Carol Peebles, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! –Emma Lazarus, Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty," 2016, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 14 x 19 in. I drew this while trying to recover from the Presidential election results, contemplating what was inscribed on the greatest symbol of America: the Statue of Liberty. This piece is meant as a symbol of hope and strength to work in solidarity for our values.

Carol Peebles – Awakening The Spirit With Pastel Portraits From Life

I’ve been enjoying portraits by Carol Peebles for some time now. You’ll find one of her pastels features in October’s monthly round-up. Her demos are extraordinary. I’d be pleased to create any of them in the quiet of my studio never mind under the intense gaze of students!

The other thing I love is that Carol uses fabulous and pertinent quotes for the titles of her pieces. They make you think about each piece at a deeper level.

One of the requests in my end-of-year survey was to see more portraits in the guest blogging category. (You can see some of the general results of the survey here.)  Carol Peebles came to mind immediately and happily, she agreed to guest blog.

Don’t know her work? Have a look:

 

Carol Peebles, "Demo from life," pastel on colourfix paper, 21 x 16 in

Carol Peebles, “Demo from life,” pastel on colourfix paper, 21 x 16 in

 

A Bit About Carol Peebles

A signature member of the Pastel Society of America, Carol Peebles teaches year-round classes and weekend workshops at BlueEaselClub.com, the drawing atelier that she founded. Go ahead and Like their Facebook Page. Carol will be teaching a Pastel Portrait Workshop in New York City with the Pastel Society of America at the National Arts Club 27-28 October 2018. Plan ahead and join her. You can read more about Carol on her website.

