How do pastels relate to Easter? What are pastels as a Medium?
Pastels relate to both color (pale and light) and the medium. Crushed chalk with dry pigments are combined with a binder to create a “crayon”. It is used both in drawing and painting. This medium, given care as with any art form, will stand the test of time and is considered permanent. Fragility is a factor,:pastel dust may come off the painting during transportation. When finished, pastels should be given a spray coat of fixative to resolve this issue.
Easter and Pastel Colors: Because Easter occurs in spring, the colors of flowers and flowering tree blossoms are often in the range considered “pastel”: light blues, turquoise, yellow, green, pink, white, lavender. The symbolism of eggs as new birth and new life, are an old Easter tradition as well. Dyeing Easter eggs is mostly done in soft, pastel colors.Each coming of spring, the marketing of clothing, candy and cards with pastel colors arrives in great variety. Because of their rapid birth rate, rabbits have always been associated with fertility, and are another Easter symbol.
Pastels were used as far back as prehistory in cave art. Pastels were used as a medium in eighteenth century portraiture in preliminary drawings. The Nineteenth century French artist, Edgar Degas, primarily worked in pastels. Subjects were often ballet dancers as well as race horses. He lived in Montmartre, a part of Paris, and painted what was familiar: the cabaret environment. Mary Cassatt, an American artist who moved to Paris, was also a famous pastel artist. She became known for her mother and child portraits.
Today, pastels remain popular and are widely available in art supply venues. Artists today often use a mask and gloves in handling pastels.