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DrBrad
12-19-2005, 05:19 PM
Not that it matters at all, but I'm just curious what percentage of pastelists tend to be female versus male both here and in the broader community. Any perceptions?
I just notice what a minority I am in this forum (not alone by any means- just a minority!). I also found out that I'm the only guy in the upcoming pastel class I'm taking. (Same was true when I took watercolor, which surprised me a little, but the oil class I took in Boston years ago was 80% male.) Again, it's not an issue, but I wonder why it's the case-- historically and otherwise. Can't all be due to Rosalba Carriera and Mary Cassatt!

HarvestMoon
12-19-2005, 05:41 PM
Brad- don't know- why don't you post a poll in the pastel talk section? I know I am a female......does seem like many more women than men-
Linda

Kathryn Wilson
12-19-2005, 05:54 PM
It is an interesting topic . . . if you want to post the poll and need help with it, let me know. I know that in our pastel society, the percentage is pretty high on the female side.

DrBrad
12-19-2005, 06:02 PM
I think that worked!

fortysomething
12-19-2005, 06:37 PM
... I'm the only guy in the upcoming pastel class I'm taking.

A wise man knows where to meet fine women of quality and good taste.

khourianya
12-19-2005, 06:43 PM
Why do I chose pastels? I like feeling in touch with my medium. I have worked in Watercolour, Acrylic, Graphite and now pastel. I like that nothing stands between me and my surface. I can pick it up and put it down without worrying about a HUGE cleanup between studio sessions and it washes right out of my clothes (the majority of the time).

The things that swept me away from the other mediums were:
Watercolour - it was easy to pick up because of widespread availablity. Never felt natural and always felt wishy-washy. I like it now for underpaintings (well, I technically use gouache, but I digress)

Acrylic - toooo plasticy. Dried to fast - required far too much cleanup

Graphite - I found it impossible to keep a clean surface..it would smudge all over. In fact, until I started sketching in ink - I found it difficult to keep a steady habit of keeping a sketchbook.

In answer to the male/female debate, I want to start off by saying that I am going with gut instinct on these. Whether they are right or wrong is of no consequence because they are what I feel and a person's feelings can never be wrong. I may be generalizing, but I have put thought into this.

I think Pastel has alot of characteristsics that appeal to many females. It is a touchy/feely medium with easy cleanup and is very forgiving and versatile.

I think you'll find more men tend to gravitate toward oils because they seem more "manly" the picture of the master slapping paint onto a canvas with a brush. Another reason may be that it is the only thing equated with Art to them. A painter paints in oils. A sketcher draws with chalks.

Great thread!

HarvestMoon
12-19-2005, 06:45 PM
well, I see the little poll icon, but not the poll- perhaps i have been doing too many timothy leary koi- oh- i see it now- way at the top- duh...
linda

KJSCL
12-19-2005, 07:29 PM
Since I voted "Female" I won't try to speak for you guys but for myself, I love pastels because of their immediacy. The color you apply is the color it stays, it doesn't lighten like watercolors or darken like acrylics. You don't have to wait for it to dry or worry about it drying too quickly. All that being said I still very much enjoy working with watercolors, acrylics and oils.

So Brad, since you are the only guy to vote Male so far (I assume :evil: ), I guess you'll have to tell us women why you like pastels.

Kathryn Wilson
12-19-2005, 07:37 PM
I was born with a crayon in my hand - :) So why not gravitate towards pastel on a stick, or oil crayon.

Think of it this way - Albert Handell, Bob Rohm, and many others have joined the ranks of pastelists

johndill01
12-19-2005, 07:42 PM
Well Brad, I guess that there are two of us now. I like the immediacy of pastels, not having to clean up when I stop, and the color that is available.

John

Bringer
12-19-2005, 08:18 PM
Hi,

Maurice Quentin De La Tour was a great pastelist :-)
Let me check.....yup...male.

http://www.mquentindelatour.com/

check the museum, it's interactive

Regards,

José

DrBrad
12-19-2005, 08:27 PM
Right! There are great male pastelists and great female oil painters, etc. but the ranks are doubtless skewed in each case. Interesting to speculate why that might be so. (Interesting to me at least.) In the case of oil painting it's clear that chauvinism certainly played a role in keeping females out, sadly.
I certainly don't plan *not* to do pastels because I'm not female!

José, that is a very cool site!

Deborah Secor
12-19-2005, 08:58 PM
In my classes are 90%-98% women and have been from day one, over 16 years now. My theory on that has been that women take classes. Men sign up for one class, maybe two, then get on with it without a teacher. A few have returned multiple times, but usually after a hiatus to experiment, then coming back with a specific set of questions. Some of the gals have been with me for years, others have gone on to other classes.

Of course, it might be that the men don't want a woman teacher. That's another subject, however. :eek:

Theory here: guys want to solve problems and paint. Gals want the interaction of a group to keep them motivated. That could be the same here. Not sure this contributes to the discussion about male/female pastel painters...but it's what I know!

Deborah

Bringer
12-19-2005, 09:02 PM
Hi Deborah,

if you clicked on the poll option, it seems that you choosed «male» :-) since before your answer we were 3 and now we're 4 .....

Regards,

José

Deborah Secor
12-19-2005, 11:03 PM
Nope--I owned up to being a woman. After I clicked it was 13 F and 3 M. It seems that someone male voted and didn't post a reply here, is all.

Just clarifying the facts, Jose'... :D

Deborah

monticore
12-19-2005, 11:40 PM
Hi all,its funny but ive been wondering the same thing. I think Deborah's theory is a solid one.I think the medium can be misunderstood. Before trying decent quality soft pastels on pastel paper my only experience with pastels were with low quality oil pastels on regular paper when i was a kid. I would skid them along smudge them around, didnt like em and didnt understand them.Then growing up every time the word pastels were used it meant soft colors around easter.Now I know better.Strong color options, direct link to the support and immediate results for better or worse. I voted male. I have found a medium I can relate to.P.S. some of the colors make me want to bite them! Ha. Joe D.

DrBrad
12-19-2005, 11:59 PM
I think you're definitely right that women tend to take more classes and over a longer time. In some of the wc classes I took many students were back for 4th or 5th session with the same teacher. But for whatever reason the oil classes were always jammed with men (not repeat students tho for the most part).

Aside from the colors, I love the immediacy of pastels, the fact that you can leave them out and come as go as you have time, the fact that they don't give off noxious fumes, and that they are pretty correctable.

Looks to be about 3:1 female to male here and I'd guess that's pretty representative.

khourianya
12-20-2005, 12:24 AM
P.S. some of the colors make me want to bite them! Ha. Joe D.

That's because they are soooo yummy! You would love our Different Pastel Sets thread! :) (it's in pastel talk)

Kathryn Wilson
12-20-2005, 12:42 AM
This brings about the question of the name "pastels" - when the average joe thinks of the word pastel, they think of baby-like light colors, so how can they be serious? Does anyone know why the name pastel - is it French for something? Maybe this is why men steer away from pastels until they use them for the first time? Lack of knowledge or understanding of the name?

khourianya
12-20-2005, 12:55 AM
The name pastel comes from a French word pastiche, meaning paste.

Deborah Secor
12-20-2005, 12:57 AM
[French, from Italian pastello, material made into a paste, from Late Latin pastellus, woad dye, diminutive of pasta, paste; see paste1.]

The noun pastel has one meaning: any of various pale or light colors

My theory about the word pastel is that it derives from the fact (and it is a fact) that most pigments used in pastel form are paler in color, hence the idea of ice cream colors being pastel colors. It fits witht he above meaning of pale or light colors. It's only in the last few decades that manufacturers have started making bold darks. In fact, I remember being at the first IAPS when Dominique Sennelier asked all of us what colors we wanted and the unanimous answer was DARKS!!! So maybe your theory is right, Kat--too many thoughts of about the colors of the baby's bedroom for some men.

Obviously the men we have here are not at all insecure and know how to look through a cultural sterotype!

Deborah

K Taylor-Green
12-20-2005, 02:27 AM
Interesting thread!
I use them because I must. After trying all the other mediums over the years, something clicked when I started using pastels. Like finding the perfect relationship. I am no longer interested in wet media. I love the immediacy and the control that I get with pastels. I also love that I am not fighting with my medium any longer, as I was with wet media. I still have struggles, but they are with trying to put down visually what I feel, so that others can see it, too.

Jo Castillo
12-20-2005, 02:34 AM
Hi,
I just luuuuuv pastels. Enjoy other media, but. I think women take more classes and join groups .. for inspiration and togetherness .. in all media. Heck, in all life situations, we gotta talk it out. Heh.

eyeinthesky
12-20-2005, 02:42 AM
Hi, lets hear it for the guys! I love using pastels for the same reasons everyone else gave, I would go to classes if there were any near me, but I don't even know of anyone locally who paints in pastel. They don't know what they are missing!
Dave

fio44
12-20-2005, 10:35 AM
Good thread Brad! I use pastels for many of the reasons others have already mentioned. I've dabbled in other mediumes, but in today's hectic times, the clean up and spending time mixing and mixing is detrimental to many of he challenges of today's fast paced life.

As for more women than men using pastels, I've found that no matter what class I have taken, in any medium, women have always outnumbered the men.

I think men by nature are more loners, let me figure it out on my own, and if it doesn't work, well, I can just hide it out back in the shed. Women are more social by nature and thrive on the feedback they receive from their contemporaries, good or bad, while most men fear that, preferring to wallow in private and silence should the outcome be not to their liking.

Not professing to be a pyschologist, and just offering my two cents. If we were to equate this to two very common humurous thoughts each has on the opposite sex and that is, women always wonder why men will not stop to ask for directions, while men are always perplexed as to why women insist on going to the bathroom in pairs or more.

(personally, I have no trouble asking for directions)

DrBrad
12-20-2005, 11:04 AM
Another thing I love about pastels (I think this is probably covered by 'immediacy' actually) is that you don't have to stop and mix the right color on a palette. (Obviously, you mix in various ways, but on the working surface.) In Betty Edward's (Drawing on the Right Side of the brain author) newish book, COLOR, she talks about how most painters have to continually leave the 'art mode' and think analytically while they mix a color then switch back to art mode. I found this really interrupted my flow (such as it was!) when I tried out oil, acrylic, etc. With pastel you can grab what you need. It's not that mixing is necssarily 'difficult' just that it can stop you in your tracks. She mentions that artists eventually get so used to mixing they get over that and it becomes intuitive-- but she also points out that pastels and colored pencils let you avoid that issue all together.

tking
12-20-2005, 11:33 AM
I noticed too that women outnumber men on this board and can't figure out why. When I was younger I was always drawing and sketching with pencils and pastels feel simular. I like walking by a painting in progress and doing quick touch-ups whenever I feel like it. I dabled (struggled) in water color before pastels.

khourianya
12-20-2005, 11:42 AM
I just rated this thread. I think it is a good one for the Pastel Library.

Kathryn Wilson
12-20-2005, 12:13 PM
I think men by nature are more loners, let me figure it out on my own, and if it doesn't work, well, I can just hide it out back in the shed. Women are more social by nature and thrive on the feedback they receive from their contemporaries, good or bad, while most men fear that, preferring to wallow in private and silence should the outcome be not to their liking.


Hi Jeff! Welcome to the Pastel Forum - I suspect that a lot of what you said is very true. Women by nature are social beings - and men tend to be loners.
I hope you will stick with us and add one more male to our forum - :)

I visited your web site - wonderful work and a pleasure to view!

fio44
12-20-2005, 12:52 PM
Hi Kat,

Thank you for your kind words, and warm welcome. I hope I can bring something from time to time to the forum, and look forward to future correspondence and nuggets of information.

Your work likewise is quite wonderful, and I thank you for sharing.

RUNEMASTER
12-20-2005, 02:33 PM
Quite a man here, and I work in what used to be a female profession (Nurse).

I am also a weightlifter who pumps 100 lb dumbells. I also make cofee for my wife in the morning.Is that ok?

I am also athletic running 6 miles every other day.Im not hung up on my masculinity though Im am quite masculine.233 lb male.6 foot.Roar!

Masque
12-20-2005, 02:53 PM
It was never really a choice. From my first exposure in 2003 to the world of art and creative process (A semester community college course in Color & Design that exposed me to so many mediums) there was no question--pastels were IT for me. Holding that first stick and touching that first piece of Canson paper I knew that absolutely, and I never looked back. That pastelists might be thought about as being male as opposed to female never entered my mind. Only artists.

As for me personally, I fell hard for their many unique properities--I was struck by their awesome luminosity, their vast variety in textures as well as color, their ease of use and lack of cleanup and most especially their forgiveness. And so much more. Think about it--how each brand offers subtle differences in colors. No 2 are exactly alike. And ready for you at your touch. Consider too the different textures of hard to soft to super soft the many brands offer. Not to mention the painting surfaces available with their infinite characteristics for special effects--they are always an adventure for me. There is no feeling like watching your inner vision come alive on your canvas with pastels.

Iloveyorkies
12-20-2005, 10:10 PM
I was attracted to pastels for many of the reasons posted above. One of the things that has kept me with pastels is the ability to put it away for long periods of time and being able to go back to it, picking up where I left off. Perhaps women have a more interrupted life with kids, work, household duties?? That characteristic make this medium appealing as well. Pastels do not disappoint. I have been to two workshops and each had one male. Don't worry, they were treated very well. :)
Paulette

bjcpaints
12-21-2005, 10:34 AM
Unable to vote because I do not (YET) consider myself primarily a pastel artist; but wanted to comment on the thread - very interesting and glad it is bringing out the men here! LOL I am very attracted to pastels but don't have enough experience yet to feel as comfortable with them as I do in acrylics. I think the main thing holding me back is a proper place to work with them.
Barbara

DFGray
12-21-2005, 01:11 PM
35 years of pastel, never taken a workshop,
it seemed like alot of females were working in watercolour at that time
it may be that there are more female artists working than men in any medium

I do feel that it is macho to paint outdoors but the only artist that I ever go painting with when she is over here is Judy

I think the subject matter that is on this board tends to the sentimental,

as soon as I get a good pastel I'll move on to oils

A male with all the trimmings (ego, bad behaivor and habits, no directions please)

avani
12-23-2005, 01:45 PM
I was attracted to pastels for many of the reasons posted above. One of the things that has kept me with pastels is the ability to put it away for long periods of time and being able to go back to it, picking up where I left off. Perhaps women have a more interrupted life with kids, work, household duties?? That characteristic make this medium appealing as well. Paulette

There you go!
There is your answer!!Take me for an instance,a housewife who always wanted to learn and pursue oil-painting.Learnt it,realized it was more demanding a hobby than I expected.There were times when I couldn't get back to my unfinished painting because of my household chores and stuff for long periods,and I had trouble remembering which colors had gone in to make "that"particular color!Also,the smell bothered my daughter and triggered her allergies.
So all in all,it's not a demanding medium.it's Consistent.gives immediate results.Therefore,immediate gratification!
Great thread!Was wondering about the same myself too,after noticing women outnumbering men on this forum!
Avani

Bhavana Vijay
12-23-2005, 02:52 PM
Thats true, instant gratification!Thats what appeals to me the most too.I am new at pastels and i am loving it for a lot of reasons that have been mentioned earlier. But what i truly love is that i can squeeze in a couple of strokes in between all those other demanding chores!