So now let me hand you over to Carol Peebles!

~~~~~

 

I’m so happy to share my experience with pastels, because I have fallen head over heals in love with the medium. I’ve been doing complete pastel portrait paintings for about three years now, but there was much endeavor that went before that. Let’s start at the beginning.

 

Carol Peebles, "Since you went away the days grow long, And soon I'll hear ol' winters's song, but, I miss you most of all my darling, when Autumn leaves start to fall.-Jacques Prévert," 2016, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 20 x 14 in. I was listening to Eva Cassidy’s version of the song ‘Autumn leaves’ while mourning the loss of my children’s youth (when they used to plop on my lap and want only me). So I started to think of seasons of love and tried to make the background seem like Fall. Her red hair reminded me of Autumn leaves in the wind, and the words to the song were perfect (listen on Youtube).

Carol Peebles, “Since you went away the days grow long, And soon I’ll hear ol’ winters’s song, but, I miss you most of all my darling, when Autumn leaves start to fall.-Jacques Prévert,” 2016, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 20 x 14 in. I was listening to Eva Cassidy’s version of the song ‘Autumn leaves’ while mourning the loss of my children’s youth (when they used to plop on my lap and want only me). So I started to think of seasons of love and tried to make the background seem like Fall. Her red hair reminded me of Autumn leaves in the wind, and the words to the song were perfect (listen on Youtube).

 

Master painter Auseklis Ozols trained me in oil painting, in the classical realist tradition at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. He is a brilliant man who emphasized the importance of working from life, and fostered my interest in figure drawing. I learned classical technique in drawing and painting and was hooked.

Once I married and became pregnant with my first child, I decided not to use oils and turpentine during the pregnancy, so I drew with charcoal instead. Later, I found that a full palette of oil paints with a toddler in a small apartment can be even more challenging, so I just continued to draw.

Close to a decade later I was still mostly drawing, and loving every minute of it! On top of that, when I would teach oil painting or life drawing, I often found that students had very little background in observational drawing methods, so I became more and more committed to only teach drawing.

 

Carol Peebles, "The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.-Mulan," 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 14 in. I was struggling with some challenges in my personal life and I have always loved this quote because it reminds me to stay strong and bloom no matter what your circumstances are. The model that day in life studio happened to be wearing a flower, and that jogged my memory of the phrase.

Carol Peebles, “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.-Mulan,” 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 14 in. I was struggling with some challenges in my personal life and I have always loved this quote because it reminds me to stay strong and bloom no matter what your circumstances are. The model that day in life studio happened to be wearing a flower, and that jogged my memory of the phrase.

 

I founded my drawing Atelier – BlueEaselClub.com – in April of 2009 with a belief that drawing is the cornerstone of all artistic endeavors, and drawing from life in the classical realist tradition was our base. We only use dry media, at first exclusively charcoal, so the next step was naturally a colored conté or pastel pencil.

 

Carol Peebles Teaching portrait class at Blue Easel Club

Carol Peebles teaching portrait class at Blue Easel Club

Carol Peebles at Portrait class at Blue Easel Club

Portrait class at Blue Easel Club

 

I drew only in monochromatic pastel, both in portrait commissions and in teaching, for many years until I had a life changing experience – I saw the work of artist Sandra Burshell, pastelliste extraordinaire!

When I first walked into Ms. Burshell’s solo exhibit of pastel paintings at the Carol Robinson Gallery in New Orleans, I felt like I was walking into a church. Everything went quiet in my head. Then, I felt her work speaking to me, waking me to a new level of art. The colored papers, the layered pastel painting method, the size, everything was calling to me. I invited her to be a guest speaker at my Atelier, and found her to be the most personable, talented, informative and insightful artist. Then I found myself diving head first into full on pastel painting. Thank you Sandra!

 

Carol Peebles, "The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own.- Maya Angelou," 2017, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 27 x 20 in. The racial tensions in the U.S. inspired me to read Maya Angelou’s poem 'The Caged Bird'. The birds on the wires reference her poem, as does the model. But, I think this model is strong and free, hence my choice of that part of the poem.

Carol Peebles, “The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own.- Maya Angelou,” 2017, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 27 x 20 in. The racial tensions in the U.S. inspired me to read Maya Angelou’s poem ‘The Caged Bird’. The birds on the wires reference her poem, as does the model. But, I think this model is strong and free, hence my choice of that part of the poem.

 

My first pastels, Pitt & Conte pastel pencils, were on basic pastel paper like Canson Mi-Teintes, and I soon came to realize that I needed more grit in the paper to do detailed layering. Colourfix paper was my answer because of its delicate grit and variety of colors. After doing many (many!) practice portraits, and eventually expanding to Nupastel hard sticks, I realized why the old masters of oil painting first laid in a grisaille (a monochromatic base to later develop with color).

I now draw the entire portrait in one dark umber color in hard pastel (Nupastel or Cretacolor) for the grisaille, focusing on value, proportion, and likeness to the model. Only when it looks like a finished monochromatic piece do I start to layer colors, working dark to light. This method helped immensely to orchestrate value with color, which is the biggest challenge if your goal is classical realism.

 

Carol Peebles, "The sun is new each day. -Heraclitus," 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 15 in. I liked the earring as a reminder of the cycles of life.

Carol Peebles, “The sun is new each day. -Heraclitus,” 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 15 in. I liked the earring as a reminder of the cycles of life.

 

I love that pastel makes it possible to see the element of drawing, with mark-making in dry media being a delight. When I work, I try to develop layers with hatching techniques (still using hard pastels) over the grisaille. This way the feeling of a drawing is still present, even in my most detailed pastel painting. Eventually, I add soft pastels, but not until the piece has arrived at a place that feels close to finish. Soft pastels are for me like icing on a cake that is already well baked. I love all brands of soft pastel and add them for texture and a greater color range.

My dear friend and artist, Carol Fors, explained to me that each stroke of pastel could be like a piece of hay stacked together where you can see the air in between. This mental image keeps me from smearing the medium, and also helps me to retain the feeling of a drawing. My goal has never been photorealism, and this method also helps it to not look very photographic. I do smear sometimes, though. I think of smearing like a shot of whiskey. One shot is great, two shots, maybe, depending on the situation, but drink the whole bottle and all will be shot to hell. So, I smear in moderation.

 

Carol Peebles, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-Declaration of Independence," 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 20 x 14 in. My father, Jack Peebles, who recently passed, was a civil rights activist and I often wonder what he would say about the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. He raised us with a sensitivity to this issue, and the recent news made me reflect on the basic need and right in this document.

Carol Peebles, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-Declaration of Independence,” 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 20 x 14 in. My father, Jack Peebles, who recently passed, was a civil rights activist and I often wonder what he would say about the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. He raised us with a sensitivity to this issue, and the recent news made me reflect on the basic need and right in this document.

 

My goal, and deepest love in art history, is the genre of Academic realism leading to the Impressionists: American or European artists from the 1850’s to 1910’s, the 1880’s being a hot spot for me.

