As I write this I am now flying over Austin, Texas on my way back home to Greenville, South Carolina.

There was a flurry of teaching, jurying and chatting a lot about pastels and Larry the Light Beam at my workshop. I really do like teaching a portrait class again in person. We had 2 models, 17 attendees and me all pretty stuffed into a community room that was rented out by the Pastel Society of Central Texas. We had to move a ton of chairs and tables to set up and then lay down a tarp larger than the room to protect the carpet. It lead to some funny moments. 

And something pretty cool always happens during a workshop like this… everyone works together and pitches in.

Then many times over those 6 days I heard that an artist needed a particular stick and someone else said, “Take mine.” Another attendee needed an easel and a voice piped up, “I have an extra in my truck.” I was having a coughing fit at one point (Austin Allergies?) and people were quick with peppermints, water and lozenges. My host was warm and funny and made amazing breakfasts. I spent a lot of my time laughing. I left feeling like a million bucks.

I don’t want to say is it just pastel artists that act with such kindness, because I believe it is artists in general, but it sure does restore my belief in humanity. It makes me want to share my knowledge and struggles. It makes me want to understand someone else’s. 

In my normal fashion I am taking a hiatus from this blog from Thanksgiving until January. My kids are home and I am in a mindset of new work. I see many fuzzy socks, late hours getting dusty in the studio and chilly walks around Greenvilles’ waterfall in my near future this winter. And I am grateful, more than ever, to be a part of this artist community. And for you, my dear pastel peeps. 

And I hope you reach out over the next few months. With your kindness and enthusiasm. I need it.

We all need it. 

Be good to each other and paint. I’ll be back in January. Ill be traveling more in the New Year- teaching, writing and looking forward to meeting more pastel friends. 

Happy Holidays and I’ll see you in the New Year. 

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