12 March, 2007

Diane Townsend

Diane Townsends in flat light outside. Good thing I'm not a photographer.

I would like to feature a few of my favorite brands of pastels and pastel products, now.
Other than my own hand made pastels, I favor the products of Diane Townsend. I consider Diane a friend, and love her art as much as her great pastels. It looks like she has posted a new gallery of art at her website, and I'll be delighted to look at these for quite a while!
I favor her Terrages, but who wouldn't love a hand made, chunky, very pure-hued pastel, with an addition of pumice to increase adhesion? Her pastels take the form of Terrages (big, with more pumice content) and Soft Form and Fine Line (more of a regular shape, with less pumice, and a unique fine shape which favors gestural marks).
Diane has a broad grasp of art, art history, and she takes a seriously astute and skilled approach to mixing her colors. I am as pleased with her colors as I am with Sennelier's, and maybe more so. The French Sennelier's (featured in my next post) are good for purity and for certain colors being very intense, but I think the DT's are all great for their intensity. Of course, you may not always want intensity, but Lord knows it isn't hard to kill intensity in a color.
They are consistent in handling, and they allow for techniques unparalleled by other brands.
I can scumble (lay down a thin, non-opaque layer over bare paper, or another color layer) in a way that cannot be done with an overly soft pastel.
The Dakota Art Pastels people rate Dianes's two product lines as Numbers #6 and #7, in their hierarchy of softness among pastels. Number #1 means the softest, which is Schmincke, and so on. See that chart here.
Have you heard of her daughter's sanded paper? Very high quality, and the coatings are hand applied. I favor it for doing abstract pastels, and it is completely unlike any other paper I have used. Looks like they now have it in smaller packs, rather than just full sheets.
Diane also seems to be a big fan of Wolf Kahn, with whom she collaborated on some of her colors.

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Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism