Still Life & Pastel

I love when I learn about working with art mediums in new ways! Although I had a formal art history education, my exposure to making studio art was minimal.  As an adult, I have been able to seek out and attend classes and workshops hosted by various respected professionals.

I am currently attending weekly pastel classes at the Evanston Art Center, and this week we used watercolor paper treated with pastel ground. I have to admit, I had trouble moving colors and creating depth because of the surface and I am NOT a fan of using watercolor paper with a ground.

Below, my most recent still life using watercolor paper treated with pastel ground –

Pitcher with Tulips
soft pastel on paper
15” x 22”

My curriculum for the encaustic painting classes I teach includes using a wide variety of mixed media materials. I am always looking to learn about new ways to combine various media successfully with beeswax. This past November, I attended a workshop hosted by the Chicago Pastel Painters. Casey Klahn was the visiting artist teaching a 3-day workshop. He is someone I have followed on social media for many years, and his workshop focused on unity between color and form.

Below, two of my pieces from the Klahn workshop –

Autumn Treescape
soft pastel on paper
17” x 15”

Turquoise Vase
soft pastel on paper
17” x 15”

I fell in love with pastels! Soft form pastels could become another exciting material combined with beeswax. I then signed up for a 10 week class at the Evanston Art Center, and have been attending classes taught be Ken Minami.

Still Life 2
soft pastel on sand paper
9” x 12”

Each week Ken sets up several still life arrangements and also brings different papers for us to experience. I am definitely a fan of 600 grit sandpaper, and I have already been brainstorming about the ways in which the pastels can combine with encaustic.

My first project may be combining an encaustic monotype with pastel, then mounted on a scroll… time will tell, but I am excited to have a new direction with my personal art practice.

Still Life 3
soft pastel on paper
13” x 13”

Still Life 1
soft pastel on sand paper
12” x 9”