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THE ARTWORK OF GAINOR E. ROBERTS

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PASTEL NUDE

Pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes
25 x 19     c. 1959-1964

Brackman’s classes were mostly for oil painters but he demonstrated his approach to pastel in all his classes, as I recall seeing him do it often in Noank, and also in New York. He did not encourage us to spend time on pastel in the class, as he thought it was more important to understand the mechanics of painting.

But the obsessive rebel I was, had to try my hand at doing a pastel and this nude was the result, and perhaps my first major drawing from the figure as well. The trick was to leave some of it unfinished, which was not Brackman’s idea, but he did it masterfully.

I don’t recall if it was my mother, or my grandmother, who decided it should be framed and hung, but it was taken to the framer who mounted it nicely, and for years my parents had this pastel hanging in their very stiff, formal living room in their home outside Philadelphia. It really didn’t fit in very well with the old paintings of ancestors, and other paintings that my parents inherited, but I was very proud of them as it did draw quite a bit of commentary from their stodgy friends who were fairly vocal about this pastel. Most of them thought it would have been better in the bedrooms upstairs, and I suspect some of them thought it should be in a closet somewhere!

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