View Full Version : How did you first get interested in pastels?

01-20-2006, 12:57 PM
I enjoy hearing people's stories about how they first got started in art and so forth and I thought it might be interesting to see how you guys got turned onto soft pastels?

My story is that I have always been into art since I was a little girl, but it was about 4 years ago when I decided that it was time to get back into art. I had put it aside since my first son was born in 1997 and truly missed it. I thought the best thing for me to get a good jumpstart would be to take some kind of class. I looked for painting or drawing and the only one being offered at the time was (lucky for me) an intro. to pastels class. I didn't know anything much about them, but I didn't care...just wanted to do something! I went to class (a one time thing) and fell in love. Hooked ever since. Bought tons of books, subscribed to Pastel Journal and found it to be my favorite medium!

So how about you?

01-20-2006, 03:00 PM
I was learning oil painting and couldn't master brush strokes. Love the smell of turps and all the gooey oils, but if your brush strokes aren't good, they ain't good! So I grabbed some pastels and started garden scenes from Archetectural Digest to see if I could do ok. I thought I was not good but a friend said I was better at it than oils, so I then developed the addiction of buying pastels to give me more options. Still looking for a good teacher in my area - no luck. I found an oil teacher now, I start this weekend, but not for pastels.

01-20-2006, 03:09 PM
I was a watercolour painter for years (a not very good one, I might add) and one day I decided I would like to learn how to draw. So I bought pencils and a ketchbook a year and a half ago and set about working through the "Drawing ont he Right Side of the Brain" book. At that point, the only "pastels" that I thought existed were Oil Pastels.

Anyway - I stumbled upon a set of Reeves soft pastels at michaels and thought they might be fun to experiment with in my quest for a new medium. Hated the Reeves, but could see potential in the medium itself. I then went out and bought some alphacolours - which I loved the texture of. Within seconds - I was hooked! lol. Since then - I haven't looked back. I seriously started collecting the luscious colours and playing and painting. I love pastels and their immediacy. They suit my lifestyle and my pastel box is a work of art in istelf :D

Honestly - I have other mediums around here that I may one day play with...but pastels are MY MEDIUM and I don't see myself ever really turning back. And, as anyone who remembers my early work can attest, I have come much further in a year and a half with pastels than I could ever have imagined!

K Taylor-Green
01-20-2006, 03:10 PM
A very good question!! No matter what medium I have used in the past, my favorite subject matter has been animals. I bought a lot of animal and wildlife instruction books.
In several of them I would see beautiful work by an artist named Leslie Harrison. I couldn't believe she could achieve this with pastels, which was the only medium I had never worked with. Too dusty and messy was my opinion. But after seeing her work, my mind was changed. When her book came out, I was thrilled, and bought one right away. After following a couple of her lessons, I was hooked. I have been a pastellist ever since.

David Patterson
01-20-2006, 03:32 PM
For me - I was doing a little research one day, and didn't realize that many of the early masters used soft pastels that they made themselves. I them ordered some Rembrandts, and have loved the medium ever since!

01-20-2006, 04:48 PM
I, too, had been drawing since I was a little girl. I drew all the time growing up and put it aside to raise kids. About 5 years ago I picked it back up and began adding color. First watercolor then acryllics. About a year ago my mother was showing some art my grandmother did in pastel and colored pencil. I immediately wanted to try it. Bought a cheapie set of chalk pastels and tried it. I really enjoyed it. Like you, I went and bought Pastel Journal and some books to learn more about it. Never turned back, though sometimes I still think about doing acryllics when it comes down to shove, I end up still with "de pastels". It's the colors.

01-20-2006, 04:54 PM
Seems as if a lot of us were "deprived" in our youth, huh? :crying: After finally discovering pastels, I wondered what in the world I did without them for so long!!:eek: Growing up, the classes at school always used the little Prang watercolor trays and pencil and that was about it. Sometimes acrylic, but always watercolor. I have nothing against it, but wow, for me it seems like the most unforgiving and hard to control medium. Oh well, thank goodness we all found our way to soft pastels, right?:D

Really enjoying these stories...keep 'em comin'!

