View Full Version : Oil pastel association discussion thread

08-27-2004, 12:36 AM
We've started a conversation discussing pros and cons for an oil pastel association in this thread...
Carly, our lovely mod, thought we should have a seperate discussion thread for it...would you like to sticky this Carly? Then we could toss it around.

I did see somewhere that John would contact someone with a question...I'll go looking for that page and see if I can't get an answer. The webmaster is a writer and she had said her book writing was taking over...she was going to Antarctica when I applied :eek: so we need to get through to him and see if he wants to promote more...with our help maybe we can do this..if not then lets see what we can do ourselves.

08-27-2004, 01:17 AM
I found two addresses that seemed to be personal ones for John, so hope I'll get a response...will post on this if I do get one.

Kathryn Wilson
08-27-2004, 06:29 AM
I wonder if there are other smaller associations out there, like the one in Maine that Carly speaks about, that are looking for members and we just don't know about them. I will do an internet search and see what I can come up with.

Are there associations out there that are outside of the United States? Does anyone know?

If we have problems promoting this medium because shows and galleries turn down the work because it is done with OP - in what other ways can we bring our work to the attention of buyers?

08-27-2004, 09:14 AM
I found two addresses that seemed to be personal ones for John, so hope I'll get a response...will post on this if I do get one.

If that's a dead end, I know his ebay id, (was doing a search on ops to buy, and found he was selling some) and we could always try to reach him through that.

08-27-2004, 09:58 AM
thanks Eileen, if I don't hear by next week will try that. Kat...Well, there are going to be galleries and competitions that accept them so we keep trying to get them out there for people to see. I have no idea how many serious oil pastel artists there are out there, so an OP only competition that was highly advertised might find a good proportion. I entered Artist Mag competition, didn't make it, but will keep trying. I've been trying to avoid competitions that require the work being sent...kind of pricey for me at this stage of the game. I entered in a local show judged by a watercolorist...wc and oils took the prizes all the way around but I did get an honorable mention and had people ask about the medium. So the more we get out there the better.

Kathryn Wilson
08-27-2004, 01:33 PM
Now there's a thought - why not get one of the manufacturers to sponsor an art competition. Sennelier (Savoir-Faire), Holbein - would be good for their products - and good for the artists.

I've seen these competitions in the generic magazines like The Artist Magazine and American Artist.

Pat Isaac
08-27-2004, 05:13 PM
I haven't seen any reference to any other OP associations around, but will also do a search. I like Kat's idea about brandname competitions, as I know lots of brands do that. Are you all talking about John Elliot? I know his wife Sheila is the webmaster. I'll try a contact also. :)


08-28-2004, 06:39 PM
Ooh, this is an interesting thread! I've searched via the Internet for OP associations, and have found nothing other than OPAI (John Elliott's org). I live near Chicago, which has a decent art scene, but there is no local OP org.

Most people I talk to are confused as to what OPs exactly are... and even in a recent issue of the Artist's Magazine, one of the authors of an article (? or answer to a technical Q&A?) wrote that OPs are actually oil paint in stick form... so there is a lot of misinformation out there, even in the professional art world.

I really believe that 1) having a national professional OP association with local branches, and 2) having OP-only juried shows with lots of media coverage would do much to promote the medium. That is an excellent idea to have the major OP manufacturers sponsor shows. After all, the manufacturers of almost all the other mediums sponsor some high-profile shows.

And another idea I was thinking of -- writing an article to be published in a major artist's magazine all about OPs as a serious artistic medium. Sort of a how-to, with photos of completed works and a WIP from start to finish, as well as a list of why OPs are such a wonderful medium, as we all know! Plus, many of the "greats" used them -- like Picasso. I've seen these magazines touch upon OPs here and there, but there has not been a good in-depth multi-page article about them, that I know of.

Pat Isaac
08-28-2004, 06:46 PM

That is a great idea about getting an article into an national magazine, but I have tried and keep getting rejected and the answer is always that it doesn't meet their needs at the time. In my mind , it says we are the poor relatives. Maybe if more people submitted they would think it was worth it. I sound like sour grapes :( but I do get frustrated with this. Thanks for your ideas and input. :)


08-28-2004, 06:48 PM
Thanks Naturegirl, a good idea and have been thinking along those lines...
here is a response I got in Pat's oil forum thread from d-garden and some ideas to follow it...

Quote: (dyin)
It's not so much that we want to be classified as oils, but classifying them as pastels is a disservice to both mediums. We are trying to educate the public, starting here at WC, to what a unique and viable medium this is. (Oil pastels, btw, are not allowed in the Pastel Journal's Pastel competition and by most pastel associations.)/ So I do hope that even if you are not comfortable with considering this an oil painting that you would re-think the position of classifying it as a soft pastel, which it is not. Perhaps as a judge of artwork you could help us by suggesting a solution to this dilemma so we have a chance to be juried for our own unique qualities. We have some extremely talented artists and we want to increase awareness of this medium and the work produced by us. Thanks for being so gracious to us in your forum
end quote

response by d_garden

If indeed there are a great many of you and you have been turned down by pastel associations, I would think about organizing my own specific group of oil pastelists and lobby for our own category in art shows and the like. It sounds like you certainly deserve that attention. In our show we have perhaps one or two oil pastelists and they don't always enter our shows, so to seperate their work would not be cost affective. However, if there were 10 oil pastelists entering and petitioning for their own category I would certainly consider it.

If I were you I would form a group and advertise for other members, much like the plein air painters have done in the past to achieve the recognition they deserve. They are a great example to follow. Not long ago, plein air was categorized as landscape. There is no comparison to doing a studio landscape and painting en plein air-its an art in itself. So plein air painters have begun to unite to make both the art world and the public aware of their uniqueness. You too could do that and make a mark!
Good luck in your endeavors. And thank you for making me more aware of your situation. I didn't know you were not included officially with pastelists!