Terry
12-23-2005, 06:16 PM
after careful consideration....I'm a male
I like the pastel medium because it's so fast and the colors sparkle so.
I can get the block in quickly and accuratly.
Most of my workshops are nearly 90-95% female. It's not because of my fantastic physique either, It's just not there nor was it ever there.
One of the best pastelists is in your back yard, Tucson, AZ Harley Brown.
Terry Ludwig

Kathryn Wilson
12-23-2005, 06:42 PM
hmmmm . . . after careful consideration? - LOL

Do we have lurking males voting and not joining in? Will check to match posts to votes - :)

Kathryn Wilson
12-23-2005, 06:47 PM
Yep, as suspected, they are lurking out there in the dark corners of this forum -

DrBrad
12-23-2005, 07:06 PM
Terry-- thanks for the reminder. You are right about Harley Brown of course. I have several of his books that are very entertaining. And of course his artwork is on display at museums and other venues all over Tucson, which is fantastic.

Avani, bhavij, and others.. while I'm not exactly a housewife ;-) I do work from home and also really appreciate the ability to grab time to work on pastels amidst job and household tasks without lots of set up and take down!

gfwolf
12-23-2005, 07:27 PM
Geez….stay off for a while and don’t skulk and look at the fun threads you miss.
I have been developing a theory lately that pastels may be easier for females but had not really considered the ratio of the genders.
I have been struggling with color (or colour for Canadians and Brits) in trying pastels as I keep running across warm and cool colors (colours) in books and videos. I brought this up with my wife who proceeded to tell me about warm vs cool skin tones, leading to warm vs cool colors (colours) which complement skin tones, which lead into choosing makeup and choosing clothing colors (colours) which complement skin tones.:confused:
So if my wife is typical I have developed the theory that as newcomers, without formal training, women would perhaps have an advantage with pastels (and oils and acrylics?) because of this knowledge of colors (colours) and applying colors (colours).
Just a thought.

Wolfie

johndill01
12-23-2005, 07:32 PM
It's kind of intimidating when one notices that one is outnumbered more than 2 - 1 with female pulchritude. Sometimes it is difficult to get a
W
o
r
d in edgewise.
:angel: :D

John

DrBrad
12-23-2005, 08:25 PM
Wolf,

Interesting-- but since color theory is so vital to all painting from oils to watercolors to colored pencils to pastels I don't think this would distinguish among them or answer why more women are involved with pastel than, say, with oil. Women may very well have a better innate color sense as a gender (maybe biological or maybe cultural) but I can't see it teasing apart the different painting media. Creative speculation tho!

PeggyB
12-24-2005, 01:22 AM
Now wait a minute everyone - this has become a most interesting converstation regarding women and their "ease" of understanding and attraction to color - vibrant color in the instance of pastel. As I recall, aren't the females of many species attracted to the most colorful male! Maybe you have something there Brad about "biology" - LOL :D I hope you realize I'm being silly...

As for myself. I prefer pastel because I haven't the patience to wait for other mediums to dry. Before I used pastel it was acrylic - another fast drying medium. However, I prefer the pastel because I don't have to wonder what the color will look like when it is dry. It's also a lot easier for me to clean up - or leave the studio with work in progress and pick it up again later without having to get out brushes, turps, water, etc... Colored pencils don't have enough vibrance for me, and I don't like "fussing" as it seems the CP artists need to do. I've always loved drawing, and pastel is the closest thing to colored drawing that I enjoy.

Terry - your usual sense of humor is coming through very well. I'll bet you know that your female students are attracted to your knowledgable work, fantastic pastels, and wit. Rumor has it you are a very good workshop insturctor too.... :)

Peggy

Paula Ford
12-24-2005, 12:33 PM
As for myself. I prefer pastel because I haven't the patience to wait for other mediums to dry. Before I used pastel it was acrylic - another fast drying medium. However, I prefer the pastel because I don't have to wonder what the color will look like when it is dry. It's also a lot easier for me to clean up - or leave the studio with work in progress and pick it up again later without having to get out brushes, turps, water, etc... Colored pencils don't have enough vibrance for me, and I don't like "fussing" as it seems the CP artists need to do. I've always loved drawing, and pastel is the closest thing to colored drawing that I enjoy.


Yup! Me too
Paula

scall0way
12-27-2005, 01:39 PM
Well, female here as well. :) I've tried other media - oils, acrylics, watercolor. Well charcoal as well but I just *need* color, you know? They all seemed like such an effort, and the effect I achieved was never what I wanted. Pastel was just an immediate "YES" sort of click. I feel I have far more control over the entire process. I know how the picture will look - no lightening or darkening. As we say in the computer world 'WYSIWYG' (what you see is what you get).

Also, as others have said, no mixing, no blending, little set-up and cleanup. If **only** there was a really good, tried-and-true, method of sealing your pictures when completed, so there was no danger of smudging I would think pastels were the perfect medium.

But as to the percentage of men vs. women? Is the percentage different for pastels from other mediums? Or is it about the same overall? I'm thinking of the art classes I took this past year that got me started on my pasteling path:
1) Intro to Drawing: We had about a dozen in that class of whom four were men, the highest percentage of men for all my classes.
2) Rrepresentational Drawing (where we actually worked in a medium of our choice - oil, charcoal, acrylic or pastel). Again about a dozen total, two were men. One of them worked in oil, the other in pastel.
3) Color Workshop - Six participants, all female.
4) Advanced painting - Eight participants, one was male. The instructor was also male. All my other courses had had female instructors.

So overall women seem to outnumber men, at least in the courses I have taken. But as to why? Well, I don't know, that's for sure! But most of us here (and I know there are exceptions!) are not earning our livings from our art. For many of us it is more of a hobby, and even for many who sell their works it is more a way to supplement income than a way to support oneself.

Are men more involved with developing their careers? Do they have less time to devote to leisure activities? Of course it need not be so. We all make time for the things that matter to us. I work full-time and surely many others here do as well. But most of the men I work with seem to think that painting, regardless of medium, is something that would take more time than they care to spend - though of course they find plenty of time for the hobbies they *do* enjoy. :D

Khadres
12-28-2005, 01:38 AM
I think one reason men may be outnumbered in some classes is that they are day classes....I know there are more women free to attend classes during the day than there are men. When I worked most all the classes available were during the day and I couldn't take them either. I imagine evening classes have a better turnout of men.

Also, some men just don't enjoy displaying their lack of expertise. Society kinda expects men to already know everything, or some men think they do. I've had classes where senior, retired men seemed quite at home and the attitude seemed to be that since they were older, they were just there to play and not to be taken as seriously lacking for not knowing everything already. All this is silly to the extreme, of course, but we have a strange society sometimes.

I have several male artist friends...all but one has at least tried pastels and seemed to like them tho none has made them their primary media. Oddly, however, all of them have favored hard pastels over real softies....not sure why unless it's just an aversion to the dust.

I favor pastels because they are a lot like oils (my first love) in their application but so much quicker and less prone to mud. WYSWYG, indeed. Also, some of the most gorgeous work I've seen from contemporary artists recently have been done in pastels....

BruceF
12-28-2005, 03:56 PM
At Pear Paints show a couple of months ago I took a workshop with Kitty Wallis and another with Diane Townsend. In both I was the only guy taking the class. When I took an evening class at a local league the class was about 50/50.

I've been studying artistic anatomy for a few years. Primarily we are drawing in the class. To me, it seemed that a natural extension of that was pastel. I love the vibrant colors and immediacy. Not to mention not having to clean brushes.

scall0way
12-28-2005, 03:59 PM
Well all my classes have been evening classes, since I work full-time and could not attend one during the day - and the male representation has still been on the low side. But if men don't like to take classes then how *do* they learn new things? From books? Trial and error? I use those methods too, but find a hands-on class with immediate live instructor feedback is extremely useful for me.

I'm so glad the local art museum offers classes during the evening throughout the year. Of course none of them are specifically "pastel" courses. The only pastel course offered - a year-long course in learning to use pastels - is always a daytime course so I can never take it.

Khadres
12-28-2005, 04:35 PM
Yep, I think men tend to "roll their own" a lot more than women do, but women get off to a faster start sometimes through having classes to boost their learning curve. One wonders if this has anything to do with another volatile subject....which gender tends to do the most "original" work?? OK...I'm hiding out after letting that one out of the box! :D

KJSCL
12-30-2005, 06:22 PM
Ooooooooooh, not touching that one!

Trilby
12-31-2005, 02:32 AM
I suspect one of the differences for gender demographics in the arts is the distinction of "hobby" from "career" If you look at the "how to" books and videos more men are represented in all mediums. I looked at a book on wildlife artists of the 20 artists there were no women and though pastel was also not represented several other mediums were. While a good number of women are making art including pastel their career, I suspect, more men who are less constrained by childcare and house maintenance are more focused on careers in art than are women. Also men Do women Share. When men get together with other men or with women they are prone to focus on the doing of something, women will focus on sharing the process and the evolving, the struggle and the success which find fertile ground in a workshop or in a cyber community.

I am female. I am drawn to pastels because of the vibrancy of color, the purity of the pigment, how into the right brain it puts me, how much hands on control I have stroke by stroke. I love the layering of colors, the textural almost sculptural sense they have. I like how tactile they are. Recently I tried oil paints after a very long absence. The first two I did with a brush and while I enjoyed the effects of swishing a brush, I found myself getting in there with my fingers too. The last one I did with a palette knife and felt better as this was closer to what I do with pastels, the tactile, texture, sculptural sense again, and the brilliance.
TJ

Muffin_4377
01-04-2006, 04:13 AM
. One of the things that has kept me with pastels is the ability to put it away for long periods of time and being able to go back to it, picking up where I left off. Perhaps women have a more interrupted life with kids, work, household duties?? That characteristic make this medium appealing as well. Pastels do not disappoint.
Paulette

This sooooo sums me up. I "found" pastels after searching for a medium that was condusive to having, at the time, a 3 yr old....oh ya and a husband (he can be more distracting then the kiddo). Watercolour was my medium of choice, but I just got plain tired of ruining brushes and scrapping pallettes. Needed a "walk away and not worry" medium....

Now I love Pastels for all their luscious qualities :D....

Little note on men/women and colour.....I read a study not too long ago (might have even been been somewhere on WC) that women in fact do see colour....at least variations of red, better then men.....Read on
http://www.news-medical.net/?id=3192
http://www.physorg.com/news1035.html

Not really Pastel related but interesting none the less....

ExpressiveAngie
01-05-2006, 09:44 AM
I voted female of course.

I started out drawing and pastel seemed to naturally follow...once I tried em I was totally hooked and altho I now work a little with acrylic and watercolor I know my pastel work is my passion. They work will with my being a mom too...no clean up other than wash my hands I cna work with them for 10 minutes or 3 hours doesnt matter.

Tom Behnke
01-08-2006, 04:30 AM
Male here.

Besides finger-painting in Kindergarten, pastels were the first art medium I tried, was hooked and it will probably always be my main medium.

I like the forgiving quality of it, the tactile approach of flesh to paper (though smoothing the fingerprints will sometimes raise my BP considerably, LOL), and the versatility as well.

I haven't had much 'community' with other artists (THANK GOD FOR THIS SITE!), but I had the feeling there were more women in the medium than men, and your poll seems to be proving that.

gallerygerl
01-16-2006, 05:08 PM
I concur with the "immediacy" of the media, and the intensity of color. Having spent most of my time in watercolor though, when I need a creative charge I still head for the watercolor. The other benefit of pastel to me is that it's more conducive to my environment, since I mostly paint while at my gallery these days, it's easier to put down and pick up. Nothing more frustrating than starting a wet wash and having a bus load of tourists pull in, and believe me, I love the tourists!

Katherine T
01-16-2006, 10:34 PM
I've always found on every art workshop or painting holiday I have been on that attendance was something like 90% female - whereas attendance at life drawing class has always been about 50:50.

I like using dry media and things that don't involve brushes. I love the tactile thing of feeling the pastel (or pencil) meeting the support. (I'm also funny about pens - I can't write with pens that don't feel right).

I have also found pastel to be very satisfying in terms of the colours I could get - long hours have been spent over the years salivating over various brands and choices to be made in terms of what to get next.

I started to use coloured pencils only after I found it made packing for painting trips abroad a lot simpler! (Peggy - re. your comment about coloured pencils lacking vibrancy: if you look at my website (http://www.pastelsandpencils.com/) I think you'll find it's hard to tell the difference between the pastels and the coloured pencils - and I CP in exactly the same way as I pastel - not knowing any different when I started some 10+ years ago)

dlake
01-22-2006, 02:24 PM
katherine,
Changing the subject, but, I just visited your website. It's so fun. I really like your european drawings and paintings. My moother is from France and I love doing french scenes tho, right now I am experimenting with different subjects and styles. Your colours are so vibrant and fun. Just wanted you to know how fun it is and I would say to the pastelist here to visit it especially those of us trapped inside during the dark winter. oooooooooo.
borrrring. lol
diane

Becky Foster
01-28-2006, 12:01 PM
I'm an oil pastelist (female), but didn't vote because I'm not sure oil pastels are included in this poll.

My theory though is that men usually like to work with tools (paintbrushes, pallette knives) and women like to work with their fingers. Generalizing, I know, just talking about the majority.

-BeckyT

Khadres
01-28-2006, 02:53 PM
Very good point, Becky! And the more intricate the tool, the better usually! (Thinking of a friend's woodworking gear!)

O'Aieghlans
02-16-2006, 11:36 PM
Thanks so much for starting this thread. I've thought many times of starting such a thread, however I didn't want to be taken for a sexist and so I didn't. Probably because I have strong feelings on this subject.

I think there are several reason why women gravitate to pastels more than men do (to date). Some are the reasons I'll cite will seem fair, and others will not.

For one thing, art on canvas seems more 'serious' art than art on paper. This is just an observation. Paper has archival problems that canvas does not.

Works on canvas earn more money than works on paper.

I'll mention the next item because I read it in an art publication: artworks by men are sold for more money than artworks by women. Why this is, I don't know. Is it because men take it more seriously? Because men use more archival materials? I have no idea.

My observation regarding pastel (remember pastel was my first art medium [age 8] and is still my personal favorite) is that it is more easily taken up by the amateur. There is nothing 'wrong' with this, it is only an observation.

It follows that those who are more serious about their art and may want to make a living at it would choose a more permanent medium. This aspect of permanence, as we all know, is an illusion. But illusions are truth for most people. That said, canvas is considered more serious than paper. I don't think I'm saying anything that others have not also experienced in this regard.

Pastel, generically, has gotten a bad rap. Have you never heard, "I don't like pastel colors" or "I'm sick of the impressionists cliche" or "lavender, pink and white are nice but they've been done before, especially on my grandma's flannel sheets and woolen cardigans"? The cliche of "pastel colors" has given the medium of pastel itself a bad reputation. The impression is one of imprecise art, "feel-good" subjects and colors, and bucolic scenes of children in flower gardens, teacups, fixations on shiny glassware or groups of pears placed on chinese textiles. Men just generally are less interested in these things as subjects for art, according to my observations.

In addition, there is something to be said for making a bold stroke of oil paint on a canvas that, once it dries, is impervious and does not require fastidious care-taking to be preserved. For let's face it, pastel paintings require a fastidious and careful nature to be preserved.

Pastel rewards the fastidious nature, while oil painting rewards the bold nature.

And that's a difference between men and women that can be observed easily. And I'd offer that that is the main reason for the difference.

