Sunday, October 16, 2016

Alain Voinot

Return to the Summer Garden © Alain Voinot
Name: Alain Voinot
Alain Voinot was born in 1954 and lives in Toulouse, France.
A self-taught pastellist, he studied for several years of classical drawing classes with Catherine Escudié, an engraver and illustrator from Toulouse. He also studied at the Académie de dessin de Luc Peltriaux. He practised classical design with a clear preference for black and white. When he moved to colour he chose pastel as the medium that best fit his style and subject matter.
Then followed a twenty year "apprenticeship" developing his knowledge of pastels, and the realisation that his strength was strong contrast combined with the softness of pastel. Hence his choice of black paper which perfectly highlights the colour and lights.
Alain often works en plein air, in part because passers-by at times make intelligent remarks about his work. He also teaches pastel in the Toulouse area.
I first met Alain when we exhibited side by side in the Salon des Pastels en Périgord at Saint-Aulaye in 2012, where we formed a mutual admiration society! I think the fact that we both use a dark ground and are excited by the possibilities of chiaroscuro was a bonding factor.
Subjects: Landscape
“My favorite theme is the landscape. Of course we can only interpret what we see, and that is what we offer: an interpretation. I think the spirit of the artist always tries to approach the mystery and beauty of the world and interpret it in his vision. My gaze is realistic and poetic at the same time because it seems to me that poetry must combine realism to reveal its depth, and realism without poetry is just cold. It is the search for this synthesis that motivates me.”
Style: Impressionistic.
“I found that this technique is particularly suited to working from nature: it can translate directly what we are feeling.”
"Je travaille également d'après photo, bien sûr ( on a beau être passionné, l'hiver est rude... ), photos réalisés par moi même, durant mes longues ballades de découverte et d'observation de la nature. La photo n'est qu'une aide, et on voit avant tout avec l'esprit quand on est peintre, plus encore qu'avec les yeux probablement. Donc, tout ce qui est " impressions ", je le récolte durant ma ballade d'observation, et c'est cela qui est décisif, c'est cela que je vais restituer ensuite en m'aidant de la photo."
Technique: Alain works chiefly on a black ground, on Canson Mi-teintes and on Pastel Card. He mixes soft and semi-soft pastels and uses no fixative so as to not alter the colours.
“In my view, there are two distinct phases in the development of a pastel: the first is the intuitive phase, where the essence of what we want to express should be understood and grasped as quickly as possible. The second phase is that of bringing the work to completion. We can thus qualify the black paper, shadows, to bring their subtlety. The difficulty is finding the right balance so as to not to entirely lose the paper under the colour, and retain strong but light contrasts.”
Navigation: The website is in French, but easy to negotiate.
Gallery: Galerie; Galerie 2 des lumières particulières (Special Light) ; Les petits formats (Small format)
Image View: Images enlarge on same page as thumbnails. You can scroll through the enlargements or choose from the thumbnails. Title and dimension is supplied, Download is not possible. Return to the Summer Garden is 50 x 65 cm.
Demo: Yes – Pas-a pas  ; and Pas-a-pas 2
Facebook: Yes

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Richard Suckling

Low Tide, Newlyn © Richard Suckling
Name: Richard Suckling
Bio: Richard Suckling's early career, after studying at Cambridge School of Art, was as an illustrator in London. The past ten years have seen an instinctive progression from graphic art to painting, mainly pastels and, more recently, acrylics as well.
Richard moved from London to Somerset and then in 2013 to Newlyn in Cornwall, five miles from Land’s End. The village of Newlyn is historically famous for fishing, art (The Newlyn School) and great storms; all of which are still central to Newlyn's unique character.
Richard believes in painting what you have a real passion for and know best and the Penwith peninsula in West Cornwall provides him with a daily cornucopia of endless inspiration.. He paints in soft pastels and acrylics, mainly land and sea scapes, and his work is on display in several West Country galleries.
More recently, Richard has written a piece for The Artist Magazine on his pastel painting techniques, due in the January 2017 issue.
Medium: Pastel , Acrylic
Subjects: Landscape
Style: Representational. I suppose the style is akin to impressionism, but these are the most radiant light-filled pastels I have seen.
Navigation: The website is simple to negotiate. My only criticism is that the dropdown list of titles disappears off the end of my screen so I’m not sure if \I have seen all the paintings.
Gallery: Pastels; Acrylics.
Image View: Images open individually by title from the Pastels (or Acrylics) links at the side of the page. Image size is not given. Download is possible. Low Tide, Newlyn is 967 x 787, 280 KB
Twitter: Yes

Monday, October 3, 2016

François Malnati

Anoraks © François Malnati
Name: François Malnati, PSA
Bio : François Malnati was born in Delle, Franche-Comté in 1950. He studied Public Service at Sciences Po, University of Strasbourg. He now lives and works in Sélestat, Alsace. He is a self-taught artist, and cites among his influences Wayne Thibaud, Arikha, Szafran, Wyeth, and Lévy-Dhurmer. He also feels an affinity to realist painters Scott Fraser, Robert C. Jackson, Jeffrey T. Larson and Janet Monafo. He started to exhibit in 1984 and has had solo shows in Bâle, New York, Strasbourg, Colmar, Sélestat, and Mulhouse. He won the award for Still Life at the PSEC exhibition in 2015 and the same year was the guest artist at the Salon de Bourbonne-les-Bains (Lorraine).
François Malnati was featured in the August/September 2016 issue 110 of International Artist.
Medium: Pastel, Watercolour, Oil
Subjects: Still Life
Style: Representational with colorist influences.
François states that his work comprises the exploration of contemporary still life, based on strong design and unusual subject matter. His style is realist and precise, reaching to express the interplay between line and volume out of the ordinary. His message, if message there is, is to express an admiration for simple objects that surround us. An interplay of amazing colours and lines is in front of us – we just need to train ourselves to see. Before being a painter, François is a gazer and a photographer.The most intense phase of creativity is based there. On taking a photograph, François is already visualising the future painting in pastel. He is particularly attracted by reflections and transparence.
Navigation: The website is in French.
Gallery: Galerie de pastels; Huiles
Image View: Thumbnails open in a pop-up viewer and may be scrolled. Information on the paintings is provided. Download is possible. Anoraks is 55 x 55 cm., 800 x 800, 336 KB
Facebook: Yes

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.

Facebook: Yes

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.
Facebook: yes

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 :

Facebook: Yes