Unveiling My Glowing World

Posted by: Nancy Laughlin

I work exclusively with pastels on paper. I begin a “simulated still life” drawing by choosing carefully selected visual effects put into improbable situations. Welcome to my world. My process is as important as the finished pastel drawing, even though the viewer is unaware of the hidden steps. My “simulated still lifes” allow me to enter an unreal world of my own creation. Once this unreal composition is photographed and documented, it becomes a tangible reality.

I create these stills by first gathering specifically chosen “props” and then combining them to create a “new” concept of the still life. My extensive collection of mirrors of every kind, glass objects in every shape, sheer fabrics, baubles and sparkles, allows me to create the appropriate balance of translucency, layering and glitter. Bodies of water, be it bowls, fountains, photographs of oceans, or even a glimmer of a reflection of shimmery water, are also incorporated to add to the controlled, multi-layering of objects. Photographs of landscape are also an added element, incorporated to serve as a natural counter balance to the glitter, sequins and sparkle. I set up my compositions in strong light that creates intense shadows, vibrant color, reflections and shimmering auras of light. The composition is then photographed to capture the moment. Many times the photograph itself is rephotographed to add more sparkle or juxtapositions. I work from the photograph to create the finished pastel on paper. I draw the things I love the most: the fun comes from combining all the elements, enveloping the viewer and unveiling my glowing and unique world.

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