I am a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame of Maryland with my bachelor in Art. I minored in education and am currently seeking a job teaching art. This project explores the nature of pastels and their relationship with mark making. I used different techniques to capture the essence of landscapes and still lives in an expressive but realistic manner. I discovered the act of embracing abstraction for the sake of clarity. The nature of pastels is perfect for this concept. I am not able to allow myself to get caught up in minute details of a landscape or still life. It forces me to think about the painting as a painting and not a reproduction of a picture. What is most important about my work is that it is recognizable to the viewer. Every location that I paint invoked a reaction when I immersed myself in it. I want others who have been to that location to be taken aback to the experiences they may have had there. There is something magical about recognizing a location in an artwork. It connects the viewer to another time and takes them on a journey that will hopefully invoke a sense a calm and serenity.