Carol Ast


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I paint with pastels because there’s something about the medium that appeals to me – most likely the direct contact between myself and the surface. And, pastels are an easy medium:   a thin line, a weighted line, a massive area can all be made with the same piece of pastel. Areas can be removed and “painted” over. I can blend different ways with my hands or with colors stroked over an existing color. It’s luminous, it’s messy, but controllable.

I paint landscapes because the land has always had an attraction for me, the three-dimensional forms of rocks, trees, and clouds have always been major factors in my choices of subjects. In addition, I believe that nature and beauty are valuable components of human existence, and landscape has it all. My preferred place to work is on site, but often photographs are necessary to use in the studio when light conditions are too fleeting, or it’s not possible to return to a site to resume or complete the work.

Recently I’ve been exploring the construction of bas reliefs with various materials, a revisiting of my MFA work in sculpture. In addition to painting, I have extensive experience teaching art to students of all ages, and have been organizing and conducting Pastel Landscape Workshops in New Mexico, New York, and Maine, which I enjoy very much.

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