Now, we just need to be ambassadors, you can see that reaching people with good information helps.
First, how serious are we here? Would we consider an association for all New Oil media...oil pastels, oil bars and oil sticks? They also are sort of in the same place as we are and we could be more effective covering all of these...more members, more artwork for shows. If we are and wanted to we could call in New Oil Media International Association...NOMIA. But, and I'll voluteer along with Carly....and will be really active as I think this is very important...are we willing to set up a board of chairmen and put the necessary effort into organization? It can't be a one person thing. So who would be interested in joining and who would be interested in devoting a LOT of time along with myself into making something like this work? I'm thinking it would involve contacting major competition sponsors, manufacturers, magazines etc, perhaps after a year's time sponsoring our own competition with the right to letters after so many wins. Am I way off base...is this too much to handle? What think ye? :p

08-28-2004, 07:14 PM
Me, me, :wave: count me in! You're not way off base, it can be done, and we can do it! :clap: :clap:
I'd be willing to help out in whatever way needed.

But I thought I might confuse the issue a little bit :confused: .
I'd like to throw in the idea that we should think about whether or not to include oil bars in with oil pastels. I've done a little research on the oil bars. Oil bars are oil paint in stick form, and dry like an oil painting. People who paint with oil bars call the end result oil paintings. I did meet an artist who used them, and you would not be able to tell whether she used oil paint or oil bars by looking at her paintings. She has entered her paintings in competitions under the oil category with no problems.

We need to think whether including them in would confuse people. Just some food for thought.

08-28-2004, 07:14 PM
Hmm, interesting that magazine publishers have rejected OP articles because it's "not the right time" (I guess an OP article wouldn't do much to help sell the mag, bc OPs aren't yet popular, so they don't sell in many galleries, & aren't yet in many shows... etc.) I didn't know that the article angle had been tried, but I guess knowing marketing and advertising as I do, I'm not surprised, just disappointed! It's frustrating, because you just *know* how popular OPs would be, if only more people knew about them...

So maybe an OP assoc, and getting OPs into lots of shows is the best way to spread the word about the medium. I've been keeping an eye out for shows that accept OPs, but other than non-medium-specific shows, there just aren't any.

I think that's a great idea, creating an org which encompasses all new oil media. It is so hard to classify all of those media based on the traditional categories, and maybe having a professional association would help to convince people -- like show organizers, for instance, that there is a viable group of new media that really deserve their own category in art shows.

I know that all the people I've met who use OPs are very enthusiastic about them, and I'm sure that there would be dozens, if not hundreds of willing volunteers if there were to be creation of a new OP association. I would volunteer!


08-28-2004, 07:21 PM
I'm very interested and willing to put time and energy into this.

I've been searching the internet for other OP'ers and on occasion have seen Oil Pastel Association in their bios. I'm wondering if this was someone who was a part of the group that John tried to form before OPAI? If there is already a charter set up for OPA, then we might be able to use it or form a group which would come under the heading of it. I've sent several inquiries in the past month but not gotten any replies, except from the one person in Maine :) I know they are planning an invitational show next year and as soon as I get the info (coming by snail mail), I'll include that here.

I've thought about Sennelier for an oil pastel show also. I think it would be very beneficial to them to host such an event :)

08-28-2004, 07:38 PM
Will stick this for awhile to give everyone a chance to read and join the discussion with their thoughts or perhaps ideas.

If anyone knows of a group in your area, please post the info. Private emails should not be posted unless it's yours or you have permission to post it. Thanks :)

08-28-2004, 07:48 PM
Cool...ok...Carly, what are your thoughts on it being New Oil Media...we have Pat already combining the two and even though oil bars and sticks are oil paint as Eileen says, some brands are supposed to be much like the Holbeins texture wise. I plan on finding out. I just thought that what Jennifer said...

I think that's a great idea, creating an org which encompasses all new oil media. It is so hard to classify all of those media based on the traditional categories, and maybe having a professional association would help to convince people -- like show organizers, for instance, that there is a viable group of new media that really deserve their own category in art shows.

is true and that competitions might be open to a whole new GROUP of art media, rather than one single medium. Although we all know how much I love my oilies I think it's a viable approach to be thought of. I will definately petition Holbein to consider a competition, I am thinking these requests would bear much more weight in the name of an association than individual artists.

So....here are some thoughts...we can wait and see what Carly finds out about this OPA and just in case John Elliot is out of reach and will contact us...(but I want to keep this discussion open so we can start a game plan if this doesn't work out) I think we could get the information from the Plein Aire Association Dianne mentioned about how to go about all of this. I think since we are willing to form a cohesive group and work together that we can definately work this out, whether as just an oil pastel association or combined...another thought on that is we want to bring to the public eye all this info on OPs and I think that if people view OPs as well as oil bars and sticks as a new media then they won't be classifying it as pastels or traditional oils. If it's just oil pastels then it will probably forever be mis-categoried. I still feel that oil pastels need recognition on their own right and think this is one way of accomplishing that.
I think maybe we all ought to start thinking of ways to promote as an organization...whichever way we end up going.
I've been doing lots of thinking about letter writing, ads for members etc. There's website issues, the question of dues and please write down your thoughts of what else! I may be putting the cart ahead of the horse...but all this is relevant...this is sooooo exciting!

Kathryn Wilson
08-28-2004, 08:05 PM
Here's a thought . . . something we can do right here too. After dinner and while doing the dishes (I think best when doing mundane chores), why not do an Article. We haven't had one in the OP forum. We also need to think on a Project - which might pull in people from other parts of WC who do oil pastels and haven't found us yet.

Then lo and behold, when answering Dianne (a Guide in the Oil forum), she suggested the same thing - so there we are. Promote OP's on WC.

