View Full Version : Moving on to oils?

06-25-2006, 12:35 PM
It's happened twice in the last week.

"After you do pastels for a while, you'll start with oils," as if it were fact somehow.

My progression has been a studio class in college (in which I did my only oil), to many adult ed charcoal drawing classes, to hobbyist acrylics, to many successful years selling watercolors, to a break from all things creative, to pastels for several years. Long ago I had un-oiled my future, as I realized I preferred to not have the smells or mess.

Of course the people commenting this week couldn't have known my journey in the past, but they felt they knew my destination. One was a pompous teacher of charcoal and oils, during a pick up class I regretted taking. The other was a pastelist who aspires to move on to oils in the near future.

Is pastel--->oil truly the natural progression or is that an oil elitist point of view?

Am I missing something?

What about you?

06-25-2006, 12:49 PM
Considering I, (as well as many others I know) have moved to pastel FROM oils, I don't think thats accurate at all. It sounds like they are thinking oils is more "hard core" than pastel, lol. I've heard so many previous oilists (is that a word? Oilists?) state something like, "It's so much faster! I don't have to wait for the paint to dry!"

Don't get me wrong, I love oils and I still do them; however I have 2 easels set up, one for oils and one for pastel. I usually finish about 4-5 pastels by the time I finish the oil painting.

-- Linda

06-25-2006, 02:06 PM
My big concern is that they may be right, but not for the right reason.

I live in a large metro area, but I have trouble finding classes in pastel. I respect the teacher I do have, but she works sporatically for six week sessions. It's not enough. She's a good pastelist herself, award-winning, but doesn't do much c&c. It's more of a still life gabfest.

Whenever I look, it seems that there are so many more classes in oil and watercolor. I've done my bit with watercolor and don't really want to go back, even though I was successful in selling 75 or 100 of them.

I may try oils just to keep the creative juices flowing and to give me an outlet. It'd be oils by default, as I don't want to continue aimlessly in pastel. I paint plein air pastels on my own, but I need the critique - then I post my work here and get 2 whole comments. I feel I have some bad habits (outdoors especially) that I need guidance on correcting through a good teacher and/or class.

I was trying to get into a summer workshop, but the closest pastel ones I could find are 10 hours away. I'd registered for one only 2 hours away. I thought it was all media, but it turned out to be oil. The rather famous instructor said I could do it as a pastelist, but the times I've tried that (see for example pompous oil/charcoal instructor above), I was instructed on how to apply pastels (blend, blend, blend he told me, thinking I was an alien when I said I don't blend) and not given the c&c I went for. I won't again try to do pastels with a non-pastel or pseudo-pastel instructor.

Further, my current instructor strongly advised against doing pastels alone in an oil workshop.

So, I am frustrated. I need an outlet, both for that frustration (thanks to this forum) and for the creative energy I am wasting spinning my wheels. I know I am talented, but I know I need help, too. Check out my paintings in my section here.

I've already spent part of the refund I'm expecting from the oil workshop I cancelled from. I have ordered 2 sets of 2 dvd pairs, both famous artists. I hope that helps with instruction and inspiration.

And I am considering an oil class that actually works with my schedule and starts in a week, but would have to buy all the gear. I just don't know. And I need to decide if I can be comfortable with an either/or.

KA Obee
06-25-2006, 02:14 PM
Oh, don't you just HATE teachers like that!

That's like the guy who predicted my husband would run screaming from the classroom within 3 years, while he was studying to get his teaching degree! Well, it's been 14 years and he can't imagine himself anywhere but surrounded by beautiful 11 year olds all day long. He actually misses the kids in the summer!

I used to work in watercolors and pastels, then had two children in a very short time and just didn't have time for any painting... When I finally got back into painting, about a year or so ago, I decided to try oils. After much expense and frustration I sold or gave away all my oil supplies and jumped whole heartedly back into the dust pile! I'm totally content with my pastels. Whenever I feel the need to use a paintbrush I either work in watercolors or I do an underpainting for a pastel.

I am about to go get some guash (I know that's spelled wrong) paints later today but that is as close as I'll ever come to getting back into oils again. They're just not my thang.

Don't listen to that guy. My theory is that you're supposed to have fun with your art. Do what you like! Life's too short!

