Archive for July 2010

Four pastels for Festival International du Pastel, France

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

The Societe des Pastellistes de France is the oldest and best known society in France.

The Society’s board of directors are known to be tough in all areas of its life; which has caused much grief to those trying to enter one of their exhibits. David had been after his French artist wife Cécile, to introduce him to this well known society for two years. At last, in a moment of weakness she gave in. Traveling through the heavy Paris traffic to get to their studio/school caused David pangs of guilt for what he was putting his wife through. But those feelings were soon changed to glee because when the Vice-President of the Society saw his work, which was unframed and fresh off the easel, she got very excited and accepted four Paris landscapes for their next International exhibit.

This unexpected acceptance put both David and Cécile in shock. Never before has this difficult collection of artist in this Society accepted art work this quickly. David stood there thinking, “I can’t be part of this group already and hand these to them, I just finished these pastels last week. I haven’t even signed them yet.  And they’re not even framed.”  But they were accepted and David and Cécile had only a week to get them framed and handed over to the hanging committee. Plus the pressure of needing to prepare for their move to the south of France for David’s international Plein Air workshop in pastel was there.  But some kind of special luck was following them that week because Cécile located a place that did framing quickly.

Less then a week after the teaching trip to Arles, in southern France, it was time to attend the Grand Opening, Festival du Pastel. Cécile looked at David and said, “You’re wanting to go to the opening aren’t you? Most people would be content just to be in the show. Its a 1000 Km trip and our car does not have air, but your still not bending, you’re wanting to go anyway.” The trip was long, hot and a lot of traffic. The hotel had no air and no screens at the small single window. But the Open of the exhibit was truly Grand.

The overall exhibit of 300 pastels on a scale from 1 to 10 would be 8. The poorest example was a 3, and the best was a strong 10! David felt very proud to be part of this exhibit. Three other Americans were in the show, all 10’s. Several from England, Spain and Russia. The Russian’s always prove to be bold in their way of painting. But one stood out to have a soft hand, gentle touch. China had the Guest of Honor place this year. No awards are given in this show. To be in the show is the award. In time the greatest prize of all is given by them: Title of Master.

As David and Cécile walked through the exhibit they were impressed by the intense medium that pastel had become. To view a collection of so many artist together in one medium is a awaking of your creative spirit; giving you a refreshing breath of what this business is really all about.

The trip home seemed less difficult to bear. Lost in their own thoughts and dreams of how to conduct their art life they realized they were doing very well indeed!

Feel free to visit the Société des Pastellistes de France.

Video clip of a demonstration at the Arles France workshop

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Below is a video clip of me demonstrating a pastel painting for the students at the Arles France workshop, June 20-25, 2010. We had a huge turnout and it was a great success!

If you’re interested in the official demonstration video containing 5 days of very useful plein air and studio demonstrations and the wonderful cities in France we visited, please let me know. It was shot by a professional, so it’s superior quality compared to this amateur clip. It will be released in Fall 2010 and will have both English and French narration and commentary. If you order it before it is released in Fall 2010 there is a discount, so don’t wait!