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The Pastel Journal

The Pastel Journal November/December 2019

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Pastel Journal covers topics of interest to working pastelists as well as those who work in pastel as an additional medium along with those who are just experimenting with the medium.

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6 Numeri

in questo numero

1 minuti
night watch

Night is a time that, especially as children, we frequently associate with feelings of fear and anxiety—an evolutionary trait we apparently developed long ago to protect ourselves from the real-life threat of animal predators hunting at night. In spite of, or perhaps because of, our heightened “on alert” nighttime senses, these late-day hours are also known to produce moments of extravagant creativity, when the imagination kicks into overdrive. “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”—VINCENT VAN GOGH So, out come the artists, who simply can’t resist the dreamy qualities of twilight and the magic of a star-studded sky. Rembrandt and Goya, Whistler and van Gogh, Hopper and Remington—all famously responded to the nocturnal call, as have many painters since. In this issue, we are…

2 minuti
the korean pastel artists association’s 30th annual exhibition

Pastel hasn’t always been a popular medium for making art in Korea, but the Korean Pastel Artists Association (KPAA), founded in 1987, has been making steady progress on that front. The organization’s membership is on the rise, and its highly anticipated annual exhibition just wrapped up. Located in Seoul, KPAA is a non-profit organization with artist Anseok Cho at the helm. The group works within the Korean Artists Association. Its 2019 annual exhibition—the group’s 30th—was held at the Gallery La Mer, also in Seoul. The event was held in collaboration with Korean pastel manufacturer Mungyo Kyojai. KPAA’s annual exhibition has seen several iterations, including large-scale showcases for members only, regional tour exhibitions—including one hosted by the Romanian government—and national-level pastel competitions (the current model). The organization finds new talent this way and…

2 minuti
how to overcome inertia

GET INTO THE GROOVE Sometimes we need to be in the right mood to paint. So, let the music play! Check out a new station on Pandora or Spotify. French café music may help with that happily lit restaurant scene. Indian flute music may help to finish that mountain vista. Sometimes, you just need the right music to set the right tone. FOLLOW THE SIGNS The entry to my studio space is to the right of my front door, so I posted a sign in the hallway that reads: “Turn right!” I see it every time I walk into the house. Before I even step foot into another room, where I will inevitably get distracted by some domestic chore, this sign is there to remind me to head into my studio instead. Once…

1 minuti
finding harmony

When I have a new painting on my brain, I like to flip through art books and study the color harmonies used by various artists—masters such as Sargent, Waterhouse and Sorolla. I’ll wonder: Can the new image I’m kicking around in my head make use of a similar harmony? A pink or green color dominance, for example? A few color studies and I’m off and running in a new direction. These experiments needn’t be pretty or finished. They’re just springboards for what you’ll create later. The color harmonies seen in master paintings such as John Singer Sargent’s 1911 painting Nonchaloir (Repose) (above; oil on canvas; 25x30) can offer inspiration.…

6 minuti
the trouble with green

When we think of the color green, most of us conjure up a natural landscape replete with green trees and meadows. For vacation, we often seek out green spaces as a retreat from our hectic steel-and-glass worlds. No wonder, then, that green usually is considered a color that evokes a sense of calm and peace. Green can symbolize the positive—life and vigor, youth and hope—but also the negative, as in inexperience, jealousy and even decay. The Beauty of Green Green lives between blue and yellow in the visible electromagnetic spectrum, between 490 and 475 nanometers. In our context of dealing with pigments, green is a secondary color, which means it can be mixed, in this case, from blue and yellow. When most people imagine green, they often think of “grass green,” but for…

1 minuti
quick tips

These color swatches featured on Wallis Belgian Mist paper are green tints and shades from Blue Earth’s “Earth Green” set. Blue Earth notes, “Warm green is perhaps the most complicated color to formulate. The primary challenge is the lack of dark green pigments that are suitable for making pastels. While phthalo green is the go-to dark pigment for making greens in oil and acrylic, it’s not so useful when making pastels, forming a rock-hard stick that’s transparent. Long story short: It takes some fiddling to come up with a workable line of warm greens. Cool greens, however, are relatively easy to create by using cool-shade cobalt pigments. To desaturate, we use a complement or an off-complement. The purest color is the bottom row, with more graying from bottom to top. These are…