BERNARD MYERS (1925-2007)
Still life with a vase of flowers, fruit and a cakestand
signed B Myers (lower left)
pastel on paper, unframed
sheet: 56 x 76 cm (22 x 30 in)
This work is number 1075 in the Bernard Myers Archive
Describing his pastel technique Bernard commented: 'I work methodically from the broadest areas towards the finest details, making the closest tone and colour changes in flower heads, petals and leaves, or in a series of greens in fruits. When the whole picture-surface is covered I stop work; freshly worked oil pastels need to be allowed to set.
I then lightly brush the surface to remove any loose pastel, and start the next stage. My light shading is done by stippling with large stencil brushes and house painters' brushes. I half-soften or dissolve oil pastel on a china palette or dish with a little white spirit. I pick up the colour on the tips of the brushes and gently beat it on a scrap of paper or card to remove lumps and bits. I then carefully stipple the colour onto the flat oil pastel in thin layers. This is how my subtle colour changes are achieved... I work a little at a time, judging the effect at each stage; go too far, and there is no recovery.
When I am satisfied, I burnish and polish the finished pastel with burnishing tools, soft brushes and lint-free cloth. The cloth has to be used in a soft pad since a loose thread, or a crease or fold in the cloth can badly scar the surface of the picture. This process fixes the pastel and makes the use of fixative or varnish unnecessary. The pastels can be worked to a high enamel-like gloss.
So far my pastel works do not seem to have changed over two decades or so. The technique is simple enough; good paper is very stable and if the surface is reasonably protected in mounting and framing there should be no future problems.
The process I have described would not suit everybody. I developed it after a long period of trial and error, and many of the more personal aspects of the technique are too difficult to put into words - the feel of the medium, subtle qualitative changes, between different makes of oil pastel, finding the paper that suits one's hand, and so on. One could follow these diirections absolutely and come up with entirely different results; it would be interesting to know if anybody tries.' (Bernard Myers, 'Still Life in Pastel' in The Artist, May 1988, p. 16)
Sold for £475
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