Two Plein Air Pastel Paintings of Katahdin Stream

Two Plein Air Pastel Paintings of Katahdin Stream
Katahdin Steam Close-up (pastel) by Polly Castor

Katahdin Steam Close-up (pastel) by Polly Castor

I painted next to this rushing stream the whole day our daughter climbed the mountain. She may have done the hard work of climbing the mountain (which I’ll show you tomorrow) but I did the equally hard work of not worrying about her one bit while she was off by herself doing that. These paintings are what I did instead.

The one above I like a lot. It is 8″x10″ and done in pastel. I love the abstract quality of the shapes here that is achieved by zooming in so closely on only one little part of a huge scene.

You can buy the original painting here.

Obtain prints and merchandise of this image here.

The one below is larger, 18″x24″ and also done in pastel. I was fascinated by the shape of that rock! What I planned on being a conversation between the rock and the water, however, ended up with those two elements competing and cancelling each other out, resulting in no focal point at all. Also, that rock actually was that shape, but now I look at this painting and see only a large moss covered Hershey’s kiss. I’ll paint over it, turning it into something else.

Not every painting comes out the way you envision. But as with any painting, especially plein air ones in beautiful places, the process can be WAY more important than the product.

Eroded Rock in Katahdin Stream (pastel) by Polly Castor

Eroded Rock in Katahdin Stream (pastel) by Polly Castor

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. John gregory 3 years ago

    I see and feel the movement of the water in both of these…good work…

  2. Sue Krevitt 3 years ago

    A BIG Her-shey Kiss on all your Pastels!
    Makes me wanna get my ole chalks out
    and to work!! (I mean Play!)


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