The Impact a Single Artist Can Make

When I came to work this morning, I expected to smile at my colleagues in the hallway, perhaps laugh with them at our desks, maybe share a table at lunch and exchange weekend stories. And when I sat down to write today’s newsletter about the current issue of Pastel Journal, I expected to see beautiful landscapes and inspiring paintings. I did not expect to find tears in my eyes; this issue, I discovered, is dedicated to the memory of artist Maggie Price (1947-2013), who once said, “Once you begin seeing with the eye of an artist, you never see the world the same way again.” (Click here to share this quote on Twitter.) This struck a chord for me; as it’s true. But I’ll let Anne Hevener, editor-in-chief of Pastel Journal, tell you more:

Still Waters (pastel, 11x17) by Maggie Price

Still Waters (pastel, 11×17) by Maggie Price

“It may not be possible to calculate, mathematically, the impact any one person makes in life, but Maggie Price–by any measure–left behind a wonderful, enduring legacy. For starters, were it not for Maggie, you wouldn’t be holding this magazine in your hands right now. It was in the fall of 1998 when she and artist Janie Hutchinson, after discussing the scarcity of resources available to pastel artists, conceived the idea for a magazine devoted exclusively to the medium. The following spring, they launched the first issue of The Pastel Journal (now Pastel Journal). This characteristic “make it happen” attitude was practically a default mode for Maggie, and her additional contributions to the pastel community were many and mighty.

Mountain Wildflowers (pastel, 16x20) by Maggie Price

Mountain Wildflowers (pastel, 16×20) by Maggie Price

“After a nearly five-year adventure at the magazine, Maggie decided to devote more time to her own painting and to offering workshops, because–at root–Maggie was a teacher. She believed strongly that anybody who wanted to learn to paint could learn. As her husband and painting partner, Bill Canright, put it: ‘“Her desire was to share things of beauty and to show others how to do the same.”’

“Everything she did furthered that educational mission. As a workshop teacher, as an author of instructional art books and magazine articles, as the President of the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS), Maggie’s accomplishments championed the medium, expanded the audience, celebrated artists and empowered the pastel community as a whole. The poet William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” By this description, Maggie Price was like a book of matches.” ~Anne Hevener

In addition to articles on preliminary sketches, ways to loosen up, and more, in the August issue of Pastel Journal you’ll find a feature article that celebrates Maggie’s legacy. Because they’re so beautiful, I’ve also shared remembrances from the pastel community online. I expect that you’ll be as moved as I am, and I’d like to thank you for reading, and for those who knew Maggie, offer my condolences.


Remembrances From the Pastel Community

From Anne Hevener: Maggie was my first call on my first day on the job as the new editor at The Pastel Journal back in 2006, and she never ceased to offer her support. I’ll always be grateful for her kind and graceful mentoring. Here’s what other artists had to say about her:

Maggie touched many lives in a very positive way. She gave so much to so many people. She will be fondly remembered for her giving to hundreds of pastel artists, both through IAPS and The Pastel Journal. Her footprints will be visible for many years to come to so many people in the world of pastel. Her presence will be missed, but her footprints remain. —Urania Christy Tarbet, artist and IAPS founder/president emeritus

We lost a beautiful person, artist, teacher. Maggie was very good to me and always
fair-minded. I loved her. —Elizabeth Mowry, artist

Maggie loved to travel. In 1998, after our decision to launch the magazine, we knew it would be a lot of work with little time to paint. Not wanting the job to be all work and no play, we decided to interview featured artists in their own studios, which allowed us to travel, explore museums and art galleries, and do some painting of our own in these new locations. As the magazine grew, so did our workload, and inevitably the travel became impractical. That’s when we initiated “Pastel Journeys,” which allowed us to sponsor travel workshops to places like France, Asilomar on the California coast, Sedona, and other fun spots. Although I moved to Oregon about 10 years ago, Maggie and I always kept in close touch. I’m very sad to have lost a dear friend; she was like a sister to me.
Janie Hutchinson, artist and co-founder of The Pastel Journal

I, like everyone who knew Maggie Price, was always impressed by her talent, dedication and boundless energy; however, it was her integrity and loyalty to friends that made the biggest impression on me. —Alan Flattmann, artist and IAPS secretary

I had the distinct joy of spending time with Maggie and Bill last summer in Brea at the IAPS show. It was our first meeting and I was intimidated. But there was no need; she was gracious, open and delightful. I enjoyed every second of the time we spent together. We’ve surely lost a special, creative voice and a wonderful teacher. —Jennifer L. Hoffman, artist

Laser focused, prepared and determined, Maggie was passionate as a teacher. Her commitment to making art—pastel, in particular—accessible to the public was never shaken by any challenge or obstacle. She touched and changed thousands of lives through the use of the two greatest gifts civilization has to offer mankind: art and education. May we all follow the generosity of her life and spirit. —Jimmy Wright, artist and Pastel Society of America (PSA) president

