Ron Monsma at Miller Gallery

Saturday the Miller Gallery hosted the fabulous painter Ron Monsma as part of its Up Close and Personal: summer artist demonstration series. Monsma, who works in oil as well as pastel, is well- known to readers of The Artist’s Magazine and Pastel Journal; he set up his easel in front of the model’s stand near a window at 11:00 am. When my older daughter Katherine and I dropped in around twelve, the portrait was already in splendid progress. Pastels of all types in clear boxes arrayed around him, Monsma gave a breathtaking demonstration of glazing, as he rendered the color of the model’s skin and hair more complex with the addition of acidic greens. Among the attentive onlookers were many local artists; snapping photos was the talented abstract artist and photographer, Shannon Godby.

Monsma is the head of the Drawing and Painting Department at Indiana University in South Bend. Among his most recent honors is winning the Jack Richeson Best of Show award in the 9th annual Pastel 100. To read Anne Hevener’s insightful article and to see a slide show of Monsma’s world-class work, click here. And you can still order a copy of the February issue here.

Ron Monsma works on a portrait in pastel. Photo by Shannon Godby.

Ron Monsma arranges his pastels at Miller Gallery. Photo by Shannon Godby.

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