Monday, March 9, 2009

tracking the dusties

I've spent quite a bit of time lately trying to get my pastel collection under control. I've been painting in pastel for 3 1/2 years now, and my collection has reached a size where it requires some organization. I've developed some definite likes and dislikes, and I've used up a bunch of favored sticks.

Unfortunately, I can't replace some of my favorites because the labels are peeled off and I don't know what they are! After spending hours with the Heuchroval pastel chart, trying to identify two crucial sticks from tiny remnant crumbs, I dug out my Dakota Pastel Personal Pastel Record. I received it as a gift over a year ago and it has languished in a drawer, because who has time to go through and identify every little stick?

Deadlines notwithstanding, it appears that I do. I went through my collection and recorded every stick that still wears a label. There isn't a lot of order to it--I would do one brand's section very nicely by hue and value, then find a bunch of random sticks that I'd missed and have to wedge them in any which way--but it's finished and they're all there, even the new ones that came just the other day.

My collection isn't huge, and I'm not generally wedded to particular colors; if I run out of one, I pick up another and figure out how to make it work. But there are a couple of sticks that I really wish I could replace. I've learned a lot by substituting and improvising, and I've even experimented with changing palettes mid-series, which has been hugely educational (and frustrational), but I want that bright, bright red-orange back!

Anyhow, pastellists, get Dakota's little black book. It's great.

(Now I need to come up with a method for organizing and storing--and cat-proofing--the sticks on my worktable without spending hundreds of dollars. But that's for another post--and another weekend!)


  1. Could it be that you were born under the sign of Virgo?

    Whenever I am stressed or under deadlines, there's nothing more satisfying than a reorganization of: brushes, paints, reference photos, drawers, pencils...

    And yes - it will eventually pay off in time saved, but I find my mind needs this in order to settle down...

    I had no idea there were commercial products for such sortings!

  2. LOL, Patrice--my sun is in Leo, but I have Virgo rising and a lot of my planets are in Virgo.

    The inner Leo/Virgo conflict gets pretty interesting at times...

  3. but don't be fooled--I do this to procrastinate! Any beneficial results are merely side effects (and make for good rationalization).

  4. I'm impressed.

    Ha!--if you find out how to cat-proof ANYTHING, you must let us know. :)


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