Kathleen Perelka, pastel painter
Pinnacle Studio, Canaan, ME
I have a spiritual connection with nature and being outdoors. Sounds, scents and color feed me. I am most alive outdoors and work almost entirely with landscape; wild places like marshes and blueberry barrens with no homes insight. I also am drawn to farm scenes with huge fields and open sky.
My style is at once impressionistic, expressionistic and realistic. I always representational places. I don’t strive to capture every little detail. Instead, I am looking to capture the essence of a place, a time of year or a time of day.
I love pastels immediacy and vibrancy. I love the way the stick feels in my hand and that there is no brush or pencil or implement of any kind between my hands and the surface I’m working on. Pastel has a sparkle that no other medium can compare to; each little particle reflects both color and light giving the painting a life force of its own.
Soft pastel is unique in that it is applied dry and remains dry throughout the entire process. It is comprised of pure pigment, gum tragacanth, talc and water. It is the most colorfast of all mediums. The pigment particles are multifaceted, and unless they are blended too forcefully, they retain their ability to reflect color and light. Works done in pastel have the unique ability to change in accordance with the light that comes through the window. If one has the opportunity to view a work throughout the day, they may notice that the work may look as though it was painted in the morning, afternoon or evening as the light coming through the window changes. It has a living quality, an ability to change. Because pastel is applied in layers, up to twenty in my paintings, you also get a different optical blending when viewed from different angles.