This is why, in my view, the Pastel Society of America, while advancing the medium some thirty years ago, at this point in art history is hurting the medium with its emphasis on gauzy impressionism and fixation on happy realism. It's not progressive. In fact, it's retrograde. I went to their last annual show and there were two half-hearted abstracts out of a field of 100-some artworks. Something is just wrong about this. And the Pastel magazine is guilty of exactly the same thing. But I guess if that is what women want for their medium, that is what they must be given. But I don't think it's going anywhere except towards the interests of selling more and more decadently luscious-colored pastel sticks for industrial art supplies companies.

I don't imagine that these male/female demographics will ever change, and I don't really think it matters. People gravitate towards the medium that meets their needs the best! And that's probably as it should be.

CindyW
02-17-2006, 12:10 AM
Hi Dan,
You've got some good thoughts here and they are yours.... alot of them are highly debatable because they don't come from facts but through your own personal observances and your very own perspective. Which is fine, because you stated this to begin with. :) And we all have our own thoughts on why it FEELS like its predominantly female...maybe it's just here that we see females more than males... Hey, I want to reword this....I do not have intentions to stomp all over your thoughts, Dan, please know that.
But, I don't agree with your beginning statement of why women gravitate to pastels...I think you're saying pastels are a less serious medium in the so called artworld....which implies that any woman who picks up a pastel is not serious about artwork or art and they just want to play because otherwise, they'd paint with oils to be considered a "real" artist.
I have not felt ever that pastels are a woman's medium, a women dominated domain because of the careful and cautious use of them. I gravitated to them because of their brilliance and rich thick color that you can view from any angle you choose without reflections bouncing off them...(gotta have great glass, too, for the framing). I did like them for their immediacy and portability, too, but not because they feel pretty and less powerful than a oilpaint filled brush and less aggressive. What about the world of watercolor? Is that a female or male medium? I think I can find quite a few female artists who use pastels with reckless abandon. And I can look them up when I get home, to give a few examples. I'd like to add I've seen quite a few abstract pastel artists of late and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about them and viewing them and thought it wonderful that they are getting exposure... and for sure, there were quite a few men pastel artists, too....For myself, I am thinking of abstract in the near future to experiment and I am thinking bold and reckless myself. So, that's another leap for a woman in the other direction. :)

Probably I could start a thread in the Debates forum on just this subject and see how far it goes there with interesting povs bouncing all over this. It'd be very interesting to see it disected and picked apart.
Cindy

O'Aieghlans
02-17-2006, 10:00 AM
If I implied that pastel is a 'less serious medium' then I was mistaken -- because I should have said it directly, because that is exactly what I think the art world at large believes. Oh, they give lip service to the masters in the Louvre, and so forth, but the art world does not take it seriously. I obviously take it very seriously as a pastel artist myself who wants the medium to move forward, not just be stuck in a rut.

Just look at how much trouble oil pastelists have at being taken seriously! Their cause just took a major low blow by Schulzke's (PSA founder) article in the Pastel Journal telling them basically to 'get stuffed' and 'go play on your own'.

As far as whether women pastel artists are serious or not -- I really did not address that from my own personal viewpoint -- I was making an observation about what I have seen people's attitudes are in the art world at large.

Kathryn Wilson
02-17-2006, 10:15 AM
This is an extremely interesting conversation between artists - and from differing viewpoints! Let's hope that others will join in - I think we can all learn from this.

I tend to agree with Dan on the point that the art world does not take pastels seriously.

I do believe though that people who work in oils tend to encourage that belief in that they push other mediums aside themselves.

And don't get me started on the viewpoint of oil pastels - that could be a whole other thread (and it has been). Why other artists will slam a medium in a public forum/publication is beyond me - especially when they have not had the experience of working with the medium.

So are artists medium snobs? We should be welcoming and encouraging to all artists in their respective mediums - but it isn't so.

CindyW
02-17-2006, 11:37 AM
[quote=O'Aieghlans] But I guess if that is what women want for their medium, that is what they must be given.....
As far as whether women pastel artists are serious or not -- I really did not address that from my own personal viewpoint -- I was making an observation about what I have seen people's attitudes are in the art world at large.
It follows that those who are more serious about their art and may want to make a living at it would choose a more permanent medium. This aspect of permanence, as we all know, is an illusion. But illusions are truth for most people. That said, canvas is considered more serious than paper.
quote]
Alarms go off when I hear statements like these. You have great points made from your observations in the world of art at large, it seems, and so these areas should be brought to the surface and you have. But, it seems that in your observation that canvas is considered more serious than paper that pastel artists and paper artists, who are predominantly women just playing at being a real artist, should just go and do that since no one in the "serious" world of "real" art will ever pay attention to them whatsoever so why ever bother from this point on? I agree with you that the pastel and oil painters of the world do get a lower place on the artistic scale of worthiness but exactly how do you and I come to these assumptions? Have we personally seen the entire world of art around us in all galleries in all museums in all cities in all corners of the world at all moments of every day? Do we get our information from a few art magazines on the newstand and believe the few authors in there who are considered to be the last word on all things art? There may be small daily victories successfully broadening the horizons for women pastelists and paper artists that we are not aware of. I'm just maybe hoping beyond hope here that there are more people like me who like art that I like and buy it regardless of it being less worthy because it's not on french linen with bold permanent strokes (created by men).
Hmmm.
Kat, I think the idiots who slam other art mediums are just that, ignorant idiots and they certainly don't deserve the recognition of their arrogant slamming to be given so much attention. Are there so little of us who are open to the art world? Is the art world at large comprised of creepy snobby know-it-alls who thumb up and thumb down really great art because it isn't canvas? Are all the galleries that house really great artwork of all kinds of mediums second rate and not serious? Is the serious artwork of the world only canvas and oil?

Who comprises the serious art world and who exactly makes all the decisions about art worthiness? That's my main question here. Why do we have to go along with their "opinions"? Because that's exactly what they are. Strength in numbers and I do believe we have numbers. Power to the people.

Cindy

O'Aieghlans
02-17-2006, 11:55 AM
Well, I've done a lot of reading. My reading has basically clued me in on the following:

Collectors prefer not to buy works on paper. I guess some don't like it as much as canvas. Some do, but most don't. There is also the aspect of 'I don't like my art behind glass'.

Even just art lovers prefer works on canvas.

Now, I have seen some PSA pastellists -- even master pastellists -- get involved in oil painting to try to support themselves better.

There is an idea that 'oil paints' are a noble art, and others are lesser arts -- this would include watercolors, of course.

It's a prejudice. But art collectors are extremely prejudiced. They are very concerned about value, that's why they look at resumes and stuff like that (which have nothing to do with what you see on the wall).

I wouldn't use all this as a reason to be discouraged!

When the art world reveres a dead shark floating in formeldahyde, you've got to take it all with a cynical view and a pound of salt!

But the PSA and the Pastel Journal do not help this fight by being uncritical and rewarding conventionalism. They have harmed the view of the medium.

PeggyB
02-17-2006, 01:56 PM
Just look at how much trouble oil pastelists have at being taken seriously! Their cause just took a major low blow by Schulzke's (PSA founder) article in the Pastel Journal telling them basically to 'get stuffed' and 'go play on your own'.

This is a most interesting debate. However, I want to correct one statement you made Dan. Margot Schultzke is a signature member of PSA, but is not a founder. She is a founder of the Pastel Society of the West Coast. Flora Guffuni is the founder of PSA.

As much as I dislike having to, I agree with much of what you have said about oils being the only medium taken seriously by the public. I think there are many reasons beyond the male/female issue. Tradition being the major one. Glass being the second issue. Size being a third - one can paint very large, imposing oils without problem, but not so in any paper medium. Although there is an assumption of "permanence" for oils, that isn't necessarily true. Oils both fade and darken with different atmospheric conditions over time, they crack and peel over time. The are subject to all sorts of ill effects because they don't have glass to protect them - smoke, dirt, dust mites, canvas eating insects, etc etc. Not that glass protected mediums don't have their own issues because they do. It is what the public precieves that is important. Most pastel artists and art societies and magazines have not done a good job - as you so well have stated - on "selling" the importance and credibility of our favorite medium. The continued support of "realism/painterly" subject matter with the neglect of other more daring subject matter discourages anyone from being more "adventuresome" and "bold". The latest Pastel Journal's Best of Art is a case in point.

Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to continue with my thoughts. I may find time to continue later.

Peggy

O'Aieghlans
02-17-2006, 03:44 PM
Thanks for the correction! I always get those two mixed up, why is that?

I hope you'll stop back in and tell us more of what you think!

scall0way
02-17-2006, 04:54 PM
Wow, some pretty intense and provocative statements here. I'm not quite sure how I react to all of them, though this is a fascinating read.

For one thing, art on canvas seems more 'serious' art than art on paper. This is just an observation. Paper has archival problems that canvas does not.

So what about pastels done on other supports? I'm just a newbie to the whole art world, a baby with not quite a year's experience in pastels - but I have read that pastels can be produced on supports other than paper, properly primed canvas for one. Does a pastel become more 'serious' when it is produced on a support that seems more durable than paper?

artworks by men are sold for more money than artworks by women. Why this is, I don't know.

Sadly this does not surprise me in the least. It's probably related to society in general, and the fact that women (on average), in whatever endeavor, only get paid about 2/3 to 3/4 of what men get paid, for doing comparable work. It's said to be true in the computer biz which is where I earn my daily crust, so seeing the same thing in the art world is not a surprise. Not to say I *like* it, of course, but I'm not surprised by it.

My observation regarding pastel (remember pastel was my first art medium [age 8] and is still my personal favorite) is that it is more easily taken up by the amateur..

I suppose this can be true. At least initially there is a far shorter learning curve when you are getting started. No need to handle a brush, no need to learn how to mix colors. You can just pick up a pastel and go. But I've seen some pretty amateurish oil paintings as well, and they certainly don't detract from the oil masterpieces. There are beginners and experts in must about every human field, and more than one may have a deceptively simple beginning, yet still be difficult to truly master.

In addition, there is something to be said for making a bold stroke of oil paint on a canvas that, once it dries, is impervious and does not require fastidious care-taking to be preserved. For let's face it, pastel paintings require a fastidious and careful nature to be preserved.

Okay, pastel *does* require a lot of care to preserve it. I admit that's probably the think I like least about pastels. I often *wish* I could like oils or acrylics better just from the standpoint of having less worry about the finished product, but I have tried them and just don't enjoy them. And if I don't enjoy them why would I want to bother? I make a good living in the computer biz, I don't *need* to earn a living from art. Sure it would be fun if I could but I do art because it adds another wonderful dimension to my life. Selling would be the icing on the cake, if for no other reason than it would help keep my small house from being overrun by paintings, LOL. Then again paintings on paper are far easier to store than large oils on stretched canvas. However I do worry about my paintings getting smudged and ruined, and it there were a way to truly seal and protect pastels I would think them the perfect medium.

Pastel rewards the fastidious nature, while oil painting rewards the bold nature. And that's a difference between men and women that can be observed easily. And I'd offer that that is the main reason for the difference..

So men are bold and women are fastidious? I'd certainly hate to generalize in that fashion. My sister paints in oils. Does that make her bolder than I am? Who knows? She has had far more art training than I have including the University level. She teaches art. She knows far more about art than I do. Perhaps her *art* is bolder than mine, but I don't think that applies to other aspects of our natures.

This is why, in my view, the Pastel Society of America, while advancing the medium some thirty years ago, at this point in art history is hurting the medium with its emphasis on gauzy impressionism and fixation on happy realism. It's not progressive. In fact, it's retrograde..

Is this truly its focus? I'm so new to the art and pastel world that I really don't know much about the PSA except that you have to be juried in as a member, so I suspect my chances would not be good. :) But I have no clue as to what their focus is. Is it really gauzy impressionism and happy realism? And if it is, whose decision is that? Whose judgement is involved? How can that be changed? These are serious questions as I don't know the answer. I looked at the PSA website but could not determine from there.

I did look at the Pastel Gallery there and found the artists represented did seem to have very much of a muchness in mostly very realistic stuff - probably more so than would be to my own taste - but I don't know how representative these artists are of the PSA in general. My Wednesday night art teacher is a Master Pastelist with the PSA and I have seen slides of his work. I guess you would call them mostly realist in style, but not "happy" realism, but more dark and gritty.

I went to their last annual show and there were two half-hearted abstracts out of a field of 100-some artworks. Something is just wrong about this. And the Pastel magazine is guilty of exactly the same thing..

I have only ever seen a single issue of the Pastel Journal, so I can't speak to any bias it may have. Mind you I don't think there is anything inherently more "artistic" in abstract art than there is in realist art. But I do agree there is a room for both. Certainly here at WC there seems to be a strong bent towards realism in the Pastel forums, but I would hope an abstract artist could feel at home here as well.

But I guess if that is what women want for their medium, that is what they must be given. But I don't think it's going anywhere except towards the interests of selling more and more decadently luscious-colored pastel sticks for industrial art supplies companies.

What *do* women want? Even dear Dr. Freud was not sure of the answer to that one. :) Once again I think your are greatly overgeneralizing here. And what's wrong with new colors? Many of them are wonderfully strong and bold. That seems to be just want the pastel world needs to produce stronger and bolder images. :D

I don't imagine that these male/female demographics will ever change, and I don't really think it matters. People gravitate towards the medium that meets their needs the best! And that's probably as it should be.

And is this demographic so totally different from the art world in general? Are women truly over-represented in the pastel world and under-represented in other art media? I get the impression that there are a great many women working in oils, acrylics and watercolor as well, among others.

Kathryn Wilson
02-19-2006, 01:48 PM
Do you get a feeling that gallery owners also push oils because of the larger price tag? How about collectors who solely trust a gallery owner to tell them what to buy?

We could go round and round about who is generating these thoughts, but what alarms me the most are the artists themselves who perpetuate the idea that oils are the best and the other mediums are beneath them. Believe me that prejudice does exist.

How many times have you seen oil paintings that are cracked, dirty, torn, need serious cleaning, are beyond repair. Whereas I have a little pastel portrait done in the 1940's only protected by being inside a folder and it looks as fresh as the day it was done. Pastels need glass, yes, true - but I've been in museums where an oil painting was behind glass because of its fragile condition.

And ask yourself this question, why are so many "females" taking up art so late in life? It was 30+ years before I felt I could take up art seriously again. So the learning curve I knew I was facing with oil painting, was not considered a viable route to go. I tried watercolors and acrylics before settling in with pastels because of the immediacy and the ability to sit down to a painting on a moment's notice and start to paint quickly and finish quickly. If only I had known about pastels 30 years ago, it might have made a difference in my career.

PeggyB
02-19-2006, 04:26 PM
Well I’ve had a little time to dwell on this subject, and am ready to contribute once more. As hard as we women have worked to make things otherwise, this is still a man’s world in business and politics (think how few modern day governments have elected a woman as their leader: Israel, Great Britain, Philippines, and Germany are about the only ones I can think of right now - so what's wrong in the USA??? - oops! Sorry, my political science major jumped out for a moment... ) . Given the demographics of all livelihoods, there are very few women in the Fortune 500 (surely there are some aren’t there?). So why should it be any different in the art world? I could easily name 50 male artists who’ve made a fine living on their art alone, but would have a hard time naming as many women. To simply it however, here are seven names all of you should know and in no particular order: Bill Creevy, Foster Caddell, Daniel Greene, Ramon Kelley, Harley Brown, Allen Flattmann, Doug Dawson. All work in both oils and pastels, all have had long careers in art. Now, quickly name seven women who work in both oil and pastel who’ve done the same without the assistance and supplemental income of a spouse. I’m not saying these men aren’t married and their wives gainfully employed – some are and some aren’t. I can name one woman that is internationally known: Carole Katchen. I can name one more who’s reputation is growing: Donna Aldridge. Neither of these women is married although each has been in the past. Although there are other female pastel & oil artists who earn good money in their chosen field, at this moment I can’t think of any who haven’t been financially & emotionally supported in this effort by a man. Doesn’t mean there aren’t any, and I might even know them, but just can’t think of names right now. Keep in mind my criteria here has been the artists working in both pastel and oil.

