Artist Harley Talkington

An example of fine art by Harley Talkington

Photo of Harley Talkington


     Painting is relatively new to me. For the past 40 years I have taught elementary and middle schoolers. Over these years, I have enjoyed planning, modeling and engaging my students in a myriad of art projects from publishing, printmaking, Greek drama with mask-making, videography, many forms of poetry, illuminated manuscripts, inventions, flipbooks, cave drawings, sculpture, comics, mosaics, collage, games, mobiles and many others.  Semi-retired now, and doing some substitute teaching, I still enjoy the energy and fresh perspective of students from Kindergarten through Eighth graders, but now it is in smaller doses. In my earlier years I created numerous games, word mobiles, concrete, sound and letterpress poetry. 

     In 2015 my wife and I visited several artists in Open Studios in Oregon.  My last stop was at Amanda Houston’s and I was instantly smitten with the beauty of her pastels. Once I enrolled in my first class from her, my whole world opened up. Since that time, I have become obsessed with clouds, birds, hills, sunsets, water, light and all manner of life’s goodness and beauty.  

     Each medium has its own challenges and opportunities.  At this point I have used oil pastels for both birds and  landscapes.  Oil pastels are like painting with a broad brush, creating impressionistic strokes and easy blending.  I enjoy their luminosity and depth of color.  In birds they seem to facilitate fun, quick studies, but must be supplemented with pastel pencils for detail work.   My use of oil or pigment sticks to date has been in what I have labeled as “abstract.” Others, however, have found my work to be more representative.  When using them I begin with only a hint of my composition, dabbing large sweeps of color and discovering what seems to take shape.   Soft pastels have been my [...]

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