08-28-2004, 09:00 PM
Okay, my 2 cents worth - might be less than that, since I'm rejoining the art world after 28 years. I really don't think there's anything wrong with the name Oil Pastels, it already has name recognition and a history. They're a stick of pigment with the brillance of pastel and a wax or oil binder. Oil sticks are just another form of oil paint and can be entered in any gallery or oil paint competition. Oil sticks can be blended on a pallette - Oil Pastels, no can do. Oil sticks dry, but not Oil Pastels. The desgination of Oil Pastels also has a history, beginning with Picasso - they were also used by Rothko, etc. By the way, before WC in April - I'd never touched an Oil Pastel - I was all about Oil Paint and I still intend to get back into that at some point.

It seems like you OPAI members could stage a coup and take over the OPAI site. In leiu of that, I'll be willing to volunteer whatever I can to help with a new organization. My day job is a database administrator for medium to large companies. I could probably design and implement a website with good enough software, (not that I've ever done that!) plus I have lots of computer friends who would help me gratis. I think there are other people in this forum (Michael-Ann??) with computer skills. I also have a son and sisters that are attorneys, if there were any legal considerations. Another thing to consider is tax-exempt status - but I'll check with my son on that. We might have to do stuff for other people besides ourselves to garner that. :)

Anyway, Sue and Kat - I'll sign up for your army!!!

08-28-2004, 09:08 PM
You do have some good points there. We'll keep that part open for more discussion for sure.
That all would be a lot of help, I was just thinking about non-profit, which I think is same as tax-exempt? lol...we'll probably need some lawyer advice. A bloodless coup would be the best scenario but hard to accomplish anything if we can't get communication started. The whole ball is rolling there already. Thanks for volunteering, that's what we need...I'm a whole lot of sit at home and talk but willing to walk the talk as much as possible :p

Kathryn Wilson
08-28-2004, 09:24 PM
See, Sue, we get the ball rolling (or as you said, we build it and they will come) LOL.

Good for you Becky, we can use all the legal advice we can get. Maybe the Legal forum on WC will have some ideas for us. Non-profit probably means keeping a set of books and reporting every year that we haven't made any money. So we'll need somebody who loves to handle money and keep books. That might be our biggest hinderance -

Will check into a domain name that is available.

08-28-2004, 09:36 PM
well, we're going to have to be accountable somehow anyway we go. Dues or non-profit. I think we at least want to wait and see what Carly's snail mail says and give John a week to reply in case he's out of town or something. It would be much easier to go with an association already set up. But meanwhile research is good and puts us ahead of the game. If we go on our own we have to create a legit board, open books so there's a check system and lots of decisions on delegation. No mistake, even if we don't get paid, it's a job and once started we'll depend on each one of us. We've already seen what can happen at OPAI, we don't know the full story but it's bad when members can't contact them.

btw..thanks to everyone of you who are willing to get down and dirty here...and everyone else will be equally valuable if they just join the association when it's up and running. :)

Pat Isaac
08-29-2004, 08:42 AM
Sue, My studio association is a non-profit group and all that is required by the state each year is to submit a yearly report naming the officers of the group for that year and any changes in the officers. Also the date of your annual meeting. Non-profit does allow you to be tax free.
Everyone keeps mentioning the situation at OPAI. I seem to be in the dark here. What's up? Is mutiny being suggested??? :evil:


08-29-2004, 12:35 PM
lol...mutiny??? nah...revolution? perhaps :p We need some promotion and an organization to do it...we can't communicate these needs to OPAI, or we CAN and DO, but don't get any response. I'd love for John to pop up and say ok let's get going on this stuff or bring some of us in to do what he's tired of. I don't think we care how we do it, we just need to get more education about OPs out there in the public eye. We need to be able to be judged fairly in shows and we want the galleries to be interested in our work along with the buying public. I hate bringing up negative to describe OPs...such as they're NOT crayons, they're NOT pastel....we need to say it IS a unique medium...they CAN give as much depth as a traditional oil painting etc etc. so this is why we're mulling over the options open to us :D
thanks for the info on non-profit. Here's my question...can you still have dues and entry fees and stay non-profit? An organization will have to do lots of advertising in art magazines..send promos to galleries, magazines and competions...all costing money, let alone the cost of printing and mailing...it would be soooo much better to go with an organization already set up. And we couldn't just be a state group...we already are international as a group here on wc.

Pat Isaac
08-29-2004, 01:37 PM
Yea, I understand that it would be a HUGE undertaking to start from scratch as it is an international group. To answer your questions, we have yearly dues which cover all our mailings and advertising as well as our web site and liability insurance. We also apply for local cultural council grants to help offset the costs of group. The fees for outside shows or competitions are up to the individual artists, but if it is a showing of artists from our group then there is not fee. At least once a year some of the arts organizations in the area sponsor a show of just artists from our group, which is helpful.

I wonder why John doesn't answer. :confused:


Kathryn Wilson
08-29-2004, 01:48 PM
Pat, it could be something technical - in their email system. If their ISP has filters, it may be filtering out mail without their knowledge.

I wonder if a letter sent to John, with a Delivery Confirmation added to it, would give us the answer. If we know he got it, and doesn't respond, then we know we are being ignored.

Does anybody have a phone number for him?

Pat Isaac
08-29-2004, 02:01 PM

There is a phone # listed on the web site.


Edited to remove phone #. The site url can be posted. carly

08-29-2004, 03:37 PM
who wants to try calling then? Good thought, Kat...never thought of it being an ISP thing. Pat...this is a lot of really good information if we do go in that direction. We have a local art association, but even though I joined when I first got here, I dropped out. Members get charged only $5 less than the general public and that's for shows and classes...and it's mostly about classes...certain members make a nice little profit off other members because only dues and competition fees go to the group. In the year I was a member I was not contacted once and no one even noticed I dropped out...pretty bad, huh? We may be moving from the area so haven't wanted to get more involved at any level, but once we do get settled in somewhere I will be more active.
When someone does contact John, it would be helpful for him to know that we have a group here willing to work at all this. If he does want to go with all of this, he sure needs a new webmaster.
We also need to utilize the skills we each have to the best advantage...I'm good with words, can write just about anything...so am good at articles, letters, promos etc. I'm people friendly but because of my fibro am not actively out there anymore so I wouldn't be a hands on person in the field. I get headaches taking care of taxes and book keeping...am capable but hate it so would hope someone else likes that sort of thing. I'm, as you all know, a great cheerleader for OPs and for all the OP artists. And I'm willing to do what it takes to make this happen.
I know Carly is out there in the 'art world' a bit more and knows a lot of artists. I see Carly as an excellent 'front person', very articulate and personable and a great person to further the OP cause out in the bigger world.
So it would be nice to know what everyone feels they have to contribute skill wise...I realise no one wants to have their art suffer and some have families and jobs to contend with too. We don't want this to be a burden, we want this to be that snowball cj mentioned...an exciting vocal organization with the ultimate goal of oil pastel acceptance. :)

08-29-2004, 03:55 PM
"So it would be nice to know what everyone feels they have to contribute skill wise."

