Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Deborah Bays

“Roses and Teacup” © Deborah Bays

Name: Deborah Bays
Bio:  I cannot understand why I have neglected to post on this major pastel artist before now. I have long known and admired her work. She is certainly among my top ten pastel artists (a list that is close to being fully subscribed…)
Deborah Bays was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1951.
and spent her early years in the formal study of music, playing both violin and viola.  Deborah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Costume Design for the Theatre at the University of Texas at Austin, then went on to complete a Master of Arts in Scenography at Purdue University.  She then worked for 25 years designing costumes and sets for the theatre and television. She went on to study drawing and painting at the Art Students League of Denver, Colorado and began showing with a Colorado gallery. This led to her first one woman show in 2000.
Deborah’s maternal grandfather, Clarence Armour, was a self-taught landscape painter. Her first set of oil paints came from him and he became her first painting teacher. On the other side of the family, her father's brother, Joshua Bays, was a very gifted painter and art teacher. Heritage will out!
Deborah’s work has been featured in Southwest Art, the Pastel Journal (she won the Grand Prize in the 2004 Pastel 100) and The Artist’s Magazine.  One of my paintings is included in Pure Color:the Best of Pastel published by North Light Books. Deborah is also featured in Les Maitres du Pastel, 2011 published in France by Pratique de Arts.  Deborah is recognised as a Master Pastelist by the Pastel Society of America and has represented the PSA at The Butler Institute of American Art.
Deborah is currently represented by Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado, the Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, Colorado, Portnoy Galleries in Carmel, California, Scottsdale Fine Art in Scottsdale, Arizona, and North Water Gallery in Edgartown, Massachusetts. 
Medium: Pastel
Subjects: Still life; Landscape; Figures
Style: Representational. The essence of romance. Deborah uses dramatic lighting to reveal form, and she makes masterly use of lost edges.  She is in the mould of all classical artists who revel in the techniques of chiaroscuro, including modern master David Leffel.
Navigation: Links remain available on top of page, with exception of the download image, where a back button is needed. Images are generous, and download is encouraged. A delightful and rewarding website.
Gallery: Available works; Still Life Archive; Landscape Archive; Figure Archive.
Image View:  Thumbnails provide information on title and dimension, and may be played as a slideshow in a pop-up window, or enlarged.  A download button is provided – this gives a large, downloadable  image on a new page. Roses and Teacup is 11 x 14 ins, 800 x 623, 74 KB.
Further images may be viewed on the Breckenridge Gallery website 
Demo/Blog: No.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Robin Sheard Nyikos

“Blossom Time” © Robin Sheard Nyikos
Name: Robin Sheard Nyikos
Bio:  Robin Sheard Nyikos was born in Toronto in 1957 and studied fine art at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and graduated in 1978. The following year she went to Florence, Italy and participated in OCAD's  Florence Program.
Robin  spent the next seven years in Europe, painting in France, Mallorca, England and the Canary Islands. Her extensive working method involved plein aire landscapes, seascapes, together with portraits and people both in oils and in pastel. The happy result of all that effort means that her work is in now to be found in collections throughout Europe as well as in Canada. Robin is a Signature Member and Master Pastellist of Pastel Artists Canada. Her work was featured in the Pastel Journal in February 2005.
Robin is represented by the Loch Gallery in Toronto and Winnipeg, Canada. She lives with her husband, the portrait painter Istvan Nyikos, and family in Collingwood, Ontario.
Medium: Pastel; oil.
Subjects: Landscape; Portraits; Still life.
Style: Representational.
Navigation: A FineArtStudioOnline website.
Gallery: Portraits; Landscape; Still Life; Horse/Equestrian
Image View:  Thumbnails provide all relevant information on mouseover, and may be enlarged and scrolled.  Download is possible. Blossom Time is 29 x 37 ins, 550 x 403, 213 KB.
Demo/Blog: No.

