Julie Freeman‘s painting Southern Kelp (above; pastel, 13×27″) won first place in The Artist’s Magazine’s 2012 All Media Art Competition.
Julie Freeman is a self taught photo-realistic pastel artist based in Auckland New Zealand. She is an Artist Member of the Pastel Artists of New Zealand (PANZ).
Jennifer Gardner is the winner of the Artist’s Magazine 27th Art Competition in the category Abstract/experimental. Born in London, England, Jennifer developed an interest in art in her early childhood. Previously a lawyer by profession, Jennifer emigrated to the United States in 1999 giving up her legal career to pursue her love of painting on a full-time basis. Jennifer has an early artistic background in ink and oil painting and now paints exclusively with pastel. Jennifer is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Southwest Florida Pastel Society and her work has been published numerous times in The Pastel Journal, American Artist Magazine and The Artist’s Magazine.
This is the list of approaching deadlines for the pastel competitions till the end of 2010. Not all of them are pastel only competitions, but they are popular and many pastelists participate. Please feel invited to comment and add more.
Sarah Blumenschein won the first place in the Still Life/Floral category of the Artist’s Magazine 26th annual competition with her pastel painting
New Mexico artist Sarah Blumenschein looks forward to the brief springtime appearance of red Bartlett pears in her local grocery store because of their beautiful red color. Sunflowers, Red Pears, Turquoise Cloth is a joyous assemblage. “I tend to try to enhance the colors and the effect of the light,” Blumenshein says. “I really like the challenge of capturing how the light bounces between things.” A systems engineer before turning her attention to art full time in 2000, the artist began experimenting with pastels in 2003. She’s found them to be the ideal medium for her, and the still life genre suits her for a similar reason. “Still life allows me to be a mom and an artist,” she says. “I can set up a still life and paint for a couple of hours, then stop and come back later.”… The Artist’s Magazine
Frederick Somers won the first place in the Abstract/Experimental category of the Artist’s Magazine 26th annual competition with his pastel painting.
For more than 30 years, Frederick Somers has noted those small sections of flowers and grasses sequestering pools of water in the Minnesota farmlands. In winter, as the days grow shorter and darker and the sun sits lower in the sky, the longer wavelengths of light create vibrant purples and reds, like those in Ruby’s Crowned Waters. The painting originated from a reference photo he’d snapped impulsively from his truck window. “Near the peripheral edges of my sight, I saw colors of the most brilliant light blues, reds and greens,” says Somers. “When I turned my head, they were gone. I believe the colors were some kind of prismatic effect.”
Somers began by painting shapes and values, then added details and final color notes. He used the flat side of his pastel and a “dry wash” applied with Viva towels—a frequently used tool for both adding and removing color. By this means he achieves the perfect balance of hard and soft edges and bright or dull color. The Artist’s Magazine
Rita Kirkman got the honorable mention in the Wildlife/Animal category of the Artist’s Magazine 26th annual competition with her pastel painting.
“My work is more about composition and light than subject matter,” says Rita Kirkman. In animals she sees aesthetic lines and expressiveness.
She works mostly from photos and plays with compositions on her computer. Her piece 4 at Rest mainly derives from one image, but two cows were pasted in from other shots. She liked the overlapping diagonals—and enjoyed breaking a compositional rule by using an even number of elements. The artist, who holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Dayton in Ohio, begins her pastels by applying Art Spectrum pastel primer with a wide brush to Gatorboard (a plastic foam board). She then applies pastels in thin layers, building values from dark to light. “On large pieces such as 4 at Rest,” says Kirkman, “I don’t like to blend; the pastel sits on the primer so the underlying tone and texture show through, allowing that crispness and sparkle only pastel can achieve.” Artist’s Magazine
Terry Donahue won the first place in the Wildlife/Animal category of the Artist’s Magazine 26th annual competition with his pastel painting.
“While on a road trip through Nebraska, Terry Donahue saw in the distance what looked like a “white tornado.” On closer inspection he realized the sight was a swirling mass of migrating snow geese. For the next three days, the artist photographed the marvelous creatures, and, from these reference photos, he created his winning pastel, Fly Over Country. The title is a wordplay based on a comment by a political pundit who described the Midwest as flyover country—dull and not worth a visit. Donahue, who returned to Nebraska two weeks after the snow geese migration to watch sandhill cranes in flight, clearly feels otherwise.
“I don’t do thumbnail or rough sketch drawings prior to starting a piece,” says the artist. “Some works fall together quickly, whereas others build from a particular vision or impression of mine and are continually forcing themselves in new directions. These works take a little more time to finish; Fly Over Country was one…” Artist’s Magazine