[quote kyle] And ask yourself this question, why are so many "females" taking up art so late in life? [quote] Good question Kat, but I think there are plenty of men who are doing the same once they’ve reached retirement. However, in my opinion men of a certain generation were brought up to believe they must be the “provider”, and even in retirement may of them can’t relax enough to learn a new “trade” that won’t result in bringing in even a little income. There’s also that testosterone driven need to compete and excel. Learning to paint well takes time in which they won’t invest themselves. Learning to paint to simply enjoy the process is too foreign to their understanding of the order of life. On the other hand, women of that same generation were taught to use their creative self in many ways other than painting so if they choose to take up painting they can relax and enjoy the process in whatever direction it may take them – frustrating as it may be on occasion!)

Next issue: oil v pastel
Oils have hundreds of years of exposure to the public on which they can capitalize. Even though, as several of you have pointed out, they have their own inherent problems, they are still believed to have a long history of survival that pastels have yet to achieve. We as pastel artists have failed to engage the public sufficiently to overcome this perception. Too many times I’ve seen poorly framed pastels with dust clinging to mats and glass presented to the public. It is our own fault!

Another issue I’ve overheard people in galleries discussing is the idea that the pastel colors are too bright or garish when compared to oils (I’m speaking of landscapes here). One reason we all love our pastels is because of that vibrant color, but sometimes we may tend to get carried away with it. I know one very successful pastelist who’s been known to say, “If I never see another purple shadow I’ll be happy.” And indeed if you do use purple shadows in their landscape workshop will be promptly chastised! Compare sometime the colors used in oil landscapes and the majority of pastel landscapes.

Then there is size. Oil on canvas may be much more impressive because of the size as well as the colors and luminescence of the medium. A well preserved oil on canvas or board without the interference of glare from glass is frequently more appealing to the viewer. Unless we as pastelists want to learn the method of painting with pastel on canvas and sealing the pastel so no glass is needed, then we will just have to face the fact that in this way, pastels will never compete successfully with oils. (but then neither do watercolor or colored pencils!)

Obviously these are rambling thoughts of my own. Feel free to comment and correct me if you feel I’ve been mistaken. As a female pastelist, I’m content to paint for my own pleasure first – always have been in what ever medium I’ve used. Selling and competing successfully are just cherries on the top for me.

Peggy

Bringer
02-19-2006, 05:21 PM
Hi,

I'm not an industry and if I like soft pastels I WILL work with soft pastels.
I won't work on acrylics because I will be abble to produce more and in less time. If I did acrylics that would be because I would like the medium.
Maybe I'll try them someday, but not because of production times.
I also work with oils and I like it alot.
And I can tell you that I'm a sucker for graphite works, in my opinion they have a strenght that no other medium has.
Resuming : all mediums are good and should be respected.

Regards,

José

P.S. We're are getting closer to women, just a bit more effort and we'll pass the women in percentage :-)

Kathryn Wilson
02-19-2006, 06:10 PM
Jose, I see that we have 38 male pastelists, but we sure don't see them on a regular basis in here, if at all.

CindyW
02-19-2006, 06:18 PM
Too many times I’ve seen poorly framed pastels with dust clinging to mats and glass presented to the public. It is our own fault! ....
Peggy
Peggy, I agree with this. If some pastel artists don't respect this medium, it reflects poorly overall. Not a good thing. I'd be interested in what the percentage is of galleries that won't accept pastel artwork no how because of past poorly presented/packaged work. Don't know how that information could ever be gathered, tho.
Another issue I’ve overheard people in galleries discussing is the idea that the pastel colors are too bright or garish when compared to oils (I’m speaking of landscapes here). One reason we all love our pastels is because of that vibrant color, but sometimes we may tend to get carried away with it. I know one very successful pastelist who’s been known to say, “If I never see another purple shadow I’ll be happy.” And indeed if you do use purple shadows in their landscape workshop will be promptly chastised! Compare sometime the colors used in oil landscapes and the majority of pastel landscapes. For this reason, I love pastels. I don't want the color to diminish to the level of some oil landscape art...but also, many other mediums have their share of garrish art especially abstract, including oils, so that is one person's personal artistic preference. Would a couple overheard conversations stop you from using vibrant and brilliant and gorgeous colors in your work? Even if it was a source of income? Or...maybe it would. But, who can tell us if one garrish (opinion) pastel painting would sell over a less vivid oil painting? I would think this info is really hard to gather.

Then there is size. Oil on canvas may be much more impressive because of the size as well as the colors and luminescence of the medium. A well preserved oil on canvas or board without the interference of glare from glass is frequently more appealing to the viewer. Unless we as pastelists want to learn the method of painting with pastel on canvas and sealing the pastel so no glass is needed, then we will just have to face the fact that in this way, pastels will never compete successfully with oils. (but then neither do watercolor or colored pencils!) Yah, size of large oils are much less weighty than same size pastels with glass/plastic/frame packages. But, smaller well framed pastel pieces still can hold their own against larger oil pieces if that's what the buyer is looking for. Do you know where info can be found on sales in the US alone on what sells first, oils or whatever medium, in galleries countrywide? This would be very interesting to see the actual numbers. Wow, very eye opening.
Obviously these are rambling thoughts of my own. Feel free to comment and correct me if you feel I’ve been mistaken. Peggy
Not corrections, just comments and thoughts of my own, and I'm
just interested in everyone's thoughts on all things pastels no matter what is brought to the table.
Ramble on. :)
Cindy

O'Aieghlans
02-19-2006, 08:07 PM
This is all very interesting.

Just a bit of perspective, if I could! Watching the Olympics I'm reminded that there are, indeed, numerous professions in which men make paltry sums when compared to women.

Male gold medallists in figure skating, for one, make virtually no money compared to the millions and millions made by gold medallists for women's figure skating.

And what about models? Top models who are women make obscene amounts of money. Men in the same profession and level barely make a living.

I think Peggy has a point that some mediums just are not as accepted (or 'can't compete') as oil. That's life!

gfwolf
02-20-2006, 06:36 PM
What *do* women want? Even dear Dr. Freud was not sure of the answer to that one. :)
I also pondered this very question for a long time. I found the answer a few years back while watching a panel discussion on the PBS program ”The Red Green Show”. At the end of the discussion the consensus was that what women really want is:
A new VCR and World Peace
I have been guided by this knowledge ever since so please don’t tell me anything different or I will be lost and confused again.

Wolfie

KJSCL
02-20-2006, 07:10 PM
Oh Wolfie, I feel for you if you take advice and expand your knowledge on a Canadian show like The Red Green Show :evil:

Katherine T
02-20-2006, 07:57 PM
Well if he'd added in chocolate he would of course have had the complete answer.......

Diane - way, way, way back four weeks ago you said how much you liked my website and how nice it was to look at french countryside in the middle of winter - and I never saw the post!. So thank you for your lovely comment - and I have to tell you I am building up very slowly to doing a major french landscape...............

I was once responsible for pushing at a national level on behalf of my professional body the cause of women. After a few years and having gotten over the basic hurdles we realised that banging on about the "feminist" perspective was to rather lose the plot. The issue was whether people were doing good work and whether people had the opportunity to advance on equal merit. So we stopped promoting the women's perspective and got on with looking at things from the quality perspective - and guess what - women did rather well as a result!

I relate that only because in my experience:
good art is usually recognised as good art whatever the medium
people who are good at marketing their work will do well whatever the quality of their work and whatever the mediumSo focus on the quality and the marketing and the rest will follow in due course.

gfwolf
02-20-2006, 08:18 PM
Oh Wolfie, I feel for you if you take advice and expand your knowledge on a Canadian show like The Red Green Show :evil:
Well Kathie, all I have to say is: Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati :rolleyes:
Wolfie

gfwolf
02-20-2006, 08:29 PM
I meant Kathy, not Kathie.
mea maxima culpa
Wolfie

KJSCL
02-20-2006, 09:05 PM
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati :p :p
BTW - legally you got it right the first time. It's Kathie but I haven't spelled it that way since I was 6!

PeggyB
02-20-2006, 10:26 PM
Well if he'd added in chocolate he would of course have had the complete answer.......

Now we're talking - bring on the chocolate, I can do without the VCR. Whorled Peas would be nice though... :D

I relate that only because in my experience:

good art is usually recognised as good art whatever the mediumBut recognized by whom? Other artists? Galleries? The buying public? and just because it is so recognized will it sell if it is a medium not deemed to be in the limelight for whatever reason? Even some Masters were not recognized in their lifetime (Van Gogh for instance), but today their work sells for millions of dollars. Then again there were some who were recognized in their day, and today their work languishes for lack of resales (Picasso's later work).

people who are good at marketing their work will do well whatever the quality of their work and whatever the mediumAh ha! Now you're talking. Marketing seems to be the key to the bank today as much as quality of work. Remember those sad large eyed children paintings of the late 60's and 70's? Or how about the "painter of light", Thomas Kincaid? I know Kincaid can paint very well in another style - I've seen the original paintings in Placerville CA - but it is his overly saccharine scenes that are so well marketed that he can laugh all the way to the bank. Not many artists have the time or ability to market as these two examples were/are, and there are others I could mention as well. I happen to know that it helps if one has a spouse with the ability and training to do it so the artist can stay home to paint in whatever medium they choose, and then have "limited" editon prints made so it doesn't matter if pastel dust, watercolor fading, or oil crazing is a problem. :)

So focus on the quality and the marketing and the rest will follow in due course.

I think I'd say focus on the quality so you can carry your head high, and find a good marketing agent to do the rest of the work. LOL

Peggy

Becky Foster
02-21-2006, 10:31 AM
It seems like the focus of this thread has shifted somewhat from whether and why the gender gap exists amongst the use of various mediums to the marketability of pastels...In my experience the medium of my choice (oil pastels) has had nothing to do with my ability to live off my art. I live where I grew up, in a small town where I know everybody. People come over, see my work on my walls and ask to commission a portrait. They don't know what my medium is most of the time and don't even seem to understand when I tell them. They just seem to see nice portraits that speak to them and they want one of themselves or loved ones. I haven't had to market, and I don't have an agent. But I do focus on my community, and I do live very simply and I don't dream of riches.

I think of the cave paintings and the very thought of marketing art makes me cringe. Those ancient people had no thought at all of sales when they created their art. I think if while creating art a human being feels a surge of power from something larger and greater than herself, then she is a true individual representing the whole of society in an endeavor to get outside of earthly existence - to find a way to rise above living and share it with everyone around her. I think artists are as necessary as farmers, teachers and doctors to a community, and as such need to be valued in such a way as to be able to maintain a livelihood, but the livelihood itself is so much smaller and less important than the contribution of beauty, deep understanding, observation and possibly even enlightenment to society.

Is this a feminine way of looking at an art career? Is it the fact that I'm a woman that I've chosen an obscure medium that must be framed behind glass, thereby reducing its value to collectors? Is it because I'm a woman that I can live by such philosophies, can dream of a simple life above all else, can overcome my ego and share myself and my work without any desire of fame or fortune?

I have children to provide for and I'm not an impractical woman. I know I'm lucky to have a talent for portraits - to fill an inherently valuable niche. I understand the importance of a steady income and a savings account. But under it all I live by faith and integrity. It seems to be working for me despite my oil pastels, or because of them.

-Becky

CindyW
02-21-2006, 11:55 AM
I relate that only because in my experience:
good art is usually recognised as good art whatever the medium
people who are good at marketing their work will do well whatever the quality of their work and whatever the medium:clap::clap:

I also just have my observances in the world around me and quite less experience with the gallery world compared to many others....but what about the massive non-auction sales of art? I researched a bit on what art mediums are selling and found only info on auction art. Individual art galleries across the world that sell all mediums aren't accounted for to give actual yearly info on what sells each year. And if this info exists, who would have this info? If there was actual info on actual sales across the entire art world, we'd have a better picture whether or not oils are king of the world. How huge an task this would be to collect such data.
And....I don't care really, if they are, I really don't. I just care that they are given this spot on the podium (olympics fever :) ) by word of mouth of individuals with just their experiences as fact. "I saw what I saw it so it must be for all".

CindyW
02-21-2006, 12:31 PM
It seems like the focus of this thread has shifted somewhat from whether and why the gender gap exists amongst the use of various mediums to the marketability of pastels...

Is this a feminine way of looking at an art career? Is it the fact that I'm a woman that I've chosen an obscure medium that must be framed behind glass, thereby reducing its value to collectors? Is it because I'm a woman that I can live by such philosophies, can dream of a simple life above all else, can overcome my ego and share myself and my work without any desire of fame or fortune?

I have children to provide for and I'm not an impractical woman. I know I'm lucky to have a talent for portraits - to fill an inherently valuable niche. I understand the importance of a steady income and a savings account. But under it all I live by faith and integrity. It seems to be working for me despite my oil pastels, or because of them.

-Becky

Becky, did you choose oil pastels because they were the best medium for you, a female and a mother, because they were non toxic and easy to pick up because you have children? or did you choose them for a love of the actual medium, the feel of them in your hand, the way they glided onto the paper surface?

I choose pastels for the gorgeous color and how it glows and lives flat on paper, tiny minimal reflections, and the immediate hands on pick up stick art, no mixing, no preparation needed for colors to be applied. I did not choose it because it is feminine and I am female and the end result needs to be protected like a mother would protect its child. I'd rather give all my artwork to everyone in the world rather than keep it as a precious child and I would LOVE it if pastels needed no glass, how much more accessible to the human eye they would live. I did not choose it because oils are too intimidating...I've tried them and didn't care for the feel of the brush, can't describe exactly why, except, maybe the brush is too far removed for me for color applied onto a surface. Is a brush ultimately male? I like my fingers closer to the application of color upon surface. I don't believe it has anything to do with pastels not being an agressive enough medium or tool driven enough for males. Are there no male pastelists? Do males not like gorgeous colors? Maybe they don't say "gorgeous"....is that a female adjective? There are examples of males and females in all mediums who practice all styles of expression in every medium that a blanket statement that a medium is female or male preordained just doesn't make sense. Maybe there are more male oil painters but does that make oils a male medium? What about the enormous numbers of women oil painters? Are they not female?
Ok, I'm done.
Hey, these are just questions and thoughts. I'm using my thinking cap and thanks for the thread so I can! I'm very interested in all thoughts going forth...hope there's more. :rolleyes:
Cindy

PeggyB
02-21-2006, 02:06 PM
Very well written Becky. I thought briefly about whether this was a "shift" in topic right after posting yesterday, but then decided that to market or not is also a part of being an artist. For many artists it is one "why" we choose one medium over another. Both men and women have their own reasons for painting, but some have more reason than others for needing to market more while trying to enjoy the process of creation. You are fortunate to live in a community that appreciates your talent even though they might not understand the medium. They like what they like, and there's nothing wrong about that. Hmmm - this gives me an idea for a new thread...