My day job is as an illustrator and graphic designer, so I would be more than happy to contribute in any way needed (logo? brochures? flyers? postcards? posters? website? ads? announcements? invites?). I'm also fairly good with words and grammar and that sort of thing, so any way I could help out there I'd be glad to. This is exciting!


Kathryn Wilson
08-29-2004, 04:14 PM
I think I am a good organizer, rain maker, cheer leader - a great assistant to anyone who wants to lead - :D I am not good at bookkeeping either - I would have nightmares if I tried that job.

I think whoever calls should be a member of OPAI - I know that sounds like I am copping out, but it would be better received if it were a member calling.

08-29-2004, 04:24 PM
That's helpful to know, Jennifer....you have good hands on experience there.

So far we have

Becky who is good with websites...would this mean you'd also be able to be webmaster, Becky? One of the biggest complaints with OPAI has been the waiting time, I've seen months go by with updates. We'd want to be a good information center, be current on links and consider having artist bios and at least 3 pieces of work i'd think, some of us don't have our own websites yet. Plus news on competitions, upcoming articles, etc.

Jennifer is good to go in the visual advertisement department (for lack of a better description at the moment :p )

me...sort of useless but a hard worker :p can help with writing, have fairly decent organizational skills that can be fine honed and I'm good at record keeping but really dislike it. But as said will do what's necessary. :rolleyes:

Kat...rainmaker???? lol! ok...you're right in there with me teehee

true on the member calling...Pat, would you like to? I could if you don't wish to. We just want to know if he wants to promote the oil pastels still, if not does he wish to pass on the organization to others to carry on what he started, does he need help to make it work or should we just go ahead and start another organization.

Ok...what other skills do we have here folks??? :D

Pat Isaac
08-29-2004, 04:50 PM
Okay guys. I am a retired art instructor and art director of a 2,000+ public school system. I am a great organizer, have reasonable writing skills, and am now the secretary and organizer of the artists in my studio building. I am a doer and if I have a job I will do it. I also have some computer skills i.e. photoshop and a little web design. I wouldn't want bookkeeping. :eek:
If John were called, exactley what would we want to say to him??? I might be willing to call. What do we have to lose??? :)


08-29-2004, 04:50 PM
Webmaster, me? :eek: I could probably do it - I'll check with a bunch of friends and find out what I'd need. I have a Mac and and Dell (my work PC :evil: ) - so I'll check with my computer buddies and see what's out there. It can't be too hard - I've had lots of friends do their own websites. :cool:

08-29-2004, 05:07 PM
Wow, this thing is really rolling! Well, what can I do? Before I became a stay at home mom, I was a teacher, and before that, I was an accountant. I worked for an accounting firm for two years, and a private company doing internal audits for two years as well. So I'd be willing to handle the bookkeeping aspects, if needed.

Kathryn Wilson
08-29-2004, 05:27 PM
Kat...rainmaker???? lol! ok...you're right in there with me teehee

Oh, I'm real good at stirring up things, good at brainstorming, seeing what needs to be done - the rainmaker. :evil:

08-29-2004, 05:48 PM
Eileen!!! I was so sure no one would want the book keeping part lol! That's great. Wow...Pat...a lot of good skills there and all would be useful.
we need to know from John if he wants OPAI to be active, as it is, it really isn't. Does he want to invest the time in it to do the things we as members and/or future members want...which would be a much more aggressive approach to
1. actively advertising for members through magazine ads and the web
2. working with manufacturors on promoting, through competitions, etc
3. keeping the website up to date
4. submitting articles and work for publication (which admittedly he has done with his own work)

Would he want some help from us if his interest has waned.
Would he consider turning over the OPAI name and site to us if his interest has waned or allow us a more active participation if he wants to retain the site.
He needs to understand that we appreciate all he's done for OPs and would like to see OPAI work for all of us and that's what we're hoping for. But we need an open line of communication to do so...how's that and will you call? :D

08-29-2004, 05:55 PM
This is great discussion....I see that we have several who are willing to jump in the water (so to speak) :D

This week, I'll do a couple of things....talk with someone who has actually started an art association from scratch and see what things we need to consider for it to be 'legal'.

I'm still trying to find any and all info about any Oil Pastel Groups that are out there. Searches online haven't turned up much for me but following some of the links to individual sites has been more helpful.

Here are some things that all of us can be doing....if you have a website, link to the Oil Pastel Studio here at WC from your site. You'd be surprised at the number of folks who contact me because they see something in a Google search from WC. Having links on your site will help to bring folks here and create more search links, too.

Also, be sure that you have "oil pastel" in your Title of the Page and in your meta headings!! That's how the search engines find you. Also be sure that any search words you would use for oil pastels is in 'TEXT' on your pages. Search engines pick up text...not images.

Even if we can't write articles for a magazine, there is no reason that all of us can't write and ask for them :) Magazines are reader driven....if there was a new segment of artists interested in OP and the magazine knew of that interest, they would want to have it in their magazine :) Remember Plein Air Magazine was built out of the response to plein air by so many artists around the globe!! We don't have to create the need....we just need to let magazines know what we're doing and that we want to see articles about it in print.

