Linda Andreatta describes her artistic process in creating stunning sunflowers
Editor’s note: In this blog post, Linda describes her approach in creating her pastel Red Sky at Morning, currently part of the show “Summer Work” at the CHAW gallery, 545 7th Street, SE, Washington DC.
Linda Andreatta: Red Sky at Morning
I have always been drawn to chalk pastels. The colors are so pure and vibrant. Chalk pastels throw light back into the world in a very intense way. After eight years, I am still exploring the possibilities and trying to break through my own limitations.
- When I’m looking for a new subject to draw, I prefer slightly off-kilter compositions with some element that I think might be tricky to translate to two dimensions. A garden on Massachusetts Avenue met both these criteria. The colors of the petals of these red sunflowers and the complicated texture of the seeds caught my attention immediately. When I photographed them from the street level, I got a lovely, odd angle.
Once I’ve sketched out the composition, my “pastelling” style is rather ponderous, continually making micro decisions about color or shading, whether to blend colors or just lay two colors side by side.
After I finished the sunflowers, I had to adjust the colors of the row houses and the sky so they wouldn’t compete with the flowers.
I knew the centers of the flowers would be the most challenging feature of the composition, but it was a bigger challenge than I had hoped for. Multiple attempts to draw the centers still didn’t yield one that matched the idea in my imagination! I hit a wall and had to take a break of several months before I could drop my original ideas and begin again. Solving the insolvable. What could be more fun?
Linda’s final work: Red Sky at Morning. Pastel.