KA Obee
06-25-2006, 02:21 PM
Oh, we must have cross posted!
I see your dilemma much more clearly now.
That is a tough one! And frankly, that's the reason I started with oils when I got back into painting - the classes were all for oil painters.
Man, I wish I had sent you my oil supplies! The only real probelm I see with taking some oil classes is that you will have the expense of the oil supplies.
But really, loads of artists work in both mediums. Why not just get the bare bones basics with the supplies and take the classes. I'm sure anything you learn in the oil painting classes will transfer to your pastel painting.
Technique you can learn from a book or video - but C&C you really need to get from a class. Try id with a very limited pallette, and inexpensive canvases, etc. You only need a handfull of brushes, really.
You can still have fun if you don't spend gobs of money.

Donna A
06-25-2006, 03:13 PM
Oh, Potoma! What a frustrating situation! First, I agree with the others----of course oil is not a natural progression from pastels. Sooo silly!

So many of us work in a number----or at least a couple of mediums. After all----first---it's all just Pigment, with different delivery systems. And then alllll the issues of concept and compostion and color, which sounds like you've had some trouble getting good help with, are indifferent to medium----which good, creative, nutruing, able art instructors should be able to recognize and work with!!!! (Pardon---I'm having a RANT over folks the ilk of the """teacher""" you mentioned! Grrr!)

I've found over the decades that the technical issues of a given medium are certainly important----BUT usually not THE biggest issues that artists are wrestling with---even tho many of them "retreat" to the idea that their problems are about "techniques."

So---good for you to know where you are and what you can use to do the growing you yearn to do! Yea! So---the HOW? It does not sound like you have classes around you where there is a good mix of mediums used in the same classes. Here, unless I'm doing a special Technical series, which is always a limited-time session or workshop, we have artists working in all mediums---pastel, oil, acrylic, wc and have had those just drawing when everyone else was working in color. Most all the issues overlap. I'm so sorry you don't have a situation around you like that.

Are there other teachers you have not "interviewed" yet near you to see if they are unbiased and unlimited in their sense of creating paintings? YOu may just be surrounded by a lot doing things by rote. That is soo much easier---and if you don't care----whatever. (And that's soo unfair to the artists who are wanting to grow!!!) There are a number like that around here. Even strong painters. Does not mean that also makes a good teacher. I'm always amazed by some of the stories I hear---and what I see folks coming in doing or believing. Breaks my heart for them.

The videos sound like a good start. And of course you can paint by yourself!!! Something you can do that can help you be your own teacher:

• Certainly work from real life! Sound like you do with your plein airs! Great. Hope you can find the same joy indoors with beautifully lit still lifes, or friends invited over to sit for portrait studies----or the good old mirror! :-)

• Choose one particular issue to work with when you begin a new painting. composition---varying edges----forms----color issues----textures----so on!!! Just deliciously wrap yourself in one of these and let your intuitive flow with the rest. Sit back now and then and just look at your painting. Just let it "talk" to you! :-) I know----but----works for me! :-) Ask a lot of questions and try to look at your work as tho someone else had done it and your are trying to be supportive to them, seeing what is working and what is not. Then find answers. Take notes if that works! Whatever!!! It can be great fun as well as very self-nuturing and will offer a LOT Of growth! :-)

• If you have other pastelist friends, get together now and then for a group paint. Sit around with a soda or tea and relax and discuss your piences afterwards----or just do a little "salon" once in a while when you share ideas and discoveries. If you have artist friends working in other mediums who can join in this----Yea!

If you do go on to the oils to work with them, TOO, (not instead of) encourage the instructor to work with you on issues you know are important to you!!! And think "pigment" as much as possible----squirt out enough paint on the palette and let each stroke be vital and expressive, as I hope you have been using your pastels!

I've found that every medium I've worked with has informed my work with the others---and I've worked in pretty much everything in painting and printmaking. As someone else mentioned, I also have an oil easel and a pastel easel in my studio and there have often been times I've worked on pieces in both at the same time. (It's just pigment.) :-)

I've uploaded several pdf files that might be useful----most about color. Don't know what your larger issues are, but there are ever things to discover about color. Very, very best wishes! Donna :-)

Deborah Secor
06-25-2006, 11:21 PM
Pastels relate to oils in that the structure of the painting is done in a similar manner, in some ways--dark to light, fat over lean (for some), that kind of thing. I have to tell you that I've been painting in pastels for over 20 years now (counting on my fingers and toes..three..four..yep--over 20 years now!) and I have yet to be wooed away from this wonderful medium.

