Pastel Pick of the Week | How the Pastel 100 Can Change Your Life

On Monday we celebrate Labor Day. What better way to honor the dedicated work you do as a pastel artist than by entering your latest “labor of love” in the 16th Annual Pastel 100 Competition? Why enter? One, because the deadline is Tuesday! Two, because there’s nothing quite like the shot in the arm you get from earning recognition for your efforts—not to mention the opportunities you might experience from the exposure in an international art magazine. Just take last year’s Pastel 100 champion, David Wells, for example. Being a winner in the Pastel 100, “has really made a huge difference to me,” Wells says. “Not the least being that a boost of confidence makes it easier to work harder.” Here are a few other things that have happened to the Australian artist since winning the Grand Prize Award in the 15th Pastel 100 (announced in the April 2014 issue of Pastel Journal):

  • Wells was asked to become an artist-ambassador for Canson Australia. “It went like this,” Wells says. “The Australian Pastel Society saw the magazine and contacted me to do a demo. A Canson representative was there and noticed that I was using all of their gear.” Wells adds that “as a key tool to impress the higher ups” this Canson representative shared copies of the Pastel Journal issues in which his work had been published—not just the one in which he won the Grand Prize, but previous Pastel 100 issues in which his work received honorable mentions).
  • The Pastel Journal cover featuring his award-winning painting appeared on the China Pastel website (click here to see it), which led to an invitation to exhibit his work in the upcoming Asia Contemporary Art Show (October 2-5) in Hong Kong.
  • The artist was invited by a variety of organizations to conduct painting demonstrations, including one at the Queensland State Art Gallery. “I’ve been going there since it was first built, when I was nine years old,” Wells says. “Being there in the role of a working artist was great, as you can imagine.”
  • Wells learned that he is one of the finalists for the Black Swan Portrait Prize ($50,000), one of the most prestigious awards in Australia. “And the only one that accepts pastels,” he adds.
  • He has enjoyed more sales and higher prices for his pastel work. “The person who owns Cassandra [the Grand Prize-winning pastel] got rather excited,” the artist says. “His walls now boast seven of my works.”
  • Wells has received email and started correspondence with a number of other artists around the world.
  • And, of course, the artist enjoyed that $5,000 prize award for his place in the Pastel 100. He tells me that I should check out his new “epic professional camera setup. Oh yeah.”

“It has been an amazing and positive experience all around,” Wells says, “and a catalyst for a huge number of cool things. I didn’t enter thinking that I had a chance of winning a top prize, so it’s really a matter of ‘You never know until you try.’ ”

The deadline for entries in this year’s Pastel 100 is Tuesday. Enter your best pastel paintings for YOUR chance to win today!

Leah (pastel) by David Wells

Leah (pastel) is another example of the dynamic work of Pastel 100 winner David Wells.

Dreams (pastel) by David Wells

Dreams (pastel) by David Wells is one of five pastels that will be shown in Hong Kong.


Click here to find guidelines for entry into the 16th Annual Pastel 100 Competition. Enter by end of day Tuesday, September 2!




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