Anthony J. Petchkis

“Off Scotland Road” © Anthony J. Petchkis

Name: Anthony J. Petchkis
Bio:  Landscape artist Anthony J. Petchkis was born in 1955, and lives in Lynn, Massachusetts.  From 1973-1977 he studied for his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Paier School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut. He returned to the Massachusetts College of Art in 1990-1991 for a Continuing Education course in Printmaking.  He is, or has been, Manager of Dick Blick Design Centers, Boston, Massachusetts.
To explore the unique colors of autumn, Anthony draws inspiration from the White Mountains of  New Hampshire to the Berkshires of Massachusetts and Connecticut. For the study of atmosphere and drama of summer Anthony paintsalong the marshes and coastline of the North Shore of Massachusetts. Another favorite place to explore in depth is the natural beauty of late spring and summer in Martha's Vineyard.
Anthony’s work was featured in the Pastel Journal, June 2005, 
Anthony has been exhibiting his work  more over twenty years. His paintings may be found in private and corporate collections, including General Electric, Maine Savings Bank, and GTE. He is currently represented by A Z Fine Arts, Wellesley Hills, Maine.
Medium: Pastel on rag board; oil.
Subjects: Landscape
Artist's Comment: “In a nutshell, the Hudson River School of artists felt the American landscape was a paradise, something transcendental and spiritual. These artists knew that the industrial age with its acquisitions and empire building would eventually destroy this pristine land; thus they felt it was their duty to capture this paradise before it disappeared. The philosophy behind my landscapes is the same, but my style reflects my own place in time and use of mediums. My oil paintings closely follow the example of these American Masters whereas my pastels have a crisper line, and more saturated colors.”
Style: Representational.  “What I mean by painting with soft pastel is that I handle this medium the same as I would oil paint. I first start with scrubbing in an under painting, then working up layers to a final glazing, using a fixative between each layer. I obscure the drawn line as much as possible. Covering the whole sheet of paper with pastel till no paper is revealed.”
Navigation: This website does not sem to have been updated since 2003. Links remain available along bottom of page.
Gallery: Paintings
Image View:  Eleven images only may be viewed one at a time by scrolling through.  Download is possible. Images are small. Off Scotland Road is 22 x 30 ins, and is pastel on rag board.
Demo: No.
Blog: http://ajpfineart.blogspot.com/ Nothing added since 2008.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Marbo Barnard

 “Koi” © Marbo Barnard

Name: Marbo Barnard, PSA
Bio: Marbo Barnard was born and raised in Japan, and came to the United States in 1956, starting to paint shortly afterwards. She has had a consistent and successful artistic career ever since. She has been successful in over 100 major juried exhibitions in the US and abroad, including the American Pastel Society, the Knickerbocker Artists, the IAPS, and numerous national pastel associations.  In addition to the office of President, her lengthy and indispensable tenure on the Board of the Pastel Society of the West Coast included overseeing the prestigious annual international exhibition Pastels U.S.A. which receives 400 to 500 entries from all over the world. In 2008 the PSWC presented her with the Pastel Laureate Award, the highest honor bestowed by that society. Her paintings have featured in various art magazines, including the Pastel Journal, February 2006, the Artist’s Magazine, and Gekan-Bijutsu Japan. She work has also been included in Best of Pastels and Floral Inspirations (Rockport) and Art of Pastel Portraiture, by Madlyn-Ann Woolwich (Watson-Guptill).
Marbo has just (2013) released her book A Life in Pastels.
Medium: Pastel; oil pastel 
Subjects: Figurative; still life; landscape
Style: Representational. Her work clearly reflects her Japanese heritage.
Navigation: An elegant website, with the links expressed as little crane logos on the home page. Website is Flash-based throughout.
Image View:  Images are scrolled through a Flash viewer. No download is possible.  Given the considerable range and timescale of Marbo’s art, it would be rewarding to have more images, and on a larger scale. The gallery is upfront about being a small sample of her work, but looking for it on line is not very fruitful either. This is a regrettable omission for such a major figure in pastel.
Blog/Demo: No
Facebook: Yes

