View Full Version : Inspirational Pastel Artists

11-29-2007, 04:08 PM
Hi everyone,

I did a bit of searching on the forums here and found a few posts sort of like this, but nothing specific to pastels. My question is this: What pastel artists have been your biggest inspiration? It could be whoever your favorite pastel artists are, those that you learned a lot from by looking at their paintings, etc. Right now I am trying to find artists so I can look at their work, their style, their techniques, etc. and learn as much as I can.
Thanks a lot in advance!

Kathryn Wilson
11-29-2007, 05:20 PM
Hi Adam - there are many for me, but the artist who has been the most inspirational and the most help is our own dear, Deborah Secor.

Albert Handell's and Bob Rohm's videos are to die for inspiration - Richard McKinley, Elizabeth Mowry, Christine Howe. Two of our fellow WC'ers who have inspired are Mark Hanson and Mike Beeman.

Merethe T
11-29-2007, 06:10 PM
I find inspiration from many artists too, among them several artists from this forum....among them Deborah, Ponting, J Simmonds, Mike Beeman, Julie (SweetbabyJ) - and many more! I'd recommend a search for Gaka - brilliant artist who used to hang aroung in here, look up his demos...and demos / WIP's from WC'ers mentioned earlier...

Other brilliant artists - Andrew Hemmingway, and Claudio Bravo - amazing stuff! Daniel Greens videos are great too.. Books I've enjoyed and learned from are Elizabeth Mowry and Harley Brown.

Lots and lots to learn and get inspiration from....I love Pastel Journal aswell, a subscription there is well spent money for me....

Deborah Secor
11-29-2007, 06:58 PM
:o Aw...thanks...

Deborah Secor
11-29-2007, 07:07 PM
I have so many who have inspired me...

Recently I've been looking at Liz Haywood-Sullivan's work. Check these out:


Love her juicy colors and bold approach!

I'm also enjoying Larry Moore's work:


Moody, quick and skies--my kinda paintings!


11-30-2007, 12:26 AM
There are quite a few pastel artists that I really enjoy looking at their work. Many have already been mentioned, but I'll reiterate nonetheless. Albert Handell, Claudio Bravo, Harley Brown, Maggie Price. And many are WC members that I admire as well, Merethe, AliciaS, Deborah, Donna A, I could go on and on.

I can only hope to someday come close to what they achieve.

11-30-2007, 09:56 AM
Me too, me too! I've bookmarked a few including Alicia Sotherland as well. Also, Bill James, Sally Strand, Ellen Dreibelbis and Margaret Dyer. Can you tell I love painting people? Deborah, I'm looking up those two artists - beautiful wowies. I'm going to watch this thread. I like to go to different artist's websites right before I go in to draw - like a private pep rally before the game!


Deborah Secor
11-30-2007, 01:20 PM
Great idea, Christine! Maybe it would be good if we post links to the names we mention so people can just click and look!

Liz Haywood-Sullivan (http://www.haywood-sullivan.com/pastel/index.html)

Larry Moore (http://larrymoorestudios.com/pastels.html) (Be sure to check out his figurative work, too--'Madame Butterfly' is one of my favorites--the one lower down on the figures page.... He painted a lot of images used for posters for the Orlando Opera! Gorgeous work. He switches back and forth from pastels and oils.)


11-30-2007, 02:34 PM
The links are a great idea Deborah, I'll have to search around to post some of mine for this thread. So far so good, a lot of great artists already!

11-30-2007, 03:55 PM
Thanks for sharing Liz's fantastic paintings!

11-30-2007, 04:52 PM
I find inspiration in Degas, Mary Cassett, Wolf Kahn and Georgia O'Keeffe!

11-30-2007, 09:56 PM
I will second Degas and Cassatt, two of the "old" masters. Lots of talented people right here on WC. No one does landscapes better than Paula Ford. Check out her recent demos. Arnold Lowery does some beautiful work in pastels, watercolor and acrylic. Lots of others, too. The quality of the work in the pastel forum is remarkable.


12-01-2007, 03:47 PM
If I did this right, here are a few links:



And I agree about Degas and Cassatt - two of my very, very favorites.

