Pastel Pick of the Week | Brian Cobble “Scratching the Surface”

Pastel artist Brian Cobble’s latest show (his sixth) at Valley House Gallery in Dallas is called “Scratching the Surface,” a rather apt description for the meticulous approach the artist takes in his pastel work. The settings of his paintings vary from lived-in, sometimes quirky urban and suburban environments to serene, natural landscapes, and each one is rich in detail and rife with atmosphere.

Cobble says: “In a broad sense, ‘Scratching the Surface’ is what I do. With an approach that requires applying stroke after stroke and layer upon layer of sharpened pastels, making art is monumentally slow and indirect (and occasionally zen-like). And somehow, somewhere along the way, if one is persistent, and lucky, and the subconscious kicks in properly, a little magic or mystery or atmosphere sneaks into the painting, and just maybe you scratch the surface of something deeper.”

Pastel landscape by Brian Cobble |

Franklin & 8th (2014; pastel on Strathmore illustration board) by Brian Cobble

Scratching the Surface” ran from May 30 to July 3, 2015.


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