01-20-2006, 05:02 PM
I, also have been drawing since I was young. I had tried a few mediums..but not pastels. I enjoyed working in black and white in pen and ink or charcoal. In 1996 my dh and I were renting a 3 room apartment and I didn't have a lot of storage room. I saw a set of nupastels in the local art store and decided to give them a try since I enjoyed working in charcoal too.
I've enjoyed them.

Lisa G.

01-20-2006, 05:19 PM
I too have loved sketching and drawing since very young. Spent a few years doing watercolors with decidedly mixed results. Some thing I liked. A lot I hated. And I always was vaguely afraid of making a mistake because they were so difficult (for me!) to correct. Recently decided to try pastels instead. While I'm still having more luck with pastel pencils than the big sticks, I love them all. Now if I could only find some time to use them-- the last two weeks have been impossible and this weekend looks no better :-( But soon!

01-20-2006, 05:25 PM
I dabbled with art in school, like most kids...liked it but not enough to "work" at it. Then I met a woman at work who was an artist and invited me to a show at the city collosium and I was captivated by the artwork and the possibilities. After browsing some books on art, I settled on oils as a medium, gifted myself with the gear one Xmas and took a beginner's class. After moving to Colo. I got into the local art guild and gradually built up a fairly decent following for my oil paintings. I had a tiny art supply shop for awhile, supplying our small town's needs to local artists and even gave a few classes. Then family events kicked in and we moved to Colorado Springs...the new house had no space for a studio at the time and I soon had to get a "real job" which sapped every last ounce of my energy and spirit for the next several years. Was almost 15 yrs. later, in fact, before my mother talked me into trying art again. By then I was pretty much "retired" anyway and I did have limited means for setting up another studio and beginning again.

While looking through every art book my library had to offer, I happened to keep noticing how many of my favorite paintings seemed to be done with pastels! This was a surprise since I'd always thought of pastels as being a kinda smarmy, wimpy sort of medium for Sunday painters and kids. When I checked out the Best of Pastels books, I was totally enchanted by what modern pastellists were achieving and made up my mind to try the medium myself.

I actually had most of a complete set of old Grumbacher pastels leftover from my shopkeeping years and figured that should start me out just fine along with an old set of Nupastels I had sketched with years ago. All I needed was maybe some paper and fixative and a drawing board and oh, maybe a new easel, and and and....started scouting out art suppliers on the net. Before the winter was out, I'd begun to collect more pastels and was totally hooked on the medium. The vibrancy of the colors, the immediacy of the medium and the versatility of pastels keeps me happy and tho I intend to do some work in oils again someday, right now pastels are my medium of choice.

Bill Foehringer
01-20-2006, 05:34 PM
I think I responded to a post like this in the past but I think it was in 1974 now that I push away the clouds from those years. I remember taking my sketch pad out to some lakes back then. I wanted to add color to my sketches, that was the idea. I used something like nupastels, hard, square sticks, 15? to a box? Crappy paper. I think it was the next year that I bought a partial set of rembrandts and started using some heavier strathmore paper 500 series? did they have that back then?. I didn't do much with them. I worked for months on a piece with a little "instamatic" photo as a source. I did a little off and on until about 85-86 then I began painting every evening using Canson papers and made some progress. But in '86 my wife fell and hurt her back just as we closed on the Victorian 'gut and rebuild' home we bought. With her down and the barely habitable home to make livable by myself with her bedridden the first two years in the house I walked away from my art, really without much thought because there was no alternative. I started with pastels again in the fall of 2004, and the rest, as they say, is history. LOL, BillF

01-20-2006, 05:47 PM
As a little girl, i liked to draw. I used crayons, and you all know how disappointing those are.
When i was about 11, my newly divorced mother made friends with an older rather masculine woman. Her new friend took us all (my mother, sister and I) to Greenwich village for a day trip. She bought us a great lunch, took us to chinatown, bought us presents, our choice. I picked out a set of oil pastels!
My poor mother, almost as naive as her children, didn't realize this gal
had designs on her, just as a man would. (this was in the early 1960's) As soon as she figured it out, the woman stopped buying us presents and taking us to dinner.
I loved the pastels, and used them up drawing horses. When I was 13 and 14 i started going to the local art store and buying regular pastels, one by one with my meager allowance. There were no oil pastels in that store.
I covered acres of paper with my drawings and one day, a needy cousin,
19 years old and in a very unhappy marriage, discovered my pastels.
She borrowed them and used them all up. I had no more allowance, and didn't touch a pastel again until my husband bought me a set for christmas just a few weeks ago!
Cheap ones, just like my first set. True story. Life's amazing, isn't it?
Those cheap pastels are kind of like a gateway drug, aren't they??