Peggy

It seems like the focus of this thread has shifted somewhat from whether and why the gender gap exists amongst the use of various mediums to the marketability of pastels...In my experience the medium of my choice (oil pastels) has had nothing to do with my ability to live off my art. I live where I grew up, in a small town where I know everybody. People come over, see my work on my walls and ask to commission a portrait. They don't know what my medium is most of the time and don't even seem to understand when I tell them. They just seem to see nice portraits that speak to them and they want one of themselves or loved ones. I haven't had to market, and I don't have an agent. But I do focus on my community, and I do live very simply and I don't dream of riches.

I think of the cave paintings and the very thought of marketing art makes me cringe. Those ancient people had no thought at all of sales when they created their art. I think if while creating art a human being feels a surge of power from something larger and greater than herself, then she is a true individual representing the whole of society in an endeavor to get outside of earthly existence - to find a way to rise above living and share it with everyone around her. I think artists are as necessary as farmers, teachers and doctors to a community, and as such need to be valued in such a way as to be able to maintain a livelihood, but the livelihood itself is so much smaller and less important than the contribution of beauty, deep understanding, observation and possibly even enlightenment to society.

Is this a feminine way of looking at an art career? Is it the fact that I'm a woman that I've chosen an obscure medium that must be framed behind glass, thereby reducing its value to collectors? Is it because I'm a woman that I can live by such philosophies, can dream of a simple life above all else, can overcome my ego and share myself and my work without any desire of fame or fortune?

I have children to provide for and I'm not an impractical woman. I know I'm lucky to have a talent for portraits - to fill an inherently valuable niche. I understand the importance of a steady income and a savings account. But under it all I live by faith and integrity. It seems to be working for me despite my oil pastels, or because of them.

-Becky

Becky Foster
02-21-2006, 05:18 PM
Becky, did you choose oil pastels because they were the best medium for you, a female and a mother, because they were non toxic and easy to pick up because you have children? or did you choose them for a love of the actual medium, the feel of them in your hand, the way they glided onto the paper surface?

Cindy

Hello Cindy...I chose oil pastels because 3 years ago I tried them for the first time and instantly connected to them - love at first smear you might say :wink2: I was always able to to draw but never took art very seriously, even with some pretty nice charcoals and pen&inks under my belt. I tried painting in school and hated it...hated the smells, the mess, the drippy paints, the mixing, the overwhelming array of brush possibilities. I pretty much gave up on using colors until I found oil pastels. I'm a very tactile person, I like to touch everything. As soon as I tried oil pastels I went out and bought a big canvas and smeared and rubbed the colors into it. I tried paper later but didn't like it much - I've been painting on ultrasmooth stretched canvas pretty much all along. I love the way oil pastels feel under my fingers. I love that it's like I'm really touching my subject - a 2D sculpture. I love that it has no smell - I get headaches so easy! And I love that I can keep it all in the middle of my kitchen without ever having to clean up. I also love being able to stop at a moments notice and come back days later and start exactly where I left off.

Thank you Peggy :wave: Can you tell I was a writer before I was a painter? I find my paintings to be a much safer way of expressing myself than sharing my opinions with words - I always seem to disagree with myself not long after I write something, either that or I'm completely misunderstood. Anyway, as easy as it is to passively market my portraits, my wildlife art is a much harder sell. Everybody wants a portrait, many people who wouldn't step foot into a gallery would be willing to spend good money on a painting of their kid or even a pet. But it takes a rare soul to spend a week's paycheck on a giant close-up of a toad :cool: So I do know the other side of it (especially since I'd much rather be spending my time on wildlife art than taking commissions). My wildlife art hangs in a gallery and I depend on marketing and publicity to attract buyers.

Take care,
-Becky

scall0way
02-23-2006, 11:49 AM
Oils have hundreds of years of exposure to the public on which they can capitalize. Even though, as several of you have pointed out, they have their own inherent problems, they are still believed to have a long history of survival that pastels have yet to achieve.

This really hit home with me today. On the bus to work I was reading my latest edition of Smithsonian magazine. I love this magazine for the wonderful eclectic mix of articles it contains, and I went directly from an article about the conservation efforts to preserve the Florida Everglades to one about the artist Edvard Munch entitled "Edvard Munch: Beyond 'The Scream.' 'The Scream' is the painting that most people who know of him at all would know, and many people even know the painting without having a clue who the artist is. So since the article was about Munch's life and other artwork it did have to discuss The Scream.

The article commented that Munch himself produced multiple copies of 'The Scream'. Specifically it says "He made two oil paintings, two pastels" and then goes on about which museums have owned and exhibited the oils, and the history of the two paintings - without ever once again mentioned the two pastel versions Munch did of the scream - who owns them, where they can be seen, whether or not they even exist!

Just reading the article caused me to sigh a bit in disappointment.

cherylleclairsommer
02-23-2006, 12:05 PM
I've noticed that the majority of the members of the local pastel society (about 95%) are women but when I go to openings at galleries, the artists are mainly men. I think men are taken more seriously in their art careers. Men also seem willing to work on the marketing side of art. Something women perhaps may want to think about.

At a life drawing class through a local community art organization, 7 of 8 participants were women. But the participation at a life drawing co-op at the Mpls College of Art and Design was mainly men.

Wolfie - If the women don't find you handsome, they might as well find you handy. Don't watch much Red Green but it is very funny and, yes philosophical.

PeggyB
02-23-2006, 02:51 PM
[quote=CindyW] I choose pastels for the gorgeous color and how it glows and lives flat on paper, tiny minimal reflections, and the immediate hands on pick up stick art, no mixing, no preparation needed for colors to be applied. I did not choose it because it is feminine and I am female and the end result needs to be protected like a mother would protect its child. I'd rather give all my artwork to everyone in the world rather than keep it as a precious child and I would LOVE it if pastels needed no glass, how much more accessible to the human eye they would live. I did not choose it because oils are too intimidating...I've tried them and didn't care for the feel of the brush, can't describe exactly why, except, maybe the brush is too far removed for me for color applied onto a surface. Is a brush ultimately male? I like my fingers closer to the application of color upon surface. I don't believe it has anything to do with pastels not being an agressive enough medium or tool driven enough for males.

Oh Cindy, you've managed to write for me many of my own reasons for preferring pastel and oil pastel over anything that must be applied with a brush. :) When I first began formal instruction it was of course with a brush - oil and acrylic. However, I always preferred the classes that used charcoal - life drawing, etc. There was something about the "feel" that as you said, can't be described. Then I took up calligraphy & did that commercially for a number of years, and although the "feel" was right, the exacting precision was a real bore for me! When my sister introduced me to pastel I knew it was the answer, and have never regretted not going back. Adding oil pastels this year has added to my enjoyment. In all this time, I've never bothered to analyze the "male - female" -ness of any medium, and still don't think that is an issue as to whether or not someone uses one or the other of any medium. Now the marketability of one over another is another issue, and I think relevant if one is having to make a living for one's family (traditionally a male role).


[quote=scall0way] The article commented that Munch himself produced multiple copies of 'The Scream'. Specifically it says "He made two oil paintings, two pastels" and then goes on about which museums have owned and exhibited the oils, and the history of the two paintings - without ever once again mentioned the two pastel versions Munch did of the scream - who owns them, where they can be seen, whether or not they even exist!

Just reading the article caused me to sigh a bit in disappointment.

Debbie, this just reinforces my postition that oils have "respect", and other mediums fall in line behind. Sad, but true. It won't change what medium most people choose to use, but if we want "respect" we will have to work harder on educating the public on the value of our favorite medium. If we are painting with pastels or oil pastels, and don't really care what the public thinks, that's ok too. I personally paint for my own pleasure first as I am fortunate enough to be a well "maintained" artist & wife :lol: (Oh! I just found this new icon and had to use it. Isn't it cute?!) However, I don't think one can complain then about the lack of respect or recognition.

Peggy

CindyW
02-23-2006, 04:53 PM
I've noticed that the majority of the members of the local pastel society (about 95%) are women but when I go to openings at galleries, the artists are mainly men. I think men are taken more seriously in their art careers. Men also seem willing to work on the marketing side of art. Something women perhaps may want to think about.

At a life drawing class through a local community art organization, 7 of 8 participants were women. But the participation at a life drawing co-op at the Mpls College of Art and Design was mainly men.


Hi Cheryl,
Here's a few thoughts about your comments, if I may....wow....this is alot to mull over and pour out in words. I'm glad this thread was started...thanks, Brad.
Maybe quite a few of the women you see at the local pastel society have families and this is a social as well as artistic outlet, so they can only allot little bits of time for this at this point in their lives. I don't know the numbers on female vs male childraising adults in the world but am thinking women still do the majority of the childcare. Not sure. And the numbers of full time male artists who have no children or have wives to take care of the children may be higher than full time women artists out there, perhaps because there are many more men who don't even think about or deal with the issue of whether to have a family while being an artist. (Again, would love to know the exact numbers). But women DO have to deal with this issue if they include a child in their lives. Can I, a woman, be a fulltime artist while having a child/children? Many have, many here, too. I don't like generalizing and I don't have anything to back these statements with. Most of us have grown up with the idea that traditionally men support the family, as Peggy mentioned earlier, and women raise the kids. But this thinking may be morphing nowadays as more and more women are working alongside men in relationships.
I think it's all when a person, male or female, is READY in their daily lives that they will market themselves. When a woman is ready to market their art, I don't believe they will say that it's not for them, they don't know how, or whatever reason you think a woman might give. I've seen just on this site a thread about blogging through which many women have now started their own art blogging sites that showcases their art.... and there were newbies just jumping head first into this avenue of marketing. I love this!

Take a look at this link below from my local art association's upcoming 06 schedule...it's mostly women who are showing for the 1 plus artist shows. The art association doesn't cater to women only, it's male and female.

When I went to Massachusetts College of Art, the classes I attended for 4 years were pretty much split down the middle, male/female. None of the students I schooled with cared one bit about gender ratios/slots. They loved art and the art they loved was theirs to create freely. And everyone believed 100% that they had the same shot as anyone there to make their art known in the art world, if that was their goal. I absolutely enjoyed being surrounded by this view as I shared it 100% myself. The only art major that had more males vs females in an unbalanced amount was architecture/industrial design. Don't know what the ratio is these days.

Peggy, I'm glad to give words to feelings! BeckyT's description was very interesting, too! "love at first smear you might say..." :clap:
Were you going to start a new thread? Just curious what it was going to be. Marketability?

Debbie, that was info not deemed important enough to mention in the article perhaps because that medium was considered his sketch work and not the finish? I don't know. And the world is getting smaller, our communication webs are connecting us to all corners of the world in seconds. Groups of individuals are growing larger online and gathering more and more to their groups. Perhaps with the passage of years and more and more artists joining this medium, the recognition will come with the help of our communication technology. We could write, email, phone the Smithsonian magazine author and inquire about the pastel works mentioned in the article. That's a small step to maybe give a writer of the arts a moment to pause about pastels, that they might be worthy of more words (and they ARE!) Maybe that idea?

This is all very interesting....everyone's experiences aren't the same but I love seeing all the differences discussed here. Comments certainly welcome to my thoughts! :wave:
Cindy
http://www.newburyportart.org/pages/calendar.html

Ron Biggs
02-23-2006, 04:58 PM
The article commented that Munch himself produced multiple copies of 'The Scream'. Specifically it says "He made two oil paintings, two pastels" and then goes on about which museums have owned and exhibited the oils, and the history of the two paintings - without ever once again mentioned the two pastel versions Munch did of the scream - who owns them, where they can be seen, whether or not they even exist!
Debbie, found this site for your info http://www.edvardmunch.info/edvard-munch/the-scream.asp (http://www.edvardmunch.info/edvard-munch/the-scream.asp)
Quoat.
Munch executed four versions of the painting, of which the most famous are a tempera on cardboard version (measuring 83.5 x 66 cm) formerly in the Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway, and an oil, tempera, and pastel on cardboard (measuring 91 x 73.5 cm) in the National Gallery, also in Oslo. A third version is also owned by the Munch Museum, and a fourth is owned by Petter Olsen. Munch later also translated the picture into a lithograph, so the image could be reproduced in reviews all over the world. However, one version is currently missing from the Munch Museum, having been stolen by art thieves in August 2004.

scall0way
02-23-2006, 05:32 PM
Interesting Ron. It appears the painting that was stolen and still missing is actually a tempera and pastel version. Seems like an unusual combo! In fact I'm not sure any of his versions were "oil" paintings just based on my quick google after seeing your comment. Probably the article's author just assumed they should be. :D

PeggyB
02-23-2006, 11:44 PM
Hi Cheryl,
Peggy, Were you going to start a new thread? Just curious what it was going to be. Marketability?

Well that's another good topic, but I've made it slightly different. It is titled "Why Do You Paint?", but includes why have you chosen one medium over another and several other ideas that will hopefully spark some dialogue. You should have probably written it since you're so good with words! :thumbsup: (I'm fascinated with the new icons! :heart: )

Peggy

Kathryn Wilson
02-24-2006, 12:28 AM
Okay, what happened to the original topic? The about male or female pastelists???????

PeggyB
02-24-2006, 02:39 AM
Sorry Kat, the topic has strayed in and out during the postings, but it appears that people are still voting because the numbers keep increasing every time I look at the polling bars. I think they are voting, but not posting comments beyond that.

Peggy

Donna A
02-25-2006, 10:17 PM
I'm wondering if, since there are soooo many more women who are painting, if you took this same pole in oil or acrylic, if it would not come out the same.

A friend asked me yesterday if there had ever been a pole or reseach done on how many painters or wish-they-would-begin-painting-people out there and replied I'd never heard of one. He said there had been research done on how many people there were "out there" who made some kind of music or wish-they-would-begin-making-music-----and the numbers were so drastically high (something around 80%) that that is why Apple brought out its Garage Band software to include on the Mac computers.

Anyone ever heard of just how many people---or what percentage of the population paint or want to begin? Just curious.

In painting, it does seem like there are always far more women in the classes or workshops than there are men----in any medium. Take good care! Donna ;-}

dlake
02-25-2006, 10:27 PM
Hey Donna. I'm from Kansas City too. Grew up there.
Anyway, I've noticed in the general population of people who always say they wish they could draw or paint. I think many, many people in general want to or think about it.
diane

artc
02-25-2006, 10:40 PM
Well, I didn't vote on this poll...because I've always considered myself primarily an oil painter, even tho I haven't done any oils in 16 months
or so....been fooling around with pastels on/off past 5 or 6 years...only in the past 6 months or so have I gotten seriously interested in pastels.
AND....I have to confess....the one and only painting I ever sold was done in oils....so there......hehehehehehe:lol: .......Art

dlake
02-26-2006, 12:40 PM
Do you prefer Oils?? I just don't have the patience for oils so, I did acrylics. But, I like pastels because I am essentially a draftsman-drawing.

Tressa
03-05-2006, 09:14 PM
Pretty rare for a man to be in one of my classes, but it DOES happen..
Tres

Eclectic_Asylum
03-12-2006, 01:16 AM
Well I'm new around here and this has been a long and interesting read.

As most people have pointed out social expectations of gender roles influence the choice of medium. Then there is the matter of hobby and profession. Men are socialized to be career oriented and when it comes to income painting is the way to go (illustrated by the male pastelists who produce oils as well).

