I do this every once in a while, go through old paintings or drawings. This time I went through old pastels and old watercolors. I don’t go through the pastels very often because I hate touching them. They get my hands all dirty and dusty with the pastel dust and I worry about damaging the ones that I care about.
One of my cats decided to jump into the flat file drawer that I was going through and ended up with a blue paw pad and a green paw pad. She got whisked to the bathroom where I tried to wash her paws and she mewed pitifully. Then I threw her outside hoping the rain puddles would wash the rest.
Each time I go through them I throw out more, cutting deeper into any “stash” that seems precious. I haven’t done any pastels since early 2003 … almost 10 years! I have thrown out so many over the years that I bet I don’t even have 12 left. The one above (“A Mask for All Occasions”) was on the toss out pile but I rescued it and it still lives in my flat file.
Don’t get me wrong. Pastels can be absolutely beautiful but it is definitely not my medium of choice.
The watercolors are easier to go through. No dust, no careful handling just a quick decision of whether to keep them or toss them. My watercolor paintings are dwindling in number too. I’m pretty ruthless about keeping things that I don’t like or am tired of looking at (the painting below was tossed). This time I even chucked some paintings that were accepted into the Watercolor Society of Oregon.
This process can feel absolutely wonderful!