Pastels - what the heck are they?

There are several types of pastels; hard, soft, oil and pastel pencils and each one has its own unique use. They are all made with pure dry pigment and a small amount of binder. The soft pastels look like sticks of chalk and the pastel pencils look like colored pencils at first glance. Artists' quality pastels contain the best pigments available and a higher ratio of pigment to binder. This means that artists' colors are brilliant and more intense. They also won't fade over time. I use soft pastels, hard pastels, and pastel pencils – sometimes all of them in one painting. 

Because pastels are made with pure pigment and a little binder they produce the most brilliant and intense colors – that is one reason I love them. The first pastel painting I saw was a beautiful ocean scene with an old ship sailing on rough seas with a turbulent sky above. I was so taken by the beautiful intense colors of this painting I just had to find out how it was painted and how the artist got those brilliant colors. When I found out it was a pastel painting I took a class on pastel painting and was hooked. 

Gallery Training

Today is my day off from work so I am heading to The Loft Gallery to get training on all my duties and responsibilities. I am scheduled to work at the gallery this Saturday so I need to be ready for all those customers!

The 1st Gallery Purchase

It is the best feeling to hear that one of your paintings has sold I got to experience that feeling this past Wednesday. One of my small pastel paintings sold at the Loft Gallery in Occoquan! I am elated! My gallery experience is great. I found out a lady bought the painting as a gift for a 90 year old friend and was very happy with it and said her friend loves flowers so it was perfect.

What Makes Art Considered Good or Bad?

I painted this pastel painting because i wanted to share the calm peaceful  feelings of  hiking in the Rockies

I painted this pastel painting because i wanted to share the calm peaceful  feelings of  hiking in the Rockies

People look at artwork in museums, galleries, art shows, art fairs, etc., and seem to have a common question -  is it considered "Good" or "Bad"?  To the person asking the question they might think a particular piece of artwork is terrible and a 1st grader could do it whereas another person might see the same piece and just fall in love with it. The truth is art is subjective and  each piece of art is really only good or bad based on everyone's personal interpretation of the piece. If you like a piece of artwork and it brings good memories,  or evokes a good feeling, or you just love gazing at it, or it simply will match the decor in your living room -- whatever the reason it doesn't matter -- to you that piece of art is "good" and you like it.  If you look at a piece of artwork and to you it is ugly or "doesn't do anything for you" than that piece isn't necessarily "bad", it is just something that you dislike and it isn't for you. So really to me "Good" means I like it and "Bad means I don't like it.  As far as buying art, many people are concerned that they only purchase art that is considered "Good". Just remember there is no overall ruling by any art wizard that deems each piece of artwork"Good" or "Bad" and worthy of buying or trashing. If you love it buy it and enjoy it.

Hanging After Hours


On Sunday evening I went to the Loft Gallery just before closing time so I could hang my 5 pastel paintings on my assigned wall space. I wasn't sure what to do at first but a friend of mine (and very good watercolor artist!), Carrie Cole,  gave me some great pointers. She suggested I lay out all my paintings on the floor to figure out an arrangement. I loved it! I was able to come up with a nice hanging arrangement quickly. Then hanging the 5 paintings went pretty smoothly.  The final touch was putting up my name plate above the paintings. I am excited! I am officially a gallery artist!