Rembrandt pastels


Today’s artwork offering is again from the distant past – an 18 x 14 inch drawing dated 1965 from my Manchester art college days. This is an abstract interpretation of a few dried seed pods of the Honesty flower “Lunaria annua”. The seed heads when seen on the plant after flowering in the garden resemble translucent ovals and are often called “Moon Flower”. I arranged this simple still-life in a jar… but instead of looking at and drawing it from a more traditional side-on angle, I chose a viewpoint directly above, thus looking down vertically onto the subject.

Note from Wikipedia… “The Latin name lunaria means “moon-shaped” and refers to the shape and appearance of the seedpods. The common name “honesty” arose in the 16th century, and may also relate to the translucence of the seedpods. In South East Asia, it is called the “money plant” and in the United States it is commonly known as “silver dollars”, “Chinese money”, or “Chinese coins” because its seedpods have the appearance of silvery coins. For the same reason, in French it is known as monnaie du pape (“the Pope’s money”). In Denmark it is known as judaspenge and in Dutch-speaking countries as judaspenning (coins of Judas), an allusion to the story of Judas Iscariot and the thirty pieces of silver he was paid for betraying Christ.”

I also chose to interpret the still-life as a ‘negative’ image (perhaps my latent interest in black-and-white photography was making itself known) and after drawing the outlines of the overlapping seed heads in green, I filled-in – with much rubbing and blending of the colours with my finger-tips – the spaces surrounding the outlines of the seeds with a mélange of medium and dark brown soft pastel crayons from the Dutch Talens “Rembrandt” range which I bought from an art shop opposite the college, and many of which I still have and use today… and, although initially expensive, what a good investment they proved to be!

Image © 2014 Ed Buziak


“Crowd Scene #1” ~ Ed Buziak (2012)

This image is close to the final stage of my first piece of artwork for 2012. I’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks and this view reflects how I’ve been destroying the original patches of color and crayon strokes. The work is being done with Talens “Rembrandt” soft pastels on Arches Platine paper and measures 30 x 22 inches (77 x 56 cms)… if anyone is perhaps thinking of it for their wall!

I have long admired the dynamic use of color in the works of Scottish artist Alan Davie (I bought one of his lithographs “Celtic Dreamboat II” in the early ’70s which I still have); and that of Bernard Cohen whose work I also bought a small example of again in the ’70s but which was unfortunately destroyed by a careless UK removals firm when we came to France a decade ago. Bernard Cohen’s involved use of complex line being almost hypnotically absorbing and sometimes, despite my implied effect, being soothing as one may feel when exploring a maze with time on your hands but no fear of getting lost in the dark.

And then there is Jackson Pollock  whose paintings defined a new Abstract Expressionist movement in American modern art in the 1940/50s. As his work has sold for as much as $140,000,000 – to a Mexican tycoon – the only chance of his work in my hands is a book or exhibition catalog! Pollock’s technique of pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term “action painting” and with this technique, Pollock was able to achieve a more immediate means of creating art, the paint literally flowing from his chosen tools and containers onto the canvas which he walked and danced across at times.

The impression I am trying to communicate is one of a very crowded thoroughfare, seen from above, with an uncountable number of people coming and going about their business but with a sense of chaos. It is an imaginative scene I dread being caught up in, in reality… having not visited a city of any real size for more than 25 years… and on that occasion when I got near the center, I turned around and retreated to my distant, but calm, village abode.

**I will update this page when I have decided the piece is finished… and has been signed.

** This is now for sale on Saatchi Online for $900…

Image © 2012 Ed Buziak

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