-quality prints in a manner that requires little maintenance. A few of its common applications include: newspapers, magazines, brochures, stationery, and books.
One of the important functions in the printing process is prepress production. This stage makes sure that all files are correctly processed in preparation for printing. This includes converting to the proper CMYK color model, finalizing the files, and creating plates for each color of the job to be run on the press.
Do You Donate To Any Charities?
Yes! I donate 10-25% to a variety of charities with each print sale. These charities include Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Freedom Honor Flight, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Seasons 4 Hope, and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Each of these charities have a very special meaning to me.
Every time I look into – and beyond my little fence lined courtyard, I find inspiration for a new drawing or painting. There are birds singing their sweet little songs, bees buzzing around the flowers and the apple trees – and all kinds of critters finding sanctuary at our old retired dairy farm. Inspiration... I don’t have far to look!
© 2021 Art By Gail - Gail Pommerening.
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