Friday, April 22, 2011


Greg Little discovered his natural talents for drawing and painting as a boy growing up in north Alabama. Now living in Florida, this self-taught artist uses intuition and observation to capture a moment in time and a sense of place. As he puts it, “The light in my paintings reminds us that even sitting still, time is moving, life is changing, and we are both a witness and a participant.”

All plein air painters deal with the difficulties of changing light and the challenge of sun, wind, and transporting equipment on location. But Greg sometimes takes on the challenge of working in pastels. In a pinch an oil painter can take everything they need in their hands--one or two brushes, a lightweight panel, a jar of mineral spirits, and a small palette loaded with a few colors. A skilled painter can mix every color they see from the three primaries of red, blue, and yellow plus white—even an approximation of black can be created by combining colors. Pastel painters must take the colors with them in the form of sticks of almost pure pigment; fragile sticks that can shatter into dust unless they are protected in foam-lined trays. Because of the difficulties relatively few plein air artists work in pastel. Discriminating collectors understand how rare the works are and appreciate the colors and textures that belong exclusively to pastel paintings.

In the past two events Greg Little has created works in both oil and pastel. He is also well-known to Gadsden Museum of Art staff and volunteers for going to hard to reach locations. While painting at Noccalula Falls during the first plein air, Greg disappeared under the Falls and came back with views of the gorge that no other painter captured. Watch for Greg on location (if you can find him) and see his paintings on exhibit in the museum galleries. Look especially for his vibrant pastel paintings and appreciate the special difficulties required to make them.

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