Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Winter, 2011

Winter 2011
Welcome to 2011, everyone! I hope this finds you and your loved ones all happy, healthy, and in the creative state of mind: ready for that next painting, challenged by the one(s) in progress, and open to new ideas and experimentation. We all have so much fun in this art journey that sometimes we forget that it’s also about that four-letter word, “work.” It’s work -- in the sense of dedicated creating time, focused learning, and the willingness to try new things – that moves us forward as artists. A few months ago I was hanging out in the lobby of a northern Virginia community center waiting for a meeting to begin when I overheard a man say, ”In a contest between talent and hard work, hard work will win every time.” They were talking about basketball, but it stuck with me because I know it’s true. We need to learn, practice, and apply continuously throughout our lives to make the most of our natural abilities and reach our full potential.

Of course, sometimes it’s difficult to make the time or find the resources for workshops or instructor-led classes, and that’s when books are a good solution. They can inform, inspire, and motivate, and they’re always available, on your bookshelf, in a hand-held device, or at the library. I’ve just finished two I can strongly recommend. Richard McKinley’s Pastel Pointers is a wonderful compilation of his same-named Pastel Journal blogs, complete with all the great information and advice on materials, techniques, equipment, and professional practices that we’ve come to expect from Richard, along with a bonus DVD and lots of his incredibly beautiful paintings to drool over. The second book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, by Joe Kraynak and Mikal E. Belicove. As a professional artist, I want to be able to tap into the amazing phenomenon that is Facebook (over 400 million users and counting), and to do that I knew I needed a far richer understanding of its capabilities and conventions. This is the perfect book for that: informative, easy to read, and funny. Apparently, I’m exactly the sort of Idiot they were writing for!
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Outer Banks Charm by Jack Pardue

When it comes to learning, your own Maryland Pastel Society can also help (and for only a very modest investment in annual dues). We are extremely fortunate to have a large cadre of highly talented and accomplished pastel artists who are always willing to share their knowledge and skills with us. At our upcoming winter meeting, one of our brightest lights, Jack Pardue, a Signature Member of the PSA and former MPS President, will give us a demo that will include tips on mark-making and other insights from his very popular national workshops. Jack agreed to come do this for us on short notice, so please let him know how much we appreciate it when you see him!

That will be Saturday, January 29, noon to 4pm, at the Glenwood Community Center in western Howard County. And as always, bring your latest pastel painting to share with your colleagues and something yummy for the food table: we’ll be drawing names for the “food prizes.” See you there!