I recently completed these two pastel drawings as commissioned works.   Both pieces are intended as gifts to the parents of a couple who are marrying this June.  The bride and groom wished to give something special to their parents to thank them for their help in planning the wedding and chose to commission me to create two landscape images.  Each image has a special meaning for their families.  The bride’s parents have a view of Mt. Mansfield from their home in Vermont.  The groom chose his family homestead and discreetly photographed views of the fields, gardens, and house for me to work from.

Working from several photographs, I created each composition to reflect the spirit of these two distinct and  different places.  The intimacy of the Brunswick homestead, with it’s white trellis, open field, and traditional cape farmhouse, contrasts with the majestic view of Mt. Mansfield in Vermont surrounded by pines and birch woods.

A few technical notes about the medium of pastel:  It is quite versatile and immediate, combining the best of drawing and painting.  I have enjoyed using pastel in plein air, out on Mackworth Island in November and recently at the Giant Steps in Harpswell, a rocky promontory by the sea.  I can work in layers, building the planes of color and layering textural elements and details to refine and clarify the elements of the landscape.

Robin Brooks

May 28, 2011