Old Pastel Master: Edouard Manet

Pastel Art by Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet (1832-1883)

Some of Edouard’s Manet well known oil paintings are ”Déjeuner sur l’herbe”, at that time considered scandalous, and Olympia (painted 1863), the most shocking work in 1865 presented in Salon. Less known is the fact Manet has used pastel medium in last 3 years of his life when he was forced by paralysis to take to a wheel chair.

Pastel Portrait of Irma Brunner is one of a numerous painted by Manet at that time. He found the pastel medium easier for him to manage than oil, and as result his large oil paintings at this time were few.
Manet not only used pastel medium as it was more convenient, but also because it permitted him to experiment with his theories in the rendering of light and shade to obtain a general effect of luminosity. He did not, as did Degas, depend so much on the individual strokes of the pastels, but sought rather for broader masses of juxtaposed color to produce his effect. The great majority of Manet’s pastels portray beautiful women, women from all stations of society. These delightful portraits of women deservedly rank with the finest work that Manet produced and reveal the immense variety of the artist.
Although Manet was a friend with several French Impressionists and shared some of their ideas and techniques, he has formally never become their member nor did he exhibit with them.

Interesting short films about Manet you can watch on the clip.
More information about Manet at Wiki, Metropolitan Museum of the Art, Musee d’Orsay.

Amazon Source for Manet

Featured Pastel Artist: September McGee

September McGee collage
September McGee collage

September McGee
September McGee

September McGee is a pastel and oil artist from California, USA. Her distinctive style blends Impressionism and Realism and is easily recognized by long strokes on the figure art. Her paintings are full of musicians, rhythm and movement. That seams to attract many art lovers, including me, and is making her award list very long. You have already seen her work on this blog in the Pastel 100 Figure winners. September just attained her second honorable level of signature membership with the Pastel Society of the West Coast. Her first honorable level as a signature member is with the Connecticut Pastel Society. If you are visiting South California stop in Laguna Beach where September is having two-month show all July and August. If you would like to keep up with September’s work you can also follow her on the blog.

Sergei Oussik: Finalist in the International Artist Magazine

Sergei Oussik "Griboedova Canal"
Sergei Oussik

Sergei Oussik is a pastel artist based in St Petersburg, Russia. Serguei started his art career by selling works on the streets of St Petersburg, but has since achieved an international reputation as a formidable landscape artist of great sensitivity. He is a member of the Russian Union of Artists, the International Federation of Artists, the Pastel Society of France and International Association of Pastel Society. He is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a leader of the St. Petersburg Pastel Society.
Sergei’s was recently chosen as a finalist in the Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes competition in the latest issue of the International Artist magazine #73. More of his beautiful works can be found at ArtLondon pages.

The Pastel 100 – Still Life and Floral

Top pastel artists in the category Still Life and Floral at The Pastel Journal 11th annual Pastel 100 Competition. Check the left column and the Gallery page for the artworks that I got permission from the artists to be published.
PJ Grand Prize Sarah Blumenschein
1. Gertrude Abramson
2. Kathy Steckel
3. Anne McGrory
4. Brian Freeman
5. Peter Seltzer
Honorable mention: Ralph (Alex) Mirrington, Sangita Phadke, Rebecca Margolese-Malin, Bob Franklin, Karen Howard, Barbara S. Groff, Jeanne Crain Leemon, Ruth C. White, Sheila M. Evans, Becky Neideffer, Tim Reilly, Jim Gunter, Maceo W. Michell, Dianna Ponting.

See the gallery with all Pastel 100 winners on this site.

Featured Pastel Artist: Alicia Sotherland

Alicia Sotherland is a self taught artist from Escondido, CA (USA) who began painting in 1999. Having been a child of an artists, she was surrounded by the world of art and encouraged when she would draw. However, Alicia never thought about being an artist until the fall in 1999 when she decided to make a career change. Having drawn mostly faces as a child, it seemed natural for her to begin with the portrait. By her own words “I was never told I should not start my painting career by doing portraits, so I approached my portraits without fear or preconceived ideas of how to paint or this is the way it must be done! I figured out basically what works best for me, and I did it that way.”
Alicia doesn’t use preliminary drawings, thumbnails or grids. All parts of the painting look connected, the background is part of the hair, the hair, part of the forehead and so on. Her paintings look very blurry with a couple of well chosen sharp edges.
Alicia has recently release four video clips where you can see her studio and watch her doing a portrait from a photo. I find the 3rd part to be the most informative and you can find it in my video collection.

The Winter Landscapes in Soft Pastel

Liz Haywood-Sullivan "Daybreak"

I’m starting to present artists who paint Winter landscapes in soft pastels. Just to make it clear, since the Winter looks different in southern California than the one in Sweden I’ll be presenting only snow winters. The gallery with the links to the artists will be on the left column. The paintings that were so far presented should end up in the January gallery as soon as I figure out how to do that in the WordPress.
There are couple of demos and instructions how to paint snow and winter landscapes and I’m recommending the WetCanvas class by Deborah Secor and demos by Tom Christopher demo1 demo2 demo3.

Featured Pastel Artist: Mary Anne Cary

Mary Anne Cary

Mary Anne Cary is a soft pastel artist living in Maine. She has a BFA in Visual Design from Southeastern Massachusetts University and she has enjoyed a career as a Graphic Artist for more than 10 years. While raising a family, she continued to take art classes in various mediums, focusing mostly on pastel painting and black and white photography. With her children now grown, she is finding that the time is right to make a full-time commitment to her art, and she has discovered a passion for pastels.
Mary Anne finds the creative process to be both exciting and meditative. Her bold strokes and fresh pastel colors of grass and flowers give the feel of almost abstract painting. She draws her inspiration from the coastal beauty of Maine. Mary Anne’s work has been included in invitational and juried shows and you can follow Mary Anne’s work at her blog almost daily.

The Best of America pastel Artists – volume II

The Best of America Pastel Artists

The Visual Art Guide is hosting websites for many artists and they publish really nice books. They have recently issued book “The Best of America Pastel Artists – volume II” which you can browse online and even download for free. The shorter presentation of the book can be found here and you can enjoy some fantastic soft pastel works.

If you like those books you can enter one of the competitions and if you are chosen among top 200 artists you can be published and get 2 pages in the book.

Pear and Pastel Connection

Mario Vukelic

If you love pears, there is a great place for you – visit Pearathon website. They have collection of  over 30 original paintings and the collection is growing. What is interesting to see is the amount of paintings done in pastel.  There are over half of the works in soft pastels. This is unusual since the similar online galleries have majority of the works in oils and acrylics with a few pastels. Only conclusion that comes to my mind is that pastel artists love pears :).

If you have your own painting of pears you can also submit your work, and if folks at Pearathon like it, it will end up in the gallery. Your pear painting needs to be original, and not a copy of some other work or photo, and it needs to be already somewhere on the web.

Kari Tirrell: a Dog Demo

Kari Tirrell - Sunny Spot
Kari Tirrell "Sunny Spot"

Kari Tirrell is a self-taught artist who likes to paint animals and people. She paints predominantly with soft pastels and has a great love for realism. Kari is a member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and  the Northwest Pastel Society. If you like her work and the painting above, take a look at the very good and descriptive dog demo.

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