No doubt you can find more classes in oil and watercolor, but if pastel is the medium you want to learn I say learn by doing. Certainly you have a wealth of information here from people like Donna and others, who will be happy to give you criticsm that's valid and encouragement to go on, and I think your idea to watch some instructional DVDs is great.

I have another thought for you. Instead of searching for an instructor, why not seek an amenable group of artists with whom you can develop a relationship of give and take, so that you can begin to help each other grow no matter what medium you're using. Maybe there are studios in your area that hold group sessions with a model, or go out and paint plein air together. If not--maybe you could begin such a group. I'm not suggesting a formal organization, just a loose cooperative of like-minded people who have similar needs. I think despite our solitary habits, we artists need to be in touch with other artists--after all, art is a form of communication, and that often begins with others who speak the same language. (Which is why this place is so helpful!)

Hope that sparks some thoughts in you, no matter what medium you use.


06-25-2006, 11:48 PM
Dee - you mean, like...WetCanvas??? <G> :D

-- Linda

06-26-2006, 12:29 AM
Thanks so much for your comments/writings. They mean a lot. I'll answer generally and touch on much of it.

For the last month, I have in the process of trying to form a collaborative group of plein air artists. I have successfully posted on Craigslist, but I have as of yet been unsuccessful in actually getting people together, so I've gone out alone. Schedules clash, things come up, etc. It's been a pain, but I am trying.

I've looked for classes/workshops through societies, galleries, adult ed, park service, community college, and the artist's league. I have beat the bushes and I do so routinely.

Also, in the trying vein, I decided to do the pick up class via Craigslist, which wound up being with the pompous idiot I mentioned. I can't even tell you all the things he said, but I'll give a taste. Although it'd been several years since he did pastels, he insisted upon working on my painting. I resisted, he insisted, then I figured it was crap anyway, the afternoon was a waste, so I didn't care. He got around to my pastels in my French Companion and stated confidently for all to hear that they were very cheap. Stuttering, I replied that my pastels were all artist grade, the highest quality and most respected brands. There was no winning, as he retorted that they weren't hand rolled. Nor was my paper sanded by hand. The list goes on. Alas. I really tried to expand my horizons. Again, never again will I pay for a class with the teacher specializing in a different medium. I could tell this guy just wanted to get his hands dirty at my expense, then couldn't perform, so had to critique. He suggested that I had too many pastels, that I should only use about 12 pastels like an oil painter would have oils.

Although I haven't attempted it yet (just been reading the websites for over a year!), I have considered trying out the "local" plein air and pastel societies. I say "local" because this is a big area and they are actually in the next state - in an area you don't choose to drive in the evenings because of the traffic. Then the big events are on the wrong weekends, which leads to the following...

A large consideration and the reason I had gone ahead and signed up for that oils workshop (that I cancelled out of) is that I am a single mom, limited time/funds/etc. I have Wednesday evenings, every other weekend, and four weeks in the summer. That's all. It's tough to get a workshop over the summer in this area, so I thought I should try what I could get, then I realized that I was really pushing it by trying.

That's why I am considering taking this oils class next week - it is Friday evenings for six weeks and, as it falls, only one of those weeks I have my son. I am lucky that the plein air people I hope to paint with all have kids a little older than my son; they agree it's okay to bring kids and to even concentrate on going to parks that have playgrounds.

So, you can tell I feel so many obstacles, have tried many outlets to try to get around them, but sometimes feel like I am adding to the obstacles by choosing pastel and I wonder what to do, if I am just wired to fight up stream.

06-26-2006, 07:13 AM
I did it backwards too! Oils first, and now pastels. Why anyone figures there's a set way to go is a mystery to me...a tempest in a teapot inspired by someone's misconception! In the long run, we all grope along through the creative fog and simply use that which fits our preference at the time. As it should be. I still love oils and will likely do more in future, but that does'nt mean I'll ever give up my pastels!

06-26-2006, 09:14 AM
I'm definitely not saying I'd get rid of the pastels - I have way too much invested and I should be able to begin another 6 weeks session with my teacher in the fall. Not to mention, I do good work. (I've never been able to get the bottom signature bar to load, but I have my gallery setup at WC and Art-Agent. Click on my name and look!)

Right now I am wondering if branching out would be too distracting and I had false concerns of feeling like a traitor to pastels. I've never simultaneously done two media. I think I could put together an oil set with Holbein paints, a sketch box easel, and most supplies for under $100. That could be doable, but I wouldn't be moving on. I would be expanding my horizons. Or so I hope.