01-20-2006, 06:04 PM
Such beautiful stories. They are very charming and enchanting. The story of Mimi and her husband buying her pastels reminds of the fact that my husband never knew I even drew until I picked up a pencil again 5 years ago. Must say he was kind of shocked.

01-20-2006, 06:48 PM
In 1974 I saw some large (pastel) landscapes of the city of New Westminster
at its Library, by an artist I knew little of...Joe Plaskett,
my only pastels were of portraits in the mall ($15 black and white,$25 colour)
went travelling to Central America and took sketch book and pastels
Now I see Joe when he shows on our coast (he lives in England, and is in his 90's) on his last visit 2005 I still had pastel on my hands from working earlier in the day, we held hands across the desk he was signing books on, he getting some of my pastel on his hand and I getting inspiration!
He has attended one of my openings..honored,

01-20-2006, 07:15 PM
I had been painting in other mediums for quite a few years before picking up a pastel. I too picked up a small set of some cheap pastels in a Michael's store and they sat around in my closet for quite some time. When I finally did pull them out and tried it on some Canson paper, the combination of the scratchy noise and spotty application (used the textured side of the Canson) turned me off, big time. It was primarily the noise, reminded me of fingernails on a chalk board - need anything more to turn you off? :D

A short time later I was indulging my second habit, buying art books, when I too came across Leslie Harrison's book. After seeing her beautiful artwork I knew I had to give it another shot so I bought a set of 30 Rembrandts. Was still using Canson paper, but NO gaud-awful noise!!! Needless to say, just like everyone else I was addicted. Have never looked back but still enjoy other mediums as well

Katherine T
01-20-2006, 07:57 PM
I blame that Jackie Simmonds!

She and I were on the same painting holiday in 1992 in Bali. I had my watercolours and she had her pastels. I took one look at the pastels and gave up on watercolour and converted to pastels!

01-20-2006, 08:32 PM

Guess it's my turn....
I've always enjoyed drawing since kid. I still think that graphite drawings have a special strenght. However I've never practiced it on a regular basis.
The bug was inside and in the Summer of 2004 (I guess), I bought a couple of Conté pastel pencils. Did some stuff with it. Soon I tried the oil pastels and didn't get along well.
After wondering around I saw these W&N soft pastels sets and decided to give them a try. Altough at the beginning I was seeing things a bit complicated, it was with the discovery of this site and support that I got motivated.
Recently I started with oils. And even more recently I bought a small set of watercolours, mostly to be used under pastels. But of course that I want to try them on their own.
Then I sold my first painting for 100000 dollars.......

Gotcha !!!



Karen Margulis
01-20-2006, 08:33 PM
My story is similar to Kristie's. Last year I decided to get back into art and I took a watercolor class...which I was terrible at! So I tried a 2 hour pastel workshop and I was hooked immediately...went home and looked up Pastel teachers and was lucky enough to find Marsha Savage who was teaching just one town away from me. I LOVED it and started collecting pastels (dangerous!!!!) I continue to take classes and am planning on attending local workshops with Terry Ludwig and Albert Handell this spring. There is no turning back!!!

Kathryn Wilson
01-20-2006, 08:45 PM
Me next! :D

I'd been an aspiring artist all my life - tried commercial art, but didn't get the satisfaction I'd gotten in my fine art classes.

