Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pirko Mäkelä-Haapalinna

On the frozen lake © Pirko Mäkelä-Haapalinna
Name: Pirko Mäkelä-Haapalinna, PSA
Bio: Pirko Mäkelä-Haapalinna was born in Finnish Lapland in 1960. She trained as a ceramist in the Arts and Crafts School in Rovaniemi and studied fine art at the Faculty of Art and Design in the University of Lapland. Since 2000 she has been painting mainly with pastels. She’s had several solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad, and her paintings have received awards. She was a winner of the 2012 Art Times Award, Open Juried Exhibition, The Pastel Society of America, and 3rd prize in the abstract/non objective category of the 17th Pastel 100.
She is a member of the board of the Artists’ Association of Lapland and a signature member of the Pastel Society of America.
Medium: Pastel
Subject: Figures, Landscape.
Style: Pirko states: The starting point of my works lies in realism, but I am heading towards simplified abstraction and installations.
Technique: Pastel over ink underpainting. To quote the artist: My working process is a combination of the planned one and an intuitive coincidence. ”Chance favors prepared mind.” My aspiration is to give my work a possibility to guide the composing process. I mainly work with pastel. I am deeply enchanted with the intensity of the colors of pastel chalks. I am fascinated by different surfaces varying from pastel boards up to old gray staves of boats, as well as by the immediate contact with the surfaces I am working with.
Navigation: Links remain on top of page. There is an English version of the site.
Gallery: just Gallery.There is much to ponder in this artist’s work.
Image View: Thumbnails open in a slideshow on the same page and may not be copied. This is Pirka talking about On the Frozen Lake: This is the view in winter from my studio window. I started with an under painting of inks, even metallic copper, and worked with a wooden stick to give texture as an impression of the traces I saw on the ice. I worked with the flat edges of Sennelier and Terry Ludwig pastels, putting very gentle layers of pastel on top of the ink.
Facebook: Yes
Blog: There is a guest blog on Gail Sibley’s pastelblog 

Diego Simancas

Music on a blue background © Diego Simancas
Name: Diego Simancas
Bio: Diego Simancas was born in Badajoz, Spain in 1958.
He studied in the Zurbarán Institute and the 
Ramón Izquierdo Salesian College, both in Badajoz, from 1969-1972 graduating with honours in drawing before entering the School of Industrial Engineering at the University of Extremadura.
In 1981, as he entered military service, he won 1st prize in painting and sculpture in the San Clemente military camp of Sasebas (Gerona), and 3rd prize for painting and sculpture in the Barcelona Armed Forces.
From 1987 to 1995 Simancas divided his time painting with his work in the pharmaceutical industry. From 1996 to 2000 he concentrated on painting, especially on portraiture, but from 2001 began a new stage, effectively abandoning realism, to give way to fantasy.
In 2009, Simancas was appointed professor of drawing at the 
Adelardo Covarsí School of Fine Arts and Crafts of Badajoz. At the end of December 2015, he resigned the professorship to establish a new project: The Simancas Academy of Art, a project for specialization in drawing and figurative painting, aimed at an audience interested in learning to draw and paint in a traditional manner.
Medium: Pastel, oil, pen and wash, pencil, mixed media
Subject: Mainly figurative.
Style: Fantastical, after an earlier, representational, period. His later work demonstrates clear influences from earlier Spanish masters, from Pablo Picasso to Joan Miro.
Navigation: Links remain on top of page. This website is in Spanish. Explore all the links, there is much to discover other than the pastels.
Gallery: Obras: Oleo (Oils); Pastel; Aguada y plumilla (Pen and wash)
You can access further work via:-
Otra Mirada: Obra (Works)1987-2000; De Toros (Bulls); Retratos (Portraits)
Image View: Images scroll horizontally in a slideshow and may not be copied. Not all are labelled. Music on a blue background is 55 x 64 cms.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Sven Kinader

Bearded Dragon © Sven Kinader
Name: Sven Kinader.
Bio: Sven Kinader was born in Saarbrücken in 1976 and grew up in the Saarland, painting from childhood. He first exhibited in 2013 and started to gain awards straight away for his work.These include 1st Prize in the animal/wildlife category, The Artists Magazine annual student competition, January/February issue, 2016; 2nd and 3rd prize in the Salon de Peinture de Saint Avold, Moselle, France , in 2013 and 2015 respectively; and Grand Prix De La Ville in the 3rd Biennale des Arts at Morhange, also in Moselle.

Cable-car © Sven Kinader
Medium: Pastel on plain paper or on pastel paper. Large-format pastels over a meter are painted on primed wood panel.
Subjects: Portraits, Still Life, Landscape.
Style: Representational
Navigation: Links remain on top of page. This website is in German. While in a slideshow, click on Zurück zu gallerie to return to the galleries.
Gallery (Galerien): Saarland – Impressions; Grosseprojekte (Largescale works; Portraits; Stilleben (Still Life); Auftragsarbeiten (commissions); Fan-Art.
Saarbrücken by Night © Sven Kinader
Image View: Images scroll horizontally in a slideshow and may not be copied. Title and dimension are provided. I have, unusually, uploaded three images provided by the artist, which help to indicate the dimensions of the work. The Bearded Dragon took over 200 hours to paint.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lisa Diller

