At the end of last month, I posted the first of these ‘pastel gems’ blogs. It was a very informal, totally personal selection of pastel gems that came across my computer screen through the month of September. It was so well received, I’ve decided to make it a monthly feature.

Last time I said I would keep my choices to only 10. Was I crazy???? That’s waaaaaaay too difficult! But yeah, I know, I promised.

One of the difficult things in choosing was liking pieces by artists already featured last month. Well, they had to go first. (Maybe in a couple of months I’ll permit myself to post their beautiful work again.) Others didn’t have complete information so I edited those out too (as much as I hated to do so). Then I looked and whittled, looked and whittled. Terrible to have to make these kind of choices. No envy of jurors that’s for sure (I’ve only had the pleasure of being a juror twice). So from 35 plus, here are my 10 pastel gems for this month. Like I say, purely subjective. My own delight really but I do hope you will come away with some awe and pleasure.


Let’s take a look.


Arlene Richman, Quick Study, pastel on BFK with pastel ground, 11 x 11 in

Arlene G. Richman, Quick study, pastel on prepared BFK Rives paper, 11 x 11 in

I love the simplicity, the colour combinations, and the design elements of this study. Arlene does these quick studies when she needs to keep the creative juices flowing. She started them because  she “was up against a wall vis a vis a more serious piece and … just needed to keep going and painting….. I start with a mark – either a color shape or a directional line or two – or both. Then the rest of the painting is an exercise in solving the problem I presented to myself. I usually feel viscerally whether a color or line is correct.” To see more of her work, click here.



Linda Dessaint, "The Secret Spot," pastel on Wallis paper, 12 x 9 in

Linda Dessaint, “The Secret Spot,” pastel on Wallis paper, 12 x 9 in

There’s such an immediacy and vibrancy about this pastel! It looks as if it’s done on location but I don’t know this for sure. Happily for Linda, it recently won the Terry Ludwig award at the Pastel Society of New Hampshire‘s National Juried Show (hanging until 30 November). Check out her other pastels on her website.



Ginger M. Urick, "Blue on Black #2," pastel, 19 x 19 in

Ginger M. Urick, “Blue on Black #2,” pastel, 19 x 19 in

Completely different from Linda’s pastel above (which makes me think ‘glorious day’), Ginger’s piece is moody and evocative of the power of nature. I’m in awe of her technique and ability to capture this moment in the sky. I couldn’t find a website for Ginger but found her Artist Facebook Page instead. I hope you’ll head on over and Like it!



Aline Ordman, New Mexico workshop demo, Terry Ludwig pastels on Colourfix paper, 9 x 12 in

Aline Ordman, New Mexico workshop demo, Terry Ludwig pastels on Colourfix paper, 9 x 12 in

Another glorious example of painting en plein air. Aline’s colour always astonishes me. And look at the simplicity – so much said with so little. Head on over to her website to see more of her fabulous work!!



Bonnie Paruch, "Algoma Shadows," pastel on sanded paper, 14 x 18 in

Bonnie Paruch, “Algoma Shadows,” pastel on sanded paper, 14 x 18 in

I love that Bonnie could make such a beautiful and bold painting out of this ordinary subject matter. Evidently so did the judges at the September Bold Brush competition who awarded her an Outstanding Pastel award. This painting is one of seven completed for a group invitational show at the Charles Allis Art Museum. The show runs until 11 January 2015. Check out more of Bonnie’s work here.


 Supapong Yuneyong, Portrait, pastel, 17 x 12 in

 Supapong Yuneyong, Portrait, pastel, 17 x 12 in

I was rather taken with the vigorous nature of this portrait and the way the artist captured this man’s personality. I could find neither a website or a Facebook Artist Page for Supapong Yuneyong but he is on facebook. Click here to see his page and learn a bit more about him.



Gisele Hurtaud, "Le Chapeau de Marjolaine," pastel on pastelcard, 13 x 13 in

Gisele Hurtaud, “Le Chapeau de Marjolaine,” pastel on pastelcard, 13 x 13 in

I found this portrait delightful – the smile about to crack open, the glance away, the smooth skin contrasted with the wooly hat, the curl of hair escaping, the warm pastel in her cheek and the background. To see more of Gisele’s work, check out her website.



Daggi Wallace, "Emergence," pastel, 28 x 13 inDaggi Wallace, “Emergence,” pastel, 28 x 13 in

Daggi does some amazing portrait and figurative work. This month, this was the pastel that caught my attention – the incredible realism of the head (with the water reflections above the eyes and the drips of water) contrasted with the abstract quality of water that still appears perfectly real in the whole. You can see part of Daggi’s painting process here. How does she get such detail???? Check out more of Daggi’s work on her website.



Leo Loomie, "The Red Booth," pastel on ersta paper on foamcore, 20 x 16 in

Leo Loomie, “The Red Booth,” pastel on ersta paper on foamcore, 20 x 16 in

I love the feel of this pastel – I could walk in and sit down and then be mesmerized with all the reflected goings-on as I listen to the juke box. This pastel is part of a body of work Leo is creating called the Americana series. There are some fabulous pieces and it was difficult to choose which to include. Unable to find a website for Leo, I did find his Artist Page on Facebook – click here and go Like his Page 🙂



Diane Rudnick Mann, "Silverware in Glass," pastel, 26 x 21 in

Diane Rudnick Mann, “Silverware in Glass,” pastel, 26 x 21 in

I had two of Diane’s pastels to choose from. I decided to go with this one since the other, “8 or 9 Glass Bowls,” (which just won First Place in Still Life category in the 2015 Pastel Journal 100 Competition!!) is on the front page of her website. Go check it out! I think this pastel is equally amazing. Not only am I stunned by what she was able to do with a handful of silver utensils , I am intrigued by the velvety blackness of the background. How did she achieve this??


So there are my ten pastel gems for October. Difficult choices!! But some pretty awesome work don’t you think?

I’d loooooove to hear from you!!

Off to drool over this work some more….

~ Gail


PS. Happy Halloween!!

Check out these adorable children’s pastels of pumpkins!


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12 thoughts on “Pastel Gems: October’s Round-Up!”

  1. Gail, thank you for this email. I spent an hour or two enjoying and marveling at the various art pieces and the websites available. I’m a colorist and was wowed by the paintings that you selected.

    Thanks , David

    1. Thanks so much Ruth! I know quite a few of my choices have been posted on Facebook but it’s a treat for me to collect my favourites in one place. We’ll see what November brings!

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Gail Sibley

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My love of pastel and the enjoyment I receive from teaching about pastel inspired the creation of this blog. It has tips, reviews, some opinions:), and all manner of information regarding their use through the years – old and new. Please enjoy!

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