06-26-2006, 10:06 AM
Potoma!! I hear ya!!!:lol: I have been trying to establish my classes TEACHING pastels at the local AC Moore, and have been beating the bushes for students!!! LOL!!!

I also know the type of teacher you are talking about!! A friend of mine took me into the Howard County Arts building to introduce me to a Oil instructor she had taken a class with, and WOW, totally weird and pompous!!! Also, if you check out the MPS, there are lots of us teaching, so you could get a bunch of info, and maybe some one in your area, as I am in MD. In my directory I counted 20 members in Va..so you might just need to do a bit of searching. We have a Yahoo Group, and if you want, I could post a msg asking if anyone of the members in your area are doing instruction.

06-26-2006, 12:36 PM
Also, in the trying vein, I decided to do the pick up class via Craigslist, which wound up being with the pompous idiot I mentioned. I can't even tell you all the things he said, but I'll give a taste. Although it'd been several years since he did pastels, he insisted upon working on my painting. I resisted, he insisted, then I figured it was crap anyway, the afternoon was a waste, so I didn't care. He got around to my pastels in my French Companion and stated confidently for all to hear that they were very cheap. Stuttering, I replied that my pastels were all artist grade, the highest quality and most respected brands. There was no winning, as he retorted that they weren't hand rolled. Nor was my paper sanded by hand. The list goes on. Alas. I really tried to expand my horizons. Again, never again will I pay for a class with the teacher specializing in a different medium. I could tell this guy just wanted to get his hands dirty at my expense, then couldn't perform, so had to critique. He suggested that I had too many pastels, that I should only use about 12 pastels like an oil painter would have oils.

This guy would have pushed me right over the edge! Are you telling us you actually paid for this abuse?!?! The blood would have been running down my chin from biting my tongue! The landscape workshop I attended last weekend was run by one of the nicest and most qualified teachers. Robert Carsten was most generous in his knowledge and tips and most diplomatic in his critiques of our work and our working tools. He is a retired Art Teacher and if you look at his website you will see his qualifications and his wonderful works in pastel. I am up against the obstacle that I will probably not be able to use pastels in the winter because my asthma has gotten worse, so I will go back to acrylics for then - until someday I can have a big enough studio with proper ventilation, air cleaner, etc. I do wish you the very best in finding the right "fit" with a qualified instructor.

Donna A
06-26-2006, 02:27 PM
Opps--double post. D

Donna A
06-26-2006, 02:27 PM
Hi, Potoma! What a TOTAL IDIOT that idiot "teacher" was. Yikes! "Ignert" as dirt and about as safe around humans as a very, very angry pit bull. Congratulations----you survived the fool! Just know----not everyone you'd come across would be that nightmare horrible!

And another thing about our medium(s)-----our colors are OUR SERVANTS. THEY owe US allegience, rather than the other way around! Just as our sujbect matter and our materials of any sort are our servants. They are to serve and support us in our creative quests.

Something I noticed a long time ago was that soooo many of us, having been raised to be soooo polite---and to be very caretaking, often cringe that we may "insult" that poor pear modeling for us in our still life----or that tree out in the field. :-) Really. :-) I routinely remind artists now that they are the Empress---or Emperor of their painting domain! It's great fun and very good for us when you think about it a moment! :-) We are in a far better position when we know that those bits are there for US!

Now---with that said----I ABSOLUTELY ADORE AND LOVE AND RELISH my pastels, my oils, my acrylics, etc.! My subjects, my canvases and Colourfix, my lighting, my studios----everything!!! They are my friends and they support me. My alligience to them seems to be to honor them along with myself using them as creatively and joyfully as possible in making the art that comes out of my heart.

The less that holds us "hostage"----time constraints, $$, ideas, the more creative energy we have available to ourselves. And NONE of that precludes LOVING our medium, but recognizing it as a dear servant of our creative strivings!

Now I say this just in general to anyone out there because I find so many artists for whom it is useful to consider. Here is a pic of me surrounded by my pastels----and if you don't think I love and adore my materials----LOL! This was taken during a TV broadcast from my studio a couple of years ago with the cameraman, my oil easel behind him. Very best wishes! Donna ;-}


06-26-2006, 03:32 PM

quote :

«Further, my current instructor strongly advised against doing pastels alone in an oil workshop.»