(Anyone want to post a list of magazine addresses for us to send letters to?)

Other things to do....don't give up on local shows or any show that accepts oil pastels. If we had show winners that were OP's then other artists would want to give the medium a try....and that would create more of a market....and get manufacturers more interested.....and.....

Yes, one person can make a difference :clap:

08-29-2004, 06:04 PM
great, great and great, Carly! And just think...this isn't just one person it's all of us...and we can do this! I don't have a website yet, due to the fact that we've been in flux about a possible move but I've started to develop it so I can publish it when we get settled.

I do have a thought for people too...you can create an email signature that goes out on new mail...at the present I have the art-agent site and OPAI on mine...I'll add the oil pastel forum too! I've written to some oil pastel makers and artist material suppliers and forgotten my signature was there and got response to the links provided! You know I do get tickled when I google something and see one of us here on the forum as one of the first catches!

08-29-2004, 06:27 PM
Here's something else that all of us can do. I've already sent a long email to them :D

Go to www.savoirfaire.com and click on Contact. Send an email asking about any upcoming "oil pastel" competitions that they will be hosting. Tell them you work in oil pastels and want to find a competition for op's only. As one of the major manufacturers of oil pastels, are they promoting their product in this way?

Just put it into your own words :) so we don't all sound just alike. I've already told them that I'm a part of this forum....you could mention that too if you want :) Wouldn't it be nice to have some one from Sennelier visit with us?

08-29-2004, 06:40 PM
Will do Carly....could we please go to http://www.holbeinhk.com/ and click on comments and ask the same thing? Would be very nice to hear from Holbein on this too :)

Kathryn Wilson
08-29-2004, 06:48 PM
Dyin, Carly, Dee - do we know for a fact that The Pastel Journal is no longer going to publish articles on oil pastels.

Also, International Artist is still publishing some pastel articles, has anyone ever seen one on oil pastels?

I can start looking up contact addresses and get you a list of magazines.

Pat Isaac
08-29-2004, 07:20 PM
I can do all of those things and I will try to contact John tomorrow. I do know that the Pastel Journal has not published and oil pastel article since they were taken over by the new company and as I said before people wrote in and asked if they had stopped. Their answer was to send a package of slides etc. to one of the editors as they were looking for oil pastellists and asked people to recommend artists to them. Well, in March I did just that and another artist I know did also. All packages were returned to the artists saying that it didn't suit their needs at this time. Hmmmmmmm......Nothing about oil pastel has appeared in their magazine this year!!! I will look up the other magazines and get back to you all. I have never seen oil pastels in International artist. Most shows accept oil pastels in the drawing and pastel category, but many pastel only shows specify softies only. Grrrr.


08-29-2004, 07:54 PM
you have a good growl there, Pat! Thanks on calling John...hopefully we'll know a lot more then. I just wrote both Holbein and Sennelier....the thing with the last Sennelier competion was that they required using their paper AND their pastels, so I wouldn't be able to enter anything I've done so far. I have all Sennelier work, but on Fabriano paper. sigh.
I tried once to get Holbein to sponser here at WC like Dick Blick does but they said the 'at this time' thing too..no go. Hey, wonder if some of the suppliers would think of competitions...I'd be happy with just a general category if there aren't enough artists to justify an OP only competition which is why I had brought up the different ideas of having oil bars and sticks join with us and the wet vs. dry thing. We have to come up with a viable solution that competitions would be open to. And we need to get the organization (either way) up and running so we can get an idea of how many OP artists are out there. When we got our forum I sent a letter to inform all the OPAI members listed, including John. We got only one (that I know of) to come. Thanks Pat! :D

08-29-2004, 08:06 PM
Looks like I've been riding the wrong snowball.... :D

Wow - you folks are really getting organized. This is great.
Not sure how I can be of assistance apart from pom-pom maker for the cheer squad. :p

In my previous life - I was an accountant in the Hospitality Industry - working in 5-Star International Hotels/Resorts. Don't think I can help out with the book-keeping as I would not be familiar with US legalities etc. But if absolutely necessary I could be considered as a 'second' I suppose.

Apart from International Artist magazine, we have 2 other art magazines here:

1. Australian Artist - www.artinthemaking.com
2. Artists Palette - www.expresspublications.com.au (they also have a North American distributor whose e-mail I can supply if required.

I have seen OP's in Aust Artist mag but used in a mixed media context.

I'm more than happy to be clinging onto this snowball - I'm hangin' on for dear life!! Wheee :D


08-29-2004, 09:57 PM
Has anyone ever heard of the United Pastelists of America/Oil Pastel Association? I found a link to their site off the Pastel Journal website, but the UPA/OPA site's unfortunately no longer up and running. So I googled the name, and found this:

United Pastelists of America/Oil Pastel Assn
P.O. Box 374
Stockholm, NJ 07460
(973) 697-6773
[email protected]

Is this a completely different organization from OPAI, I wonder?


08-29-2004, 10:37 PM
Jennifer, thanks...I just wrote and asked them :D

guess not...it was returned with details saying it was an inactive user :mad:

08-29-2004, 10:57 PM
Here's something else that all of us can do. I've already sent a long email to them

Go to www.savoirfaire.com and click on Contact.

Just went to this site. Was curious and clicked on Monthly Art Competition.
"A new monthly online art competition open to artists everywhere."

"After the incredible response to the 2004 Sennelier National Pastel Competition, Savoir-Faire has decided to begin a new monthly online art competition open to artists everywhere. Its easy to submit your work to the contest simply email us up to 3 jpegs of your artwork..."

The rules do NOT specify medium, or brand of supplies used. Only specifies size of file and no more than 3 entries per month. (Sorry didn't mean to shout but was excited by the possibilites)

One sure way to get their notice is to keep sending them great artwork that happens to be done with OPs!

If we each started entering this contest...

08-29-2004, 11:10 PM
Just went to this site. Was curious and clicked on Monthly Art Competition.
"A new monthly online art competition open to artists everywhere."

