Diana Sanford‘s pastel abstract, Reckoning, received the Richeson Pastel Bronze Award in the 18th Annual Pastel 100 Competition.
“Color and design are the strengths here, with impeccably subtle layering,” says Abstract & Non-Objective Category Juror Marcia Holmes of Sanford’s award-winning pastel abstract, below. “There’s also intrigue. We want to see this painting in person to view the variety of transparent layers and line work.”
Three Stages of Creation
To achieve such stunning results, Sanford has long practiced a process that encourages spontaneity through intuition and receptivity. She has identified three stages in her painting process. The first is the initial setup—format, palette and idea. The second is the event stage. “I like to think of painting as an event, not a result or product,” says Sanford. The third is
the critical stage, which involves evaluating the painting and looking for any changes or additions that need to be made.
“I may cycle through the stages, perhaps multiple times, before a painting is completed,” Sanford says. “But what’s important to me is to try to keep that criticism—that evaluative part of thinking—out of the event stage. This way, I’m giving myself permission to be receptive and responsive to what’s going on, to what I observe developing, to what the painting is saying to me. Then there’s totally open communication. When that stage closes, usually not right away, I’ll come back to evaluate and reconcile,” she says.