When I want inspiration, I study any artist of this time period, specifically on Facebook through the virtual curators Christa Zaat and Linda Crank. They post artwork each day by artists from the varying genres in and around this time period, with wonderful snippets of history. Every morning, usually after carpool and before I start teaching class, I have my ‘coffee and Christa’ to get inspired and to educate myself on new artists. Through these two glorious art historians I have learned more than I did even in graduate school (at least in this particular area of history!).

 

Carol Peebles, "Imagination is the true magic carpet.-Norman Vincent Peale," 2016, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 14 in. The model for the Club’s Portrait Class arrived with this head jewelry, which made her really look like a princess. During the demo, I embellished her plain white t-shirt to follow the theme, and was reminded of this quote.

Carol Peebles, “Imagination is the true magic carpet.-Norman Vincent Peale,” 2016, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 14 in. The model for the Club’s Portrait Class arrived with this head jewelry, which made her really look like a princess. During the demo, I embellished her plain white t-shirt to follow the theme, and was reminded of this quote.

 

Contemporary artists who inspire me in portraiture (also on Facebook) are: Jeremy Lipking, Ronald Sherr, Julio Reyes, Osamu Obi, Michelle Kondos and of course my mentor Auseklis Ozols. Yes, all these painters happen to work in oil rather than pastel, but I don’t see much difference between the two as far as study goes. To be inspired in purely pastel, every morning I then go the Facebook page of the Pastel Society of America. PSA members have shown me a remarkable variety in technique, as well as helped me to see I have so much to learn!

This is what makes pastel painting so exciting for me: every time I finish a piece I see so much room for improvement in my work. I imagine new ways to work the medium or see how I can experiment, and I just can’t wait to get back to my easel. So much to learn! I feel greatly indebted to PSA for this venue to study pastel, and also for the support and contacts it has brought me in the art world. Of course, Ms. Sibley’s blogs have been so interesting as well, and have shown me much about the medium.

 

Carol Peebles, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! –Emma Lazarus, Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty," 2016, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 14 x 19 in. I drew this while trying to recover from the Presidential election results, contemplating what was inscribed on the greatest symbol of America: the Statue of Liberty. This piece is meant as a symbol of hope and strength to work in solidarity for our values.

Carol Peebles, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! –Emma Lazarus, Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty,” 2016, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 14 x 19 in. I drew this while trying to recover from the Presidential election results, contemplating what was inscribed on the greatest symbol of America: the Statue of Liberty. This piece is meant as a symbol of hope and strength to work in solidarity for our values.

 

I draw portraits because I love studying people and thinking about their life. Everyone is interesting to me and has some beauty to offer the world. When a model sits for me, I usually am drawing them for a while before I realize the message they are giving to me or exactly what it is about them I find special. When I am done with the piece, then I think of a quote or inspirational text that aligns with what I felt about them. Usually, my mood for that day or some hot topic in our news will govern the choices I have made for a quote, which becomes the title of the piece. I also like connecting great thinkers, poets, writers, to my work because it makes me think larger than myself. It inspires me to get away from my cell phone and read a book, too.

Most of my portraits are just demonstration drawings for my classes because I teach full time and have little time to hire my own model or deal with the cost of live models. I often work in open life studios as well.

I like to draw just a simple head study and see how much emotion, information, or interest I can spark from that. Sometimes I play with the background, but, in general, the classic academic head study is my passion.

 

Carol Peebles, "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi," 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x14 in. This references the recent firestorm of the women’s movement and the gasoline phrase ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ by McConnell to Elizabeth Warren. I used Mahatma Gandhi’s given name, rather than his revered name, as a reminder that the most common person can become great with an indomitable will.

Carol Peebles, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,” 2017, mixed hard and soft pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x14 in. This references the recent firestorm of the women’s movement and the gasoline phrase ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ by McConnell to Elizabeth Warren. I used Mahatma Gandhi’s given name, rather than his revered name, as a reminder that the most common person can become great with an indomitable will.

 

My drawings/paintings are 95% done in class; then, sometimes I will take them to my studio and detail them with a photo reference. I make a point to not work from photos too much, because they then start to look like photos, which I avoid. But, a photo does help me when I, for instance, cannot see the placement of an iris in an eye, or the exact shape of a nostril.

It also helps, because when I draw I am usually also teaching a full class which breaks my concentration and does not leave me much time for my own contemplation.

Sometimes after class I will put a photo next to the demo to see what I could have accomplished better in terms of a likeness or proportion, but I will just study it and not work from it. This discipline helps a lot to see areas I need to improve in, and helps me better focus for my next class demo.

 

Carol Peebles, "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. -Desmond Tutu," 2017, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 14 in. The Master Oil Painter Phil Sandusky agreed to sit for my Club. The cypress trees and river in the background reference his prolific work as a landscape painter and author of 4 books. It was an honor to draw him.

Carol Peebles, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. -Desmond Tutu,” 2017, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 19 x 14 in. The Master Oil Painter Phil Sandusky agreed to sit for my Club. The cypress trees and river in the background reference his prolific work as a landscape painter and author of 4 books. It was an honor to draw him.

 

As an artist, it is very important to constantly take notes on your own development and work, rather than to just enjoy painting. Studying the evolution of your work, and making progress a priority will push you to heights you may have never expected. I encourage all my students to have a notebook, and after every class write down just one struggle they had that day with their drawing, and exactly what they did to rectify it. Not all my students do this, but it is always the ones that bother whose work progresses. The rest just have fun, but that can be ok, too!

 

Carol Peebles, "But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. -Kahlil Gibran," 2016, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 20 x 14 in. The model for this open studio arrived crying because her lover had died just the day before. She insisted on modeling, because she said she could not stand crying alone at home anymore. This is why her eyes are a bit swollen and she chose to wear a veil. This heartbreaking situation made me think of love, loss, marriage, and this poem by Kahlil Gibran, which was part of my own wedding vows, and how they may even apply after death.

Carol Peebles, “But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. -Kahlil Gibran,” 2016, mixed pastels on Colourfix paper, 20 x 14 in. The model for this open studio arrived crying because her lover had died just the day before. She insisted on modeling, because she said she could not stand crying alone at home anymore. This is why her eyes are a bit swollen and she chose to wear a veil. This heartbreaking situation made me think of love, loss, marriage, and this poem by Kahlil Gibran, which was part of my own wedding vows, and how they may even apply after death.

 

Drawing from life humbles us to the world around us. There is a synergy created between you and a live model, which awakens our spirit and keeps us connected to the wonderful, beautiful, natural world we live in. Even if your goal is not to mainly work from life, I encourage you to just have a sketchbook and do practice studies of anything in the natural world: people, landscapes, flowers, etc. This humbling observation of nature connects us to our immediate environment and brings great happiness.

 