The story has been told already - took time off to raise a family and when it came time to try something again, I took a 6-week pastel class from an excellent teacher at a local art center - Ann LePere. She turned me on to pastels big time, then left to live at the beach - :crying:

I dallied around with watercolor, but could never get the beast to work; then acrylics (which I still want to work in some day), pen/ink, scratchboard - you name it. Oh, yes, digital art too! But when I found WC, I settled in here and the rest you all know.

But how in the heck did I get suckered into being a Moderator???? :eek:

01-20-2006, 09:51 PM
I had always wanted to be an artist but did not know how to start. Last year, I decided to read some books on how to draw and started drawing everything in the house. My wife thought I had some talent and some interest, so for a Christmas present, she enrolled me in a class. The class was an intro to drawing and pastels. I immediately loved the pastels. So I research and found a pastel socitey nearby, joined the membership, and found a pastel teacher. She was a protrait teacher, and I learned alot from her. I also have taken several workshops. Now, I am not as nearly as good as some of the artist here, but I am well on my way and can't wait to see where I will be 5 or 10 years down the road. This has been the most satisfying hobbly I have ever had. I still work full time, gotta keep food on the table, but I paint almost every day and its so relaxing after a hard days work. James

01-20-2006, 11:32 PM
Karen - I am sooooo jealous of you. I just bought 2 of albert Handels books alittle while ago and love them. To be able to work with him is every pastelist's dream. You must write about this wonderful opportunity.
James. You may not be as talented as some but, are plenty talented and more than you know and probably alot more than some of us. Smile

Jo Castillo
01-20-2006, 11:59 PM
I have always tried drawing and painting. I used pastels in a class once and liked them, but was into oils at the time. In 1999, my friend Sue, talked me into going to the IAPS convention in Albuquerque. If we hadn't been going to Albuquerque to visit family, I probably would not have gone. I didn't know a thing about pastels. At the convention, I bought a set of Daler Rowney, they had them for the $1, and you could pick the colors. Of course I didn't know what colors to pick. Anyway as you all say, the rest was history. I dabble still in other media, but soft pastels have captured my heart and "feelings".

01-21-2006, 11:30 AM
i also was a painter as a child but stopped in my early 20's...though i did take a few night classes here and there, and at one point i was shopping for brushes and saw the 96 pc nupastel set, it looked so pretty i couldn't resist so i bought it and it just sat for years.

I took it out after i started painting again, but i didn't like any of the results i got so back on the shelf it went...then, i saw a book with pics of pastel paintings in it and the way i learned to use the pastels was by copying the paintings. Then i realized i needed more than the hard pastels and i bought a nice size set of Winsor Newton and then way too many rembrandts and then the schminkes and so on and so forth. Mostly I have taught myself to use them and it's been a long road as i work in alot of detail. I bounce back and forth between pastels and oils, but the pastels are my true love.

so, whats it to you anyway? Are you writing a book? :)

01-21-2006, 12:20 PM
I tried pastels in 7th grade- still have a couple of pics... scary... had rembrants for ages that Iused about twice... but did not get foaming at the mouth nuts about them until Jerry's opened a store nearby about a year ago- found GA's, Unisons, Schmickes, Sellies, ....the rest is in the annals of debtors prison history....

01-21-2006, 12:26 PM
linda, you are keeping me chuckling this morning.
so, you have that evil Jerry's nearby. Evil Dick (not to be mixed up with another evil Dick) is about an hour away.
maybe I should stop complaining about 3 stupid craft stores in town and no art stores. I'd be joining you in debtors prision.

01-21-2006, 05:20 PM
Well....I've been working in colored pencil for about 3 years. I enjoy the more direct approach to color that pastel give me. I am playing, not sure I'm converted especially since prismacolor came out with new colored pencil shades I really needed. (Flesh tones, dog colors and greens)

But I think I can have 2 loves, lol, I also enjoy playing in oils, ink, oh, man, everything. The investment is scary to me, though.

01-23-2006, 02:42 AM
:wave: Hi all from a newbie! Sorry for jumping in with no formal introduction but wanted so much to participate in this thread if that's okay (been lurking for months and months!).