"After the incredible response to the 2004 Sennelier National Pastel Competition, Savoir-Faire has decided to begin a new monthly online art competition open to artists everywhere. Its easy to submit your work to the contest simply email us up to 3 jpegs of your artwork..."

The rules do NOT specify medium, or brand of supplies used. Only specifies size of file and no more than 3 entries per month. (Sorry didn't mean to shout but was excited by the possibilites)

One sure way to get their notice is to keep sending them great artwork that happens to be done with OPs!

If we each started entering this contest...

oooh oooh oooh....almost checked but got sidetracked...yes! a must do...off to check it out...woohoo! good catch!

Pat Isaac
08-30-2004, 08:42 AM
The United Pastellists of America/Oil Pastel Assoc. was a viable organization for a long while. I joined it in 2000 after seeing a write up in one of the art magazines. It had been in existence for quite awhile and John Elliot was a driving force. You could pay dues and join or you could be a juried member by sending 3 slides to them for consideration. If you were juried in you were then able to put opa after your name. :D However, they are no longer up and running and it seems that when John started the OPAI the other organization went out of business. Too bad because they had yeaarly exhibits.
The Artists Magazine is [email protected] or www.artistsmagazine.com
American Artist is www.myamerican artist.com

I wrote to Savoir Faire also.


08-30-2004, 03:49 PM
Pat, thanks for that information. I thought that was the first organization that John founded but wasn't sure.

I think the Sennelier information should be posted in the Pastel Talk for all members to be made aware of the opportunity. I didn't check to see if they require Sennelier products in their online monthly contests. Did anyone see that?

....and hey!! all of you are great....so much work in such a short period of time!!! Wow...

08-30-2004, 03:57 PM
it just said open to artists everywhere and nothing about medium...thanks for the reminder...been busy :wink2: and did something for pastel and a movie I need to upload and then I guess maybe will wait til tomorrow as it's a new month. Question...if one is chosen and shown as a winner does that mean it's been published and therefore not eligible for other shows? If so I don't want to enter ones that are earmarked for the biggies.

Pat Isaac
08-30-2004, 04:17 PM
I tried John today and left a message. I also wrote a letter explaining what we want in case I don't get to him.


08-30-2004, 04:41 PM
thanks, Pat, we appreciate it. I sure hope he returns the call by week's end or we are all going to be very busy little oilies! :p

08-30-2004, 08:37 PM
Last night, inspired by the ideas you guys came up with, I wrote three quick email messages to Holbein, Sennelier, and The Pastel Journal. Just got home from work, checked my email, and lo and behold, someone from The Pastel Journal has already responded! Here's what she wrote (my initial email message follows):

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for your letter. I may use all or part of it in an upcoming
"Letters to the Editor." It seems many of our readers share your
opinion. I have gotten a lot of feedback from readers wondering where the oil
pastels are. The only thing I can tell you is that we've been wondering the same thing.

We get very few oil pastel submissions to the magazine, maybe 1 for every 100 soft pastel submissions (In four months working with submissions, I've seen only one, and it was of mediocre quality). We're certainly open to featuring oil pastelists, but just haven't received any of top caliber in recent months. As is the case, we have no oil pastels planned for the year's line-up.

As for the lack of oil pastels in the Pastel 100 competition, I wish I could
give you a better answer. Apparently the judges feel that oil pastels are a
completely different medium and should not be judged against soft pastels. I
will write an inquiry to the competition coordinator suggesting that we make a
separate category for them--and perhaps in the future we will!

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions or comments.

Kate Mesch
Editorial Assistant
Watercolor Magic
The Pastel Journal
4700 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236
513/531-2690, ex. 1061

> ----------
> From: jennifer wambach
> Posted At: Sunday, August 29, 2004 10:23 PM
> I'm a professional oil pastel artist, and I became interested in your
magazine after learning of it through your sister publication, the Artist's
Magazine (of which I'm a subscriber). Since then, whenever I have had the
opportunity, I leafed through the Pastel Journal, hoping to see articles about
oil pastels.
> Since oil pastels are not yet a well-known medium, I hoped that the Pastel
Journal would include articles about artists who use them. Since there are so
many oil pastellists, and so little information about oil pastels as a serious
medium, I hoped that the focus of the Pastel Journal encompassed all types of pastel -- soft (dry) as well as oil pastels. I've been disappointed to see that soft pastels are nearly all your magazine covers.
> In addition, I was very disappointed to learn that your pastel competition
is only for paintings done in soft pastel. Opportunities to show oil pastel
paintings are nearly nonexistant, and I think sponsorship of a competition by a
professional publication such as the Pastel Journal would do a lot to promote
the medium as a serious one.
> As a member of the Oil Pastel Association International, as well as the oil
pastel forum on WetCanvas.com, I personally know of countless oil pastel artists who are extremely talented and innovative in their use of oil pastels. I know they are as frustrated as I am at the lack of information, publications, and competitions for this medium. I hope you can help.
> Thank you,
> Jennifer Wambach


Which makes me wonder, has anyone sent slides to The Pastel Journal, and if so, what was the response? Perhaps we should ALL send slides of our OPs!!


08-30-2004, 08:47 PM
:clap: :clap: Jen...excellent letter and very promising response!!!


08-30-2004, 09:02 PM
When I first joined OPAI it was suggested I should submit to Pastel Journal, and dee_artist very nicely told me what the requirement for submission entries were at that time...it involved a good body (15 or so) of professional slides of your work. Getting professional slides is pretty cost prohibitive for me at this time and I don't feel I have 15 pieces of high enough caliber work yet, so put that idea on the shelf. Meanwhile have been trying to enter open competitions like Artist Magazine and using digi photos changed into slides. Not the best option but only one at the time. So this may be why other artists have not submitted work for approval. I truly hope they will open a category for OPs in their future contests as I would scrimp to pay for professional slides for a couple of my best pieces. I'm not sure this is the way the new owners of the magazine go about selections or not, wouldn't hurt to ask what they require for submissions.
Absolutely great job, Jennifer!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-30-2004, 10:00 PM
Which sounds better?

