I don't have a finished painting this week. I have a couple of partly finished ones but no desire to share those right now. Having worked for a long time with the PastelMat surface, I am feeling the need for a change....more experimenting.

Using the same surface all the time can start to make pastel paintings look too similar. It is a great one for detail and works well for the small pieces of 6 or 8 inch square/rectangles that I tend to do. Several weeks ago I went through some old digital files and found one of a pastel picture that I had done on a piece of mount (or mat) board, hand- textured with Art Spectrum primer. I recall the fact that the rougher texture took large bites out of my pastels, but the colour went down more intensely. Unfortunately the original work doesn't seem to be around any longer.

"Cooking Apples": size about 10x7 inches.

I've also got some samples of Uart paper on order. It is beginning to appear now in several online UK stores and I was especially interested in the various grit-grades offered; 240 being the grittiest and 800 being the finest. It is also capable of taking wet washes, so multimedia work can be done on it if wished. PastelMat will also cope with fluids, although the effect is a little different from that produced on the grit-type papers.

I'll be playing around then, for a little while, to see how it all goes.