"Even after decades I find portrait painting a challenge. Getting a facial expression just right is a real task! Everything must work together well in order to get a likeness. Working and re-working many areas seems to be the frustrating norm, but with perseverance there is a big reward. You have a taste of the steps I follow and teach in workshops. These steps apply regardless of what I am painting."

Lisa Ober – An Artist’s Life Seen Through The lens Of The Painting Process

Do I have a treat for you!! Lisa Ober is this month’s guest blogger. I’ve admired Lisa’s work for sometime now. She does these large, often colourful (that appeals to me!), super realism pieces in pastels. I featured “Blue Vases” in one of my monthly round-ups. Click here to see it and while you’re there, notice the size! This is what Lisa had to say about the piece:  Continue reading

Pastelling Outdoors: 10. Gail Sibley, "Summer's Here," Sennelier pastels on Wallis paper, 9 x 12 in, available

Pastelling Outdoors (And Chillin’!) In Oak Bay

Yayyyyyyy, summer’s here in all its glory. That means it’s time to get pastelling outdoors!! For me, it takes some revving up to do when I’m out of the habit. While Cam was away, I made it a goal to start the ball rolling. I took myself out for breakfast (hmmmm…reward first?) then found a neighbouring park where I set up to paint the sunny view of sea and sailboats.

So let’s take a look at what happened when I went painting en plein air.

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Anna Wainright, "Night Comes," 2015, pastel, 9 x 12 in, Private Collection

Anna Wainright And Her Evocative Landscapes

The pastels by Anna Wainright have awed me over and over again ever since I discovered this artist a couple of years ago.  I featured one of her pieces in one of my first monthly round-ups and I remember having the dickens of a time choosing between three paintings! So I’m tickled pink that she’s here to tell her story and share how her paintings evolve.

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Why Go To Pastel Conferences? Let Me Count The Reasons

I’m slowly settling back into normal life after my trip to Ontario at the end of May where I taught three workshops for Pastel Artists Canada at the ICAN Pastel Conference in Aurora. While there, I was reminded why I love going to pastel conferences! Let me count them.

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May's Marvellous Pastels: Denali Brooke, "Ghost Ranch Morning," plein air pastel, 5 x10 in

May’s Marvellous Pastels

Yay! It’s time for another pastel round-up. Apologies for the delay. I was in Ontario last week teaching at the ICAN Pastel Conference (fabulous experience and students!!) and also visiting my sister and her family. Then, on my return home, I headed straight into a five-day workshop which just ended today. I pulled this blog post together over a series of evenings and here it is finally! I started with 81 choices and, as always, was distressed about cutting down the list to only 10! Let’s have a look at May’s marvellous pastels.

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11. A few more tweaks and for now, it's done! "Garden Corner, Schminke pastels on Wallis paper, 9 x 12 in

Garden Corner – An En Plein Air Progression

There’s so much in a garden to paint – long views and closeups, flowers and garden accoutrements, seasonal changes or a single season, a garden corner or an entire garden – all make for great subject matter!

I’m in Ontario to teach at the ICAN Pastel Conference in Aurora during the week. Happily the plan is to spend both weekends with my sister and her family. Last weekend at her place, I found some quiet time to pastel en plein air. It’s been awhile since I’ve painted on location – Mexico in February was the last time – so this was such a pleasure. Hot weather standing in the shade painting. What could be nicer?

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Vianna Szabo, "Blue," pastel, 14 x 11 in

Vianna Szabo On Making Your Pastel Palette Work for You

I first met Vianna Szabo at the 2013 International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Convention. I was doing short interviews and I asked her what got her into her studio everyday. (You can see her answer at the end of this post!) Since then I have been an admirer of her work and featured “Pause” in last May’s monthly round-up. I realized it was high time I asked Vianna if she’d consider guest blogging and when I did, Yay!! she said Yes.

First, a wee introduction.

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Joan Eardley landscape pastels

Joan Eardley And Her Pastel Landscapes

Okay, tell me straight, have you heard of Joan Eardley (1921-1963)? I was introduced to this artist’s work in 2012 and have been an ardent admirer ever since. Whether or not you know her work, I’m delighted to introduce Joan Eardley and her pastel landscapes.

Although born in England, Joan Eardley is considered a Scottish painter. Her Scottish mother and her sister (her father had taken his life earlier) moved to Scotland to avoid the bombing in London during the war and with only a few exceptions of time spent in London and on the continent, Eardley spent most of her life there. In 1954, she started living in Catterline, a village on the coast of Scotland. It was here she painted her landscapes and seascapes.

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