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Artist Profile: Carol Allen Pastels

May 15, 2011

Another in our series of artists profiles!  This week, Carol Allen…

Please tell us the name of your business and what you create.

The name of my business is Carol Allen Pastels.

Where do you live?

Right here in Mill Valley!

Give us a little history of how you got into the business. What inspires you? Do you have a day job?

I used to do water colors many years ago when my children were young.  When they went off to college I worked in a pediatrics office as a Medical Assistant.  It was a very rewarding job.  Seven years ago I retired and once again felt the need to create.  This time my medium is soft pastels.  Working from dark to light is so natural for me, and so different from water colors.  The soft, sensual, translucent shapes just seem to flow from my soul to the paper.  It feels so good to work in this medium.

What is something unique or interesting about you or the process?

Yoga and meditation help me to visualize how everything in the picture frame is connected, foreground, background, and image.  One cannot exist without the others.  I render the background first and then drop my subjects into this little “nest”.  I photograph my images from many different angles, choose the best composition, and then work, when possible, from the image for color.

I try to use a palette of warm and cool red, yellow and blue and off white.  All of the colors are carefully added and blended on the paper.

What do you enjoy most about your work? The least?

Most of all I enjoy sitting at my art table and creating.  The thing I like least about my work is cutting mats and framing the pieces.

What have you learned along the way?

Along the way I have learned to be more bold with my colors and more dramatic with my compositions.

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