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Lesley Dickman

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Pastel Landscape
From observing rolling seas, old quarries, railways, straw hills, and early Australian townships and their surrounding landscape, I find a constant reservoir of colour, movement, shapes, and images that nourishes the spirit and give me food for thought and material for innovative ideas and a fresh approach.

The discovery of pastels has been a connecting thread for working spontaneously and boldly with colour, so with the combination of time-tested techniques and a vibrant palette, I try to create works that express the spirit and inner essence of the landscape. Capturing varying moods and seasonal change, I highlight the beauty of the real and imagined world.
Within the creative process I like to mix other materials with pastel such as charcoal, salt, paint, fabric, plaster, paper, clay, and more. Combining a variety of materials not only allows a broader scope for my expression, the physical and felt surface becomes synonymous with the landscape itself.
A Quick History of Oil Pastels
The first-ever oil pastel was introduced in 1925 by Sakura. It was then called “Cray-Pas”. It was named such because it was a cross between clean, dustless crayons, and it had the vibrance of saturated colours of traditional pastels.
While it was loved by many, this painting medium only took off a few years later after Picasso and Henri Goetz coordinated with Henri Sennelier about crafting a painting material using traditional artist pigments. Goetz explained that he wanted something he could use for oil painting, a medium that would perfectly blend even with painted layers. Picasso, on the other hand, simply wanted to leave his brush behind and apply paint directly on his canvas.
Soon, Sennelier was able to deliver. He created a range of oil pastels with 48 colours. They had subtle grey and earth-toned hues, which was what Picasso wanted. For each colour, Sennelier produced 40 sticks. Picasso bought many of them and the rest were displayed on Sennelier’s shop, where they sold out very quickly.
The pastel medium suited my form of expression well.
Creating Beautiful Pastel Landscapes that are Confronting but Aesthetically Pleasing
I am interested in interpreting the forms and built structures that appear in nature, a tree may become an abstract cone shape, or a railway line takes you out to sea. The surrealist in me likes to invent odd partnerships and landscape based environments that have a dreamy quality. Sometimes I add the figure as a point of interest. With an emphasis on light and shade the works are inclined to appear theatrical, with a sense of heightened drama or a particular moment in time, probably influenced by my years of professional work painting theatre sets.
My work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions, including my latest show an installation titled Homage to Small Girls, other solo shows include Heartbeat, Salt & the Dress, Valley Dreamscapes, Artefacts, and Who Defines Me?
Find out more about her work. Contact her on 04 3792 8051, send an email to lesley@lesleydickman.com.au, or fill out the online contact form on her website. You may also visit her studio by appointment.

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