Demo at the Vose

Describing the process of painting in pastel.

Describing the process.

My last post reflected the opening reception of the 24th Annual International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Show at the Vose Gallery in Boston.  The subject of this post is a follow up to that honorable event.  On Saturday, May 24th, I had the opportunity to be one of two demonstrators at the Vose, inviting gallery goers to witness the process of building a pastel painting from blank canvas to an almost finished piece.  I say “almost” because today I will evaluate if my mark making is truly successful in telling the story of my subject for this painting …. A grouping of trees in a marsh on a warm autumn morning.

A moment to reflect with gallery visitors.

A moment to reflect with gallery visitors.

Applying pastel over an oil wash under painting.

Applying pastel over an oil wash under painting.

At the Vose Gallery entrance, an invitation to visit.

An invitation to visit.

Setting up on the 3rd floor of the Gallery overlooking Newbury Street allowed me to transition into the city scene atmosphere, a unique contrast to the solitude of my home studio overlooking garden and woods. However, once the easel was set up and the pastel boxes were opened there was comfort in having my familiar tools at hand.  The audience consisted of other artists and gallery patrons. The sharing of techniques, favored pastel brands, tools, tricks and tips made for easy conversation, while the painting of this familiar scene in Little Compton, RI came to life on the prepped Wallis sanded surface which I chose as my canvas.

The afternoon flew by. As the weather improved, the foot traffic below increased and there was a general feeling of enthusiasm for the hint of warmth that filled the air. I checked in on my co-demonstrator on the 2nd floor, Ruth Sholler who was masterfully creating an inviting scene full of color and energy.

This IAPS show will be on exhibit until June 21st.  It is a wonderful and refreshing display of pastel, with a variety of techniques and approaches to the centuries’ old medium. If you are able to visit, you will not be disappointed. For the following 3 Saturdays there will be demonstrations, adding to the richness of the visit. The staff at the Vose Gallery is most welcoming and the atmosphere in the city at this time of year is magical. Hope you are able to add it to your list of pleasurable events to jump start the season.