If the workshop is a very technical one referring to oils, then he may have some point there.
If it's about creativity, then I don't see the point.
There's a very well known painter who wrote the book «A la prima».
He's name is Schmid.
In the Junes issue of The Artist's Magazine he says - I won't quote due to copyright issues - that his former students (now giving classes) are not telling how to do it but opening the artistic minds of their students.
I also thinks it's shameful to say less about a certain medium.
I'm very good at watercolour....a very good disaster :-)
But yet I want to practice it.



06-26-2006, 03:59 PM
"After you do pastels for a while, you'll start with oils," as if it were fact somehow.

Is pastel--->oil truly the natural progression or is that an oil elitist point of view?

What about you?

Anyone telling me what it is that I WILL be doing, what I am thinking, what I WILL be thinking, how I will react to ANYTHING, because I am no different from them, apparently, has stunted their lives long ago. They rely on their own experiences exclusively as if they are fact, just as you said, and when I hear generalized statements like that I run, a pretty obvious trot, in a direction they are not in. I'm way too busy to give a second to people who "know" all about everything and spout off generalizations in every other sentence, and who don't have an ounce of gray in them... all black or all white doesn't work in my life. I like Donna's name: "ignert". :rolleyes:
Potoma, doesn't talk like this make you feel like you continued to mature with open eyes with your experiences through the years while others stayed at junior high or grade school age? "If Bob Smith says we have to jump off a bridge, we have to, you know, it's just the way it is." :lol: :lol: :lol: Say that last sentence like you are a grade schooler with affectation in your voice. It's a hoot.
Having brought TOO MANY pastels with you to the class, oh my, it sounds like what this "ignert" fool wanted to have happen was that you packed up and left immediately. Oh, and "oils are MUCH more valuable than pastels", didn't we all know this? Therefore, we all ARE wasting our time with pastels, according to these generalizing characters. Well, me, I'm gonna just waste my time having a grand old time learning and experimenting and continuing on my merry old way with luscious chalk sticks in my hand for a very long time to come.
Ok, I'm done.
Potoma, keep on creating in the best way you know how, just for you, and what you need to express in the way you need to express your creativity. Deborah is right, gather likeminded people around you however you can whenever you can....a good creative group is priceless. Hope this thread has helped you know that likeminded artists really are out there! :wave:

06-26-2006, 08:47 PM
Okay, I am belaboring this idiot, but since you sort of asked... I'd have left the class if I could. He insisted that we all ride together in his SUV. The back streets were twisty-turny, but I had a map and could have made it on my own. I told them my gear would not fit and they would not hear of it.

Think Twilight Zone.

So, on site, I was literally stuck. After me trying to draw with pastel pencils on La Carte (impossible), I decided to try to take what I could from the afternoon and just do regular ol' pastels. He made some aside comment about going impressionistic, because he is very technical, very Renaissance-y, very anti-unrepresentational.

He and one student commented on my 'extensive' equipment (which should have told him I am experienced) vs. the little bit of stuff they had for charcoal - I do come prepared, but I only had a Jerry's art cart and my French easel. Good thing I was prepared, because I needed it all.

I had never used La Carte, but had unearthed a tablet the day before. He panned my white Wallis and I had no alcohol to make a wash to tone it. He also panned the dark gray ColorFix and insisted on the middle tone of the La Carte. He felt like white was too distracting and, early on, I really was earnestly trying to learn something, the hoped upon value of a new teacher.

Here I was, trying hard to represent pastels and myself well, but I could not make my way through the La Carte pebbles! I got a basic drawing down and was having trouble filling it in, but I would have made it. However, during the ugly stage that every painting goes through, he insisted upon getting his hands on it.

Starting out, he also panned the white tape I used to secure the paper to the back of the Koool binder. Later, he gave a condescending values demo on the canvas of the woman starting to learn oils, putting down a dot of black, then facetiously looking for a place to put down an opposite value white dot (as if he had not toned the canvas and he even gestured to having to go on the side of the canvas but then he couldn't see it!), so white on white doesn't show up! Duh! I wanted to scream that if my whole paper is white, then it is one huge white dot! And if my paper is used/colored, then the white tape would work just as well, too. But I had to ride back with these people.

The two women in the class, regulars, but very beginner-y, were nice ladies. They would often engage me in conversation. After the class, upon reflection, I realized that neither of them accomplished much. It was as if he did their charcoal and oil for them, kind of like them being the sort of student he would routinely attract. I am much too independent.