Deborah Secor
12-01-2007, 05:09 PM
May I share the work of a woman that came otme a few years back for some classes?

Sarah Blumenschein (http://www.sarahblumenschein.com/gallery.htm)
She has quite a knack for still life (which she sure didn't learn from me! :lol:)

And I like Andrew McDermott (http://www.jenkinsshowlergallery.com/dynamic/Artists/Andrew_McDermott.asp), too. Nice depth of color.


And it's so nice to see a pastel artist who is showing and selling right alongside the 'big kids on the block'--check out this work by Clive Tyler (http://www.rcvfd-richard-schmid-art-auction.com/clive_tyler.htm).


12-01-2007, 05:48 PM
There is some great talent here at WC.

So I find 80% of the artists that inspire me are all here in the Pastel Forum! Not just the wonderful talents of the more experienced artists, but the inexperienced as well. As one who is relatively new to pastels, it inspires me to be able to observe the growth of other pastelists who are also relatively new to the pastel experience. To watch their growth and knowledge expand with each new painting is the greatest inspiration to me. I think..."well if they can do it, I gotta give it a whirl".

Also I have to include these three artists who's work also inspires me...

www.kimfancherlordier.com (http://www.kimfancherlordier.com)


12-01-2007, 08:27 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have never posted anything, so I hope this comes through all right. I just wanted to thank Carol for including me in her list of Inspirational Pastel Artists. I was looking at my website statistics and ran across the WetCanvas forum and followed the thread, what a treat.

I would like to add these two artists to the list.

www.nancymacdonald.com (http://www.nancymacdonald.com)
www.skipwhitcomb.com (http://www.skipwhitcomb.com)

Hello Deborah!

Thank you, Carol.

Kim Lordier from California

Deborah Secor
12-01-2007, 08:34 PM
Hey, Kim! Hi!! :wave: Glad to have you joining us here!

Oh yeah, I agree, Nancy MacDonald is one of my favorites, too.


12-02-2007, 12:03 AM
For something different you might want to check out the work of French Canadian pastel painter Horace Champagne



12-02-2007, 01:21 AM
Hi Kim,

Welcome to Wet Canvas. I'm tickled to think I am responsible for your discovery of Wet Canvas!

I hadn't heard of either Skip or Nancy. Wow, they do great work! I can see I will be doing some homework studying their work.

Hi Wendell-Horace is another one I hadn't heard of. Great website. He works wonders with color.

Wow this is a great thread- Thanks Adam for getting this started!


Merethe T
12-02-2007, 10:56 AM
Good thread!

A couple of links:
Claudio Bravo: http://www.puc.cl/faba/ARTE/MUSEO/MuseoExpoBravoI.html
Andrew Hemingway: http://www.briansinfield.com/b_artists.php?a=14
and http://www.messums.com/exh_tn.asp?exID=20

alaskan rose
12-02-2007, 11:46 AM
Great thread! :thumbsup:

I am especially inspired by those who paint plein air, like Kim Lordier, Richard McKinley and Albert Handell, also Marc Hanson, Deborah Secor and Tom Christopher from WC. Also many WC's, who are up and coming. I study alot of the plein air oil painters like Larry Seiler as well. I am very inspired by his work. I think there are alot of things to learn from them as well that can be applied to pastel.

12-02-2007, 01:38 PM
Hi Kim, Great to see you again! I was wondering who was going to recommend Nancy MacDonald and I see you are already mentioned.

Hurrah for two greats I even know personally.

Barb Noonan

12-02-2007, 03:57 PM
Wow, I can see how a site like this can get addicting! I keep coming back to see what else has been written and to see the new artists recommended.

Hi Barbara! Great to hear from you. How is the pacific northwest? We are missing you at Bob's (Bob Gerbracht- A master pastelist and amazing teacher!)

Thanks for the welcome, Carol.

Thank you Alaskan Rose. Can't believe you and Carol are putting my work up alongside the greats like this, I am humbled.

Kim Lordier from California

12-02-2007, 04:42 PM
Well, I guess I should add my two cents worth. I remember finding WC and spendind days just looking at all of the great paintings. This site has been the biggest inspiration for me. With that said, a community is only as good as the people who are in it. We have fantastic, caring and generous people here who take the time to help out people like me who are just starting out.