Oil Pastel Association


Oil Pastel Society

I sort of like Society better since the first one has been used before :)

08-30-2004, 10:17 PM
I checked with several of the web guys at work and they told me I didn't need Web software unless we were going to buy our own server. :eek: I don't know whether John Elliott has his own server or has space donated by a kindly benefactor. I checked on WC and it looks like their web hosting is already 100% full. It looks like we'd need to find a member with server space or select a web-hosting company. Web hosting runs $10 - $50/month depending on how much space you need. Any ideas anyone?

Web Hosting companies will provide you with the tools to build your own website, so it doesn't appear to be that difficult. If we store jpegs, etc. - we would require more space, etc. Some of the hosting websites give you a better rate if you let them put ads up. One way to save on space would be to put up links to the artwork, instead of displaying on our site, but that might slow things down, maybe we could link to that art-agent on WC - however I don't have any artwork stored anywhere so I'm just rattling on and on here!

As far as saving money on web hosting, it would be nice if John would let us seize control of his site and fix everything to our liking! :evil: You know he did look kind of old in his book, maybe he's in ill health or something...

Kathryn Wilson
08-30-2004, 10:19 PM
So are we not making this an international society? That would leave very valuable members out of it - CJ, Robyn, Mo. and others. ???

I like society better too -

08-30-2004, 10:36 PM
I'm slow...got way behind!

hmmmm....let's see

Dyin...professional member of OPS...yep Oil Pastel Society and does it have to say International to be international??? We dun leave NO ONE out! :p

08-30-2004, 11:49 PM
If we call Oil Pastel Association, then its library archives could be called "OPAL" :clap:

08-31-2004, 06:50 AM
Last night, inspired by the ideas you guys came up with, I wrote three quick email messages to Holbein, Sennelier, and The Pastel Journal. Just got home from work, checked my email, and lo and behold, someone from The Pastel Journal has already responded! Here's what she wrote (my initial email message follows):


Maybe you could add Caran d'Ache too: http://www.carandache.ch/company/html/en/contacts.htm.

I hope Sennelier will answer. I think they want to push the medium because they organize demos in art shops (at least in France). If they don't answer, I can give a help by writing something in French. I also live pretty close to Caran d'Ache headquarters!

Hope the society will be international...


Pat Isaac
08-31-2004, 08:25 AM
I got way behind too. Jennifer, in answer to your question about submitting work to the pastel journal. I did send them a package and obviuosly they are referring to mine as the one entry as mediocre. Oh well. I sent 15 slides, a cover letter, a resume, and color copies of all the slides with corresponding numbers. This is the second time that I sent them a package. The first being at the urging of John Elliot, when they started to include oil pastel artists.
Personally, I get the feeling that they really don't want to include oil pastel, but it certainly is worth a try.


Pat Isaac
08-31-2004, 08:36 AM
I like society too...


08-31-2004, 09:07 AM
Mediocre, did you say? Pshaw! I beg to differ. Just their excuse not to include ops. I had sent them an email a while ago, asking if they were going to include ops, since I wouldn't consider a subscription otherwise. I never received a reply. So I never subscribed.

Pat Isaac
08-31-2004, 09:15 AM
I also forgot to mention that when I received the package back from the Pastel Journal all the slides were loose in the envelope and not in their cases!! :mad: I wrote and complained and asked for the rest of my package back. I did get it and they were aptly apologetic, but some fo my slide had scratches. Needless to say I'm not renewing my subscription.


Kathryn Wilson
08-31-2004, 10:11 AM
Pat, I agree with Eileen - your work is far, far from being mediocre. We all know what hard work it is to create with oil pastels and your skill should be recognized.

It sounds like an excuse to me - :mad:

08-31-2004, 10:13 AM
Pat...doubt she was talking about your work...perhaps someone else got yours because mediocre is not in the dictionary when it comes to what you do...hmmmmph. :mad: I had wonderful response from Maggie when they still owned PJ..they had plans to start an OP competition and everything. Then I also wrote the new owners and didn't get a response...am thinking we're dealing with elitists here.
I always dreamed of creating a new magazine, one for buyers more than how to's for artists....Sort of like the old Look magazine but high end...high visual impact, full glossy page spectacular works of art, like a coffee table book and featuring up and coming just as much as established artists. Ha...would have to win the lottery to do something like that. Well, PJ is not the only magazine out there, we'll persevere!

Pat Isaac
08-31-2004, 10:29 AM
You're right. Maybe I should try some of the others. We'll persevere, onward and upward. I also remember Maggie talking about that, too bad she gave it up as I think we had a friend there. Hmmmmmm....I like your magazine idea. :)

08-31-2004, 01:19 PM
Back to the subject at hand....

I'm acquiring www.oilpastelsociety.com for our group. It will be a beginning :)

Becky, contact me by email and we'll work out the details of getting the site up and running. It will take a week for it to propagate to the web, so don't go looking for it any time soon.

Yes, this will be international. The web today makes it possible to meet needs of artists around the globe, but I would encourage each of you to begin to think about how to establish your own smaller groups locally. I think that's one reason that the web falls short of succeeding with a group effort because we have little support at home.

It only takes one person to begin a group...LOL! I'm already thinking of what to call myself....The Southeastern Oil Pastel Society...Membership - One.

Anybody wanna join?

08-31-2004, 01:46 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Yeah, Carly!

I can't join the Southeastern Oil Pastel Society, but I'd be happy to join the Northeastern. NOPS for short. Any one up for that?

08-31-2004, 02:40 PM
Hi all you OPers!! Count me in. Sorry to be so late to the party!

I would like to offer my services where the web site is concerned. I do the web site for our local watercolor society, do my own site and would be happy to help out if needed. Sounds like it is pretty much under control already, but thought I would offer anyway.

