I am often asked the question, "is that really pastel?" by many people that admire my art. I enjoy going on to talk about the medium and why I love working with it so much.
For starters, it most definitely is NOT chalk. Pastel is pure powdered pigment, which is ground into a paste with a small amount of gum binder, and then rolled into sticks. It is the same pure pigment used in all fine art paints and is the most permanent of all media. It does not contain oil or liquid, and therefore won't darken, crack, fade or blister with time. Pastels from the 16th century exist today as fresh as the day they were painted.
An artwork is created by applying the sticks of dry pigment across an abrasive ground, embedding the color in the 'tooth' of the paper. If the ground is completely covered with pastel, the work is considered a pastel painting, where leaving much of the ground exposed, produces a pastel sketch.
I think my preference for the pastel medium stems from my love of drawing; I like the control I have with the pastel sticks...they're so versatile and I love the tactile nature of using my hands to draw fine lines or lay in large blocks of color. Not to mention the infinite color palette available is like eye candy!
They are also a favorite medium among many artists because it allows a spontaneous approach...there is no drying time. I can essentially leave everything I'm working on and return to it at a later time, picking up right where I left off. So for me, it's the perfect medium.
In Loving Memory of My Dad
This past February, I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s. He was a vibrant man with a gentle soul, full of life, and loved making others laugh. He fought a hard battle, but was just no match for the devastating effects of the disease. The last six months of his life were especially difficult and it was during this time that he experienced a rapid decline, and to those of us that loved him dearly, we felt a complete sense of helplessness.
Yet during that time, as my family and I spent time with him each day, it gave me time to reflect on the powerful impact he had on my life. We all had cause to celebrate the man he used to be before the disease took him away from us. He was a kind and compassionate man that above all else loved his family. My sisters and I were so fortunate to have him as a father because he truly made our house a loving and caring home…filled with the warmest of memories. He supported everything we ventured out to do and nurtured our creative spirits…at least that’s how I felt as a child growing up wanting to be an artist.
So, could it be that my passion for painting home portraits stems from my own experiences growing up? I’d like to think that because of my dad, I am pursing my passion and life long dream of painting while at the same time, helping others to cherish the memories being made in their own homes, where they gather with their families. It goes beyond just capturing the beauty of the facade...it’s about how you feel when you live your life in it. For this dad, I will always be grateful.
A recent house portrait commission, pastel, 11 x 14 on UART pastel board.
I was honored to have my work selected for the Pastel Society of America Annual Exhibition of work at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio this past winter. A press release for the show indicates that "the exhibition features works by some of the nation’s premier pastel painters. The works are drawn from the organization’s annual fall exhibition held at the National Arts club in New York City. The Pastel Society of America (PSA) is the oldest organization of its kind in the nation."
My pastel, "Weathered Spring Hills," hanging in the museum exhibit. The show was on exhibit from December 20, 2015 until February 21, 2016.
I've had quite a busy fall season painting house portraits and I'm so happy to report that my customers have been very happy! They especially like my process of sending progress updates along the way. I start off by getting the preliminary drawing approved and then, as I begin the painting process, I'll send snippets of progress along the way so they can see the painting come to life.
I was delighted to find my painting Main Street Nantucket on the front page of Attorney Lauren G. Klein's website. She had reached out to me several months ago asking permission to use the image of my painting on her new website that she was launching to introduce her practice on Nantucket Island. It's nice to see it out there!
I was honored to have received the Salmagundi Club Award at the PSA Annual Enduring Brilliance Show on Sunday, September 20th at the National Arts Club in New York City.
To all of my family and friends who attended last nights show opening...Thank you!! It was a very special evening.
Heading to NYC for the Pastel Society of America's 43rd Annual Exhibition: Enduring Brilliance! this September.
I am so pleased to have been juried into this prestigious annual exhibition held annually at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, NYC with my piece titled "Weathered Spring Hills." The jury of selection carefully viewed and considered each anonymous image in a field of 1,365 submissions and they were limited to selecting fewer than 180 works for inclusion.
Join Renee Emanuel and I for the opening of our show Near & Far at ArtWorks Gallery in Scranton on Friday, September 4th 6 -9pm. The show will remain on display until October 10th.
I was thrilled and honored to receive the Great American Artworks Award for my painting "Peace & Quiet" at the For Pastels Only on Cape Cod 2015 show with the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod on Saturday, June 20th at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod.
392 Paintings were submitted, 100 paintings were juried into the exhibit from artists in 16 different states. The cultural Center of Cape Cod was a beautiful venue to exhibit so many great works of art. The Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod is celebrating its 20th year and has grown to include more than 250 members in 30 states.