To say that Jeanette Rehahn, featured in the February 2017 issue of Pastel Journal, feels connected to the land she calls home in Montana is an understatement. To hear her describe it, her moments in that environment sound almost like a spiritual communion. “Grasses talk to me,” she says. “There’s just something about them.” And many of Rehahn’s pastel landscapes feature these whispering grasses—what the artist refers to as the “living carpet of the earth”—in meticulously rendered thin lines and pops of colors.
Instead of using spray ﬁxative to set her pastel landscapes, Rehahn gently presses her strokes into the paper with her ﬁnger, moving her ﬁnger up her individual blades of grass to soften the look. She continues this as she moves forward in the picture plane, creating a feeling of depth and form. Sometimes the artist uses pastel pencil to achieve the ﬁne strokes, but often a hard Rembrandt works just as well.
“I want the grasses themselves to become the details,” she says of the visceral experience she hopes to provoke in her viewer. “I want to cause people to stop, to recognize that a field of grass is a wonderful living carpet.”
Pictured below are a few of her pastel landscapes that didn’t make it into the February issue. To learn more about Jeanette Rehahn, order your February Pastel Journal—in print or as a download!