I am having success in the pastel world, and it feels pretty good! Submitting work to juried shows is always so subjective, a painting that is rejected from one show jury can be accepted by another, such is the case with these two paintings. Having my work accepted into juried shows is one way of validating that what I am doing is working, not just for me but for the public and for the artists with credentials in the professional world of pastels. That means a lot to me.

“Wind-bent” is part of a series of pastel paintings from the summer, I spent time visiting Lake Michigan and photographing whatever inspired me, then painted at home with the freshness of having been there. This painting was accepted into the Pastel Society of North Carolina International online show, the show runs through the end of September. You can see the entire exhibit here – https://www.onlinejuriedshows.com/ClosedShowThumbs.aspx?OJSID=49266

Wind-bent
soft pastel & gesso on Pastelbord
8″ x 10”

Another painting accepted into a juried show is currently on exhibit at the JPetter Gallery in Douglas Michigan, in the Small Works Members show with the Great Lakes Pastel Society. You can see the exhibit here – https://jpettergalleries.com/artist/great-lakes-pastel-society, the show runs through October 6. “Woodstock” is one of my favorite places in New England and this painting reminds me of my many visits to Vermont when I lived in Swampscott, MA. I love Vermont, the landscape, the wide open space, and the people.

Woodstock
soft pastel & gesso on UArt
9” x 12”

Both of these paintings were created with a textured underpainting using gesso; the gesso is key to contributing to the mood of the “story” (which is about dimensional textures in nature) and the desire to create dimensional textures has been one way my years of encaustic painting have connected to my passion for pastel painting.

I also have two new paintings included in the upcoming Chicago Pastel Painters National Juried Exhibition opening at the McCord Gallery next month, (I don’t think I am suppose to share my accepted paintings until the show officially opens to the public on October 4). I am slowly learning the pastel etiquette, it’s so different from anything I have experienced in the past. Gallery details are on the website here – https://www.mccordgallery.org/exhibitions and the Chicago Pastel Painters may feature images once the show is open to the public on October 4 here – https://chicagopastelpainters.org

Soft pastels are very different from any other art mediums, the “culture” and the way things are done, and I am loving every minute of it! I feel a strong connection to the soft pastel medium, creating luminous color, the shift of values and layering .. and in many ways everything I have done in the past has led up to being right here right now with pastels.

The newest show acceptance I received was that two of my paintings will be included in the upcoming Arkansas Pastel Society National Exhibition. The show is being held in the ACANSA Gallery in Little Rock, AR, opening November 12 – January 16, 2022. I will share those paintings once the show has opened to the public.

I know I still have so much to learn but it energizes my interest in soft pastel painting when I am acknowledged by these juried show acceptances, and confirms I am headed in the right direction.

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