Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Sandy Askey Adams

Sandy Askey Adams

Allegheny Forest Land

Maybe I did not know at age 4 the exact meaning of the word 'artist', but I did know the excited feeling that was exploding inside my soul when touching pencil and paints to paper. Even as a little girl, I had found my passion. Drawing and painting became my companion, refuge and strength. A natural and essential form of self-expression. It became a life long journey of sheer joy,  discipline, dedication, trial and error with also the blood, sweat and tears.

Perhaps being born in the little country town of Patton,Pa. began my love  of nature. As a young child I fondly remember walks in the woods and surrounding mountains. The rippling brooks, streams and creeks meandering though the woods still remain among my fondest memories. It was an introduction to the beginning of a deep appreciation for nature. Nature's sounds and moods struck a chord in my heart, in my spirit. One that I would seek out, feel at peace with and be inspired by forever.  And, one  that I would always try to capture some how, some way on canvas or paper. There was a need to express and share the experience I felt within my soul. Nature's peacefulness, her tranquil beauty and serenity.  She has beckoned me continuously throughout my life to take a walk with her.

Winter Woods at Sunset

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Along life's path, my palette of experience includes teaching art to children and adults, painting wall murals for schools, designer homes and private homes, designing theater sets, organizing art exhibits and being  active in art associations, also various illustrations including illustrations  for a book titled "Nature Buff's Story" about Allegheny National Forest. As the exclusive artist for Hammer-Smith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island, (which was owned by Jacqueline Kennedy's mother and was the Summer White House during  the term of John F. Kennedy) I was commissioned to paint the landscape, flower  gardens and mansion of the property. My most unusual commission was a pen & ink series of ghostly apparitions through the descriptions from people who witnessed these apparitions. It wasn't scary, but it sure was fascinating.

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Whispering Woods

It is funny how we sometimes make a complete circle in our lives ending up where we began. Many years ago one of my first mediums was pastels.  For some reason, over the years, I ended up not working as much with the pastels concentrating more so on the oils and watercolors and only doing the pastels once in awhile. Finally, one day while feeling discouraged about my work and after praying for some kind of guidance and inspiration, I was consumed with an overwhelming urge to do the pastels again. So in 2004, I ordered the Wallis paper and retrieved my pastels only to realize that I needed new pastels. Upon beginning this renewed adventure with the pastel medium, I felt like I had returned home, but with much catching up to do. However, I was excited and glad that I had found that lost love again. How could I have stayed  away so long?  My closest artist friends were very supportive telling me I would win awards and to stay with the pastels because it was my medium. Amazingly, since 2004, some how, I have managed to win 22 awards with the  pastels. I know I have a long way to go with much to learn and much improvement to do. That self-doubt is there yet causing me to constantly examine and question myself about what way and how I can improve, develop and push myself beyond where I am today. Each day I strive to do a better painting than yesterday hoping someday to truly be worthy of the title, artist.

Nature's Calm

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A little leery of entering National Art Shows, I entered my first National Juried Pastel Show in 2008 with the Pastel Society of the Northern Rockies in which I had all three pieces accepted. I also entered the National "Paint  The Parks" Art Show and Competition in 2008 and the National "Paint America Top  100" Art Show in 2007.  I was happily stunned when my works were  selected to be among the Top 100 winning works in the United States. (Pictured is the pastel titled "Allegheny Forest Land" one of the winning paintings in "Paint the Parks" and "Whispering Woods" one of the winners in  "Paint America".

Among my most happiest times in the art field came when I was accepted as a Juried Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America. I live that moment over and over again. Of course, I am thrilled to be a Full Member of the Maryland Pastel Society, as well as holding membership in several other pastel societies. The pastel artist members of these societies are amazing and are incredibly inspiring.

For over 27 years, I have followed the Outdoor Art Show circuit. I  began doing these type of shows while residing in New England for six (6) years  with my husband and two daughters. The shows got into my blood and today I  still do them as my livelihood, besides being affiliated with art galleries.

My forever challenge is to interpret and offer the impression of what stirs my soul so that hopefully it will also stir the viewers soul. My gratefulness is to God and nature and when and or if someone is moved by my  work.

Galleries representing Sandy's paintings:
Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art
Hardcastle Gallery