Rescued from the Cutting Room Floor

As I write, thousands of copies of the August issue of The Pastel Journal are quietly making their way across the country–and around the globe–to our subscribers. What a strange and wonderful thing it is indeed to think of them out there in the world after we’ve spent all these months urging them into existence. Of course, we had your help on this issue: You chose our cover. Thousands of respondants voiced their opinions in our cover survey and chose the June L. Maxwell still life The Blue Chinese Vase for this position of honor. Now you’ll have the chance to read all about how Maxwell achieves her precise still lifes in the magazine.

2282_19187m.jpgYou’ll also have the chance to read about Stephanie Birdsall, an artist I had the pleasure of interviewing for the feature I wrote on her work. (See her painting Argentine Church (12×12) at left.) She’s a remarkable painter and a remarkable spirit. As often happens, a good deal of our conversation wound up on the cutting room floor. (Though you’d like to, you simply can’t fit everything.) A bit that I had a good deal of trouble letting go, given the approach of the travel season, had to do with the equipment Birdsall takes with her on her many painting trips. As she says in the feature, “My life is run by either painting or going to see a painting.” Here’s what she takes with her when she goes:

What I’ve got it down to is a good tripod, a Heilman box, and Heilman makes an easel attachment that goes right into the box and will fold up and fit into my tripod case. I usually take a bent card to place in the easel shelf so that pastel dust doesn’t fall into my box. And then the only thing that I have to think about when I’m traveling, is what I’m going to put my paintings into. If I’m traveling a lot, I take pieces of glassine with me so I can stack them or tape them to the board on top of each other with the glassine between. All I need is a roll of tape and some glassine to match the size of my paintings. One of the great things about pastels to me is they’re so easy to transport. If you have a piece of glassine for every piece of paper or between, then you can go anywhere with them. Aside from that, I carry Gloves In A Bottle with me because I don’t work with gloves and I think that some sort of barrier like that is really important.

Read about Birdsall’s many painting homes in the August issue of the magazine.

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