Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Betsy M. Kellum, PSA, PSWC-DP, MPS, CLWAC, SPS


Black-eyed Susans and Pear

My creative interests growing up involved dance and french horn.  I majored in dance my first year of college at Univ. of Wisconsin but switched to education and transferred to W&M.  After marrying my high school sweetheart right after college, the next 25 years were spent raising our two daughters, playing tennis, running an exercise business and moving all over the east coast.  It wasn't until the threat of the empty nest that I was forced to find something that would fill those vacant hours.  We lived in Oakton, VA at the time and I enrolled in a drawing class at the Torpedo Factory.  Two concentrated years of study in drawing and oil painting at The Art League with Lisa Semerad, Danni Dawson, Michael Francis and many hours with Diane Tesler propelled me into what has become a wonderful lifetime endeavor. Later pastel workshops with Albert Handell and Doug Dawson opened my eyes to the unlimited possibilities with this wonderful medium.  Pastel allows me to sketch, draw and paint with intimate contact to the medium itself.... I get my hands dirty!  The variety of stroke-making is evident from artist to artist; just like a personal signature.  I love the forgiving nature of pastel, and use the perogative to change my mind! (alas, more than I should.)   I work in oil as well, and the two mediums are a marriage made in heaven.

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Pears on Chenille

I feel fortunate to have achieved Signature Membership in Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of the West Coast (Distinguished Pastelist), Southeastern Pastel Society, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, NY, and our own Maryland Pastel Society.  Having attended several of the IAPS Conventions, I've had the pleasure to meet many of the wonderful members of these different pastel organizations, and learned something useful every time.  I have been published in the Pastel Journal three times, and in 2009 was selected for the Best of America, Pastel, Vol. II.   July 6th I was awarded the 'Best In Show' at the Art League monthly show at the Torpedo Factory, Old Town, Alexandria; a very pleasant surprise to say the least!  The painting: a pastel still life, Powhatan Clay, Mfg. Co.

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Sweet Georgia Peach

A visit to my website, will show that I paint still life, landscape, interiors, pet portraits and figurative works, sometimes looking like more than one artist was at work!  It's part of the 'jack of all trades'  personality that I must live with.  I paint what I love and I paint for myself... not for shows and not for sales... and I let the chips fall where they may.
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[c;Paper Mache Cheval:c}

I have a wonderful home studio, west of Richmond, where I teach 8-week sessions of classes in the fall and in the spring.  An attempt to venture out and offer traveling workshops has not panned out.  Maybe in my next life??  Besides my art, I enjoy 1 husband, 2 children, 2 grandchildren, 8 koi, 2 kitties and 4 newly acquired chickens (who will be giving me organic eggs this fall!)  My only wish is that I was closer to the MPS organization so I could be more involved, like my dear friend, Barbara Steinacker...  Thanks to MPS for allowing me to be your Featured Artist and I hope to get to know more of you as time goes on.        
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Powhattan Clay Mfg., Co.