December 27, 2017

I am so excited to start the January daily painting challenge. 

If you’re like me, you are known in your family or circle as ‘the creative one’. Well intentioned family and friends assume I can paint anything at the drop of a hat or that I can paint anything well at the drop of a hat. 

The reality is I can’t and don’t. I feel I have to be in the right mindset to create. I have to know what I want to paint. I have to be inspired by the concept, image or idea to paint. I worry about my ability to render and my technical ability with the pa...

November 30, 2017

About a year ago, while talking with Susan Nicholas-Gephart she mentioned that she paints plein air in the winter. So in awe of this woman! She is the boss - painting plein air in the winter. As I questioned her further she revealed that she paints in her car. 
Pure genius I say!

It is important to paint from life and on location, this is how we learn to see. The practice of seeing makes us better artists. Wether we create masterpieces on location or just initial sketches to be used in the studio, from life is so much better than a reference photo...

October 31, 2017

Participating in a CPPS daily painting challenge is worth overcoming whatever obstacles you have in order to be able to spend a few minutes at the easel everyday.

If you have not had the opportunity to participate in one of these challenges, I am challenging you to participate in the next one. The benefits for participation can not be overstated.

Daily Painting - You are a member of CPPS because you enjoy the pastel medium. Thus, I will assume you use pastels to create images. I will also assume that when you are creating or finished creating you...

September 30, 2017

The buzz of summer has quieted and the craziness of the holidays hasn’t begun yet, allowing a brief opportunity to reflect and look forward. October is the perfect month to take a look at artistic goals in order to be ready for the new year and the CPPS January Daily Painting Challenge! We all have life goals, and mixed somewhere in with those life goals are artistic goals. Unfortunately, we don’t often stop and look at artistic goals in relationship to, or independent of life goals, but we should.

Whether you want to sell as many paintings as Pica...

July 31, 2017

I continue to stand at my easel and create the same type of landscapes I have been creating.  I don’t seem to be improving or evolving.  So I set out to read what other artists do to create fresh works of art; hoping for inspiration, guidance and support to stay the course as an artist.

What I found was abstract art.

Karen Margulis talks often about the importance of doing a value study before you paint in “A Tip for More Painterly Paintings”.  Mary Bentz Wilkerson talks about simplifying value and shape in her article, “Five Common Compositi...

June 30, 2017

When it comes to our ability to focus on painting, preparation is the most important thing that we can easily control. Being prepared allows us to quickly get our hands covered in pastel, and can help us create.

‘Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working.’ Henri Matisse

Studio preparation:

  • Having a clean, comfortable place to work is essential. Whether you work in your dining room, spare bedroom, or have a separate studio, keep it stocked.  Don't forget paper towels and rags for keeping hands and pastels clean. There isn't’t any...

May 31, 2017

Let’s face it, finding time to painting is hard.  It doesn’t matter if you work full-time, part-time or not at all, have toddlers, teenagers or no kids.  It’s difficult to make time to paint.  To put in the amount of time it takes to actually become a better painter.  No matter what the end goals might be, showing, selling or improving as an artist; none of us feel like we have enough time to paint. Therefore, the time we do get to spend painting shouldn’t be aimless.  Time spent painting should be productive and most of all enjoyable.  With a littl...

April 30, 2017

Perhaps we have finally seen the last of the snow for a few months.  Birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming.  This time of the year it is hard not to be drawn to paint flowers.  The hold flowers have upon us is intriguing.

The obvious draw is the spring season, re-awakening, renewal.  Spending time outside watching the landscape green and the flowers grow, the colors are so vibrant and tempting.  The draw to paint flowers is deeper than color and re-awakening though.  It is far more visceral; painting flowers is about hope, captu...

March 31, 2017

Definition of accountability: the quality or state of being accountable; especially an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.
Accountability in the professional arena can be difficult;  it is part of a culture that comes from allowing employees to take ownership, and fostering trust among all levels and departments.  In our personal lives we become overwhelmed with so...

February 26, 2017

The last column of Pastellus focused on what judges look for when jurying a show. This installment will look into things you can do to help your work be accepted. Entering shows, exhibitions and competitions is a necessary step for artists who want to be considered serious artists. Acceptance into juried shows and exhibitions helps build your resume and lend credibility to your work, allowing your art career and professional development to progress.
Below are items to keep in mind when entering a show. These tips are a compilation of research with...

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