Rae Smith, elected Master Pastelist by The Pastel Society of America in 1997, is their 2014 Hall of Fame Honoree. She has exhibited her pastel and oil paintings throughout the United States, as well as Japan, China, France Italy, Russia, Taiwan and Canada. Rae has been following her painting passion for most of her life, using so many different media or combinations, from pen and ink to water color, oils and pastels, at times specializing in one medium or another. Her work has sometimes been abstract (very large watercolors) and then at other times, more realistic, but always her very own impression of a place, time, or figment of her imagination. There was a time that all of her works were of, or included people, but when she moved to the country, Nature took hold of her, and she began to specialize in Landscape painting and the pastel medium.
“My painting is all about emotion, mood and atmosphere. I am always looking for the ‘out of the ordinary’ feeling in a composition. At times my paintings have been described as spiritual and I would hope I am able to express myself so that one who views my work is touched.”
This is a preview version of what will be a 25 minute presentation looping at the International Pastel Society Convention this June in Albuquerque at one of the venues. This teaser touches on many of the artists who have contributed to the history of pastel. Stan Sperlak spent 5 years of research and collecting info to make this video.
Mike Beeman was raised in Banbury, England, and now lives and paints in Wyoming. Painting in oils or pastels, in studio or on location, Mike’s love for a challenge takes him from figurative work to landscapes to still lives. No matter the subject or medium, Mike is focused on capturing the light and creating a mood that will engage the viewer. His work has been selected three times in Pastel Journal’s top 100 annual competitions, the Richeson 75, and International Association of Pastel Societies’ exhibits. Mike is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and his work has won several awards in both regional and national exhibits. The latest award was the Pastel Journal Silver Award at the 14th Annual Pastel 100 Competition.
Mike is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of Colorado; he is also a member of the Pastel Society of the Northern Rockies and the Degas Pastel Society.
You can follow Mike on his Blog Daily Pastel Painting.
Frank Federico, PSA, has been working in pastel for over five decades. He is a PSA Master Pastelist, IAPS Master Circle Member, past president of Connecticut Pastel Society, and holds signature membership in many other prestigious societies. Federico was the PSA hall of fame honoree for 2012.
There is an interesting and worth reading interview with Federico in PSA annual catalog for 2012. Below is the excerpt from the interview. What qualities do you think make for a strong/good work of art?
Balance, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical. Interesting surface quality – this gives vent to adventures in surface. Some paintings can be deadly in their unappealing flatness; some can be over-surfaced, distracting from the content of a painting. A use of value that enhances the spatial qualities and depth to a painting. Color use that emulates nature but reflects one’s own persona. Recognizing and objectively using compositional tenets, whether it be the golden section, Feng Shui, or the seesaw principle of balancing around a central point.. This can help create well organized paintings or conversely open the door to departure from the stultifying aspects of the same principles.
Pastelagram is a publication by Pastel Society of America and is published each February, featuring reproductions of the best in current pastel artistry, highlights of the most recent Annual Exhibition, and articles by noted PSA members, who discuss their experiences, style and method of working. The featured artist in the 2012 issue are Liz Haywood Sullivan, Ray Hassard, Isabelle V. Lim, Gwenneth Barth-White, Jen Evenhus and Julene Baker-Smith. Frank Federico is Hall of Fame Honoree 2012, and as the Pastel Journal editor Anne Hevener is the “Friend of Pastel” 2012 honoree.
Jill Stefani Wagner works in two quite different mediums: watercolor and pastel. She finds watercolors to be very fresh and intuitive medium and she is ready to throw away many pieces. Pastel on the other side is more forgiving and she will changes color, form, and position until the wanted effect. She strives for realism with a painterly twist, but sometimes allows the rich hues and textures of a scene to dominate. Jill often works from resource photos from her travels but, when weather permits, she loves to paint from life or plein air. Her pastel paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the MidWest, and her work hangs in various public and private collections throughout the United States. Jill’s pastel work has been given the Art Times Award from the prestigious Pastel Society of America Exhibition and she was recently honored with a National Award of Exceptional Merit from the Pastel Society of North Florida. Her work was given two honorable mentions in the Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100 Competition. She is a member of the National Watercolor Society, Pastel Society of America, Michigan Water Color Society, Great Lakes Pastel Society, Ann Arbor Women Artists and Ann Arbor Area Pastelists. Jill was born in Port Huron, Michigan. She received a B.F.A. from The University of Michigan School of Art and is senior partner of a successful graphic design firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Each year the Pastel Society of America selects an outstanding artist to be included in the Hall of Fame to honor his or her special achievements in pastel painting. The artist included this year (2011) was Bill Creevy, a widely exhibited New York artist with over twelve solo shows. Originally a native of New Orleans, Bill holds an MFA degree from Louisiana State University and a BA degree from the University of New Orleans. Bill Creevy’s painting style is representational and he paints still lifes, landscapes and figures. He is the author of The Pastel Book, a thorough guide to pastel materials and techniques, with many stimulating demonstrations. This is a must read for pastel lovers and if you are interested in the book, first read an excellent book review by Katherine Tyrrell on her blog Making a Mark.
The Pastel Society of America held the 39th Annual Pastels Only Exhibition. There were close to 50 awarded artists. Top Award Winners, with prices over 1500$ were: Jimmy Wright – PSA Founders Award given by The Flora B. Giffuni Foundation. Bob Palevitz – Jack Richeson & Co. Award. Theresa Emmett Allison – Art Spirit Foundation Dianne B. Bernhard Gold Medal Award. Robert Carsten – The Flora B. Giffuni & Joseph V. Giffuni Memorial Award.
Tim Solliday – Great American Artworks – “Full Monty” Award. Daniel E. Greene – Herman Margulies Award for Excellence.
Have you ever tried to paint outdoors with the frozen fingers? Or climbing to a peek of mountain to find that perfect spot for your next plein air painting? Looks like that is the specialty of Aaron Schuerr. He combines his love of outdoors and painting to capture those special moments when most of us run for shelter.
Aaron is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, is a dedicated plein-air painter based in Livingston, Montana. Working in both oil and pastel, he brings a quiet intimacy and sensitive rendering of light to the varied landscapes of the Rocky Mountain West.
Aaron won the Pastel Journal Gold Medal Award for Excelence in 2011 with the painting River Glow.