Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pan Pastels:Working With a New Twist on an Old Medium

I have recently returned to pastel painting after taking several years away from it. I loved the colors, the immediacy of the strokes and the texture but hated the excess dust which seemed to be everywhere in my studio. Storage of pastels always seemed to be a problem and the matting and framing (and making sure that no stray pieces of pastel were sitting on the matt) was such a pain. So I switched to acrylic painting and watercolor, but missed the effects that I was able to get with pastels.

Now that I am teaching Pastels again, I find myself reaching more and more for my pastels. I still hate the dust though.

SO…I decided to try pan pastels and now I am enjoying their soft ethereal quality, as well as their lack of dust. Yesterday I attended the pan pastel workshop at the The Arts Store in Syracuse and learned a few new tricks to teach to my Monday night pastel class at the Y.

I'm currently working on a series of images from Ireland, trying to capture the quality of light and dewy atmosphere. Pan pastels might just be what I've been searching for. Stay tuned…...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

North Country Arts Council Fall Show Has Something For Everyone!

Yesterday I was gallery sitting at the North Country Arts Council Fall Show in Watertown, NY. This is the second time I have participated in this show, and the first time I have actually seen the show installed. I was unprepared for the variety of artwork. The show features an array of paintings, drawings, sculptures, mixed media, pottery, jewelry and graphics, from artists living throughout the North Country. My husband and I have a camp in the Indian River Lakes, so I consider myself a North Country artist too, and I felt like I was in good company.

The show consists primarily of juried art from North Country artists, but there were a few invitational artists and groups represented in the exhibit. Stone carvings by David Marangle, sculptures by Chris Belven and classical portraits and still life by Paul Pedersen were all part of the invitational group. In addition, the River Community Wellness Program in conjunction with Fort Drum presented the Soldiers Art Show and Better Arts, a division of Better Farm contributed a selection of work from their visiting artist program.

There is also a section of pottery for sale benefitting Dragonfly Pottery Studio which suffered a devastating fire back in the early part of the fall. I'm happy to report that Dragonfly is re-building and "in-progress" pictures on their Facebook page look great.

And one more pic….I love this one done by a soldier during his deployment in Afghanistan. 113 small paintings, 1 each day, done for his daughter (hearts) and son (suns)… a promise he made and kept each day.

The North Country Arts Council Fall Show is on display at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, NY, through November 22. Hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm.
Go see it!