Harley Talkington

In my youth I explored a variety of creative outlets including game-making, music, mobiles, experimental writing, and a variety of poetry forms. Energized by my love of the Humanities and Science, I earned my teaching degree in Elementary education, and taught most subjects primarily to 4th through 8th grade students over the course of my career. I am very grateful for this opportunity to grow along with my students and the joy we could find incorporating art into all manner of subjects from Math to Literature, History and Science. When I retired from full-time teaching, I discovered pastels. Since they are sticks of pure pigment, they are literally a “hands-on” medium. In my paintings I am responding to settings that touch me and pastels are great because they are right there at my fingertips!
Strong places have what I call “Presence.”  If I see a place and am “really there” in my mind, I can feel its vibrancy and am moved by it! “Presence” then, draws me in, energizes, fascinates, and changes me. I hope my work does the same for you! Within my medium of pastels, I continue to explore new methods and materials, letting each composition dictate the truest way to capture it.  My process may start with an underpainting of colors that loosely capture or complement the atmosphere of the landscape.  I may apply a layer of gesso with pumice in it to accentuate texture, giving it more depth and surprise when I later apply pastel across it.  Sometimes ink slashes and shadows play into it. Other pieces rely on the dramatic tension of the colors themselves. I try to find the drama, beauty and truth at the heart of each place, letting each scene show me how to get closest to it. The trick for me is to know when I am there and leave room for the viewer to join me.

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