The Power of Pastel

August 16

No Easy Button

Ok. Time for a vent about a pet peeve. I was recently online and ordering an art book and found myself amazed at how many books have “Made Easy” in the title. “Watercolor Made Easy”, “Pastels Made Easy”, “Abstracts Made Easy”, “Pencil Shavings Made Easy…..

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August 9

"Let it go..."

I have often heard over the years…."How do you do it all? You have 3 kids, 2 cats, a beast of a house, a husband that runs a company, family health issues and yet you still paint…"

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August 2

Red Tape

Pastel can’t be mixed like regular paint. We pastellists typically have to hunt and peck for the correct hue, value, temperature, tint and chroma in our available sticks. This can lead to the never-ending curse of trying to find the “perfect” stick and a sense that we need to collect more and more pastels to get things “right”...

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July 26


My 16-year old daughter in all her wisdom has recommended to me that my blogs can’t all be about technical stuff, so in that vein, I am talking this week about my companions in the studio. So if you don't like photos of cute kids and cats, you may want to skip this week……

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July 20

Gliders, Burners, Builders and Blenders. Part 4



Ah... Blenders. I use Blenders like the RED sprinkles among the other sprinkles on the frosting.  Yep, very sparingly.  This works for me and takes some planning, since I can get carried away with them.  Who wouldn’t?  Brightest colors, softest feel- what we pastellists love about the medium.  Blenders are great, but can mess up a painting faster than spilling water on it…

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July 12

Gliders, Burners, Builders and Blenders. Part 3

Gliders are the sprinkles on my cupcake. Pastels that are “gliders" are kind of special. They have this uncanny way of gliding over the top of other pastels making them great for deliberate mark-making….

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July 5

Gliders, Burners, Builders and Blenders. Part 2



Builders are my staple sticks.  I think of them as the frosting on my cupcake.  The delectable part.

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June 28

Gliders, Burners, Builders and Blenders. Part 1

So one of the best things about pastel for me is finding out how to get those pesky little sticks to act the way I want them too.  No easy task.  For years I created things that weren’t quite right and I lost control of paintings along the way.  Now, however, beyond thinking about the power of the sticks, (beyond color, value, and intensity too- Whew!). I also think about how they layer- do they play nicely with others? Some sticks are more cooperative than others….

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