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Saturday, April 21, 2007

DeMarrais Pastel Workshop

I've just spent the past two days at a wonderful pastel workshop given by Paul DeMarrais -- a FANTASTIC pastel artist, who truly paints like one of the old French Impressionists. What fun. He stresses value value value -- you can use any color as long as it is the correct value. With pastels he was able to demonstrate value lessons and principles easily, much more quickly and with less fuss than with paint. We learned to make our own surface, using aluminum oxide and acrylic medium on multimedia art board -- and this surface is amazing. It holds an incredible amount of pastel and makes working fun. (This little piece, still in progress and done this afternoon after I got home, is on Colorfix -- which is a nice surface, but doesn't measure up to what we were working on with Paul.)
Best of all -- Paul loves what he is doing -- the workshop was pure FUN and felt like playtime.

He makes his own pastels (which he sells) and we were able to go through and get a set if we wanted. They are big and bulky and soft and lay down like buttah .... even Senneliers feel hard next to them. Of course I had to get a set. I'm going to save them for when I get some big sheets of paper made up, though, so I can really lay 'em down!
I've walked away from this workshop inspired, and able to see a potential painting everywhere I turn. If you ever get the chance to meet Paul or see any of his work, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity -- you won't regret it!

Now, I have to take care of my assignment and get my pastels out of their nice little compartments, organize them by value, and let 'em get a little bit messy. Pastels just aren't happy being kept cooped up like that ...
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14 comments:

Teri C said...

Oh my gosh, now I am inspired!!! Pastels really interest me and when I see your art, I am drooling all over my pc. Gorgeous and he sounds like an awesome intructor!! Thanks for sharing the info.

Diahn said...

YAY!! :-D I'm so glad it was a worthwhile experience!!! Sounds like you had a great time - I am assuming you left today as excited as you sounded yesterday??!! I can't wait to see what you do with all this permission to be a loose woman...I mean a loose pastel artist...:-D

mrana said...

Linda, your "little piece" looks absolutely incredible as it is, brilliant colours as usual, and I love the look of the shading ... sounds like a wonderful workshop.

Jana Bouc said...

Wow! This is gorgeous and those pastels look yummy. I bet pastels make a great plein air media. Much easier than paint. I've tried them and liked them except for all the dust, which drove me nuts. I envy you the great workshop. It's rare to find a teacher so inspiring.

Laura said...

What fun to see YOU having so much fun! It sounds like pastels may be your metier, although you're great at watercolor, pen and ink, all sorts of mediums. Keep going, Ms L!

Lindsay said...

Great post and I'm so glad you had a great time. Ah, an all art weekend sounds like heaven. Lovely piece you are showing here too.

caseytoussaint said...

Wow - that ound like such fun. I love working in pastels as well, and those look really gorgeous. I'm interested in the surfaces you produced - I always get frustrated when half of the pastel flies off into dust. I'll definitely be watching to see what other beautiful things you produce!

Toni said...

Pastels are so much fun. And taking a workshop is even more fun and inspiring. I know we are going to see a lot more of your wonderful pastels.
I just came back last weekend from a workshop myself and they sure do energize you. So glad you got to do this Linda. Inspiring.

Sarah said...

Your pastels are so lively, lovely (and I say that as someone who hates using pastels!) At risk of sounding art school pretentious, I like the quality of your mark making.

Karen said...

Fabulous work, Linda. And I'm so glad to hear you had a good time at the workshop. Very inspiring - keep up the good work!

mARTa said...

Glad to know there is another wanna be loose woman out there! Your excitement is contagious and your work inspiring!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Glad you had a great time and are so inspired... inspiration is contagous... thank you.

soulcomfort said...

LOVE your pastels! I tried them years ago but I think I need to find an instructor. Yours are fabulous!

suzanne said...

It's really a small world. My sister used to have some of Paul's work up in her art gallery in Jonesborough, TN. I loved it then and still love it now. Your work from the workshop is absolutely beautiful. I find it very interesting what he says about playing with color, but taking value serious.