It was just about five years ago that I was introduced to pastel by a wonderful artist, Julie
Skoda (www.julieskodafineart.com). First it was a workshop, then one class, and another and
another. I fell in love with the brilliant colors, the layering, the forgiving nature of the media.
There’s something sensual about the feel of smooth pigment gliding over a rough surface.
Soon it became a lovely addiction. I felt that I needed more pastels, more and different papers.
I looked forward to each and every class, eager to learn, to observe the work of artists, to try
Julie not only introduced me to pastel painting, she introduced me to the Chicago Pastel
Painters, the Pastel Society of America, and the International Association of Pastel Societies
(IAPS). Through these wonderful organizations, I found other pastel artists, all generous and
willing to share. It was as if the entire universe somehow conspired to support my new
interest. Julie continued to be a mentor, encouraging me to stretch, to move out of my comfort zone. Because of her support, I started to show my work and to study with other artists.
At a Richard McKinley workshop in August 2017 with wonderful group of Chicago Pastel Painters, I met Dasha, soon to be the president and founder of the Red Rock Pastel Society of Nevada. Dasha has been a friend and an inspiration. I am deeply honored
that she would ask me to write for the society. She suggested that I write about falling in love
with pastels. I did.
But, if you're reading this, I suspect that you're already are in love with pastels. I’d like to
propose that you also fall in love with a pastel society. As an artist it is important to find others
who understand, encourage and support your journey. I’ve been blessed with so many who
have supported mine.
It’s just 8 months until the biennial IAPS conference. I hope to see you there!