Anita Stoll is known for her pastel landscapes with a very strong abstract sense. Her pastel paintings are inspired by what she observes in nature. At the age of 50 she and her husband moved to the High Desert north of Los Angeles where she was immediately struck with the open expanses of sky and land. Along with that she was overcome by an urge to create. She soon enrolled in art classes in a community college and began showing locally while still holding on to her day job as a buyer for the California airport in Mojave. It wasn’t long before she got into galleries in Taos, San Francisco, Wrightwood and Encino, along with being the house artist of the Antelope Valley Winery. After moving to Coarsegold, CA, she became internationally known by having a feature article on her in International Artist’s Magazine and also The Pastel Journal. She won fourth place in PJ’s annual Top 100 Exhibition of 2006, and she was once again published in the book Best of America Pastel Artists, Volume II
Anita is a signature member of The Pastel Society of The West Coast and The Northwest Pastel Society. She is currently represented at Timberline Gallery, Oakhurst and at her home studio and gallery Big Acre Studio in Coarsegold. She is a very active blogger and I selected 2 articles for you to read, Face the Wall and Painting Upside Down.
Barbara Benedetti Newton was born 1943 in Puyallup, Washington, and attended Art Institute of Seattle. Barbara began her professional art career as a fashion illustrator in 1965. Working exclusively in colored pencil for more than a dozen years, she became one of the masters of the medium and co-authored Colored Pencil Solution Book, published in 2000. In 2002 she began exploring other mediums and has been working primarily in soft pastel since then. Making the transition from a precise, time-consuming, transparent medium to spontaneous, fast-paced, opaque soft pastel has been a journey of discovery. With a change of medium, Barbara also departed from her trademark light-filled still life subjects to impressionistic landscape scenes. Barbara has authored articles in American Artist Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine and International Artist Magazine. Her work has appeared in all editions of the Best of Colored Pencil series and as a feature article in The Pastel Journal magazine. She is past president of the Colored Pencil Society of America, a Signature Member of the Northwest Pastel Society, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, and has been awarded Master’s Circle membership in the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS).
Barbara is a very active blogger and has many interesting posts for general public. A pastel demo can be found at the Mighty Art Demos
“For me, painting is a journey of discovery from challenges of mastering the medium to contemplation about my message. I portray natural and man-made objects in a light filled environment. Presenting a variety of relationships is facinating to me – color to form, object to subject, shadow to light. I combine surface characteristics, color, and attention to detail to portray the spare elegance of ordinary objects and everyday scenes through contemporary realism. My most recent work has been creating landscape paintings through the luscious color and buttery texture of soft pastel.”
Cuong Nguyen was trained to be a traditional portraitist at the age of 10 in his native Vietnam. He finds the natural beauty in the people that surround him—from the men and women he painted to earn money on the streets of Saigon as a child, to the denizens of Silicon Valley that he often paints today. Faces inspire him—so much so that that he has been known to approach strangers to request that they model for him. He works in a variety of media, from oil and pastel to digital media and for much of the past decade, he has been active in streetpaint art festivals around the world. Cuong is also a professional illustrator and icon designer for Yahoo! Inc., where he creates digital artwork no larger than 50 square pixels. He has won several awards for his painting, including Best in Show at the International Association of Pastel Societies’ 15th Juried Exhibition and a Gold Medal at its 16th Juried Exhibition. The artist is a member of Oil Painters of America and the International Guild of Realism and is a Distinguished Pastelist in the Pastel Society of the West Coast.
Cuong won the Pastel Journal Grand Prize Award for 2011 with the painting Spring.
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.