Louise Frechette

Breaking Silence ” © Louise Frechette

Name: Louise Frechette, PSA
Bio:  Louise Frechette was born in San Francisco in 1942. Louise has been an ocean swimmer in San Francisco and has been painting the ocean since 1978. She speaks with reverence and fascination of the sea, saying her artwork is an attempt to transpose life's mystery into something as beautiful - but more tangible.
Louise started using pastels by chance when she ran out of oils at an outdoor show and someone gave her pastels. However, through the use of gold and silver leaf she adds another dimension, creating what she calls "living paintings." The precious metal leaf will tarnish - going greenish or brown - in 10, 20 or 30 years, giving the work a living quality within the timelessness of the pastel medium. The artist has had one-person shows in galleries in four states. She was the recipient of the National Grumbacher Gold Medallion Award at the Wind River Art Artist Guild, Dubois, Wyoming. Her work was featured in the Pastel Journal in August 2008.
Louise's now lives and works in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Medium: Pastel, oil.
Subjects: Seascapes
Style: Representational.
Navigation: Links remain available at left, except on enlarged image, where there is a back button to the gallery page.
Gallery: The Art: Pages 1 through 4.
Image View:  Thumbnails enlarge on a new page, where the details are listed. Download is possible. Image quality is excellent. Breaking Silence is 33 x 55 ins, 700 x 357, 108 KB and is pastel and platinum leaf.
Demo/Blog: No

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pastels with Sophie in Mayo

The Société des Pastellistes de France have 2 spaces available for the pastel landscape workshop that Sophie Amauger will organize at Rock House, Co, Mayo, from 8 May to 3 June. The workshop will last 4 days with 1 day at leisure in the middle. The rate : 1,000 per person all in, including transfers from Dublin Airport to Mayo.
Contact Liliane Desmarest, President of the Société des Pastellistes de France at pastellistes@claranet.com or else visit the website of the Société des Pastellistes for an overview.
Le Seau Orange © Sophie Amauger
Sophie Amauger is ideally placed to teach this course. Sophie has been teaching creative arts for children and adults since 2003. Inspired by nature, she paints pastels that she has exhibited both at home and abroad. Her website address is http://www.sophieamauger.com/?page_id=68
I suppose it would be useful to be able to speak French, but it is not essential.
Rock House Ballycroy, Nr. Westport, Co Mayo is a large 1820s lodge on a 30,000 acres sporting estate in North Mayo, one of the wildest and most unspoilt regions of Ireland. The house is surrounded by thirty acres of mature parkland. This contrasts perfectly with the stark beauty of the barren, mountainous landscape that is so characteristic of this region.
For  Rock House, the phone number is +353 (0) 85 212 15 64 or email them at rockhouseestate@gmail.com

Maria Dolores Gil

“Para lavarse” © Maria Dolores Gil
Name: Maria Dolores Gil
BioMaria Dolores Gil was born in Seville (Spain) in 1943. Her father, Professor Don Segundo Gil taught her to paint with oils and watercolors; but she herself developed her pastel technique, which she uses most frequently. She studied further under the painters Don Elias Ferrer and Don Amalio García del Moral. Her work is mainly based on traditional themes of land and the rural environment, light, landscapes, flowers and a myriad of images that show the artistic maturity that springs from her brushes and her love of Andalusian customs.
The numerous solo and group exhibitions in Spain are witness to Maria’s expertise and reputation,  and underscore her mastery of the medium. Barcelona, Gerona, Marbella, Oviedo, and above all, her native Seville, have been successful arenas for her paintings, since the fateful day in 1992 when she decided to unveil her talent to public scrutiny.
A standard-bearer for her native Andalusia, Maria’s painting lovingly evoke Spanish customs and ancestry, exciting regular admiration. The press has been universally complimentary, with remarks such as  "The works of this artist demonstrate throughout her artistic maturity, exemplified in her use of light and colour”; and "Throughout the exhibition shine everyday items and the ease with which they are treated. The canvases are full of tenderness and poetry"
Maria Dolores Gil Gutiérrez has her studio at Avenida 1o de Mayo, no 28, Gerena, Seville.
Medium: Pastel.
Subjects: Still Life; Floral.
Style: Representational.
Navigation: This website is in Spanish. All links remain accessible at top of page. The website is based on Adobe Flash, including the text, so nothing may be highlighted or copied into a translation tool without transcribing it.
Gallery: Galería
Image View:  Thumbnails scroll rapidly across the bottom of the page unless you cotrol it carefully,  and enlarge in a Flash viewer. Download is not possible. Paintings are named on mouseover, but no size is given.
Demo/Blog: No

