Testosterone (New Abstract Painting in Pastel)

Testosterone (New Abstract Painting in Pastel)
Testosterone (abstract painting in pastel) by Polly Castor

Testosterone (pastel) by Polly Castor

At the risk of shocking some of you blog readers–please don’t be offended!– here is my newest abstract painting in pastel. It is the last painting I did in 2018, and because of the subject matter, I’ve been dragging my feet finishing it. I finally did yesterday, to get it off my easel, and start fresh in the new year.

The idea here is that I needed an example of more a provocative abstract work in my powerpoint on abstraction. So here it is, Testosterone, done in pastel. Testosterone isn’t an idea, it is a thing, so this isn’t abstract conceptualism per se, but it is something we know is there but do not see. Everyone would paint this differently than the next, however, just like a concept in abstract conceptualism. Rest assured, though, that I won’t assign this to anyone in any of my classes.

This painting is 16×20 and the original is for sale– it won’t be hanging on my wall!

There is some great texture and technique here, as you can see in the close-ups below. The entire work is above.

If you are interested in a print of this work or merchandise with it on it, get it here in my gallery.

Now that I’m done embarrassing myself, I’ll get on to painting something else!


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Christine 5 years ago

    I’m laughing! You certainly captured the subject matter and no offense taken! Keep up the good work… no pun intended. :-)!

  2. Anita 5 years ago

    No need for embarrassment! It’s a great piece of work.

  3. Joseph D Herring 5 years ago

    While abstract art, as I understand it, transcends literal detail, I can’t avoid projecting various masculine images into this work . Above all, I’m intrigued by the origin of embarrassment and apology. Is embodiment embarrassing? Do we have in this work an incipient explanation for edenic fig leaves?

    • Author
      Polly Castor 5 years ago

      This made me laugh out loud. Maybe I should have titled it “Behind the Fig Leaf.” I like that idea a lot. Obviously I have no trouble with embodiment, or I wouldn’t have even done this. But I fear this is a misunderstood topic in Christian Science, especially regarding sensuality, so I wasn’t sure how this would go over. But I figure anything that kicks me off an idealized pedestal that I never asked to be on is good.

  4. Joseph D Herring 5 years ago

    A very convincing reply!

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