All posts by Mario

Featured Pastel Artist: Bill James

Bill James collage

Bill James is one of the most fascinating pastel artists that I know of. His pastel work is mainly impressionistic with a lot of shifts in light and color and his works in watercolors and oils are equally stunning. For the first part of his career, he worked as an illustrator where he developed a love of painting figures and telling stories by the use of expressing emotion.
Bill is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, which awarded him the title of Master-Pastelist. The articles concerning all three media he works with were published by Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Artist, the Pastel Journal, American Artists, and his paintings have also been included in a different art books. The list of awards is endless and most of them are listed on his very informative website, where Bill offers the online service of looking at paintings created by students, and/or professional fine artists who would like to improve a painting, or solve a problem in creating that painting. He also offers tailored individual online lessons.
Bill James is a graduate of Syracuse University and now lives and works from his studio in a small town in Florida.

Newsletter: the Pastel Scribbler, Feb 2011


The Pastel Guild of Europe published the February issue of the Pastel Scribbler. This is a free newsletter dedicated to a soft pastel art and is gathering European pastel artists. You can find old issues here and if you like it you can subscribe.
Meet the Get Dusty winner: Isabelle Renoncet
Meet Johannes Vloothuis, landscape teacher
Northern Light — meet German artist Astrid Volquardsen
DVD review: Dawn Emerson paints Ghat Women.

Edgar Degas, Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green)

The original of this paining is located in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. This is one of the entries in the Googles Art Project and you can check incredible details on this link.

Degas was fascinated by the world of ballet; hence, it figured prominently in many of his paintings. Here, the group of dancers is depicted in mid-performance, as viewed from an upper side box. Only one of the girls in green is shown full-length, captured as she executes a swift, complicated turn. The other figures are cropped, leaving the viewer to imagine the rest. In the background, a number of ballerinas dressed in orange stand against the landscape scenery, awaiting their turn. Degas’ use of a cropped, off-centred pictorial space was influenced by photography and by Japanese prints. He felt that the unfinished, transitory nature of reality could only be conveyed using a fragmented technique. Here, the fleeting nature of the movements is captured with rapid pastel strokes, applied with immense skill.

Google Art Project

Google has made a new tool where you can see more than 1,000 works of art in extraordinary detail. They used a camera-carrying trolley to create 360-degree pictures of 17 galleries, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Tate Britain & The National Gallery in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The viewers can focus on certain works and get close enough to see individual brushstrokes. Art Project also allows viewers to create their own galleries, saving views of pieces from different museums.

Abel Marquez

Abel Marqueze "Micoette Box"
Micoette Box, Pastel on paper

Abel Marquez is an argentinian artist living and working in Miami, Florida. He won the Ruth Richeson/Unison Pastel Award at the Pastel Journal 12th Pastel 100 competition with Micoette Box (21″ x 30″), this pastel was also awarded with the “Pastel Society of America Award” last September when the Pastel Society of America celebrated its 38th Annual Exhibition at the National Arts Club in New York City.

Old Pastel Master: Herni de Toulouse Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec pastel works
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec pastel works

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Born in Albi, France, in an aristocratic family that dated back a thousand years. He started to draw and paint as a kid, by the time he was 10.
Young Toulouse-Lautrec had two accidents braking his legs, one by the other, which have never healed properly and thus stopped growing. That’s why as adult he was only 1.5 meters tall. Deprived of the kind of life that a normal body would have permitted, Toulouse-Lautrec lived wholly for his art and is famous for his paintings of the night-life of late 19th-century Paris (including cabaret dancers, prostitutes, racetracks and circus performers) and show posters.
Henri would also sit at a crowded nightclub table, laughing and drinking, and at the same time he would make swift sketches. The next morning in his studio he would expand the sketches into bright-colored paintings. Becoming part of the Montmartre life and in order to protect himself against the crowd’s ridicule of his appearance, Toulouse-Lautrec began to drink heavily. The invention of the cocktail “Earthquake” or Tremblement de Terre is attributed to Toulouse-Lautrec; a potent mixture containing half absinthe and half cognac.
Among the others such as Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh and Herni Rousseau he was well known as Post-Impressionist. He died  in family château of Malrom at age of 37.
Upon his death, the majority of his paintings were offered to The Louvre Museum, and the Louvre rejected them. Later his paintings and posters, particularly the ‘Moulin Rouge’ group, have been in great demand and bring high prices at auctions and art sales.

Source: Compton’s Encyclopedia, Wikipedia

Malcolm Jarvis Autumn Landscapes

Malcolm Jarvis "THE AUTUMN LANDSCAPE"

Malcolm Jarvis is an internationally recognized artist who holds the Diploma in Design from St. Martin’s School of Art, London, UK. He lives in the rural county of Norfolk, England, and has spent most of his life with the vast skies, the miles of inland waterways and the windswept coast. Although he tends to use watercolor on his travels, the soft pastels are his favorite painting medium. In many of his paintings Malcolm explores the effects of light on the landscape. Malcolm draws inspiration from the English countryside as well as from the Mediterranean light. His work has been exhibited in England, Washington DC, South Carolina and Spain and he holds regular workshops in England, around the Europe and Mediterranean.
Malcolm is the winner and the runner up of the latest Get Dusty competition, held by the Pastel Guild of Europe.
In his words, “I hope you see my pieces as a response to nature, to beauty, to life, to that sudden awareness of being in the presence of a mystery that baffles understanding.”

Featured Pastel Artist: Betsy Kellum

Betsy Kellum collage

Betsy Kellum graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and later studied art at the Art League in Old Town Alexandria, VA. She has studied with the well known artists Burton Silverman, Robert Liberace, Albert Handell, Doug Dawson, Tim Tyler and others. Betsy balances her own painting with her love of teaching art and has served as a juror and judge for art exhibits and shows.
Betsy has achieved signature membership in the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Maryland Pastel Society the Southeastern Pastel Society. She has received numerous awards in the international and national juried shows throughout the U.S. and has been published in the Pastel Journal. She lives with her husband, Joe, 2 cats, 8 fish and 4 chickens in Powhatan, VA.
On her website Betsy offers 5 step demo with the underpainting in a thin oil and turpentine wash. She does underpainting in a deeper value of the colors or in the color compliment of the color to be applied on top.

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