Staff Picks for Holiday Bliss

You may need to supply your own silver bells and blinking lights, but shopping online does make it easy to bring home your holiday treasures without a lot of hassle. The editing elves in the F+W Fine Art Group released all kinds of great new products in 2009, all available in the NorthLightShop. This year, The Pastel Journal elves decided we’d make ourselves pick one 2009 item that we think you won’t want to miss:

ANNE: Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing Light and Shadow
Although there were no all-pastel books released in 2009, North Light Books came out with many titles that artists of every persuasion can appreciate. One such book is Strokes of Genius 2. This is the second volume in a series that celebrates the beauty and diversity of drawing. The collection of 140 drawings—some studio works and others straight off the sketchpad—are done in a variety of media, including pencil, charcoal, ink and yes, pastel. In fact, it is a fabulous black and white pastel by  Donna Levinstone that graces the book’s cover. Because the book is a collection of work from 100+ artists, every page provides a glimpse into a new artistic style and creative vision—a perfect jolt of inspiration! (sale price, $21.77)

SARAH: Eight Greats: The Pastel Journal’s 10th Anniversary Artist Interview Series Digital Download
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m hopelessly drawn to Top 10 lists. They help me to assuage the sense that I’m always missing something I should have seen, but didn’t. If you’re similarly drawn to “best of” collections, our Eight Greats download is the perfect PJ treat for you. It’s a chance to talk a walk down memory lane with eight of the amazing artists the magazine had the pleasure of featuring this year—and a chance to savor some simply stunning pastels. Clicking through the pages of insights shared by the artists (three of the eight—Jimmy Wright, Fred Somers and Brennie Brackett—were my interviewees!) is fun and easy. Plus, I get that swell of pride that always happens when I see the good work our team is doing.

JESSICA: The Pastel Journal 10th Anniversary Collection: 10 Top Interviews Digital Download
“I think people are aware, more than ever, of their growing need for harmony with their environment, and I am convinced that landscape artists today who share their sensitive perceptions of the natural world also have the power to speak to the yearnings of others through their work.” —Elizabeth Mowry, The Pastel Journal, April 1999. In celebration of The Pastel Journal’s 10th Anniversary, we dove into our extensive archives—61 issues, 2,156 pastel paintings and 4,802 pages!—in search of our top 10 interviews. Our first specialty digital download, which debuted in March, includes tips and inspiration from acclaimed pastelists Elizabeth Mowry, Albert Handell, Judith Carducci, Wolf Kahn, Daniel E. Greene, Dino Paravano, Harvey Dinnerstein, Sheldon Berkowitz, Peter Seltzer and Chin-Cheng Hung, making the collection a pastel classic.

CINDY: The Pastel Journal 2008 Archive on CD
These annual CD archives are the perfect solution for saving studio/office space—and a little sanity. My favorite feature is the searchable index, which comes in especially handy when I want to locate a particular article but am unsure when it was published. Don’t get rid of your print editions, though; just box or bind them and keep the digital versions right on your desktop for easy access. The 2008 archive is a year’s worth of issues and includes nearly 500 pages of information, instruction and inspiration (on ehanced PDFs). It’s a great way to revisit your favorite artist profiles and re-acquaint yourself with painting techniques.

Of course, if you are not currently a subscriber (or have someone on your gift list who could use a subscription), our No. 1 Pick from the NorthLightShop is a subscription to The Pastel Journal—the best way to make sure you get every copy of the world’s ultimate resource for pastel artists. Available on the shop for $32 (with Canadian and international options as well).



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