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The Art of Learning A New Language

I have been trying my best to learn a whole new language since I was last here, on the blog. In fact, I have been learning two new languages. The first language is the language of a new medium; pastel.


To make a long story short, last October, I found myself in the desert near Santa Fe, NM. It was supposed to be a second honeymoon of sorts. My husband had planned a vacation to one of my bucket list items - the balloon festival (Balloon Fiesta) in Albuquerque NM. As luck would have it, at the last minute, all our well made plans were derailed and he had to cancel his part of the trip. I found myself sharing the joys of it all with me, myself, and I. No worries. I enjoyed it just the same. At the last minute, before going on the trip, I added a box of pastels to my luggage. I had not planned on bringing art supplies on my trip at all, as I was supposed to be canoodling with my sweetheart. Adding painting supplies, with all the brushes, containers, paint tubes, liquid containers, and so on, was just too much too think about stuffing into my already full suitcase. Pastels it was, then, a fresh, still shrink-wrapped box of pastels and a few sheets of paper was easy to squeeze in between my well folded layers of clothing.
There was one miscalculation on my part, though, and I only noticed my shortcoming when I was standing out there, in the glorious desert, on my own, having just used my teeth to get at the tight plastic wrapping on the box of pastels. I peeled a bit off with my teeth and tore at it, like a kid opening a new present just retrieved from under the Christmas tree. What? No directions, that's what. I don't know what kind of short circuiting had occurred in my brain... but somehow I thought that a pretty box of brand new pastels that came in their own little box was kind of like an art kit one might get when one is a kid... and that a box like that would have instructions of some sort. No go. Nothing. There I was, in the middle of the desert, no reception on my phone to access the internet so that the ever dependent Google could help me begin a painting out there. There was not much left to do but begin... on my own... grab a pastel... make a mark. And make a mark I did.


I followed the first mark by another, and then another, and it didn't stop until I was all consumed.


I went back home and continued making marks with those little chalk-like sticks.


I painted everything on "my" mountain.


As you know, I deserted all blog writing.


Other than keeping my head above water with my home and family responsibilities, I painted. With pastel.


On cold winter mornings, I could be found painting the sunrise down at the lake.


I stole any free moment I had, and would go out and paint.


Just as I was starting to understand this new language of pastel, my world got rocked and we found out we had to move. AGAIN.


My good friends, Kim & Lee, joke that with this next move they are now more certain than ever that we are participating in a witness protection program. What other explanation could there be for spending my life living like a pack mule. This move was number 26. TWENTY SIX. Craziness. I am sick of it, I tell you. It has thrown a major, stressful, wrench into my art plans. But like everything in life, it has come with a silver lining ... or perhaps something more akin to a rainbow with a pot of gold after a storm... you see, I have moved to Colorado. I am in the mountains. It is beautiful, really, really beautiful here. And so this brings me to the second language I am learning. Everything here, from my corneas out, is different. I don't recognize the plants, the ways the grasses sway, the patterns of the the weather, I can't name but one of the trees. I have to learn the language, the visual language, that is Colorado. This is what you will be seeing in the posts to come. Won't you join me?


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Carole K

Absolutely beautiful, especially the reflections of trees in the water one. I never realised pastel crayons could be so subtle. It is good to have you back and looking forward to hearing more about Colorado.

Melissa P

Carolina! I am eagerly looking forward to more communications from you--in both these new languages. These paintings are all so very moving.

I've been thinking of you often and will send you an email soon.


Your paintings are beautiful and really speak to me. Amazing work! All the best for your start in Colorado and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your art!


First of all WELCOME BACK! Your pastels are beautiful, what a unique texture it creates in your images. A friend of mine from Maine, Kay Sullivan, creates beautiful pastel images, you should check out her website or find her on facebook under the same name.


Welcome back, Carolina! Pastels are my first love, and yours are beautiful. I love how they can be layered and experimenting with different pastel paper is so fun. Try Wallis sanded paper or mat board sometime. Thanks for sharing your work. You and Colorado are lucky to have each other!

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