Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


JoEllen Murphy's "Top Five Things" List.

Top Five Things I Learned at IAPS, by JoEllen Murphy

  1. V100 is a wonderful deep eggplant pastel made by Terri Ludwig. People buy it in bulk from him. I bought five of them there.
  2. A subscription to Art Calendar magazine will help to understand the business of art.
  3. Museum glass on pastels is 3 or 4 times the price but often makes no difference in sales.
  4. To find the focal point of a painting, step 10 steps back, hold up your thumb and that is approximately the size of the area in your painting that should be the sharpest.
  5. It's easy to make your own pastels. I did it in a workshop with Alan Flattman. He uses alcohol for his binder. Pastel dust and alcohol. Dries in 24 hours.

Favorite workshop: Liz Haywood-Sullivan's Marketing session
View Artwork by Liz Heywood Sullivan

I am a bit biased on this because I went to college with Liz and I can say I knew her when! However, Liz has really made it. She had a lot of good advice for anyone who wants to sell and get a name for themselves.

•-She carries around a sketchbook with small Epson prints of all of her gorgeous landscapes. That way, they are always on hand to show people.
•-She recommends that if you want to become a signature member of PSA, show three of the same subject matter. That shows that you have a cohesive body of work.
•-Liz had some good ideas about places to start out selling too. One interesting idea she had was a hair salon for selling. Talk about a captive audience!
•-Prices for your paintings should go up 10% a year. Although in a recession, if you want to sell, call it a recession discount. Family and friends discounts should usually be about 30%.
•-And finally, if your pastels are starting to look too much like your teacher's, it is time to quit with that teacher. It is important to find your own style.