I was browsing through Foyles in London on a holiday trip back in 96 when I saw books titled "Pastels" in the Art section. Having no art background, my interest was piqued (unsurprisingly, up till then, I only associated the term "pastels" with pastel colours :o). Opened a book, saw the art inside :eek: and was immediately hooked big time !! Loved the colours, the vibrancy - I'm still speechless today in trying to describe what I felt.
Bought some books on pastels (one of which was Jackie Simmonds' Pastel Workshop) and rushed over to the Daler Rowney store in Percy Street (the nearest and only art store that I knew of then) and bought a set.

Unfortunately, I didn't really get started until late last year - I scrimped on my first set as the Daler Rowneys are tiny compared to other brands and I didn't know of any art store back home that sold pastels until last year when I found art supply stores that carried pastels and came across WetCanvas!. I love getting dusty :D

01-23-2006, 09:54 AM
Hi Fellow New member; your story is just as important as any other.
It sounds like a lot of us get started with really cheap pastels, but
they lead to better stuff if you really are interested.
You went to London where you found your first set, i went to Greenwich Village in New York City to find mine.

01-23-2006, 11:17 AM
In 1982 (that shows my age), I set out to buy a wedding gift for my father and Step-Mom with my siblings. I thought art would be great and came across a pastel landscape by William Murray (St. Paul artist who also paints fabulous watercolors). My siblings didn't like the art idea but I couldn't get that painting out of my mind. So I put the piece on layaway and finally purchased it. I still love it.

Since I had dabbled in art as a child, I decided to try my hand at pastel. Since then I've taken private studies with William Murray, workshops with Marc Hansen, Albert Handel, etc. Pastel fits my lifestyle - I've tried oils and found it frustrating if I couldn't finish a piece right away - the wet on wet technique was more my style but if the piece dried I was stymied. I love the colors in pastels! Nice thread.

01-23-2006, 06:03 PM
I just wanted to say welcome eam71!:wave:
I must agree with you, its that pure pigment that really makes soft pastels so easy to get hooked on.

Really like hearing everyone's story!

01-24-2006, 12:41 PM
Well like many if not most of you I drew constantly as a child, just pencil and crayon sort of stuff. My mom loved art, often took us to art museums, and was an "artist" herself. I use the quotes because she had talent but never made any attempt to develop it. Her idea of "art" was to copy the scenes from Christmas cards she liked. She never attempted anything original. However she could faithfully copy other paintings, and used oils and acrylics, and occasionally watercolor, so those mediums were ART to me when young. As a teenager I tried painting with those three but struggled, and everything I did was cheesy and amateurish looking so I finally gave up.

In 2002 I was about to turn the big '5-0' and got thinking about all my daydreams of what I had longed to accomplish in life, realized the two biggest dreams I had long cherished had been to learn to paint and draw well, and to learn to sing well. And I had this "if not now, when?" sort of moment and decided to go for it. Signed up for singing lessons, signed up for drawing and watercolor lessons.

Well, after a couple months the voice teacher left to join her husband in China, and I found I hated the watercolor class. It seemed like a struggle and an effort and not fun, and the drawing class was a bit better but just did not "click" with me, so my grand plans sort of petered out. But I still had my daydreams, so in 2004 I found a new voice teacher and continue to take lessons with her, and in January 2005 I signed up for new drawing lessons with a different teacher.

This time the lessons clicked and I loved them, and after 3-4 lessons on this like "negative shapes" and "values", etc the teacher let us try color, and pastel was what she had for us to use. I fell instantly in love! I had tried pastels on my own once years before, when my son was a baby and had felt an attraction, but had shoved it aside due to the time constraints of raising a child as a single parent. Watercolor, oils, and acrylics had all seemed like a hopeless struggle and not much fun, but I loved pastel from the moment I first picked up a stick again last March. That was about 10-11 months ago and I've been painting ever since, and I really credit WC with helping me so much with my new chosen medium. Last summer I began taking classes at the local art museum, and I continue to take them. I'm only sorry that the only pastel-specific class they offer is during the day while I'm at work. But I hope to keep painting for many years to come.

01-25-2006, 06:21 AM
I became interested in pastels from viewing artwork posted on the web. I drew as a child, but never really enjoyed painting. I preferred my crayons over the tempra and watercolors we used in art class. Pastels offer brilliant pigments and painterly results without the fumes, or messy clean up of wet media.

Ron Biggs
01-25-2006, 04:33 PM
Never got into art at school, but my wife paints with acrylics, about 18 months ago while on holiday she dragged me along to a half day “Painting with Pastels workshop” she hated it and has gone back to her acrylics, and I got hooked.

01-25-2006, 10:51 PM
Ron, I think that is awesome that you went to an art class with your wife when you had never really been interested before. And for you to now have a medium of your own....wonderful to have a common interest with your spouse!

Ron Biggs
01-26-2006, 06:29 AM
Ron, I think that is awesome that you went to an art class with your wife when you had never really been interested before. And for you to now have a medium of your own....wonderful to have a common interest with your spouse!We’ve turned the conservatory into a studio, acrylics on one side and pastels on the other. Finding time seems to be my biggest problem.

01-26-2006, 09:21 PM
Greetings and Salutations!:wave:

I just discovered WC, and I have been enjoying exploring the different threads, but I think I can leap in here!

I wanted to be a fashion designer as a child, so I spent my creative energies on hand made paper dolls and doll clothes. That progressed to designing and making my own clothes, then into theatre costuming and historical costuming. Alas, Real Life intervened, and instead of becoming the next Edith Head, I got a job, got married, and had children, and my creative impulses were limited to fabulous Birthday cakes and outrageous Halloween costumes.

However, children do grow, and by the time both of mine were in school, I found I had the need to create again, and no outlet. I dabbled in various crafts, and my daughter had the best dressed Barbie on the block, but it still wasn't what I was looking for.

But then, I needed to put together a simple web site. Aha! I could do this! A little HTML here, a little Photoshop there, and I was the queen of web design! Well, okay, I was adequate. I found I was frustrated by my complete lack of Fine Art skills. I had a fairly good intuitive sense of design - this is good, this is not, the colors are all wrong sort of thing - but just because I knew a design wasn't working didn't mean I knew why it wasn't working, so I went back to school.

At one class a quarter, I figure I'll be done with college again right about the time my kids are. Anyway, I ended up taking a beginning drawing class - pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, and I was dreadful! But I got a bit better with practice, and found I was enjoying it. I had to order something from Dick Blick, and I couldn't stand to spend that much shipping on a $7.00 item, so I picked up a small set of Yarkas. I hated them. They were hard and scratchy and made me shudder. But, the idea of pastels still appealed, so a few months later, I picked a sample selection of pastels from my local art supply store - I had a couple of Schminkes, a couple of Rembrandts, and a couple of Windsor& Newtons. I got Jackie Simmonds Pastel Workbook and started going through the lessons with my samples and my nasty Yarkas, and I made ART.

Since then I have tossed the Yarkas, and aquired a Sennelier half stick set, and some lovely Caran d'Aches which I use for underpainting, and an easel, and a few books, and a few more books, and then some GAs, which are my very a favorite, and then a better easel, and more GAs. I finally had to kick the kids out of the playroom and convert it into a studio - the light is not as good as the living room, but there is more space, and I don't live in fear that someone will knock over the easel trying to get to the bookshelves.

I still consider myself very much a novice pastellist, but I liked my last painting well enough to hang it at work, where - gasp - actual members of the public see it from time to time. My next goal is to produce a painting to enter into a show where actual artists can see it, sometime this year.


01-27-2006, 12:48 AM
Welcome to the Pastel Forum, PJ! You'll be a great addition, I can tell already! Everyone here is friendly and eager to help you settle in, so if you have any questions, just ask! We will await the time you're able to post your work here to share with anticipation. You'll learn a lot here and I'm sure we'll learn from you too! These people are the BEST! Be sure and post your daily doin's in the Weekly Scumble, your short-time sketches in the Weekly Sketch thread and if you've a mind to, your goals in the monthly Goalposts thread. Whatever you do here, ENJOY!

