Often a work such as those in oil pastels by Michael Alderson can be perceived by many in many different ways.

Michael Alderson has mastered oil pastels during his time as an artist since Graduating from Kendall School of Design in 1992. Most oil pastel art, including this, goes without titles because Alderson feels “that titles can often be misleading.” Instead, he leaves the title for the viewers of his pastel paintings to decide what each individual oil pastel drawing is representing and what title each person decides on their own. Alderson likes his viewers to use their own emotion and feeling to decide what each painting represents.

Oil Pastels

Michael Alderson. Untitled. 20 1/2″ x 17″. Oil Pastel on Paper.

Alderson’s Oil Pastels

This piece, much like most of Alderson’s oil pastel art is simplistic with its design yet it tells a story that’s isolated to the viewer. What one may see in these oil pastels could be perceived completely different by the next one that sees it. This just proves Alderson’s theory on why his pastel paintings should remain untitled. The cross between abstraction and Abstract Expressionism is what draws art enthusiasts to his work. That unique style that captivates his oil pastel drawing collectors could be said to be similar to that of Edvard Munch (The Scream) or Kees van Dongen (The Corn Poppy). The strong feelings that come into play with these oils are what stand out the most, yet the feelings can be interpreted in positive emotion or negative all depending on the feelings that are going through the viewer’s mind at the time.

A Personal Oil Pastel Art Opinion

The oil pastel art here, in my eye, for today is that of “a man.” The Bold stark lines, to me, show some type of captivity or feeling of being trapped either in his mind or trapped behind bars. The dark eyes or sunglasses that have been smeared in this example of Alderson’s pastel paintings tell me that the man feels vacant or empty in his emotions. He appears to be crying. To me, this man appears to feel like he has an empty soul facing life alone and he is scared of what he is up against. There is no visual truth between what one feels they see while looking at this oil pastel drawing by Alderson. It is in the perception of the viewer to draw their own feelings and emotions and decide for themselves what actually drew them to this creation made from oil pastels by the Michigan man himself, Michael Alderson.

Oil Pastels Art

Michael Alderson. Untitled.

Michael Alderson is a beautiful Abstract Expressionist, but if you’re looking for something more realistic, check this out.


  • Danann says:

    My first thought about this image was an older lady having trouble trying to curl her lashes.

  • carol clark says:

    i see a man gazing into space goin what is that

  • Brigitte says:

    I think it’s whatever you want it to be. I can see that…I can also see him looking up as if in bewilderment over something that he’s trying to process in his life.

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