Where else could you have Deborah Secor give you tips on your landscape, have Donna A spend weeks showing you step by step instructions on PanPs or have Paula Ford offer you help by PM when you aren't confident enough to show your painting in public. Nowhere else.

It is also inspiring to see other people grow as artists with every painting they do. I have learned so much from so many people here that I just want to say a big THANK YOU to each and every participant in the Pastel Forum.


Susan Borgas
12-02-2007, 05:09 PM
If it wasn't for all the members here I know I wouldn't be the 'rounded' artist that I am now. When I read the words "Inspirational Pastel Artists", it isn't just about the artists work, it is also about an individual themselves no matter the level of their work. The Pastel Forum has a strong community that looks out for each other and for this reason I will post this link (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=18) to the most inspiring artists that I have the privilege to know. :thumbsup::clap: :clap: :clap:

Deborah Secor
12-02-2007, 11:22 PM
Well, I just now stumbled upon a link I've been looking for: Brad Faegre (http://faegrefineart.blogspot.com/) Great article on his blog here about building a painting on a colored surface.

Lookit this color!! And I love his stroke work...



It's really cool that all of you find the Pastel Forum so inspiring--don't forget to credit our leaders, the Moderators and Guides, who really do a lot to keep the place running smoothly, even when we don't recognize it. Trust me, it's a lot of work but they seem to do it with enthusiasm and ease...
So, here's a BIG THANK YOU from me to the leadership team here!


12-03-2007, 10:10 AM
I'm very partial to Deborah Deichler's work, highly detailed still-lifes, often with a somewhat mystical theme. I also own several beautiful pastel still-lifes by Cynthia Pow, she's fairly local to me, and works on Ingres paper, with a beautiful layering technique, almost like watercolour.


12-03-2007, 10:10 AM
:heart: Oh, my! Where do I start?
Right at the top, I'll put our own Deborah Secor!
Why? Not only is she a wonderful artist with paintings that continue to inspire me more and more as I see more of them....
But, this dear master is available to us everyday. She walks her talk right here on WC with her most generous daily doses of inspiration. But, she, also, gives us the most important message that she is learning with us, day by day!
Now, I'll say Richard Mckinley...again availability and helpfulness. He freely gives of himself in articles, videos, video clips, blogs etc. Also, he is a master of the underpaint and sparkle of light!
Albert Handell is right up there for me as he applies so well all the teachings and design qualities. His sense of the moment in his paintings is breath-taking.
Elizabeth Mowry inspires me with her tremendous ability to capture soft light and delicate moments. There is a special glow to her work that always amazes me.
Last, but not least, Bob Rohm, as he was my into. to soft pastels and continues to help me see how to intigrate and select from the scene before me to what I want to put into my paintings.
Then, I just have to add: WC! This source is the daily vitamin I need!
Thanks ya'all!

Deborah Secor
12-03-2007, 12:33 PM
:o :o Aw thanks again. I'm honored to be in the company you mentioned.

Deborah Secor
12-08-2007, 06:10 PM
Here's another one I forgot to mention: Tony Allain. (http://www.tonyallain.com/gallery.aspx)



Yum! I want to paint this way...


12-08-2007, 11:53 PM
I'd have to say my favorite right now is JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET.

Especially his work like: http://www.frenchdrawings.org/images/full/1964.24.jpg,
and of course his flowers like the narcissus and violets.

12-09-2007, 04:51 PM
Deborah, you've been posting great pastel artists to look through. But that last one you posted - Tony Allain - his work really caught my eye. Wonderful gestural strokes and amazing use of color. Thank you so much for posting that link. It is now bookmarked.

Has he been featured in Pastel Journal yet? What a great artist!

Deborah Secor
12-09-2007, 08:13 PM
Rain, Allain hasn't, but I have sure suggested it... maybe one day he will be there! I sure hope so--I want to do that interview! :D


12-11-2007, 12:22 AM
Oh Deborah you really really should do that interview of Tony Allain!!! :D Then I'll be hovering around counting days until that issue goes to print!