The reason I choose pastel as a medium of choice is because it was my first medium. I guess my mother needed a break when I was a child because I spent most of my time in the local art studio working in pastels and doing underpainting/drafting for different artists. As a male child art was not something that was rewarded or re-inforced. Sports, grades, science, and math were rewarded for their competetive nature and career orientation. Until quite recently art was never anything I considered for a career.

Along with another subject as a man I've never taken a class beyond working in the studio up to that age of 10. I don't even get along with other artists and have always been an outsider. Most of the work I have ever done ends up in the trash because I do it on impulse and never properly take care of it. I used to just get the urge and unroll a 12 ft long sheet from a canson roll, tack it to the wall and work on it for 3 days. It would hang there until it smeared or end up in a roll that would be crushed.

The reason I still choose pastels is because I have the attention span of a knat. If I can't finish a work before my impulse runs out then it will never get finished. For me the surest way to kill an impulse its to dig out paints and start mixing. Not to mention its too expensive ruining brushes because they sit in water or terp until it evaporates.

Jason

CindyW
03-22-2006, 10:46 AM
I just received "Pure Color The Best of Pastel" in the mail and want to congratulate Deborah and Jackie on their beautiful work included in this publication.
After poring over all the gorgeous and masterful work in the book, I was curious to the gender count so I counted the male/female numbers of artists in the book. It seems this publication tried to, just about almost, give both genders an even representation and I was quite pleasantly surprised, but at the same time, hopeful it would have been so. There are just about 10 more women than men (not sure of some of the names whether female or male). I have the utmost respect for a publication that gives both genders an even shake so I can then drop that underlying thought in my head and go back to just enjoying the beautiful work submitted by current respected pastelists.
Cindy

DFGray
03-26-2006, 05:58 PM
Hi
on the gender topic...
I recently met an artist working through a art marketing company
who changes name and gender for a certain group of images
there is a made up bio, etc
just to sell,
drives me crazy!

Khadres
03-27-2006, 12:13 AM
The entire marketing schtick drives me buggy! Whatever happened to the artist/writer/craftsman creating the magic and someone else more gifted in such things selling it? I wasn't even that successful in selling Girl Scout Cookies!

PeggyB
04-02-2006, 01:57 AM
The entire marketing schtick drives me buggy! Whatever happened to the artist/writer/craftsman creating the magic and someone else more gifted in such things selling it? I wasn't even that successful in selling Girl Scout Cookies!

:lol: :lol: :lol: Sooz you make me laugh, but I agree with you. I too hated selling Girl Scout Cookies and all the other things the schools would have us or our children sell. Very few artists are really good at marketing. It is sooo - left brain! :eek: and boring!

Peggy

Hankster
04-03-2006, 04:33 PM
Hi –

I just noticed this thread and voted.

I’m a pre-beginner to pastels, trying to learn to work with them over the past year and a half or so.

A bit of background: doing art coincided with retirement – finally being able to devote larger chunks of time to the process. Weekend photography was my “visual” outlet for many decades. But it got the point where I could not capture in photographs what excited me about the scene.

After deciding to bite the bullet and take up “painting” of some sort, I chatted with an amateur artist friend of mine. He is now retired from being a bio-chemist cancer researcher. When it comes to art, he never met a medium he didn’t like. His chemistry background and lab skills allow him to pretty much make what he pleases if he doesn’t want to buy things “ready made.” When it came to pastels, he of course made his own.

His advice to me was to go with pastels. His reason being that my allergies would preclude me from doing oils, and that the other “liquid” media were more of a bother to start with, such as water color. Pastels would give me the option of drawing or painting. There would be virtually no set up or clean up.

I admit to an initial moment of surprise when he said pastels, but I just went out and bought a set of Nupastels, some Canson MiTientes paper.

New Mexico is now my home, and I find the local pastel society to be a marvelous resource. I’ve taken lessons with several local artists, who have all been outstanding teachers!

I paint for myself and (fortunately) don’t have to earn a living from it.

Hank

PeggyB
04-03-2006, 09:56 PM
Welcome Hank. You do indeed have some marvelous pastel teachers in your area. I look forward to seeing some of your work in the pastel studio.

Peggy

bluefish
04-03-2006, 10:57 PM
Marketing 101:

Marketing 101 should be #1 course for all propective artist - especially in today's economic climate.

" NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL SOMEONE SELLS SOMETHING!"

lwood
07-10-2006, 12:53 PM
I'm not sure Pastel or the medium has anything to do with the question. I think there are more female artists in general. It has to do with lifestyle differences more than anything (in my opinion).

prettytulips
07-20-2006, 01:01 AM
Someone mentioned recently that statistically men are geared genetically more towards values and women more towards color. That is why you see young men who love to draw in ink and pencil and leave the colors out, but you will see girls/women lean towards picking up color first and learning about value last. I think it's right on the money. However, I think alot of men do oil paint...

Susan Borgas
08-11-2006, 09:30 AM
I didn’t take up pastels because I am female but because the medium suited my technique that I use as an oil painter. I hate waiting for paint to try between layers; pastels allow me to continue onto the next layer without waiting for paint to dry. Have to admit though I am totally hooked on pastels and now is my preferred medium to work with..... luuuuv that eye candy! :D

Mary Brigid
09-19-2006, 12:41 PM
This thread has been a fantastic read. Very interesting, informative and also amusing. I love pastels. Not because I am female. I think If I was male with the same personality (is that Possible?) i would still love pastels.
I am an impatient person.... so, won't wait for the oil to dry.
I am not very neat and can be quiet careless. I always leap before I look....so, Watercolours were a disaster.
I am not a good drawer.... so pen and ink and charcoal or not for me.
I will avoid extra work where possible... so acrylics are out. would have to wash brushes and store them the right way up!
But with pastels... I can shape images with the pastel stick and my mucky fingers. I don't have to try on a pallette to see if I have the right colour. It just goes on the paper and if I choose the wrong colour I work over it fine. ( So far) with out disasters. I just have to wash my hands and tip the pastels back in their boxes when done.....Lovely

skywatcher
09-19-2006, 03:00 PM
My art group in the UK is actually more men than women; about 7 to 2 in an average meeting. I think all are over retirement-age except me, so I'm the baby. These are day-classes too. Pastel is very popular, almost everyone in the group uses them to some extent. One or two are very good painters with those oil-bars.
The two female members (me and one other) prefer oils and soft pastels to watercolours; having looked at the men's works in pastels, they definitely have a stronger look about them, in the way the pastel is applied...all in the hands, I guess.

makinart
09-20-2006, 10:21 PM
Hi all,
There were many women in my pastel workshops. A good portion of them said that they had raised their families it was now their turn. They were intensely serious, and for the majority, this was not going to be a fun passing of time. The ladies asked questions in art that were wonderfully complex and my answers had to be to the point and complete. The studios were light hearted and fun, (the only way I'd work), but filled with solid intent. I will say that in general the ladies had sharper minds than me, (something that was probably obvious to them but they never, ever pressed the point. It did keep my thinking agile and self esteme intact.)
A number of those ladies eventually went on to careers in the arts.
Harley

DAK723
11-09-2006, 11:20 PM
Technically, I probably shouldn't have voted, since I am not really "primarily" a pastel artist, but I voted because pastel is - by far- the medium I ENJOY most.

Don

sjb
11-12-2006, 02:06 AM
I voted male, but I asked my wife first. :rolleyes:

I think I've been suppressing my artistic side for a long time. It has been the birth and development of my daughter that has encouraged me to open my eyes a bit and take some steps in different directions.

One day I decided I'd like to try art. I'd drawn with pencil as a boy (not very well) and I'd watched a bunch of Bob Ross TV shows. I chose pastels after reading stuff on the Internet about how to get started with various mediums. Knowing me, I wouldn't be able to stick with oil paints because there is too much setup and cleanup. I'd rather just start working and then clean up quickly. I wouldn't be able to work in watercolour, because it looks like you need to plan ahead. Pastels let you slowly work up and experiment a bit more. Acrylics were a possibility, but my hands shake and actually being able to place my pastel against the support helps compared to using a brush. I also picked up a set of drawing pencils and gave them a try, but I really love colour.

Are pastellists disproportionately women? Could be. I don't care that much. You all seem (from your words) to be good people and certainly give me lots of art experiments to look at. I was talking to my dad and mentioned this thread and that the women were outnumbering the men 2:1. He pointed out that he does needlepoint and cross stitch and that he'd probably be the only guy in that forum! :lol:

Simon

willG
12-02-2006, 11:56 AM
I,m male, from the north of England where men are men and I think Pastels are the greatest thing since sliced bread, so what does that prove. I would consider a full 70 piece set of quality soft pastels the perfect gift if anyones interested. I havn't the time to get into the deeper points raised , but they are interesting I must say ,
Regards, Will

dbjs
01-20-2007, 05:58 AM
As for myself. I prefer pastel because I haven't the patience to wait for other mediums to dry. Before I used pastel it was acrylic - another fast drying medium. However, I prefer the pastel because I don't have to wonder what the color will look like when it is dry. It's also a lot easier for me to clean up - or leave the studio with work in progress and pick it up again later without having to get out brushes, turps, water, etc... Colored pencils don't have enough vibrance for me, and I don't like "fussing" as it seems the CP artists need to do. I've always loved drawing, and pastel is the closest thing to colored drawing that I enjoy.


I'm Female, and I SO agree with the quote here. :lol: Pastels are my favorite no mater what other mediums I try, nothing compares to it. :)

wagram
02-08-2007, 06:13 AM
Hi
I'm male, started with pastels because they could come out at night and be put away with no reminders to my wife that I'd been painting the night before.

My technique now uses a lot of fixative and I do have to waite between coates, but sometimes exploit the wet for a drag or smear effect. I do have to worry about what the colour will be when it dries but painting with my fingers is just great.

Cheers
Neil

flyfisherflyfisher1
04-20-2007, 11:54 AM
Male....Love Art just started Pastels, Can't get enough. Still trying to find
my style and not fill up the tooth.
Pete

Pabs
06-30-2007, 09:11 AM
Put Pabs in on the male list. That makes, er ......... another one.
Regards,
Pabs

DFGray
06-30-2007, 12:56 PM
Hi
received comfirmation of getting in a pastel show this summer
40 accepted, 35 female-5 male
one I can't tell gender by the name
we males are not doing too well in the pastel war of sexes

PeggyB
06-30-2007, 01:11 PM
Hi
received comfirmation of getting in a pastel show this summer
40 accepted, 35 female-5 male
one I can't tell gender by the name
we males are not doing too well in the pastel war of sexes

However, in the "highly successful at making a living on your art" department I can think of more male pastelists than female pastelists who are doing so. Just think of the number of men who are well known on the workshop circuit as compared to women. Then think about those who routinely sell their paintings in the $1000 + range. I'm not saying there arent' women who do so, but rather I can think of more men who do so. In this matter I'd say men are more than holding their own.

Peggy

PS Almost forgot - congratulations on the show. Which one is it? :clap:

DFGray
06-30-2007, 01:49 PM
Hi Peggy,
an organization called Pastel Artists Canada
holding "Purely Pastel"
Artspring
100 Jackson Ave
Salt Spring Island B C
Aug 8 thru 28th 10 - 5

as for the money and workshop thing
Mature male artists are required to make money
it's how territory is marked

PeggyB
06-30-2007, 02:22 PM
Hi Peggy,
an organization called Pastel Artists Canada
holding "Purely Pastel"
Artspring
100 Jackson Ave
Salt Spring Island B C
Aug 8 thru 28th 10 - 5

as for the money and workshop thing
Mature male artists are required to make money
it's how territory is marked

I thought that might be the one. I know several of the members - very good painters - both male and female! :)
If I wasn't going to be in Minnesota when the show opens, I'd be driving up there to celebrate with everyone. Perhaps I can make it later in the month.

Peggy

DFGray
06-30-2007, 02:48 PM
Hi Peggy
I have
'Pastels in the Country'
an annual open studio event
August 11 and 12
we are about 1/2 way up Vancouver Island
but you are welcome to come by anytime
an artist event here also
'Grand Prix d' Art'
July 28th

PeggyB
07-01-2007, 01:13 PM
Hi Peggy
I have
'Pastels in the Country'
an annual open studio event
August 11 and 12
we are about 1/2 way up Vancouver Island
but you are welcome to come by anytime
an artist event here also
'Grand Prix d' Art'
July 28th

Well double darn! I'm gone from Aug 7 - 14. Going to help my favorite cousin celebrate her 60th bi'day on Aug 11....

Might have to consider the Grand Prix d'Art though. Where does that take place? I might get some other Washingtonians to come to that too.

Peggy

DFGray
07-03-2007, 11:46 AM
Hi Peggy
The 14th annual Grand Prix d'Art will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2007. Grand Prix d'Art is a "race"; competing artists must complete a work of art “en plein air” in the space of three hours. This year each artist will be assigned a zone in the picturesque town of Qualicum Beach by lottery. Prior to the event, local businesses are approached to sponsor an artist. Those sponsoring businesses will be in the designated zones from which the artist must work. The work must represent or be inspired by some thing or person that is visible from the assigned location. Most locations are within walking distance of The Old School House.



The finished work must be in presentation condition, titled and priced for sale no later than one hour after completion. A panel of three judges then determines the winners of the contest. An Artist Meal at the end of the event will be provided; companion meals may be purchased for $10.00. Prizes to be announced.

Schedule:



10:00 Registration and site selection



10:45 Proceed to site.



11:00 When Town Clock strikes 11:00 pm - START YOUR PAINTING



2:00 When Town Clock strikes 2:00 pm - STOP YOUR PAINTING,

return to the Old School House for framing and hanging of pictures.

Note: You may return to the Old School House at any time after you are finished your work.



Deadline: 2:15 - you must have returned to the Old School House.



Work is to be framed and priced for the 3:00 pm judging.

No touch ups allowed.



3:00 Judging commences when the hanging is completed.

An Artist Meal will be served at 3:00. Spouses and friends may join you for the meal.

(Companion Meal: $10.00 fee should be paid when you register so we know the numbers. )



4:00 Award Presentation





Artists


· At the Grand Prix d’ Art, the work must represent or be inspired by some thing or person visible from the assigned location. We encourage artists to use their imagination when it comes to subject matter.



· Grand Prix monitors will be around to offer any assistance during the day.



· The Old School House Arts Centre retains 30% commission on the sale of any piece. Unsold paintings must be picked up at TOSH by 4:30pm Sunday, August 13th, 2005. Please make arrangements to have your work either picked up on this date or shipped to you collect.





We hope that you are to make plans to participate in the Grand Prix d'Art .





We encourage you to return your entry form as soon as possible to help us with our planning. Registration can be made by phone, fax, mail or e-mail.



The Old School House Arts Centre
250-752-6133 fax 250-752-2600

Box 791-122 Fern Rd.

Qualicum Beach, B.C V9K 1T2

[email protected]

www.theoldschoolhouse.org

artists come and stay at our place and there is alot of painting and party-ing over the weekend

Snowbound
07-05-2007, 09:42 AM
On my trip west to visit gazillion relatives, I got over to Lopez Island, the "family island" to visit one of my brothers and his wife. Other brother lives on the mainland. I spent half my time going to galleries and museums with my sister-in-law. Now you guys are telling me about all these other neats things.

