Live from IAPS

The energy is high and the excitement intense at the 7th International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) convention taking place right now in Albuquerque, NM. Because there’s nothing that makes you quite as hungry as air travel, Sarah (managing editor) and I started things off with lunch at a restaurant which we afterward learned was named after a famous madam out of Albuquerque history–a signal of what we knew would be an interesting few days in the Land of Enchantment!

Our afternoon was filled with the wisdom of artist Richard McKinley who welcomed us into his all-day workshop “Interpreting the Landscape.” As Richard demonstrated his technique, he spoke about the importance of knowing your concept and making choices that support it. “Without a concept, it’s just another good painting.” he said. “Think about what you want to do with it, and then follow the serendipty,” later adding: “Approach your painting as though you’re a child who’s been given a puzzle without a box top. See with the innocence of a child again–with wonder and fascination.”


Richard McKinley

In the evening we were treated to a Paint-a-Round, a pastel whirlwind with five distinguished pastel artists rotating through five paintings. Richard McDaniel, Jimmy Wright, Duane Wakeham, Carole Katchen and Maggie Price each began a painting, painted for 10 minutes until a bell rang. Then, each artist shifted to the right and worked for 10 minutes on the next painting, and so on until–after an hour–they came back to their original painting. The crowd was pressing in and you could feel the heat rising as spectators clamored to see the excitement.

Stay tuned for highlights from Day 2!

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