Saturday, January 24, 2009


Three of my girlfriends and I took a pastel paint workshop for three days in Chestertown, Maryland. The four of us needed a refresher on pastel painting before taking the class, so my neighbor, Susan, had a mini-workshop a few days beforehand. Above is one of her paintings.

Susan has been an artist for decades and works in many different medium. Her pastels are very used.

Not like mine, which are brand new. I almost don't want to use them, they're all so perfect. But these particular pastels go on like 'buttah' and are just luscious. Love them! And I should love them as they cost a small fortune! But just look at all those colors lined up in their varying shades of yummyness! As a child, I loved a new box of crayons, especially the big tiered box of over a hundred that they don't even sell anymore. I had my favorites, like Magenta. I noticed that 'Flesh' was renamed 'Peach' in 1962. Good for them since flesh comes in so many colors.

All the pretty pastels, ready to use.

This class was learning to paint from a photograph as some days (months) it's too cold to paint 'Plein Air'. Mary Pritchard was our instructor and had us do a value study first, to find out where the lights and darks should be. The photo I used is a barn in Barnesville with Sugarloaf in the background.

These are a couple of Penny's outbuildings.

and this is a barn in Maine. What captured me about Mary's art is her love of barns. The Chestertown area is agricultural (along with fishing) so there are many barns around. And of course we have a lot of barns in Barnesville!

Penny has a second home about a mile outside of Chestertown right on the Chester River so we had a great place to stay. We painted from 10 - 4, then drank wine and ate fabulous meals at night. This is her new dock and new boat. She always has ducks around and they were always sitting on her boat, messing it up. So she named her boat, "Duck Off!"
Her house is just feet from the river and the upper floor bedroom where I was staying overlooks this view. It was a full moon while we were there so the we went to sleep with the moon glow on us and awoke with the bright pink sun coming up over the horizon.

These were some scenes walking around Chestertown. I think this will be my next pastel subject.

Chestertown was founded in 1706 and boasts the second most 18th century houses (Annapolis is first). The houses are very well maintained and cared for. When it's a bit warmer I want to just ride around town looking at the arcitecture.

We had lunch in a small cafe that bakes their own bread. The temperature outside was about 8 or 9 degrees, and when we opened the door, a warm wave of air smelling of hot, yeasty bread hit us. Yea, we'll stay!
It was sad for it all to be over but we were all so enthused that we've ordered more pastels and paper and have started a pastel group that will meet once a month. I guess I'll just sleep less.

1 comment:

Milly said...

I envy your artistic ability. I would love to be able to draw and/or paint.

The photos of Chestertown are charming.