Honestly, despite my frustration, I did stand up for myself, sometimes politely, then less so. He insisted that current artists pale in comparison to those 300 years ago, so we should defer to what they did (e.g. blend), because we are all basically crap. So, me with my graduate education in art history, began quizzing him on what it means to him to be a classical painter. I realized then that all the things he said, the hand rolled pastels, the hand sanded paper, the theories on what it means to be classical were merely as the puppet of an anal mentor. This guy had no classical education, no substance. Perhaps he could paint in a style he personally appreciated whilst denigrating all other movements, but he was an ignorant gomba who just happened to paint and draw relatively well. It was almost humiliating paying him $30, but it was like my ticket to escape.

However, him aside, I have heard it so many times that pastels are the gateway to oils. I'm not a lemming diving off a cliff. Hearing it twice in one week irked me, as I've had such a hard time finding a place with pastels.

I just placed an order with Jerry's for $160, got a little extra stuff. Then I went to the website to pay for the class. I'd checked over the weekend, it was at 5/12, so I figured it was safe.


Talk about frustration. I have reached my limit.

I am proud I have watched my language.

06-26-2006, 09:04 PM
PS - forgot to say I canceled the order, but jeez I wasted a lot of time on it.

KA Obee
06-26-2006, 09:34 PM
Oh for Goodness SAKES! What a nightmare!!!!

I'm like you - I would have done anything not to have ridden with the class in his car because I really like to be able to leave when I want to. (Or maybe I'm just a total control freak, whatEVER.) I would have used the excuse that I have two small boys and one never knows when one of them will end up in need of stitches - so I have to be ready at a moments notice to dash off to the emergency room. (What can I say, I'm the mother of boys!) At that point he would have assumed I was a complete lunatic (correctlly) and hopefully would have kept his distance for the rest of the class.

Oh, just reading your story drives me to distraction because I know how hard it is to take a whole day for a painting class when you have a child! It's a huge commitment! (Even without kids it's a huge commitment!) For him to waste not only your money, but your precious time, to me is just unforgivable!

Was he sponsored by the local art league? If so, you should let them know about your experience. Someone like that shouldn't be teaching. Its not fair to have people who are just trying to learn be subjected to that kind of behavior.

I hope you find a class soon. In the mean while, take Donna's and everyone elses advice and use WC to the hilt!

Things can only get better, really!


06-27-2006, 09:16 AM
I am proud I have watched my language.

:lol: :lol:
I can interject where I think you might've wanted to express yourself a bit.

Potoma, if you didn't get much c n c here at WetCanvas, title your thread Need Help PLEASE!!! Maybe that will elicit more than two responses. It's such a hit or miss sometimes on this site to get responses you need because people's lives are so busy. I haven't been posting much in the past couple months just for that reason, and just able to read a few threads here and there. Keep reaching out for info and help and comradeship for both endeavors. It's great that you can bring your art in your life.....
Your writing is very captivating, btw, and I felt like I was there with you while you were enduring the experience...you have a talent for the written word. :thumbsup:

06-27-2006, 09:58 AM
Hi again,

There are many good pastel workshops there.
As there are for other mediums.
You should see here, one has a couple of ones and that's already good.
You know, I'm having oil painting lessons twice a week.
Once my teacher (who prefers oil to other mediums and he says it) told me that I could bring pastels to the class if I wanted to.
And if I want to work on other mediums, he'll be glad to help me with those.
I do must say that I'm in the class with just another student.
The classes don't have a stricted time. Sometimes they go for about 4 hours.
And the best is that I pay 50 Euro per month with supplies included (except for canvases).
Ah! And he knows alot about Art History and is a person with a wide culture knowledge. Maybe because he's a templar.
But back to your problem.
I would do an engine search with the words «workshop» «your state» «pastel».

Best regards,


06-27-2006, 11:45 AM
Potoma, I really hope this jerk has not dampened your desire to use pastels. I was sorry to hear you had cancelled your order. Personally, I would never ride with someone else because I do not like feeling trapped. Not that I would have any preconcieved thoughts of leaving the class; its just a safety thing and I am very independent. I hope you can put this experience aside - I think you see him for who he is as you described him last. Forget him and do what you want!
Best wishes,

Merethe T
06-27-2006, 06:53 PM
Hi Potoma, so sorry to hear about your workshop-experience, sounds awefull!