Gotta move back. Might have to win the lottery, though. <sigh>

Dayle Ann

PeggyB
07-10-2007, 02:19 AM
On my trip west to visit gazillion relatives, I got over to Lopez Island, the "family island" to visit one of my brothers and his wife. Other brother lives on the mainland. I spent half my time going to galleries and museums with my sister-in-law. Now you guys are telling me about all these other neats things.

Gotta move back. Might have to win the lottery, though. <sigh>

Dayle Ann

Dayle Ann we'd love to see you back here. :) Better warn you though, the temperature tomorrow is supposed to hit 90 or better, and you may recall that's pretty darn unusual for this time of year in the NorhtWET! and yes, the lottery may be necessary for a comfortable lifesyle here. So glad we moved here almost 30 years ago or we'd never afford it now!
Peggy

GMGen
08-10-2007, 11:40 AM
male
started b/c Degas' favorite medium
Millet did some lovely ones, as did Monet, and many others
Odilon Redon is one of my all-time favorite artists, his pastels are among his best works
I like what can be done with pastels, and I will be able to produce a higher volume of work faster, and turn what I like most into oil paintings. I love pastels, but they are far from my only medium. Just my latest

Yusuke
08-22-2007, 12:31 AM
I think I should have posted here.. I am a male. I found my name is sometimes confusing whether I'm a man or woman, to non-japanese people (most of you all!).:D

WC Lee
11-09-2007, 01:35 PM
Add another male to the list :) I prefer to use pastels because it doesn't take as much time to clean up :D but I also like oils too but I got a tendency to be too impatient since I like doing glazes.

Phil Coleman
11-10-2007, 01:40 PM
Yes male here also! A very tactile medium and ever so forgiving, Can be bright and garish or subdued and subtle. The individual pastelist can use this in any way they wish and there is no drying time which needs to be taken into consideration! Also combines well with other mediums!
The negatives of this medium appear to be the cost, especially when using those of a reputable brand or brands since some ranges have in excess of 500 different shades and we all desire to own other brands of pastels which have a different degree of hardness also.

Susn
11-11-2007, 12:17 PM
Hello
from another female

Fabulous topic. I have just started with soft pastels, tried other medium but nothing clicked, tried pastels and felt as though I actually created a piece of art. About to try my new pan pastels : ),

Pastels, I have learned are not popular with any group in this area because most people find them too dusty/ dirty.

A friend belongs to an artgroup (watercolours and acrylics) where there are 20 women and 3 men. They paint mainly flowers and still life. Perhaps women feel more comfortable joining art groups and taking classes, it may be the subjects being painted are not to the taste of many males.

Just a thought

Su

Colorix
11-11-2007, 02:27 PM
Definitely female. In all evening art-classes I've taken (amateur level), -- drawing, oils, portraiture -- there is about one male per nine to ten women.

Charlie

PeggyB
11-11-2007, 03:36 PM
In all the years I've taught art classes - going on 30 years - it doesn't seem to make any difference the medium, time of day or the time of year, I very rarely have more than one male student per session - if that. The exception is in children's art. Although most children are girls, there's usually several boys in the mixture as well. I wonder why men don't continue in art as often as women do even if for pleasure.
Peggy

iliopus
11-12-2007, 10:12 AM
The latest poll with over 200 now is showing about 2/3 female and 1/3 male. Well, it's male at my house! Although, my wife did encourage me to get into painting. What I've noticed is there are lots of ladies present at courses and workshops. Shows are different, sometimes there are a lot of men, sometimes more women.

ElsieH
11-29-2007, 09:12 AM
:wave: Good morning Fellow Pastelists of both sorts!
I know that for many years, I gravitated to graphite, colored pencils and then oil pastel and soft pastel, because I had only short chunks of time to work.
I realize that these days, Dads are equal partners in the childcare, household nitty gritty, but not so always.
My mother was a artist and worked in oils. Poor thing had to sandwich her painting between all the other "female" chores of the day. Her studio was our dinning room table, which was used for dinner every evening.
This kept me away from much painting over the years as I remembered the packing up and putting away routine.
Being a sort of "I want it all" gal, for 43 years I was a full-time elementary school teacher, mom, wife, violinist, ....oh, yes, I almost forgot: artist.
I am blessed with a terrific Life-Mate Hubby and he has always shared all the "family work load". But, amidst all of this and, oh, I forgot...gradstudent, too...I worked in "quick to pack up" media...not that soft pastel is "neat and tidy" to work with. But, pastel was the last to add to my list of media for that reason. After retirement from teaching 3 years ago, I added watercolor. Now I have a mini-studio and time chunks.
Being 68 years old, I remember the era of "serious artists" paint in oil,
dabbling ladies use watercolor and such.....!
While it may be true that there are many more women pastelists in general, but when I look at the greats out there who are presenting workshops and acknowledged as current teaching masters, there are a fair number of each.
I think right off of Handell, Rohm, McKinley etc. But, I can match them almost one to one with outstanding female pastelist teacher/masters.
Now about this workshop you're taking....go in there and learn all you can and come out adding to the "Manly Art of Pastel" that is shared by the "Womenly Art of Pastel"! :lol: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Rusla
01-03-2008, 11:18 PM
Hi all, I am another of the female pastelists. I love the control and messiness of pastels (the chalks). My first love in pastels has been oils, I find them versitile and I like the control issue.

I tried watercolours and hated them because there was no control, dried to fast. This year I will try the interactive Acrylics. I have tried graphite, did not like them either as it was too messy and smudged everywhere. My first love will always be pastels.

Randi-Lee

Dennis Griffith
01-31-2008, 01:46 AM
Hi, I just find pastels simple to use. Hardly any mess to clean up, no complacted mixing to get that perfect color. The colors you put down is the color you get. No worring about drying darker or lighter. Clean up is a snap, you dont have to worry about paint drying on your brush I.E. oil paints. Much easier to cary on a plane, since your not carring flamables.

Peter-MN
01-31-2008, 12:37 PM
Hi Brad,

I wouldn't say it's my primary medium but I do love the workability of
Pastels. I have posted work here in the past and will be doing it again soon.

You are not alone !!!!!!

Peter-MN

IdahoHat
04-01-2008, 01:52 PM
:heart: Female here and I agree with Kathy on Page 1 regarding the immediacy of the pastels. No waiting for something to dry and the ease and thrill of putting down lots of color. The mess doesn't bother me since the cleanup only requires soapy water and I'm not allergic to the dust. My only complaint is the expense of good framing with the good glass, etc. I also do acrylics and oil, but my love is pastel. :heart: :heart: I just love it.

LoveFaces
04-01-2008, 06:17 PM
I am primarily a pastel artist, though I do paint in oils as well. I prefer drawing to painting generally, though my pastels are more like paintings than drawings. (hope that made sense). About 5 years ago I got into pastels mainly because I had been diagnosed with ms 2 years before that. At first it didn't seem to matter, but as I got worse it mattered a lot and I found that too often I was having oil paints dry out and go to waste whereas before I would have painted daily, or almost everyday until it was finished. I no longer could predict how I would feel from one minute to the next, let alone day to day. The other problem was that sometimes my hands would get so shaky and weak and my legs would be giving out but I was still committed to cleaning up those expensive Kolinsky brushes. Once I started with pastels, I fell in love :D I could have all the same lovely painterly effects as oils and my supplies don't hate me if I have to leave them alone for a little while. A piece of glassine to protect it from dust and I don't have to worry about it. I still paint a few oil paintings a year, but it is a lot more difficult than it used to be. (I taught my non-artist husband how to clean brushes! :lol: lol, there's a solution to everything)

Tiapan
04-06-2008, 10:17 AM
Hi Everybody
I have just voted,now I am wondering wether I am a Pastellist or not as I only use pastel pencils,I have never touched soft pastels.

Bill

springbaby
04-07-2008, 07:52 AM
Hello all!
I have just read through this wonderful thread! Definitely female and very new to the medium. Not sure I should have voted because I don't know whether I consider myself an artist. I think of myself as a student of art. I discovered pastels after a community class on drawing and painting (in acrylics). I have never liked acrylics so I started searching in our small town for something else to use. I had some watercolors on hand but these seemed more demanding to begin with. I bought some pastel sticks and someone asked me why I would work in 'chalk'! I then went to the city and bought what was available - Gallery pastels. Now I have ordered some Nupastels and Sminckes (?). It isn't just in art classes that women outnumber men. In my profession (psychology), there are now many more women than men in graduate school as well as undergraduate classes. However, I think we would find more men in private practice than women. Certainly, in psychology, it is men who offer workshops, write books, etc. There have been a number of gender experiments done in psychology. One of them is that people will vote for the speech they 'think' is written by a man over one they thought was written by a woman. I think that the bottom line when it comes to men and women with anything is that for centuries, women have carried the burden of the daily care of home and children. Men operated in the public realm. It is only in this century that women have left their homes in droves and sought higher education and careers. It will take some time for us to catch up. I wonder how many women on the site are retired vs. women who are of childbearing years or career age? Or men for that matter? Women have tended to come to careers (maybe including art) later in life after children were raised. Men usually follow the traditional pattern of studies, careers, family. This means that they start earlier. Women are just catching up and men have already established their persona in art.
As far as art in galleries...at Christmas I visited Toronto and spent several days touring art galleries. I did not see one single pastel painting! I was so disappointed! I think that 'collectors' have set the standard and done so traditionally because of the 'Masters'! It certainly isn't because oils are necessarily more appealing!
When I first visited this site, I came across a thread that asked whether one could tell male from female produced art! Guess what? We couldn't! So keep painting everyone!

Gail

Scottyarthur
06-28-2008, 10:39 AM
Well last time I checked I was male :D :lol:. I used to be a oil painter but seems these day I have a new love hope the wife doesn't get jealous :eek: ,but i am attached to these pastels :clap:.

plindley
07-17-2008, 12:25 PM
According to what I can see there are 320 voters (!!!!) on this poll. Or at least there have been 320 hits on the buttons. It is about 1/3 male which I find astonishing because I would have estimated a maximum of 15% male. Having said that I am taking a foundation drawing class (charcoal only allowed) at the local art college and the class is 50/50 m/f. They are also staggeringly young..... !

fio44
07-17-2008, 04:42 PM
According to what I can see there are 320 voters (!!!!) on this poll. Or at least there have been 320 hits on the buttons. It is about 1/3 male which I find astonishing because I would have estimated a maximum of 15% male. Having said that I am taking a foundation drawing class (charcoal only allowed) at the local art college and the class is 50/50 m/f. They are also staggeringly young..... !

Hi Patricia,

Is the class a credit course? The number of young folks may be taking the class because it's part of their curriculum and they either couldn't get into an earlier class or they're trying to get ahead. In any case, enjoy the class!

Semele
07-27-2008, 02:53 PM
Female, here. I went to college for art and found that the ratio in most of the mediums was darn close to 50/50. In general, I'd say that painting (no particular medium) and printmaking averaged the most males, but the whole school contained slightly more females on average (the music department being the exception). There was no pastel class, of course, but there were drawing courses (where only monochrome mediums -- graphite, charcoal, ink -- were used), which were the closest to being evenly divided, but those were required regardless of one's focus (even future photographers had to do two years of drawing).

I've never taken a class outside school, but it doesn't surprise me that they involve mostly females. I think that the male-heavy oil painting class mentioned in the beginning of this thread was an anomaly.

As for why I chose pastel over the other mediums, I have similar answers to everyone else -- vibrancy of color, immediacy, intimacy, etc. I painted in both acrylics and oils in school, and I never could come to terms with the setup and cleanup issues. In a 4-hour lab, I swear that I spent 1/2 hour setting up, 1/2 hour mixing colors, and 1/2 hour cleaning up. That adds up! Add to that the fact that we were expected to stretch canvases (after cutting the stretcher bars), and I'm amazed that I ever got anything done. Plus, try carrying a wet oil painting home on the bus to get more work done after hours -- I just dare you to try!

Nope, pastels, all the way. I may be limiting myself, but I knew the first time I used pastels that the only reason I would ever touch another wet medium would be for a simple underpainting before moving on to the real stuff. If I'm ever successful as a pastellist but have difficulty convincing galleries and others that I'm a serious artist because I don't paint in oils or acrylics -- tough! It'll only ever be pastels for me!

christinemlr
12-13-2008, 08:43 AM
Goodnes this has got a response, haven't had time to read all posts, but I was wondering, (there are some that could want to shoot me for saying this) Are women attracted by those beautiful pastel coloursmore than men? Someone somwhere here wrote that opening a new box of pastels beat opening a box of gems! Are men drawn to the structure and mechanics of art more and find that oil paint and and all the accoutrements answer this response.
Having just got into learning the beauty of how pastels can be handled - (and yes I was attracted by the colours in the box) - Perhaps a lot of men are missing out on the amazing qualities of the medium. Maybe they're even put off by the pretty colours.

But has anyone mention Edgar DEGAS yet?

Xina

robertsloan2
12-13-2008, 01:21 PM
Charlie mentioned in Colourful Still Life that there is a tendency for men to be more aware of value and women to be more aware of color. It leaves me wondering if there's a slight difference in eyesight -- the proportion of rods or cones in the eye leading women to be able to distinguish colors -- or whether it's cultural and women's language lends itself to being able to define colors more easily.

It came up in a discussion of color terms. I'm a man but always liked color, and also was dedicated to being a writer from a very young age. I loved weird words and some of the color names like Vermilion and Viridian were fascinating. (It took me the longest time to memorize which was the red-orange and which the blue-green.)

I did not really notice any preponderance of female pastelists till recently though. When I started doing pastels, I was in New Orleans and gravitated to the Jackson Square painters. Many more Jackson Square women were doing watercolors, though the exceptions were brilliant pastelists, oil painters etc. Most of the pastelists were wiry old men shoving giant wooden carts with their setups over the cobbled streets of the French Quarter into the Square.

It took a lot of muscle to be a Jackson Square pastelist because most armed themselves with 250 or 525 color Sennelier sets and wooden carts with tractor wheels and painting racks and lots of furniture inside it. Some of those carts were extremely clever. Some of those carts weighed about 400 pounds too. My setup was small compared to theirs because I knew I had a bad back, but even 75lb of stuff including framed paintings was enough that I eventually crashed my health and couldn't do it any more.

Many of those men were in their seventies or eighties. They were strong, wiry, lively and fun to hang around. About half the older ones actually wore the kind of berets artists wear in cartoons. Some of them were doing both oils and pastels and had both mediums in their setups. Thus the need for vertical wet-painting racks inside the carts.

The proportion now that I just put my gender on the list isn't quite two to one. Women outnumber men, but not too badly.

There is one thing I have noticed -- women seem to have a much keener sense of smell than men in my experience. I think it's possible the stinky solvents and mediums used in oil painting are annoying to women who like to smell pleasant things. Pastel dust doesn't have an odor. If the artist puts a scented oil candle in her studio she'll actually be able to enjoy the scent.

One thing that I can say over decades of hanging out with artists in many mediums is that a tendency to keep the studio clean and spotless or creatively messy is individual, not gendered. Women are just as likely to have the Creatively Messy studio where no one else could find anything and you have to watch your feet crossing the floor. Men are just as likely to have the spotless everything-in-its-place creative atmosphere as women who like cleanliness are. That's become completely genderless. It's just personality.

