Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Mexico Peppers - A Pastel Workshop

In New Mexico, February is usually cold and blustery, with snow and ice thrown in for good measure. That is why I have my yearly pastel workshop, here, in that month. Also, it’s a really good thing to have something to look forward to after the holiday stuff has been packed away and everyone hits the mid-winter doldrums. So while this is not plein air, there is a setup available for the students to look at.

This year, it was in the mid 60s! What’s up with that? We did have the wind though.

I always ask myself what I can do to make the next workshop better than the one we just completed. Next year, I am going to include how to frame a pastel correctly. We did not even get close to that topic. And perhaps it will be a two day Friday/Saturday workshop with an optional Sunday to finish if a body feels pressed for time.

Julie working away

For this project, I thought that everyone might enjoy a piece of the Southwest. So I took my handmade Indian pots and set them up with some bright red peppers that were available in the market. Below you can see the efforts of the students. A couple of them had never worked this way. 

Ruth - working to done
Diana - almost there

Lyn - almost there
Mary Jo - almost done

Marianne - with her piece close
to finsihed
Julie - almost done

It’s not a scrubby way of working. I usually save that for my landscapes in pastel. Following this deliberate way of working, an artist works out compositional problems at the drawing stage and once that is done, the artist can just immerse themselves in the passion of applying the pigment in a rich saturated way.

Need help with title - suggestions please?
I like that at that stage, I can concentrate on value and temperature to make the piece coherent. Color is then the reward I get for the prior work. And I love the juiciness and satisfaction I get of applying that color.

This is in need of a title…..never did get around to that. So help me out here. What is its name?

An 8x10 print goes to whoever names it.

Favorite quote:
Artists must know what they are doing and how they are going to do it, while allowing room for spirit and intuition to influence the creative experience.    (Donald Demers)

Calling All Artists! 
Please click here to go to Black Range Art for exciting news about an October 2014 opportunity to show your art, win prizes and take part in a new New Mexico Art Event!

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