Pastel Painting Around the World

maggie_painting.jpgMaggie Price (left) was just in our offices earlier this month to teach a pastel workshop, and she’s already off again to teach another. The location is a tad more exotic this time—she’s heading first to a remote village in Scotland. And, following that excursion, she heads to Cortona, Italy, until September 26, to teach another group of pastelists. The final stop on her global teaching tour is Juzcar, one of the lovely white villages in Spain’s Genal Valley. In each locale, Price will be leading painters on plein air exursions to capture in pastel the unique beauty of the area. I have considered stuffing myself in her suitcase (but you’ll read below how she’s short on space). With that idea thwarted, I have instead invited her to share with us, by way of this blog, some stories (and photos) throughout her journey. Look for these periodic posts all this month and next, starting with this pre-departure note from the artist:

I love teaching workshops, especially plein air classes in beautiful locations, so I’m really looking forward to that part of the trip. But I’ll be away for almost two months, so the biggest, most immediate challenge is packing! To get ready, I’ve been sorting my pastels and other art supplies while listening to my Italian language lessons. I emptied all the pastels out of my Heilman box and washed the foam liners so I could start putting them back in with these locations in mind as I make my color selections. The light in Scotland is generally a cool light; in Italy, it’s warmer; and in Spain, it’s hotter still. In the central highlands of Scotland, we’ll paint lots of landscapes, lochs, and perhaps a castle or other old buildings. In Italy and Spain, the subjects will often be buildings—warm ochre tones in Cortona (the heart of Tuscany), and white-washed buildings with red-tiled roofs in the “white villages” of Andalucian Spain. There will be wonderful masses of flowers and foliage everywhere, so I’m taking a good assortment of greens, and pinks, purples, reds and near-whites for blossoms.

Fortunately, for the Scotland workshop, Jack Richeson & Co., the workshop sponsor, is furnishing the supplies for participants. So, I know that when I arrive, I’ll have a lovely set of 108 Unison pastels waiting for me. And since I selected the colors myself, I know they’ll work for that cool light. A good supply of the new Richeson pastel surface will be there as well, which lightens my load for the outbound trip. But I still must take enough supplies for the workshops that follow. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for clothing, so my immediate future is sure to include hand-washing clothing in hotels on a daily basis!   —Maggie Price

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