Category Archives: Working methods

Start/Finish of “Sacrificial,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58” x 38”

Start
Finish

Comments are welcome!

Q: Can you explain how you choose colors? (Question from Maria Cox via Instagram)

“Overlord,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58” x 38”

A: I am wild about color! As I work to create a pastel painting, I apply a color, back up from my easel to see how it interacts with and affects the rest of the painting, and then I make revisions. This process necessitates countless color changes and hundreds of hours during months of work. I apply pastel using a meticulous layering process. Were you to x-ray one of them, the earlier, discarded versions of a pastel painting would be visible. All the while I carefully fine-tune and refine how the colors and shapes interact with each other.

The goal is to make an exciting painting that no one, especially me as the maker, has ever seen before. I have no desire to repeat myself, to make art that resembles work by any other artist, or to be forced into a niche.

I try to select intense, vibrant colors that are exciting to look at, that work well in relationship to each other, and that will grab the viewer. Sometimes I deliberately choose colors for their symbolic meanings. For example, I selected a dark purple for the alternating triangles (the ones with the pink dots above) in “Overlord” because purple denotes royalty.

I have been working with soft pastel for 37 years so I have a fairly intricate science of color at my disposal. No doubt, many unconscious factors are at play, too. More on that in future posts.

Comments are welcome!

Q: What’s on the easel today?

Work in progress

A: I continue working on “Shadow,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 26” x 20”

Comments are welcome!

Q: What’s on the easel today?

Work in progress

A: I recently began a 26” x 20” pastel painting tentatively titled, “Shadow.”

Comments are welcome!

Q: What’s on the easel today?

Work in progress

A. I continue refining and adding more details to “Disruptor,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 26” x 20.”

Comments are welcome!

Q: There are so many instances in the art world where paintings are discovered to be fakes. Do you think this is a potential problem where your work is concerned? Can your pastel paintings be forged?

Start
Start of “Acolytes,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 38″ x 58″
Finish
“Acolytes” finished

A: For the record, a little-appreciated fact about my pastel-on-sandpaper paintings is that they can never be forged. To detect a fake, you would only need to x-ray them. If dozens of layers of revisions are not visible under the final pastel painting, you are not looking at an original Rachko, period.

My completed paintings are the results of thousands of decisions. They are the product of an extremely meticulous, labor-intensive, and self-invented process. This is the difference between spending months thinking about and creating a painting, as I do, or a single day. It’s highly doubtful that my rigorous creative process can EVER be duplicated.

Comments are welcome!

Start/Finish of ”The Mentalist,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 26” x 20” image, 35” x 28.5” framed

Start
Finish

Comments are welcome!

Start/Finish of ”Overlord,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58” x 38” image, 70” x 50” framed

Start
Finish

Comments are welcome!

Q: What’s on the easel today?

Work in progress

A: I continue working on “Wise One,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58” x 38.”

Comments are welcome!

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