Thanks to all you innovators, movers and shakers!!! UP with OPs :clap: :clap: :)

08-31-2004, 03:07 PM
Thanks, Pat...glad to have you join with us...I'm sure Carly will let you know if help is needed there. :D
Ok....I can't start a group til I know where we'll settle for sure, darn it! It should be north or south west, but with us you never know...all has to do with my husband's job. But I will as soon as I can!! :clap:
I love how we always say OPs and now we'll be members of OPS...kewl beans!

08-31-2004, 03:13 PM
I'm glad that it will be an international society. I would love to help in any way I can. You guys are doing a great job at pulling this all together. It is amazing what can be accomplished when every one pulls together like this.
you guys rock!

08-31-2004, 03:15 PM
Wow...I do feel as if I'm in a snowball rolling downhill!! Just talked with a local art supplier and have a workshop set up for January :) I'll have it listed on the calendar for WC soon. I can't advertise in the forums because of conflict with IP's.

I told Kay about the Pastel Society and she was so excited!!

I've also gotten an email from Sennelier who said that all their shows would be listed on the site. They don't have any plans currently for an oil pastel only show but they did say....

Since we do have a show approximately every two years, it might be possible for the next one to be oil pastels. I will let our owner know of your feedback

Sennelier will also supply literature and sample products for my workshop!!!

I am so happy :D

08-31-2004, 03:17 PM
:clap: I just got a reply from my letter to Sennelier!!!!! He said he would let Sennelier and their owner know about my input and quote

"As of right now we have no plans for an oil pastel competition but we sponsor competitions approximately every two years. Last year was soft pastel, and so perhaps in 2006 it might be oil pastel."

So I replied this...

Thank you so much for your response to my email. We are working very hard to promote the use of oil pastels at our forum at WetCanvas and to let people know that extraordinary artwork is being produced in this medium. We are also in the process of taking it out into the public eye, approaching art magazines, current competitons and galleries. So we very much would appreciate support by the makers of oil pastels, especially the high end professional grades like Sennelier. Thank you again for your interest, we're all very excited at the possibility!

just to keep the thought alive :p

So far this is working lots better than writing my congressman :mad:

Pat Isaac
08-31-2004, 04:16 PM
oilpastelsociety.com Great Carly. Eileen, I'm in the northeast so we could be a group of 2! :D Did you all write directly to Sennelier? I wrote to savorfaire and have heard nothing yet.


08-31-2004, 05:43 PM
wow, Carly...we cross posted! Way cool on the supplies!!!!! :clap: :music: :clap:

I wrote savorfaire, Pat...did you put any 'member of' tags on your signature??? I signed and then added Professional Member of OPAI, seems you get better response that way... :rolleyes:

Carly...we need to figure out membership apps so when the site's up people can apply... :D

08-31-2004, 05:57 PM
Wow, this is really a "happening" :cool:

I didn't write anywhere yet since I cannot claim to be an artist, but let me know if you need some help (regarding Europe).


08-31-2004, 07:19 PM
Siberart (Pat) - thanks for volunteering! Since I've never implemented a website, we'll need lots of help. :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-31-2004, 07:21 PM
Anney...what on earth constitutes an artist to you? Look at that lovely work in your signature line! You might feel you're not a professional artist yet, which means selling or quality of work that could sell (and that wouldn't be farfetched either!) But you are DEFINATELY an artist!!! Ha...do you not squeeze time into your busy life to create art, are you not passionate about it? You are an artist, so THERE!!! So, no more of that talk!!
Ha...and you are who the artist magazines are trying to reach, a learning artist...so it's very relevant for you to write and say you want to learn more about these oil pastels :D

08-31-2004, 07:44 PM
Siberart (Pat) - thanks for volunteering! Since I've never implemented a website, we'll need lots of help.

Just let me know what I can do.

I think this idea for the OPS is just grand! Sorely needed and just perfect to further the medium.

I haven't read every word of all the posts so I don't know if these things have been thrown into the discussion - do we need or want any of the following. Is it too early to be thinking about these?

Officers, By-Laws, Mission Statement, Dues, Membership (Signature members, Associate members, Student members).

08-31-2004, 08:41 PM
I am all for helping! I am pretty busy being a full time graphic designer and illustrator and freelance artist.. but inbetween my other "volunteer artwork" I can help. I have web experience as well. I can at least start by writing letters, adding a link to the WC Oil Pastel Forum to my website, and becoming a member of course!

Would it be possible to create a "sticky" especially for members to post any shows that they hear of that allow OP? That would be increadibly helpful and may pull in more entries therefore getting us out and letting us be heard. I know that if I had one place to visit that had information about upcoming shows that I could enter my OP... I would be four times as likely to do it. (four.. five.. whatever :wink2: )

Pat Isaac
09-01-2004, 08:07 AM
Yes, I did hear from Sennelier last night. They were very nice and indicated that they had no plans for an OP show now but maybe in the future. They asked that I email them information about OPAI, so I will do that. :D


09-01-2004, 10:47 AM
Wow!! the response to this thread has been overwhelming :clap: :clap:

And just to recap....several things have come of all this.

#1 We can all write to magazines requesting that more oil pastels be featured in articles.

#2 We can submit slides and information for consideration of an article!!

#3 We can contact manufacturers and suppliers requesting information about any plans for shows in which oil pastels would be featured as a category or featured as the only medium.

Since the response to an international online organization met with so much favor, the website is in the process of being set up for The Oil Pastel Society!!

Once that is in operation, everyone will have the opportunity to join up. Several of you have volunteered for specific jobs and I'll be in contact with you by email. The OPS is not a part of WetCanvas and we can't take up all the space in the OP Studio for messages, so please, if you have ideas, contact me by PM or email!!

I'll post any updates here in this thread for everyone to see!!

You are all such a great group of artists....I feel very fortunate to be able to get to know you and work with you to make this one of the best forums at WC! and to create an environment where oil pastelists from around the world feel at home!! :clap: :clap: