View Full Version : Hi and an introduction

02-01-2006, 03:27 AM
I'm RJ, and I recently stumbled upon WC, and I was abolutely delighted to find the pastel forum. I've commented on a couple of threads so far, but I figured I ought to do an introduction at large.

I came to pastels in a roundabout way. I wasn't one of the kids drawing and sketching on any available surface. I wanted to be a fashion designer, or to become the next Edith Head. I went from hand made paper dolls and doll clothes to designing and making my own clothes, then into theatre costuming and historical costuming. But, as will happen, I met a wonderful man. So instead of becoming a starving designer in LA or New York, I got a job, married the wonderful man (in an Italian Rennaisance gown of my own design), and had children, and for a while my creative impulses were limited to fabulous Birthday cakes and outrageous Halloween costumes.

In time, my creative energies required another outlet, so I started dabbling in web design. I found myself increasingly frustrated by my lack of Fine Art skills, though, so I took a beginning drawing class. As it happened, I needed to order a small item from Dick Blick, and I could not bear to pay more in postage than the item I needed, so I picked up a small set of Yarka pastels.

The first time I tried the Yarkas, I absolutely hated them. I put them aside for a few months, but still, the idea of pastels called to me. So I picked a sample selection of other brands from the open stock available at the local art supply store, a couple Rembrandts, a couple Schminkes, and a couple Windsor&Newton. I got Jackie Simmonds Pastel Workbook, my nasty Yarkas and my set of samples, I started following the lessons, and lo and behold, I made Art! I was hooked!

That was just a bit over a year ago. Since then, I've tossed the Yarkas, aquired a half-stick set of Senneliers, and a lovely set of 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 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.

Anyway, I love pastels as a medium. Since my painting time is somewhat limited, I love the immediacy of it. I also love how tactile it is - the feel of a pastel, both as it is moved across the ground and as it is blended. And portable, too, though I would not recommend trying to sketch from the deck of a sailboat.:)

I've nattered on a bit too long, I'm sure, and you all know my life's story, so I'll stop now.I'm really looking forward to spending some time here at WC. There's so much to see and learn, and you've been very welcoming.


02-01-2006, 06:58 AM
Morning Rj,
Nice to 'meet you' welcome to wc :D

02-01-2006, 08:22 AM
Welcome to the Pastel Forum! Always nice to see a new face and we hope you'll be happy here! Jump right in wherever you've an interest and be sure to post your work so that we can share it. Be sure, when you do, to tell us how big your picture is, on what sort of surface, and what kind of pastels used, plus any info you care to share about the subject. You may choose to ask for critiques or not.

Off-topic socializing abounds in the Weekly Scumble. Personal Goals are discussed in the monthly Goal Posts thread and don't forget to add your one hour or less sketches to the Weekly Sketch thread! We've also usually got a Project or Riot happening...feel free to take advantage of those...they're always "stickied" at the top of the Pastel Talk listing. All of these things are designed to keep you interested in your chosen media and growing as an artist overall.

Again, welcome! And .... ENJOY!

Piper Ballou
02-01-2006, 09:57 AM
Welcome RJ, you will find this to be a friendly and very helpful place. You will love it here. Can't wait to see some of your paintings

02-01-2006, 10:49 AM
RJ, I've talked to you online but, let me say, I'm diane
I love GAs. Jackie is on this forum alot so you'll get to talk to the lady who taught ;you art. I'm looking to pick up her gardens video.
Yarkas suck. I agree. Pale color that fades and fades.
Dick Blicks home office is inmy state. They are nice to deal with. And fast.
so, what easel do you have??? Do you like it.
What kind of stuff do ;you do or like to do?
Welcome to pastels.

W. Howard Moore
02-01-2006, 11:24 AM
Welcome RJ,
You'll meet alot of friendly people here and get alot of great pointers! :wave:


02-01-2006, 11:29 AM
Welcome! I'm glad you found this place.

Pat Isaac
02-01-2006, 11:42 AM
Welcome to the pastel forum, RJ. It's a friendly place and a wealth of information abounds.


02-01-2006, 12:22 PM
Welcome RJ!! I remember when I found wetcanvas; I think I didn't sleep for two days and read all the posts I could for at least a year back. I was so excited I couldn't calm down. Everyone here is so helpful and wonderful. I might have given up painting a long time ago if it hadn't been for the encouagement and support I get here!

Where in Northern Calif. are you? I am in southern Oregon, we might be close to each other.

02-01-2006, 01:34 PM
It's a good thing you joined, shari. Your paintings are far to beautiful to loose. I'm so glad you did't quit.

02-01-2006, 05:30 PM
I certainly do feel welcome!

Diane, I have a Blick Ajdustable Lyre easel, which was very inexpensive and fit nicely into my little art corner in the living room. I like that I can tilt it a bit forward, and not impact the rear leg support and stability, but now that I have more room, I think eventually I will aquire an H-Frame of some sort, since I think they are a bit sturdier. So far, I'm drawn to landscapes, but I would like to experiment with still life and portraits.

Shari, I'm in the San Francisco Bay area, so it's a bit of a drive to southern Oregon, but you are blessed with some beautiful scenery in your neck of the woods!

I'm at work at the moment (must make money to buy more pastels!:) ) but when I get home tonight, I can post some pictures of my work, cause the ones in my sig banner are tiny!


02-01-2006, 06:19 PM
It's a good thing you joined, shari. Your paintings are far to beautiful to loose. I'm so glad you did't quit.

Wow, thanks for the compliment, I will re-read this one often, when I have those "days" where I feel I can't paint!!

Kathryn Day
02-01-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi Rj, glad to have you here. Looking at your signature pictures, looks like you have a good handle on the pastels already. I look forward to your posts and paintings.

02-02-2006, 01:53 AM
I'm home now, and everyone has been fed and watered, so I finally got a chance to post my pictures.

This one was my first original piece, an assignment for my drawing class. We had to do a monochrome still life of something organic, so I painted a red pepper. It was painted on 18x24 brown Canson paper, but the image is @16x20. (The teacher wanted us to keep our drawing from getting too tight, so she had us work big). I used GAs for the first time too, and I loved them.


This one was the first painting that wasn't also an assignment. It is 20x15 on canvas board, pastel over acrylic underpainting (I cannibalized the kids art supplies for the paints) Again, I used GAs. It was painted from a reference photo I took at sunrise out of my hotel room window in Miami.


This one is the first one I've been willing to hang in public, It is on a leftover piece of medium brown matboard coated with Golden pastel ground. The image is 11x14. I used Caran d'Aches for the underpainting, with GAs over, of course.


Anyway, those are the ones I like.

I've experimented with the different surfaces, and I prefer the toothier pastel ground to the regular paper or the canvas, and the Wallis paper I'm currently working on to everthing else. What about you all? Anything in particular you've found particularly interesting/inspiring/exiting to work on?


02-02-2006, 03:35 AM
Lovely work, PJ! I'm a Wallis and Art Spectrum fan. Both offer plenty of tooth and the Wallis accepts a wet underpainting well...so does the Art Spectrum as long as you don't really WET it too much. I don't get along too well with Canson Mi Tientes altho lots of people here love it.

You definitely look as though you've found your medium! Can't wait to see more of your work!

02-02-2006, 04:02 AM
Well hello RJ and a reeeeaaaly big hug from all of us here in the dust bin!
There now ......doesn't that feel great!!

I can see that you have a wonderful sense of colour and I just know we're going enjoy all your posts. :clap:

Y'all come back now...........Cheers, Dianna :wave:

Tracy Lang
02-02-2006, 12:10 PM
Hey RJ,
Great to see your work! The colors on the third piece are so vibrant! As for surfaces, I've been experimenting with everything I can get my hands on. I've just started a piece on suede matboard and am having a ball! It seems to hold more pastel than I would have thought and the sticks just glide over it. I'll post a wip in the pastel studio.