Artist Spotlight: Jennifer Pastor

Recently, I acquired the book Drawing now : eight propositions (Hoptman, 2002) which was recommended for the drawing course. Within the very first pages, I was immediately attracted by the work of Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Pastor. I usually overlook simple line drawings for the more flashy and bold paintings and illustrations. However, this volume gave me the opportunity to appreciate a quieter variety of pictures.

Pastor is known for her sculptures and for teaching Visual Arts at the University of California Irvine (Wikipedia). She often explores issues of space, body and object orientation.

 Jennifer Pastor,  Study for Fall , 1995. Drawing now : eight propositions

Jennifer Pastor, Study for Fall, 1995. Drawing now : eight propositions

I was fascinated with two of her lesser-known works - Study for Spring (Pastor 1996) and Study for Fall (1995). The first features a diagram-like drawing of a moth. The second one is an exquisite rendering of corn stems where the plant appears almost transparent. The delicate style of Pastor appeals to my aesthetic for feminine and gentle drawings. Her lines are drawn with careful technical precision. The uniform, rigid marks of what is probably a draft pencil are contrasted with the fluidity and artistry of ink strokes. Her annotations on the drawings contain some bizarre mathematical measurements and scientific information. This gives the impression that the image is some sort of a technical or textbook illustration. On a second glance, it becomes clear that the annotations do not provide any factual information about the objects in the drawing which makes the piece somewhat ironic.

 Jennifer Pastor,  Study for Spring , 1996. Drawing now : eight propositions

Jennifer Pastor, Study for Spring, 1996. Drawing now : eight propositions

Similar to Pastor, I usually seek a clean, realism-inspired, stylised look for my ink drawings. However, I use fibre tip pens that deliver uniform lines which suit well my design projects but are not as exciting. I would like to explore a more expressive type of drawing in the future similar to Pastor's mix of technical and artistic style.

Hoptman, L. J. (2002) Drawing now : eight propositions. New York: Museum of Modern Art.