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Robert Lafond

“Woods after a Snowy Evening” © Robert H. Lafond

Name: Robert H. Lafond
Bio: Robert H. Lafond, attended the Boston Museum School from 1967-69, has an degree in Art History from Princeton University (1971), where he studied painting under Esteban Vicente, and worked in an art museum for almost twenty years. Robert got his Masters in Communication and Information Studies from Rutgers University in 1995 and is currently Vice President for Information Technology at Holy Family University, Philadelphia.
He has been exhibiting his paintings since 1971; and his pastels especially since 2009, around New Jersey, Vermont and Maine.
Medium: Pastel.
Subjects: Landscape; Still Life. “I prefer to work outdoors, but also do landscapes from my photographs, when it’s raining or cold.  An occasional still life comes from whatever I find in the refrigerator.  A lot of my recent work focuses upon the landscape of Washington Crossing Park, the Delaware & Raritan Canal, and the Delaware River.  I also do a lot of New England landscapes.”
Style: Representational.
Technique: Robert says: “Four years ago, I started drawing every day, after a hiatus of several years from making art.  I gradually migrated through the media of pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, colored pencils, to pastels.  I now work every day with pastels.  I like the immediacy of pastels.  I need to respond to the world around me, especially the landscape.  Pastels are like extensions of my fingers that give off color, the ultimate alla prima medium.  I try to approach creating art from a spiritual perspective, as a thanksgiving, a present moment, a prayer.”
Navigation: All links remain accessible at top of page.
Gallery: Landscapes; Still Life; Portraits (six self-portraits).
Image View:  Thumbnails open in a viewer on the new page that features the small thumbnails across the top and can be viewed serially. Dimensions are listed. Download is possible, even encouraged, by a download button.  Woods after a Snowy Evening is 8 x 10 ins,  is 640 x 518, 104 KB. (I couldn’t resist this painting and couldn’t help thinking of Robert Frost.)
Blog: The link from the website is indirect. Go to http://markandremark.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ria Hills

“Stangl Pottery” © Ria Hills

Name: Ria Hills
Bio: Ria Hills was born in The Netherlands, raised in New York and now lives in rural Massachusetts. In 2006 she joined The Daily Painters in order to make small works more affordable to collectors. Ria is a member of the Connecticut Pastel Society and the Blackstone Valley Art Association.  Her work can be found in private collections throughout the Americas and Europe.
In December 2009 Ria was selected as a finalist in the still life category of The Artist’s Magazine 26th Annual Art Competition, chosen from 11,000 entries nationwide in the US. In February 2013 the Pastel Journal featured Ria’s work in a piece called titled “Food for Thought”, together with Lisa Ober and Karen Howard.
Medium: Pastel; oil; acrylic.
Subjects: Landscape; figurative; food; pets.
Style: Representational. Ria cites her influences as Georgia O’Keeeffe and Maxfield Parrish.
Technique: Ria says: “For my pastel work I prefer Wallis sanded pastel paper and Art Spectrum Colourfix boards for surfaces. Both papers provide the tooth I need to apply many layers of pastel. My method is conventional – I work from hard to soft pastels in layers. I start each painting with pastel pencils, carefully drawing my shapes. I then block in my colors and shapes with Nupastel and work my way up in layers using progressively softer pastels. I use only my fingers for blending.”
Navigation: All links remain accessible at top of page.
Gallery (click on the titles, not the images): Food Art; Still Life; Outdoors; Animals; People; Surreal; Buildings; Interiors; Florals;  Oils and Acrylics.
Image View:  Thumbnails open in a pop-up viewer on the same page and can be viewed serially. Dimensions are not listed. Download is possible.  Stangl Pottery is 539 x 600, 224 KB.
Facebook: yes