~~~~~

 

Wow!! I  still can’t get over the fact that so much of Carol’s work is done as a demonstration!! Doesn’t this post make you want to get out your pastels and get yourself to life drawing??

Carol and I would LOVE to hear from you. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and questions.

 

Thanks for joining me on this pastel exploration!!

 

Until next time,

~ Gail

 

The book Carol recommends to her students:

74 thoughts on “Carol Peebles – Awakening The Spirit With Pastel Portraits From Life

  1. Glenys Forbes

    This blog has really inspired me to get off my a–e and do some more drawing. It also made me realise how lazy I had become with my own art work.
    Thank you both for this inspiring blog and the wonderful portraits.

    Reply
  2. Ingrid Mueller

    WOW! I love her and her work. What a wonderful attitude. Not only does she do excellent portraits, but the backgrounds add so much to the ambiance of the painting. So much mood. Yes, her titles are great. I hate looking at a painting that is numbered or without title. Some how lacks character. Great blog article.

    Reply
  3. Gailen Lovett

    How wonderful to open my mail this morning and find that you have chosen Carol Peebles as your guest portrait artist. I hope Carol knows how much I LOVE her work through my comments about her portraits on the PSA group site. Each portrait holds me as I follow every mark Carol makes enjoying how her soul is in every piece. My favorite parts of her portraits are the eyes of course but how she portrays hair is for me extraordinary. Carol, you are one exceptional contemporary woman and artist.
    Thank you Gail for choosing this outstanding artist and giving us the chance to know her better.

    Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Gailen, Carol will certainly know now!! I agree with you about the eyes and the hair – extraordinary! I am so happy that Carol agreed to share her journey with us.

      Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      You are so welcome Marie! I loved being able to have this collection of pastel portraits here on the blog accompanied by Carol’s words. I too love the literary references.

      Reply
  4. robert sutton

    While I am a newcomer to pastels, I find the beauty and exquisite definition of the models to be a heartfelt feeling of peace and serenity. I really appreciate the love of portraiture that Carol has allowed us to visit her world and literally step into her classes with her. Absolutely beautiful!!

    Reply
    1. Carol Peebles

      Hi Marsha, Thanks for your comments! The pastels I use after NuPastels are really whatever is around. I’ve had Rembrandt, Sennelier, Terry Ludwig and many I can’t remember how to spell. I just ordered skin tones in Girault, so I”m excited about that, but have not tried them. I’ve been told they are hard so I’m guessing they will work well. I am learning to pay more attention to the brands. For most of the time I’ve been drawing it has been mostly NuPastel, so I have a lot to learn in this area.
      Thanks for reading the blog. 🙂 Happy Drawing!

      Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Harriett that’s such a compliment to Carol and myself that you will save this one to reread. And terrific that it has helped you with your own portraits!

      Reply
  5. Susan

    I enjoyed reading this blog immensely! Love the portrait works and how meaningful and inspiring to add quotes for each! I also like the background chosen for each portrait and the feathering techniques on the skin tone. Is there a demo/ DVD that I could purchase or see online somewhere? I am particularly interested in how your feathering and layering work is done on the skin tone…I would love to join the Blue Easel Club but too bad I don’t live in New Orleans…

    I currently feel a bit stuck with a commissioned portrait, but reading your blog revived me and gives me inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing.. Gail, as usual, I love your blog!!

    Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Gosh Susan, don’t we all wish we could join Carol in New Orleans! That’s just what I was thinking while putting the blog together!

      I am shivering with delight that this blog has inspired you and got you unstuck in your commissioned piece. That’s just the best!

      I will leave Carol to answer your question.

      Reply
    2. Carol Peebles

      Hi Susan, I’m so happy you read the blog. I completely understand the feeling about getting stuck sometimes in a commissioned portrait. I find the best way to address that is to leave the drawing for a while and go study the masters. Any artist you love. Observe how they handled areas that are like the areas you struggle with, then return when you are refueled. As far as the feathering, I don’t have a CD, but there is no special technique. All you have to do is hatch, just like a student in beginning drawing hatches and cross hatches. Going dark to light helps. Pay close attention to the color of that person’s particular skin, and its surroundings, rather then believing in a formula for skin tones and relying on that. You can do it! Just practice layering hatching without the pressure of doing it on a portrait. See how the medium is received on the paper and you will get the hang of it. It’s not difficult at all. Thank you for your very kind words and Happy Drawing!

      Reply
  6. Leon Hinson

    Thanks, from one of Carol’s student. She is a treasure. She is an excellent artist (obviously) and a patient, kind and intuitive teacher. We adore her.

    Reply
  7. Carol Peebles

    Thank you so much Gail, for sharing my work with fellow artists. It has made me very happy to hear the support from people who love pastels, and also very supportive friends. I appreciate your time in doing this. You do a great service to the community with your website and blogs, and we are all grateful!
    Happy Drawing, Carol

    Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Carol you are so welcome! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you agreed to share your work, thoughts, and experience on HowToPastel. Thank you.

      And thank you too for your kind words…words like yours are what keep me going 🙂

      Reply
  8. Wendy Prest

    What a wonderful article. Carol offered so many helpful, clarifying thoughts and suggestions. Her portraits are fabulous. Many thanks to you both!

    Reply
  9. Lana Ballot

    Just like you, Gail, I was really surprised to find out that most of Carol’s paintings are done as class demos!! Wow! Particularly that her work is so exquisite, and, to me, it seems like it would require a deep concentration which does not seem really possible in a classroom situation. Thank you both, Carol and Gail, for this wonderful post!

    Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Exactly Lana! I am pretty much in awe that Carol can create these lovely and expressive portraits under classroom teaching conditions.

      Reply
    2. Carol Peebles

      Thank you Lana and Gail, too. Not all of the demo is done with people standing behind me. The rest of the time the students are in the room working on their own piece while I work on mine, and some occasionally come over to check what I’m doing. So I’m not exactly talking my way through the entire thing. Sometimes I am, though. We have two classes, 3 or 2 hours each, and during that time I am teaching 12 people, so I get a few minutes here and there, float back and forth from their work to mine. At first I disliked being limited to that, but then I realized it was a blessing to be pulled away often, as it is always good to consider your work from afar (as i’m sure you already know- I love your work, I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know :-0 ). Also, seeing the challenges students have from different angles helps me better understand my challenges. It’s a good teaching device because each class I can tell students what I know will be the most challenging thing about the model/pose and point it out to them in my drawing. Then they can be sensitive to it in theirs. Anyway, thanks for reading and Happy Drawing to you 🙂

      Reply
  10. Andrea K Hofmeister

    It is hard to read about the importance of sketching realistically as the foundation of everything. Having taken up art later in life, I find my sketching skills are not sufficient. I have found some methods of dealing with this (grids and projectors) but the vitality of these portraits is obviously due to the spontaneity of the artist, and her ability to catch the spirit of the moment. Thanks so much for this inspiring blog. Hearing from a true professional may be discouraging but it helps define what is left to learn.

    Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Thanks Andrea for sharing your struggles with drawings. Have you taken a drawing class? I am happy you were inspired by the blog despite it bringing awareness to where you are on your own artistic journey. Carol’s portraits do speak of her unique voice, her style, and her artistic ability. But I am sure she (and her students) would say that the mechanics of drawing can be learnt. Observe and observe. Press on!

      Reply
    2. Carol Peebles

      Don’t you worry one bit, Andrea! All you have to do is make a practice of sketching. Don’t try to make great art, just sketch fun things like your house slippers or the television set or a cup. Keep sketching things that mean nothing to you, so you are not sentimentally attached to the outcome of the piece. Fill sketchbook after sketchbook and you will grow to love it if you do not make it important and precious. Naturally, your ability to observe will increase a bit, then that is a good time for a drawing book, like Juliette Aristides’ “Classical Drawing Atelier” or “Lessons in Classical Drawing”. They are requisite books for my students. Remember, draw every day, and draw things you don’t care about. Old tires, buckets, dirty dishes. Have patience with yourself and take deep breaths. It will be great. Happy Drawing! (and thanks for your kind words about my work)

      Reply
      1. Carol Peebles

        I would like to add that half of my students are older than me and, just like you, have taken up drawing later in life. Don’t let yourself think that age or time is an issue. Imagine that you are a 7 year old child with a bunch of crayons hiding underneath the dining room table, drawing with your make believe friend. Just have fun. It will come. 🙂

        Reply
  11. Claudia Chimenti

    What an interesting interview! Carol is an absolute stunning artist and her work and words are totally inspiring! Thank you Gail and Carol!

    Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Claudia, delighted you have been inspired by both Carol’s words and art. And I can sure see why!! Thanks for dropping in 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Yes, Carol’s work stands high as artwork on its own nevermind that they are portraits.
      I know, I too loved the reference to whiskey! I may have to borrow the analogy as I am always trying to convince students not to smear/blend!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Susan.

      Reply
    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Cynthia wouldn’t it be wonderful to meet Carol at IAPS!? I will let her answer your question as I don’t know the answer. And yes, the forever-student – great attitude for sure!

      Reply
    2. Carol Peebles

      Hi Cynthia, Thanks for your kind words. I will not be attending IAPS this year, but i do have a piece in the exhibit. It is the piece in this blog entitled,”The sun is new each day.”-Heraclitus Perhaps you can join me at the Pastel Society of America for my workshop at the National Arts Club in October of 2018. Have fun and let me know on FB how you liked IAPS. Thanks again and Happy Drawing!

      Reply
  12. Ed Kramer

    Thank you Gail for a great Blog.Wonderful Portraits Carol.Thank you for giving us a little insight to the world of Carol Peebles.Very interesting article and the Literary references made it even more interesting.Your students are lucky to have you.May you continue to enjoy your journey.Thank you for sharing Carol.

    Reply
  13. Carol Peebles

    I forgot to mention in the blog (pretty big deal-My apologies!) that for portrait commissions I DO work from photographs! Especially for children. I usually can’t get them to sit still long enough to take a good photo, much less have them sit still for 3 hours! I hope I didn’t disillusion any of you who do commissions from photos…I am not THAT quick 🙂 I think the reason I forgot is that none of the artwork pictured in the blog is a portrait commission.

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  14. Heather Laws

    Such extraordinary work!! I am intrigued by your method of starting with a grisaille. I am now motivated to attempt that method myself. I would love to see shots of the progression of some of these pieces, that would be a real treat! The way you have executed the language of the hair on these models, simply brilliant!!

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    1. Gail Sibley Post author

      Hi Heather, I too am interested in seeing the progression of Carol’s pieces. She had none so I’m hoping she will now take a few shots while creating work. Perhaps I’ll be able to update this post in the future. Fingers crossed!!

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    2. Carol Peebles

      Thanks Heather for your sweet comments. I will have to take progression photos as some have been asking lately. It’s no real trick, though. Just google ‘grisaille in painting’ and see the images that come up. It is just the exact thing you are drawing but in one color. I use a warm umber to have some warmth underneath and avoid any blacks at this stage. That is the only real pointer I have. Last night I finished a piece and I did take a beginning of the grisaille shot to post with the final piece. I’ve got lots to do with kids and business today, but it will soon be on my FB page so please check there. For now, on my FB timeline there is the video of the class I did it in and most of my student’s work. Again, thanks for your interest and keep in touch. Happy Painting 🙂

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