Just wanted to give you a little tip regarding critiques here at WC. My knowledge and growth as an artist is basically based on WC, reading the threads, viewing other's work, getting feedback - as there are very few workshops available where I live, and non of them pastels. And I've learned so much, this is a wonderful resource! If you haven't visited the Critique center here at WC I'd recommend it,either the open criticue or the structured critique forum. I've posted a couple of works there when I want structured critique, and I've gotten some very helpfull critiques there. Just a tip in case you didn't know about the forums.

Other then that - keep painting, keep posting and you'll grow,and I hope you'll find a good teacher who's able to help you reach your goals! :)

06-27-2006, 09:12 PM
Thanks for everyone's suggestions and support. Finding that teacher was part of my efforts to hook up with other painters. I found him through Craigslist; I don't know of a place to report him to, as I didn't find him through an art institution.

I am still hoping my other efforts at expanding my horizons pan out. Both the effort and the desire are there, regardless of the medium. I'd thought I would never do oils, but if that's what it takes at some point to stay active and keep the creative juices flowing, then I will. I like the discipline of being in a regular class with others, so I will go where the available classes lead me. In general, I feel like I am pretty good at composition and other higher artistic goals, so I feel like I need help on technique, especially if I do oils.

Cindy, thanks for commenting on my writing. It is something I've considered taking past the hobbist level, but I'd rather be an artist using that time. Or it'd be cool to be a ghost or partner writer for an artist!

06-27-2006, 11:07 PM

Let me ask you something.
Do you know the work of Tom Sierak ?
He works on white paper.
I could bet a Lamborghini Murcielago on how your «teacher» does not come close.



06-27-2006, 11:38 PM
It is so funny you would say that. In the last week, I was looking at the supply list for a workshop - seems like it was someone in PA on WC. It was something too far away from me, but I was curious in general.

Imagine the chuckle I got when the teacher wrote that white and only white Wallis (or sub AS) would be accepted. No tones allowed.

The way I look at that, I figure I have something to learn from any teacher and I want to give that teacher a chance to teach me something that is based on their experience and preferences. So I would go with white, even if I preferred toned, or I would choose not to take the workshop. I figure, in general, you should give a teacher credence for his/her method, unless they get all uppity and obnoxious about it.

06-28-2006, 12:08 AM

Well, one must bear in mind that the use of certain materials depends upon a person preferences or kind of work/theme or methods.
For insteance, at Tom Sierak's site he's asked if he worked on suede.
He says no because it's not compatible with his method. Not because it should not be used.



Donovan Wilde
06-28-2006, 10:59 AM
Wow. I assume since it's a class they believe oil is a more advanced/harder to master medium and that is definitely not true.

06-28-2006, 11:43 AM
I think a lot of us have had bad experiences with so called experts relating to pastels, whether they are teachers or gallery owners. They chose to denigrate because they feel threatened and lack understanding.

I've learned so much by hanging out regularly with two other pastel artists - we share critiques and tips. When I took a class, I've felt that I've learned more because of the background/feedback from my fellow artists. We've painted plein air mostly and are trying to develop a joint exhibit.

Keep looking for a mentor - perhaps look for a fellow artist who is more at your level - you'll be surprized how much they have to offer. You can grow together.

I've taken great workshops from Anita Louise West (great at teaching to you at your level), Sally Strand (more advanced concepts), Albert Handel (ohhh so inspiring), and Doug Dawson (value plans, simplication, and color choices). If there is any way you can get to their workshops, they are more than worth the money and time.

Oils v. pastels - they are both creating art just different mediums. If you must change to oil to get great instruction, by all means do so. You will be able to use those skills when you return to pastels.

Donna A
06-28-2006, 08:12 PM
I've taken great workshops from Anita Louise West (great at teaching to you at your level), Sally Strand (more advanced concepts), Albert Handel (ohhh so inspiring), and Doug Dawson (value plans, simplication, and color choices). If there is any way you can get to their workshops, they are more than worth the money and time.

Anita and Albert are teaching a workshop, 4-days if I remember correctly, in Kansas City in June 2007, presented by the MidAmerica Pastel Society. YOu can check out info at http://www.midamericapastel.org for more information. There are several spots left----well, four when I did the last newsletter. If you don't find enough info there, let me know. I'll find which newsletter had the fullest info and can send a pdf. Take good care! Donna ;-}