Eleven years ago I received a phone call that changed my life. It was Maggie Price calling to tell me I had won the second highest prize in the 3rd Annual Pastel 100 competition. She then spent the next few minutes convincing me that she wasn’t kidding! Since that call, Maggie has been more than just my friend; she has influenced me as an artist, as a teacher and as a supporter of the pastel medium.
I became her IAPS vice president in February of 2011 and had looked forward to more time under her guidance. The last thing we did together, two weeks before she passed away, was to sit down and look at each other’s brand new North Light books for the first time. Thank you, Maggie. I couldn’t have done it without you. —Liz Haywood-Sullivan, artist and IAPS president

Maggie had such great energy. She was very kind to me in my early days, and it was thanks to her that I started writing for The Pastel Journal. Her devotion to the art and craft of pastel will be sorely missed. —Michael Chesley Johnson, artist and contributing writer for Pastel Journal

Maggie was an amazing woman. She did such a great service in founding The Pastel Journal. She was a dream editor to work with. I’m so grateful to have known her.
Margot Schulzke, artist and contributing writer for Pastel Journal

Maggie was an inspiration. Her thoughtful articles in the magazine made me think more deeply about art. I received the Maggie Price Basic Values Set from Terry Ludwig Pastels as a merchandise prize in an exhibition a couple of years ago, and it has become the backbone of my travel set of pastels. I sense that I’m taking Maggie with me whenever I go out to paint. —Enid Wood, artist

I was lucky enough to know and work with Maggie for almost 20 years, starting when she and Janie Hutchinson formed The Pastel Journal and I was operating overseas painting workshop tours. Maggie and Janie joined a tour with Elizabeth Mowry to Provence. I guess they liked what they experienced, because we were soon talking about potential artists and destinations to offer through The Pastel Journal. I have very happy memories of a lovely, long Provencal lunch in the old part of St. Remy-de-Provence, where we enjoyed great food and wine and plotted and planned. A great rapport started that day in France. Later, we worked closely together at IAPS and shared many experiences, but I will always remember that lovely lunch in Provence! —Susan Webster, artist and
IAPS executive director

Some days are seared into your memory. February 25, 1999, is one of mine. I have
a mental image of sitting at Maggie’s dining room table with Maggie and Janie Hutchinson wreathed in smiles. We were all a little bit giddy. I’ll never forget Maggie’s huge grin as she rather ceremoniously handed me the very first hand-stitched copy of The Pastel Journal. As I opened it, Maggie and Janie turned page by page with me, and we spent the whole afternoon discussing each article, photograph, advertisement and congratulatory letter to the editor. It was a wonderfully exciting day.
Deborah Secor, artist and contributing writer/columnist for Pastel Journal

Maggie was one of the pastel world’s finest ambassadors. My heart is heavy for her friends and family; may they find comfort in many ways, but know she was loved by many who never met her in real life. —Peggy Braeutigam, artist

How saddened we all are to learn of Maggie’s passing. We’ll all miss her presence in the art world—and I, personally, will miss her as a dear friend. —Rae Smith, artist and PSA advisory board member

In November 2001, I was invited to Albuquerque where Sally Strand, Lorenzo Chavez and I were the jurors for the 4th Annual Pastel 100 competition. It was both a strenuous and fun-filled weekend with Maggie being amazingly organized, gracious and considerate—qualities that she demonstrated repeatedly through the years. —Duane Wakeham, artist and PSA second vice president

Until I met Maggie Price, I would never have thought someone so kind and well-mannered could be such a force of nature. One of the first things she said to me was that she wanted to write for North Light, and not just one book, but several. Most artists, I’ve found, have one good book in them, so I was a little skeptical, but Maggie proved me wrong. She wrote three books in six years while maintaining a busy workshop schedule, running IAPS, writing for Pastel Journal, and painting and spending time with her husband, Bill. If there was something she wanted to do, she found a way to do it.
Jamie Markle, F+W Media fine art group publisher

So much of a painter’s life is spent in isolation with his work. Having a chance to share the artistic journey with friends like Maggie is very dear. Through her efforts and vision, the pastel community has been truly blessed. Her smile will endure in our hearts forever.
Richard McKinley, artist and columnist for Pastel Journal

Maggie was a wonderful artist and inspiration to all. Walter and Dot Scott remember with love her visit to New Zealand and the afternoon they spent with Maggie and Bill. She will be sadly missed by all. —Judith White, for Pastel Artists of New Zealand (PANZ)

Every now and then, somebody comes along who stands larger than life and does more than seems humanly possible, yet stays cool and calm throughout it all. You’ll be missed, Maggie. Thank you for being you. —Bill Creevy, artist

Maggie Price Award of Excellence

Maggie Price has been involved in the leadership of the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) since 2005, serving first as a member on its Board of Directors, then as Vice President and, since June 2009, as its President. To honor her memory and her commitment to the empowerment of artists, IAPS has created a perpetual award in her name. The Maggie Price Award of Excellence will be presented to an artist every year at each IAPS juried exhibition.
If you or your art society wish to make a contribution to help fund the award, you can donate online at the IAPS website or send a check to F+W Media/Pastel Journal, Attn: Anne Hevener/Maggie Price Award, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Please make your check out to IAPS and write “Maggie Price Award” on the memo line.

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