01-27-2006, 09:21 AM
I'm new to Wet Canvas too and realized this might be the place to introduce myself. I started drawing as a kid and played with most mediums in high school. Then in college, I came to a dead stop with my art. I just put it all away. It nagged and nagged at me though. I then moved to Puerto Rico for a one year volunteer project and found inspiration. Puerto Rico is a colorful, beautiful, lively place with an active art scene. I signed up for a Plein Air class at a local Art School where we worked exclusively with pastels. The teacher only spoke Spanish and I really struggled with Spanish...but the language didn't matter at all! We would take our pastels and boards and sit in beautiful spots throughout Old San Juan and draw statues, buildings, live models. Our class turned into quite the tourist attraction! Anyway, I was hooked again. And I've been working with pastels ever since. I love the immediacy, messiness, color, and freedom of pastels. I don't find that with any other medium. Thanks for letting me share this. I can't wait to get some of my pastel drawings up here.


01-27-2006, 09:49 AM
Great Story RJ!
I am actually surprised at how many of our stories read like this; i was interested in art as a child and now that they are grown i am jumping back in!
Greetings and Salutations!:wave:

I still consider myself very much a novice pastellist, but I liked my last painting well enough to hang it at work, where - gasp - actual members of the public see it from time to time. My next goal is to produce a painting to enter into a show where actual artists can see it, sometime this year.


01-27-2006, 11:47 AM
i only had a few minutes to check in this morning, and i used them all up on this thread! this is fun! some of the posts are so funny! esp. that one of how cheapie pastels are the 'entry drug'!! LOL!!!my mom is an artist, and as an only child, i spent tons of time in her studio. and altho the oils had a smell i found almost intoxicating, just being allow to stroke a finger or *shudder* HOLD a pastel was heaven!! she had a set of old grum's.

and yup, i can so relate....i was always the 'artist kid'...fast forward to getting married, kids, and no art, etc....then art again! so when i was a new mom, in a new state, with no adult contact (husband manages ranches, therefore is gone 99% of the time) i had to find something, or i would loose my mind!!! i got a blick's catalog, and ordered starter sets of acrylic and watercolor, some nice sketchbooks, papers, and what i thought a huge set of pastels--45 rembt's !! ahahha, aint' that a hoot?! i've since used the acrylic more as craft paint and the watercolors as underpaintings for pastel, altho. alot of it has simply dried up--but pastels! wahoo! i ordered 'just a few more colors to round it out'...then a few more, then, well, you ALL know what that's about! and of course books, tons of books, easels, papers, the same story as much of you all. but one thing for sure, i've not been sorry, and am looking forward to many happy years with the medium. i HAVE dabbled in other stuff, but nothing has the appeal as those dusty, dirty, colorful, delicious chunks of heaven!! and nowdays, when MY children are in my studio, they find it very appealing to stroke their fingers across a purple pastel....and the legend continues!! ;) (but i have also made sure they have their own sets, easels, etc...)

grand fun thread!

James or Jimmy Jim
01-30-2006, 03:01 PM
Hi everyone, for me it was Albert Handell. I bought his book years ago before I even knew who he was, I just loved his drawing skills. Now I have his DVD too. :D I also really like the old man in the scarf on Dan Greene's home page! Wow!

01-30-2006, 04:38 PM
I had no artistic talent as a kid. No artistic history to reconnect to. About two years ago my secretary told me I needed to get a life beyond work and my daughter. Yeah right. I'm an over-worked late middle aged single mom with no talents, no time and no energy. But I do know that when I do what my secretary tells me my life is lots easier. I had seen a oil pastel landscape at a party and thought it was pretty and how hard could it be really to paint like that. I found my daughters old oil pastels from school and tried my hand. Yuck. Disgrace. No fun. What was I thinking? Not to be bested by some second rate oil pastels I pulled out some books about pastels at Borders one day. Aha, one could try soft pastels and joy of joys the author showed how to draw an apple. Now after my oil pastel fiasco I was gun shy but I felt a surge of assertiveness to get the better of this art. I bought a set of Mungyo (sp?) half sticks. Created not only an apple but an orange and a landscape stopping only to eat and sleep. Coloring for adults it felt like. I had that exhileration a kindergartener has on opening a new box of crayons or paints. I painted pretty much all of my free time at home. Found I liked faces and figures best but since no one really buys them I switched to landscapes which aren't quite as thrilling as people but are still pretty cool.

