Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crayon Art by a Duluth Artist

On our recent trip to Duluth, Minnesota I was able to meet a wonderful artist, Kristina Nelson in her studio. 

The first day, I was able to look into her shop through the windows.   The next day I went back and she was actually working on her latest piece.  It was a real treat to see her creating at the easel.   

Kristina, the artist and her Grandpa with his portrait
She had some heavyweight tan paper and she was blocking in her subject.  I noticed some polyester quilt batting that was sitting beside her work area.  So I asked her how she used it.  I found out that Kristina ... " uses the quilt batting to brush off the drawing as she colors because little bits of crayons break off as she colors. The quilt batting wipes them away - keeping her drawing surface clean.  She also uses the quilt batting to shine the drawings when they are completely finished.  Finally, she uses the quilt batting to clean her crayon tips."

With my quilting interest, I always have plenty of extra batting on hand in the scrap box!  I think it would be fun to try her methods on my own.  I even think most of my students in 5th or 6th grade might have enough patience to practice her blending techniques with me in a drawing unit. 

I really loved the artist's versatility in her subject matter.  She is able to stylize flowers and animals and in other pieces she may depict them very realistically.  All her pieces have a very full range of palette colors.  The unusual thing about the way she layers the crayon wax is that the colors have a wonderful depth.  It is nearly like one would achieve in oil paint!  The color glows from within.

"Going North" by Kristina Nelson

I'd like to direct you to her website where she has been keeping an archive of her work so that you can experience her variety of subjects.  It's amazing to know that she does her work with waxy kid's crayons, namely Crayola or RoseArt brands!  If you are interested to see more photos of her working in her studio  there are some on file with the Duluth News Tribune.  I like to scroll through those to gain an insight to her unique methods.
A most ordinary art material, made extraordinary by Kristina Nelson!

1 comment:

Janie B said...

I just looked her up. Wow! She's amazing! I didn't know you could do that with crayons!