View Full Version : Pastel Journal magazine....what's it like?

09-27-2006, 08:51 AM
Since the demise of International Pastel Artist, we dont have a pastel magazine available in the UK (other than a few pages stuck inside the current International Artist magazine). I have been thinking about subscribing to the U.S.A's PastelJournal and would like to know whether people think it is a useful magzine; or whether they prefer something else. Just bear in mind that it has to be available to a UK subscriber.

Bill Foehringer
09-27-2006, 09:58 AM
I think it's a fine magazine. It's been around quite awhile, meaning alot of people must think it's worthwhile since so many mags fold up.
It has useful articles for the artist. That's the main point the artist is important to this magazine. Of course I'm not naive, the advertisers pay big money but the consumers are the pastel artists.
With the change in focus of Plein Air Magazine from p-a artist to high-end collector and gallery in its new incarnation as Fine Art Connoisseur I will be sending my money to Pastel Journal although the FAC is still full of fantastic images.
Anyway, all we need to do is give PJ enough material to make it into a 12 issue mag, LOL. Possibly issues alternating between plein air and studio art, more LOLs.
If you can get PJ do so. BillF

09-27-2006, 10:19 AM
I love it. It has a nice mix of article types, not alot of beginner stuff, though it does have some of the basics. Something for every type of pastel artist. It is made well too, nice paper, nice layouts etc. Definately worth the money.

Deborah Secor
09-27-2006, 12:12 PM
Well, I claim to be the 'grandma' of the magazine and you know how grandma's are, always bragging on their grandkids...but I'm glad to hear a couple of you think it's worth it! :D I really do think this is a good magazine for pastelists. They try to keep the artwork varied, and include information on some of the peripheral subjects, too.

For instance, today I'm finishing up a feature article that will very extensivly discuss the materials and supplies various pastelists use to store finished, unframed pastels in the studio, including how they transport them to phototgrapher and framer, how they show unframed paintings in the studio or portfolio, etc. You usually see at least three features on individual artists in every issue.

Once a year they hold a contest, The Pastel 100, so in the March/April edition you'll see the creme de la creme of the entries, which is always fun!

I know when we started this magazine we wanted it to be suited to pastelists who were a bit past the 'how-to' stage and ready to get into the meat of the medium, and in the intervening 8 years it's never departed from that stance.

A monthly magazine? Wow--that would be great...but so far I don't see it coming. We'd need a LOT more people to buy pastels, support the advertisers, and subscribe to the magazine.


09-27-2006, 01:28 PM
There are at least 3 regular writers for the PJ who are WC members- that's got to count for something!
The magazine has been mostly about US pastelists, although there has been a bit more of an international component lately.(sends a smile toward Deborah)
There used to be something in it for oil pastelists too, then there wasn't, but we're hoping there will be again.

Deborah Secor
09-27-2006, 02:47 PM
(smiling back at Wendy) I just interviewed an oil pastelist, too, soooooo.... :thumbsup:


09-27-2006, 03:04 PM
I too miss Pastel Artist International, which was a great place to learn about pastels. The Pastel Journal, although it has a bit different approach, is also an excellent place to learn about pastels.

The only thing I think you might miss are the step-by-step demonstration sort of articles that PAI used to have in every issue; PJ does have some, but tends to offer them far less frequently. (I really appreciate the progress shots in your Andrew McDermott article in the last issue, Deborah - those are really helpful to beginner/intermediate artists).

PJ tends to offer more artist profiles; it's interesting (and useful :)) to hear artists talk about their work, and things they've learned as their careers have progressed. And PJ also has a lot of info about workshops (some of which are in Europe).

Basically, it's a great magazine with a lot of useful information in every issue. The folks at PJ tend to be very nice. Maybe you could write and request a complimentary issue, to check it out and make sure you like it before you make a committment. :)

Oh, and I second the request Wendy made for more oil pastel articles. Thanks for listening, Deborah. :)

09-27-2006, 03:08 PM
I love the PJ in the sense that it is dedicated to my one medium, although I subscribe to several others also, cuz I do put my fingers in other pots from time to time, and want to stay up on things:lol:
I think the mag is much better these days, and a bit more sophisticated,(waving at Dee :wave: )...so, all in all, I don't think you can go wrong by subscribing...

09-27-2006, 04:47 PM

My favorite is American Artist.
I have some issues of Pastel Journal. But I find the American Artist a better one (unless you want something only dedicated to pastels).
And the A.A.'s site beats the P.J.'s hands down.

Kind regards,


Kind regards,


09-27-2006, 10:32 PM
Personally, my favorite is Southwest Art magazine because of the type of art. I always check out the PJ but I always put it back, it bores me for some reason. Obviously I love pastels but there is something lacking in the magazine for my interest, maybe it's the type of art that is chosen. I thumb thru it and then put it back on the shelf. The few I have purchased I never seem to take off by bookshelf at home because it doesn't grab me.

The reason I like SW Art mag is because they have alot of interviews and pictures of artists and where they live and such, their studio's. SW Art is also in general, very colorful art which is what I like to look at. Very wet and vibrant art. To me PJ is dry, kind of boring....

Sorry Dee... maybe you can solicit artists like Marla Baggetta or James Southworth or Susan Olgivie for interviews? Dee, you should have more interviews on you, because your art is fit for SW Art magazine, very colorful like these other artists I mention above.

Just my two cents even though it could make me very unpopular here:(

nana b
09-28-2006, 12:06 AM
I have just recieved my second PJ magazine and I really like them. It's definitaly worth the money. I am looking forward to no 3.

Nana B

Deborah Secor
09-28-2006, 01:20 AM
Sorry Dee... maybe you can solicit artists like Marla Baggetta or James Southworth or Susan Olgivie for interviews? Dee, you should have more interviews on you, because your art is fit for SW Art magazine, very colorful like these other artists I mention above.

Interesting suggestions, though we did a big feature on Susan recently. Thank you that you think I'm suited to SW Art. :D I'm too busy writing about others to submit anything about myself.... F+W has a corner on me! I'm writing for three of their publications now, which is great.


09-28-2006, 10:35 AM
I'm a fairly new subscriber to PJ. In general I enjoy the magazine. I admit I'd like to see a few more "how to" sort of articles, and fewer artist profiles - thought I do enjoy them. But the issues I've had seen to have profiles of about three artists in each issue. I'd much rather see two artists profiled, and another good meaty article on a pastel-related topic. I love Deborah's article on storing pastel paintings not long ago, and it actually helped me get most of my paintings out of the piles they were stacked in on top of bookshelves, and stored neatly in my closet. :)

Deborah Secor
09-28-2006, 12:30 PM
All of you who want more 'how-to' articles are either in the minority or you aren't making your desires known to the editors. I'd love to continue a series started years ago called 'focus on fundamentals' but the editorial stance is that the readers do NOT want the basics, but are farther along in their journey and want inspiration and technical (technique-related) information.

Also, let me mention that Maggie Price's upcoming book, Painting with Pastels; Easy Techniques to Master the Medium, will have many of the step-by-step kinds of descriptions you mention. I did one on how to paint a dog's portrait and I know there are others in there. It won't be out until May (at the IAPS convention) but be sure to look for it then. Maggie's recent article on color in the PJ was a 'good meaty article on a pastel-related topic', I thought, so I was glad to see it there.

Oh--and Debbie, I'm writing a companion article on the subject of how to store, transport and keep track of unframed pastels right now. Hope it gives you even more ideas... :)