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Author Archives: Richard
The tenth biennial International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) convention was held recently in Albuquerque, N.M. More than 600 artists who work in pastel converged at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town for what has come to be referred to as a “Pastel Family Reunion.”
Most custom framing businesses are capable of doing various dry- and wet-mounting methods of pastel surfaces that meet current archival standards. But, due to the expense, many artists choose to do it for themselves. When doing it yourself, your first consideration has to be the archival quality of the products you use …
Since the inception of the Pastel Pointers Blog nearly six years ago, one of the most frequently ask questions I hear concerns how best to mount pastel papers in advance of wet underpainting techniques. Artists that utilize a wet painting technique on a paper surface understand the issues involved in retaining a flat working surface. This has lead to procedures involving sizing, stretching and mounting of paper prior to painting.
Green can be a tough color to handle, but with color temperature finesse, sensitive observation, wise selection, and artistic permission to sometimes tweak reality for the sake of a harmonious outcome, a successful lush painting can be achieved.
Put two or more landscape painters together and inevitably, the topic of how to handle green arises. Skillfully finessing green requires an understanding of its relationship to and interaction with the other colors of the spectrum and ultimately a degree of theatrics. These skills are even more pertinent during the season of Spring when the bones of Winter begin to adorn themselves with the most intense green foliage.
In last week’s blog post, I described the thumbnail/value sketches involved in the first part of a plein air painting process I refer to as “Field Sketch Painting.” Once these sketches are evaluated to see if the composition is worthwhile, it is time to start the pastel painting.
Every serious artist understands the importance of working from life. Whether it’s the still life, portrait or landscape, there’s no reference material that can replace the experience of interpreting subject matter one-on-one. While it’s never easy to progress from painting from photo reference to painting from life, it takes special concentration to do so in the landscape with the ever-changing lighting and conditions. This, along with the overwhelming vastness of the landscape, can stymie even the most technically advanced pastelist.
On April 4, 2013, the pastel community lost one of its most beloved champions, Maggie Price, to a short but courageous battle with brain cancer. Maggie began working with the medium in 1990 and her love for it blossomed eight years later into The Pastel Journal magazine, which she co-founded with fellow artist and friend, Janie Hutchinson. Maggie served as editor and art director, while her husband Bill Canright, an artist as well, handled the advertising department.
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” A Da Vinci exhibition I saw at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Ore., reminded me of the struggles artists have deciding when a piece of artwork is finished. The exhibition was filled with models and examples of da Vinci’s creative and scientific ingenuity. Of particular interest to painters were the sections dedicated to Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.