Harley Talkington

Since childhood, creativity has been a way for me to enjoy life! In my younger years I created games, mobiles, experimental writing and a variety of poetry forms. For over 40 years I have enjoyed teaching elementary and middle school students, weaving art into history, science, writing, math and literature lessons, learning along with them about painting, sculpture, mask-making, tessellations, illuminated manuscripts, abstract art and much more. When I officially retired from full-time teaching, I was determined to “do something artistic.” After touring some artists in Washington County’s Open Studios in 2015, I fell in love with pastels and the immediacy of them. My love affair with them continues in all of my work here! Each of these scenes, to be able to witness these spots, was a gift to me. The lure of light or dance of shadows changes me and has inspired what you see in this collection. As Arthur Miller once proclaimed, “Attention must be paid!” Each of my pastel paintings is my way of “paying attention” and honoring a place of beauty that I was privileged to see. Whether painting plein air, or working from my photo back in the studio, I use pastels to respond to what moved me. My process involves sketching out the simple shapes and beginning to shade with the darkest spots first. Often I will loosely paint across the page with complimentary colors and then “wash”across it with alcohol to quickly dry. Over that I may add brush or palette knife strokes with a clear gesso for texture. Then I start applying pastels. Sometimes, though, I simply dive in with a handful of colors, block out shapes and see where it goes. I have to leave room for surprises. New color combinations or effects may appear and can take me in a different direction. Each painting is paying tribute to a special place. I invite you to join me there!

One in the Same ~ 40 x 18 x 6 ~ Totem Shriver ~ #115

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