I have exhibited my work, sold some originals and a bunch of prints. I don't paint quite as much as I used to but I paint a couple of days a week. Now my secretary says I need to find a boyfriend and get a social life. Hey she right before...

01-30-2006, 04:42 PM
wow, Nori, that is a great story; how long did it take from your first Apple and Orange to selling stuff?


James or Jimmy Jim
01-30-2006, 04:47 PM
Nori, what if she asks for a raise? You have to do it, you know. :evil: :D :D :D

01-30-2006, 04:55 PM
Mimi- It took about two years to get to the selling point. I probably could have sold a little before then but I have separation issues with my paintings.

Jim- My secretary gets whatever she wants. She is not only a keen judge of human nature, she is a dynamite legal secretary.

(And Jim she does catch all my mistakes)

James or Jimmy Jim
01-30-2006, 05:00 PM
Jim- My secretary gets whatever she wants. She is not only a keen judge of human nature, she is a dynamite legal secretary

If she saw that last post, she would add a period. :D :D :D

02-02-2006, 11:13 AM
Have started reading this thread several times and been interrupted. When I come back to it; its even longer!
I had little or no art experience as a child. From the time I could walk and talk I was taught sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, all kinds of crafts, but never painting.
Even in highschool I was diverted away from art. My Art teacher gave me good grades for : cleaning the classroom and for being the class model (used to be thin with high cheekbones),
A little over 4 years ago, while visiting my daughter and (at that time) 1 yr old grandson, I was smoking a cigarette as we walked. My grandson thought I had something to eat and wanted my cigarette. 2 weeks later I went to a hypnotist and have not had a ciagarette since. What does this have to do with pastels? LOL I did not say it was a short story. Had to do something with my hands - went to a "Stamping Up" (rubber stamping) party with my Mom and sister. Started making greeting cards that way. In the Spring my mom asked me to help her watercolor some Easter cards. I said "Mom, You know I can't paint - my hand always starts shaking!" She said - I'll show you how and I followed her lead just coloring in the stamped areas with watercolor. Then from that, started stamping and painting on various surfaces until in the summer, discovered rock painting! Bought all of Lin Wellford's books and by fall, my daughter told me I needed to start doing craft shows and selling this stuff. Did that and earned a nice little PT income. Then, about 1 year ago, got up the nerve to try my first "flat" acrylic painting. So I am really new to art - paint mostly animals and have been lucky enough to be doing pet commissions! The pastel works here on Wet Canvas - especially the animal portraits, are what drew me to pastels. I am hoping and praying that I can achieve some realistic pet portraits and get to the point where I enjoy pastels as much as I do acrylics!
Thanks for allowing me my long-winded saga.
ps I also blame Kate Green!

02-02-2006, 11:33 AM
. 2 weeks later I went to a hypnotist and have not had a ciagarette since. What does this have to do with pastels?
ps I also blame Kate Green!

Hey Barbara, congrats on quitting smoking and getting into artistic pursuits. talk about life style changes!

02-02-2006, 01:53 PM
Barbara I'm so glad you got back on the thread to tell your story...a fascinating one at that! I think it is great how one thing lead to another...and now here you are. I remember your hummingbird pastel...it was really nice. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

02-02-2006, 04:24 PM
Mimi and Kristie - Thank you so much! I have found it to be a bit daunting being amongst artists here, and locally as well, when I have no credentials or training. I am a big fan of a local acrylic artist who is self taught - Marilee Litwa. I adore her work and found it so encouraging that she is self taught.
Best wishes,

02-02-2006, 04:30 PM
Mimi and Kristie - Thank you so much! I have found it to be a bit daunting being amongst artists here, and locally as well, when I have no credentials or training.
Best wishes,
hey Barbara, artists are just people. A lot of us have no credentials or training. and some of the people doing amazing things here never did have credentials or training either.
I respect people's talents, but recognise that any one of us has the potential to do amazing things.
bottom line, you're an artist if you think you are.