Story Behind the Works | Liz Balkwill PS

/ Pastel Society


Liz Balkwill PS on the works she is exhibiting at The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2021.

For her collection of work in this year's exhibition, Liz found inspiration from Hellebores growing in her garden during lockdown, riding and painting horses and returning to similar themes

One of the first pastels I completed during the initial lockdown was Hellebores with Dish.

Like many others who were lucky enough to have a garden to enjoy, it became a place of real solace in those initial months. I've always liked hellebores, and this year they gave me more delight than ever. 

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The pastel Blossom in Bottle was also done during this time - blossoms so full of hope and a cheery sight in the spring. 

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And I thought that the bowl with the balanced chopsticks suggested the need to retain or maintain equilibrium. Time to slow down and reevaluate. We need that more than ever during this current crisis. 

The third pastel is Preserving the Citrus. I seem to return to this theme regularly.

I love the colour and textures that the subject has to offer and one of my favourite effects is the transmitted light achieved through backlighting and the flesh of citrus. and preserving the fruit as jams and marmalade opens up another dimension, the opportunity to paint all the wonderful reflections on the glass jars and metal screw tops.

There is so much to offer every time. 

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From the Horse's Mouth was a pastel I made of Ruby. She's an American Paint, a Mare and a Matriarch of her herd, which consists of eight horses. 

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Due to the restrictions, I've spent more time riding and painting horses this year since I was a girl.

And I wanted to show something of that because I suppose during this time, I've probably painted nearly 30 horses, which seems incredible really. 

The final painting was Ready to Scramble, which I'm pleased to say has sold quite quickly. It was produced as a piece for an article for the Artists and Illustrators magazine. I've been doing quite a lot of egg paintings lately. They're ready, ready at hand, always in the kitchen for us to crack, cook, and they make great subject matter. 

A broken egg is said to symbolise broken dreams and changed plans. Whereas the whole egg, as you know, is the symbol of the circle of life and new beginnings. 

Let's hope you've got those coming to us all soon and life returns to normal as soon as possible for everyone.

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