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.
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.
Okay, I admit it, I L O V E using Instagram!!
Last Friday, I had the good fortune to attend a private VIP event with Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman. I posted a selfie of us on Instagram and Irene Cohen who follows me there commented, “Looks like fun…let us know about it on your blog.”
It’s time for another round-up of my ten picks from pastels collected through April. A number of landscapes persisted through the selection process and remained in the top ten – I think they brilliantly show off the many possibilities in pastel! There are also two unusual still life paintings, one amazing portrait and one dynamite figurative piece. So let’s get on and enjoy these astounding pastels!
Today, I’m thinking about the importance of play in art.
I feel pulled in so many different ways on a daily basis. There’s so much to get done – finishing my new course, writing and organizing blog posts, updating my websites (hah!), nevermind painting. And oh yeah, what about fun time, downtime, a balanced life?!
I’m reading a fascinating book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less which is all about doing more of the right things. This morning, I skipped to the chapter on ‘Play’. Author Greg McKeown defines ‘play’ as, “anything we do simply for the joy of doing rather than a means to an end.”
Bold colour. Confident strokes. Clear value pattern. Strong design. These are all phrases I would use when describing work by Jen Evenhus. And they are all things I admire and strive for in my own work. So you can imagine how pleased I was when she agreed to share one of her ideas about painting with us.
Occasionally I get asked the question: Do you ever use soft pastels on black paper? And the answer is: Well no, I don’t. Mind you, when I first started in pastels over 20 years ago, I worked on a dark green mat board. So I have worked with pastels on dark paper, just not black paper. But once I discovered sanded paper, ie Wallis paper which came in the warm mid-value colour known as Belgian mist that I used at first, it was bye-bye dark paper!
When thinking about what I could do a new pastel demo for YouTube on, I recalled the question about pastels on black paper and here you have the result. I’m using pastels from Mount Vision’s workshop set of 50 pastels on Schminke’s Sansfix pastel card.
Spring has sprung and it’s certainly evident in my neck of the woods! It’s April which means it’s time to look at the pastel pleasures I’ve chosen for March. As always, a highly personal and subjective collection of 10 pastels selected from 79 gathered through the month. Let’s go!
30 paintings in 30 days – that’s quite the challenge. One artist who was successful in taking on the challenge recently is Takeyce Walter. I featured one of her lovely pieces in January’s monthly curation and it occurred to me that it would be fascinating to hear all about the process of creating 30 paintings in 30 days – the ups, the downs, the struggles, the triumphs. And Takeyce agreed!
Many subscribers have been asking me, “When are your next pastel workshops?!” So I’m pleased to tell you about a number of them that are coming up.
First there’s the three I’ll be teaching at the Pastel Artists Canada Conference, then two pastel workshops on Salt Spring Island in August, and then there’s the potential one next year in France (but I’ll need your help to make that happen!). There’s also a teaser…..