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Patrick Henry

“Thyme and chives” © Patrick Henry
Name: Patrick Henry
Bio: French artist and sculptor Patrick Henry was born in 1958 in a village in the Eure valley, in the heart of Normandy.  His website is reticent about his training or his life’s work, but it is clear that he is sought after to give pastel courses, especially with Vocation Pastel at Voisins le Bretonneux, in the south-west suburbs of  Paris, where he has participated together with Maxime Bochet, Claude Texier, David Garrison, Cécile Houel, Christine Dumont, David Hervelin, Patrice Latger, and Jean-Yves Leboulanger. He has exhibited in Giverny with the group Art de Pastel en France; and in St. Aulaye.
His work has been featured in several magazines in France: Pratique des Arts, Special Pastel Issue 13, Dec-Jan 2012-2013; and Plaisirs de Peindre, No. 46, August-October 2012.
Medium: Pastel
Subjects: Landscape; figurative; still life; automobiles; motorbikes; sculptures.
Style: Representational.
Navigation: This website is in French, which is no excuse for its poor layout. Comprehensive links are not retained on the pages so that navigation is by use of the back button to refind your previous location. Probably best to go straight to the galleries.
Gallery: Paysages; Portraits; Nus;  Natures Mortes; Autos; Délire.
Image View:  Thumbnails open in a viewer on a new page. Neither titles nor dimensions are listed. Download is possible. Thyme and chives is 600 x 420, 51 KB.
Blog/Demo: Go to Collaboration Magazine to seee his step-by-step demonstrations for the above-mentioned magazines.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mark Whittaker

“Polperro Harbour” © Mark Whittaker

Name: Mark Whittaker
Bio: Mark Whittaker is a pastel landscape artist specialising in painting traditional scenes of the landscape and coast of Britain. Mark is an entirely self taught artist born and brought up in Newport, Gwent, South Wales. After a career in the civil service, Mark decided to paint full-time in 2006.
The picturesque fishing harbours of St.Ives and Polperro in Cornwall have been a major source of inspiration for many of his paintings; he is also familiar with the coast of Pembrokeshire, the mountains of the Brecon Beacons and rural Herefordshire.
Mark has exhibited his work throughout South and West Wales and his paintings are to be found in private collections in the United Kingdom and abroad. He is a member of the Pastel Guild of Europe. His work was featured in International Artist Issue no 89, Feb/March 2013.
Medium: Pastel
Subjects: Landscape; pets.
Style: Representational.
Navigation: Links remain available at top of page on both sites.
Gallery: (Landscape site) Cornwall Paintings;  Brecon Beacons Paintings; Pembrokeshire Paintings; Herefordshire Paintings; Cotswold Paintings; Devon Paintings.
(Pets) Dog Portrait Paintings; Horse Portrait Paintings.
“Pair of Whippets” © Mark Whittaker

Image View:  Thumbnails open in a viewer on a new page and may be scrolled. Dimensions are generally recorded for the landscapes; but not for the animals. Download is possible. Polperro Harbour  is 20 x 26 ins, 700 x 454, 188 KB. Pair of Whippets is 800 x 537, 195 KB.
Blog/Demo: No