Keep Your Eyes (and Mind) Open


“Lion King Rock” (watercolor and pastel, 16 x 20 in.)

“I have my eyes open all the time,” says Albert Handell, of finding a landscape subject to paint. “After I’ve parked the car and I’m starting to walk towards, say, a waterfall, I might suddenly see a few trees or rocks. And the scene hits me. It’s not the waterfall, it’s this! I take these intuitive hits very seriously. They are telling me that something out there has touched something inside of me and I should respond to it. Long ago, having found something like that, I would take another five minutes to look around for something else and then go back to it if I found nothing better. These days I don’t do that. If it hits me then it has to be now, and I start work. Sometimes, as I’m working, I might look to the right or left, see something, and think, ‘Well, if I wasn’t painting this I’d be painting that.’ So I come back the next day and do it.”

“Blue Skies Above” (pastel, 15 x 14 in.)

Albert Handell shares his unique “Hunter-Gatherer” organizing strategy, secrets for not overworking a painting, and much more in “Mastering Pastels.”


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