August © Lisa Diller
Name: Lisa Diller, PSA, MP
Bio: Originally from Collingswood, New Jersey, Brooklyn artist Lisa Diller took a BS in Vis Comm at the University of Delaware and went on to a successful career in advertising, becoming an Executive Creative Director at one of New York City’s premiere ad agencies.
In the late 1990s she returned to fine art; she explored pastel while traveling in the country with her husband, landscape artist Jim Maio, and found it suited her because of its flexibility, speed and colour saturation. The artist, who taught herself to use the medium, later studied with Wolf Kahn.
She first entered the Pastel Society of America’s Juried show in 1997, and was inducted as a member two years later. She was named a Master Pastellist in 2010 after winning numerous awards.
Lisa has been represented by galleries in New York City, Bridgehampton, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Stone Harbor and Englewood, New Jersey. Her work has been seen at the New York Armory and in numerous group and solo shows. She is a member of the Board of Directors at The Harlem School of the Arts.
Medium: Pastel, charcoal
Subject: Landscape en plein air, cityscapes and a series of French pastries that were inspired by numerous visits to Paris. You can see her portraits at
Style: Representational
Navigation: Links remain on top of page. This is a Wordpress site.
Gallery : Marshes ; France ; Patisserie ; Aerials; Urbanscapes; Forests; Waterscapes; Landscapes.
Image View: Images within the galleries scroll horizontally. Clicking on them enlarges them further, and you can continue scrolling the bigger images. There is no indication of title or dimension. However, August is 18.75 x 13.5 ins
Blog :

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Jeri Greenberg

Lemons in a bowl © Jeri Greenberg
Name: Jeri Greenberg
Jeri Greenberg teaches landscape and still life in pastel in New Jersey and the tri-state area after spending many years as a fashion designer and illustrator, and then working in advertising. She has been juried into many shows including the IAPS and the Enduring Brilliance PSA show. A Signature member of the American Pastel Society and Pastel Society of New Jersey. Jeri is a member of Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Connecticut Pastel Society, Degas Pastel Society, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, and the Salmagundi Club, NY.In 2014 she was awarded First Place in the Artists Magazine all-media competition.
Medium: Pastel
Subject: Still Life, Landscape, Portraits
Style: Loose, painterly
Navigation: A lot of Flash used in this website; which is unfortunate as support is being withdrawn for this. Links disappear on the gallery page. However, the paintings are easy to negotiate.
Gallery: Paintings
Image View: Thumbnails open in a viewer, and may be saved. Images are not consistently labelled with dimension of the piece, but they tend to be small. Lemons in a bowl is 600 x 430, 47 KB.
Blog: No
Facebook : Yes
Daily Paintworks: Yes

Mary Muller

Robert Kay © Mary Muller
Name: Mary Muller, PSA, MP
Bio: Mary Muller was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1934, and graduated from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois with a B.A. in Studio Art, in 1956.
After marriage and five children, she returned to art and studied with Dimitar Krustev and Robert Brackman. She taught at the Des Moines Art Center for twenty years, and still teaches painting and drawing in her home studio, and continues her own work. Drawing about 1000 portraits in art festivals and fairs, (including some for for Iowa State University's Agricultural Dept., the Law School at Drake University, Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson for the Governor's office at the end of her administration, and several for Planned Parenthood), being represented by several art galleries, and travelling in Mexico and Europe on painting trips has kept her busy and fulfilled. Mary was awarded Master Pastellist status by the PSA in 2013 and she was a winner in the members-only competition of the Portrait Society of America in 2015. Mary has also created a series of 3 DVDs consisting of the first 10 lessons she teaches in her studio classes, and is on YouTube (see below)
In 2004 Mary began teaching art lessons at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, 20 miles east of Des Moines. Her goal was to find among the inmates women who had the talent and the drive to develop an expression of art to be relied upon for future income and personal development upon leaving the prison.
Medium: Pastel, watercolour, oil
Subject: Portraits; still life; landscape
Style: Representational
Navigation: Tabs remain available at top of page.
Gallery: Portfolio (Portraits in oil and pastel); Store (Still Life and Landscape in pastel)
Image View: Thumbnails enlarge on same page, and may be saved. Images are labelled with title, medium and dimension of the piece. Robert Kay is 26 x 33 ins, is 547 x 480, 67 KB.
Demo : YouTube at

Monday, April 11, 2016

Emily Christoff

Listening to the Grateful Dead © Emily Christoff
Name: Emily Christoff
Bio: Emily Christoff Flowers earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio. She has been supporting herself as a professional portrait artist since 1984. She currently illustrates children's books, does commissioned portraits, teaches private and social art classes and shows her work at galleries and art festivals around the state of Virginia.
Emily is a member of the Pastel Society of Virginia. Her awards include Best of show for the category of drawing at the Port Warwick Art Fest, Virginia, 2015.
Medium: Pastel; acrylic
Subject: Portraits, figurative, animals.
Style: Realistic; her Listening series is imaginative and romantic.
Navigation: All links remain available at side of page.
Gallery: Fine Art Work (by date); Portraits
Image View: Thumbnails open in a viewer, and may be saved. Images are well labelled with title, medium and dimension. Listening to the Grateful Dead is 18 x 24 ins, 800 x 600, 120 KB.
Facebook : Yes