Every male pastelist I knew in New Orleans was as color-crazy as the women pastelists. There used to be a branch of Dixie Art Supply right on Jackson Square, and it supported itself primarily by selling Senneliers and big sets of Senneliers to Jackson Square pastelists. They put out the racks of colors and no one I knew could resist that display.

Even artists who already had the giant set would just... pause by it on the way out and linger over the color ranges. I watched them. It didn't matter that most of what needed replacing was assorted skin tone browns and brown tints. Their eyes and often hands would drift toward the reds and blues and the strong colors, and about half the time they'd pick up an extra stick or two of those anyway.

I think what's happened is that art as a profession has opened up to both sexes completely, that gender discrimination is dead. The big thing about being an Artist is being able to be yourself and do what you want to do. Breaking conventions and social expectations is part of the public perception of any artist.

The famous pastelists of the past, Degas and Monet and all, most were men because there was a lot of sexism, and the Mary Cassatts were relatively rare. But I don't think it'll turn around to where men don't do pastels any more. We're holding our own at a bit more than a third -- it's not as far from fifty-fifty as all that.

It's funny about pastel colours though. Just mention that without this specific context and most people will imagine a full spectrum range of delicate light tints. So that might put off a few high school kids and college guys who are insecure about their masculinity... because they don't quite get it yet that having a full range of tints as well as masstones and shades is the glorious freedom to create strong values.

Opening a box of pastels is a lot like opening a box of gems. More, because they're the tools to create gems or swamp paintings or sabertooth tigers or anything I want, to bring the swamps of Venus to vibrant life or throw myself back into the nineteenth century and open a window to wild places. I think there is something primal, human and instinctive about creating art, that human beings across all cultures like to decorate and depict what's important to them.

That's always filtered by culture. Artists have a special status in Western culture though. We get more social freedom than many other professions. It's okay to be different, to be passionate, to be free-spirited and free-thinking.

The process of learning to draw and paint does something to the mind too -- for me it became a difference between living in a dull world or seeing beauty in every human face, in every plant and rock and cloud. I have a funny little piece of milk quartz that I picked up outside yesterday on my way to the mailbox. It's just a common white pebble -- but it has so much beauty to it that I couldn't help bringing it inside and it'll be a prized object in my still life objects box without any polishing or shaping.

So while it's amusing to be a bit outnumbered by women pastelists, I don't think it's a big deal. It may just be a wobble as society continues to change and professional careers open up more to women in general. Every decade something affects how young people look at life and their future careers.

terri66
12-13-2008, 01:44 PM
The proportions are interesting but pretty much what I expected. When I was working on my degree at North Island College/Emily Carr the numbers were heavily weighted on the female side. But it also was heavily weighted to the over 25 crowd as well. The Comox Valley is a pretty prime retirement spot on Vancouver Island so that may have had something to do with it. There was also about 10% military spouses (a good size base there) taking credits because moving all the time can be disruptive to a career unless the career is nursing or teaching.
The immediacy of pastels and the direct contact of hand, pigment, surface is what appeals to me. Sometimes the brush is more a hinderance than a help in watercolour or oils. Printmaking is my other love but gets displaced by pastels frequently. The ability to put down and pick again is a prime advantage with a 6 and 7 year old at home.
Big Picture: Pastels Rock no matter your gender!!!

Terry
12-13-2008, 04:49 PM
The last time I checked, I'm a male. The name can go either way but still
I'm a guy. I have taken classes and workshops from some woman instructors.
typically there are a lot more gals than guys in a workshop.
But being a guy I almost like it like that.
Terry Ludwig

terri66
12-13-2008, 07:17 PM
Plus the male version of Terry is usually spelled one way. The female version includes the male version and about 3 other versions. LOL

Scott J.
03-09-2009, 07:07 PM
Okay, I'm stepping up to join my male brethren (drum beating and chanting outside in fifteen minutes). I recently tried to remember why I originally got so interested in pastel, since I tried most other mediums as a kid. I doubt it had anything to do with gender. I'm pretty sure it was because the protagonist in my favorite novel, "Northwest Passage" by Kenneth Roberts, worked in pastels; he wanted to go west and paint Indians with them and so did I.

When I was about twelve (in the 60's, sigh), I was given a 30-piece Grumbacher set, and for a boy who loved to draw it was perfect. Unfortunately, in the 60's high school art classes were being taught by people who included tie-dyeing, beadwork, and tomato soup cans in their curricula, so I lost interest for about thirty years.

I'm sure that most of the Neolithic artists who rendered mastodons and saber-toothed cats on cave walls using charcoal, iron oxides, and white earths were guys; just can't say for sure whether or not they were the same guys who actually hunted those critters..... Just kiddin'...

Robert - I just want to say that your paragraph "The process of learning how to draw and paint does something to the mind..." is the most perfect description of that particular metamorphosis that I have ever read. Thank you for stating it so beautifully....

bwjnsn
04-12-2009, 05:52 AM
I am a dude, I would rather work on my pickup truck than paint purdy pictures. I just took it up to meet chicks.
Brett

Kathryn Wilson
04-12-2009, 09:43 AM
I am a dude, I would rather work on my pickup truck than paint purdy pictures. I just took it up to meet chicks.
Brett

:lol:

Paula Ford
04-12-2009, 11:17 AM
I am a dude, I would rather work on my pickup truck than paint purdy pictures. I just took it up to meet chicks.
Brett

:lol: :lol: :lol:

bwjnsn
04-13-2009, 12:37 AM
:clap: seems like its working too!!!!!!
Brett

westcoast_Mike
04-23-2009, 02:24 PM
I am a dude, I would rather work on my pickup truck than paint purdy pictures. I just took it up to meet chicks.
Brett


Well you picked the right medium Brett.

Lets see, I go to a workshop in the Valley roughly once a month, and have yet to see another guy there.

I attend a class once a week with a local Artist, still haven't seen a guy.

Recently attended a week long workshop with a Nationaly known Artist. There was the Instructor, one other guy, myself, and seventeen women. Looks like a trend from my perspective.

westcoast_Mike
04-23-2009, 02:25 PM
I am a dude, I would rather work on my pickup truck than paint purdy pictures. I just took it up to meet chicks.
Brett


Well you picked the right medium Brett.

Lets see, I go to a workshop in the Valley roughly once a month, and have yet to see another guy there.

I attend a class once a week with a local Artist, still haven't seen a guy.

Recently attended a week long workshop with a Nationaly known Artist. There was the Instructor, one other guy, myself, and sixteen women. Looks like a trend from my perspective.

bwjnsn
04-25-2009, 12:42 AM
Hi Mike

Pastels must be a girly medium. I'm gonna switch to welding sculptures made from motorcycle parts, old car bumpers, and guns. Man, putting together a plien air kit might be a job!!!
Brett :thumbsup:

paintbug
04-25-2009, 07:33 AM
Pastels must be a girly medium. I'm gonna switch to welding sculptures made from motorcycle parts, old car bumpers, and guns. Man, putting together a plien air kit might be a job!!!
Brett :thumbsup:

Hmm Interesting,
I just bought my dear wife a TIG welder because she didn't like my MIG welder and I do like working on my pickup trick. I have gotten a renewed interest in pastels for several reasons. I guess it is because it is so versatile.
Bob B.

bwjnsn
04-25-2009, 05:42 PM
I have a MIG welder but my abilities on it could never be considered artistic.

I love oil painting and wanted to try Pastels because much of it easily transfers. I thought it would be nice to have something I could do without having to clean brushes and palettes when I dont have much time, but now I am obssesed and addicted! And I know who to blame for this; Bob Rohm, Richard McKinley, Richard McDaniel, Deborah Secor, and all of you here on WC.

I would not care if I was the only guy at a workshop, I just wish I could afford to do one.

Brett

Zenica
12-01-2009, 04:59 PM
I was born with a crayon in my hand

As was I, but I can't say that I am a "majority pastel worker" because that would not be true. To be true to my artistic nature I will admit that I am a female colorist. One who frequently swings between media and mainly works in the multi-media arts. I have no particular preference but I do enjoy pastel, watercolor and regular sketching very much. As far as male or female - I find that a lot of arts are deemed more "feminine" because of their quality. They don't require real strength or physically strong ability. Men primarily stick with things that are manly - they don't need the same kind of emotional ties that females do... They also don't crave the same kind of community. Women gather for just about any reason - like the bathroom thing where "if one goes - they all go"... It would be funny if a group of guys all got up at the same time like that... lol

Z

allydoodle
01-07-2010, 05:42 PM
I was born with a crayon in my hand - :) So why not gravitate towards pastel on a stick, or oil crayon.


As was I! Somehow, I always gravitate towards the direct approach, and pastel seems so direct!

I just discovered this thread, so I'm a little late, but what the heck!

I am NOT A DUDE!, and proud of it! I go to two pastel workshops a week, and between both, there is only one DUDE that shows up! I don't think he has any problem with it, and neither do we gals! Funny how this is though... I've been painting in pastels for over 15 years, and this same thing has been true all along.... My pastel teacher/mentor from 10 years ago is a Dude, though, hmmm..........

Fun Thread!

adventureartist
01-07-2010, 07:37 PM
Very interesting thread! I am a female, but I choose the male-type approach as Deborah stated, I take a class and get on with it, probably more because I am rather independent.
One of the reasons things might be a bit skewed towards the female side is that statistically women have the time, the money and inclination after a certain time in life (like when the kids are grown and gone) to go after a new form of expression like painting. There are a LOT of empty nesters looking to express themselves. Like me, all the kids are gone and I can do my thing now.
I admire a man who chooses to do anything artistic. My own DH is a flint knapper and makes some spectacular points. It's fantastic to see anyone male or female exploring their creativity, and I know lots of male artists who do other mediums. Also there is a smaller man to woman ratio that is VISIBLE. I am thinking the numbers are probably closer to even worldwide.

Trikist
01-08-2010, 11:12 PM
I have never read through a post on any subject that was this long. I suspect that I never will again.

Male.

I can not guess why the gender divide. I use hard pastels as someone above suggested that men are more likely to do. I did it because I thought a greater range of values were available in hard than soft pastels. There is the name, "soft" pastels :^)

Classes. Winston Churchill said something along the lines that he liked to learn but did not always enjoy being taught. He certainly spoke for me but that may not be gender related.

Regards, Gary

chuas2
01-10-2010, 01:01 PM
What a ridiculous question (notice I voted and am posting in it, lol). Maybe because pastels rock and dudes generally dont know a good thing when they see it? (tongue firmly in cheek). Chuas

dolphinfire
01-16-2010, 06:26 PM
female here!!! It does seem like there is more females, I wonder why that is.

mollerman
02-11-2010, 03:58 PM
I think Deborah hit on it way back when.... Personally, I am one of those guys that just goes ahead and does it, whether assembling a project or whatever. I only go back to the directions when I run into a real problem. I am so good at this I always end up with extra nuts and bolts!
Before I started doing pastels I did pick up a few books, I can't afford classes which makes this site so valuable to me.
I don't know about other males but I usually don't go to the site much unless I get stumped or am looking for ideas or opinions. I'm not sure how accurate the poll is, probably fairly close.
I personally like the opacity and working so closely with the medium. It seems more forgiving to me than watercolor. I did enjoy oil painting but pastels were so much quicker and I like don't like spending a tremendous amount of time waiting for paint to dry.

Rudy555
08-11-2010, 06:48 AM
Best things about pastels:
1. Great colours - pure pigments
2. You paint with your fingers. No intermediaries like brushes, turpentine, &c
3. You can paint or draw with them.
4. Easy to fix if you make a mistake. Only think of making a mess with watercolour!

paintbug
08-11-2010, 10:52 AM
On second thought IMHO just about the same male/female ratio would apply for most mediums. This has been the case in every art class I ever attended. There are just more females involved in the visual arts. I don't know if it is cultural or what??? I will leave that to someone else to explain.

indraneel
07-27-2014, 07:51 AM
huh... women... in a group? hmm... now what's so surprising about that?

Blayne
07-27-2014, 08:15 PM
Indraneel, so nice you brought this thread back to life. And what's that snarky comment about women in a group?:) That's only when going into restrooms, I guess:lol:, because a study just published a few days ago said men work together more cooperatively in groups than women do.

JPQ
07-27-2014, 08:19 PM
I am male. I love colours reasons why i like pastels,watercolour etc.

indraneel
07-29-2014, 05:04 AM
Indraneel, so nice you brought this thread back to life. And what's that snarky comment about women in a group?:) That's only when going into restrooms, I guess:lol:, because a study just published a few days ago said men work together more cooperatively in groups than women do.

!!! oh I didn't realize I gave life to a dead fish! Now I see it had floated up just because someone had voted on it :eek: I'd love to see that study! I thought men work together just to get it over with so we can go back to kicking round objects in a field :evil:

Blayne
07-29-2014, 10:22 AM
Ha ha, you're probably right!:lol: The study was reported on last week. I only read the short synopsis given in the NewsHog app. The synopsis showed a picture that looked like Princess Kate standing in a row boat, team mates sitting. It said women only work well together when they are of equal social status. A bit snobby, are we?

*Deirdre*
07-31-2014, 07:38 PM
Personally I'm not surprised that there are more female pastellists than male...I think it would probably be the same result with most mediums. Women last longer! It's a well known fact that women survive longer than males...:D

jakertanner
08-28-2014, 01:27 PM
Well the early pioneers of art were mostly men, including pastels. Personally, when it comes to being artistic, skillful and talented, there is no distinction between men and women as we are all equal. BTW, I am a man, and I studied art in school and have always been artistic, but I prefer pastels over any other medium...possibilities are really endless. So count me in.

mercbill
08-28-2014, 02:40 PM
Well it dose not bother me to see more women doing pastels, infact some of them are great at it. You sure dont see many women in Bronc or Bull riding events.. Wonder why? Bill

Blayne
10-04-2014, 08:55 AM
I enjoyed this story I recently read on BBC about the Warlpiri and Arandi societies of Australia who communicate by drawing pictures in sand. It is mostly the women of the tribes who do the drawing. Some researchers theorize that doodling is a precursor to written language and thus a form of communication--and we all know the stereotype that women never stop talking!:) http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140930-are-we-hardwired-to-doodle

As to why there are few female bull riders and bronc busters, it must be because they value life and limb!:) Actually, psychology researchers have published a lot of papers on risk-taking behaviors. If I recall correctly, it is frequently linked to testosterone.

wakeup&create!
10-30-2014, 09:45 PM
i think there's more females usin forums actully. I'm sure there's more males on flashlight collector's forum, but there's probably more females using WC because WC is a general art forum. I rarely find a guy willing to create an account linked to their email address to talk to other people. idk why but men seem to find talking to others online pointless. they got on Facebook what more do u want from them? lol. idk. im a male and i personally enjoy forums.

looks like there's exactly 2x as many females as there are males in the dry pastel forum. id say it is partly due to the fact that more women r willing to sign up and create a social account on a forum. i doubt it has much to do with the fact that much more females use dry pastels... i see dry pastels as a pretty manly medium. they're dirty and dusty an technical in nature.

so idk. i blame it on men not using forums. and, maybe there's just more women doing art as both hobby an side job?

robertsloan2
10-30-2014, 10:00 PM
I don't think it's half again more, closer to 1/3 again more women than men using pastels AND answering the thread. You made a really good point about who hangs out more on forums. There's men who paint and don't go hanging out online or do other things than join general art sites. Any poll will represent the people seeing the poll.

I think it's close enough that truth is, it's not so much about gender as loving the medium and sticking with it.