I managed to persuade 10 artists at the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Convention to say a few words on video in answer to one question. This post will include half the IAPS interviews, the next, the rest. (One interview went way over the one-to-three minute mark and the story was so fascinating that I thought, hey, this would make a great guest blog so look for that next month!)
Along with the IAPS interviews, I have included two pastel examples by each artist. A few of the artists attached words along with the images they sent and these are included in the captions below each painting.
First up is Sandra Burshell who is well known for her luminous interiors. Most notably, she won the IAPS Prix de Pastel (the highest honour ) in the 18th IAPS Juried Show. Now take a look at these beauties! I feel as if I’m in the scene, bathed in the atmosphere and light.
I asked Sandra about why she paints Interiors, or Roomscapes as she calls them:
Next we have my lovely friend Stephanie Birdsall. She has become well known for her intricate and delicate as well as bold and direct florals. Here are a couple of her delightful floral pastels. I could just put my hand in and pick up the blossoms!
Given that Stephanie’s expertise lies with painting flowers, I asked her if she had a couple of tips to share:
This year’s IAPS Prix de Pastel (the highest award) winner was Christine Swann. And just by the way, Christine won the Gold Award at the 22nd Juried Exhibition at the 2013 IAPS Convention. And if that wasn’t enough, she also won the Maggie Price award at the 24th Juried IAPS Exhibition. (I wrote about the pastel last year. You can read about it here.)
Rather than show you Christine’s winning piece (I’ll put a link to the IAPS website when they have the show available online and you’ll be able to see it there), I thought it would be interesting to view two pieces I hadn’t seen before. Christine’s work is all about the story they tell beyond the surface content.
I asked Christine about the most important element in her paintings:
Arlene Richman does stunning abstracts. She’s won many awards for them including numerous ones in the Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100 annual competition. Arlene has also been a guest blogger here at HowToPastel and you can read her article here. Let’s have a look at the two pieces she sent:
You can hear how Arlene starts these marvelous pastels:
And finally for this post we come to the work of Duane Wakeham. I’m always awed by how deceptively simple they look – so clear in their intention. When you look closely at Duane’s work, you see shapes. The abstract underpinnings of his work help to make our experience of them that much more (unconsciously) satisfying. And although the colours, when you look closely at them, may be stretched away from what we might think we see, the paintings seem to reflect reality perfectly. Often, there are such subtle shifts in colour and temperature and values that unless you observe the pieces closely, you won’t notice them. Duane sent me four options: I had the dickens of a time picking two! Here they are:
You get the feeling when looking at Duane’s work that in each painting, every part of it has been considered. Listen to what Duane has to say about how he builds a painting:
And that’s it until next time when I’ll bring you the other four IAPS interviews. I also want to thank these artists for sharing their time and expertise with us. They are all such darn lovely people!
Let me know what you learnt from watching the videos. Yes, you. Go on, leave a comment!
Until next week,
PS. And if you know me, I just can’t stop. I realized I hadn’t chosen one of Duane’s warm glowing landscapes and since this is my blog and you know, I can break my own rules, here’s another Wakeham pastel.