Every two years, the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) holds a three-day convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and this year I was lucky enough to go to represent the Pastel Artists Canada. I love the experience because it's a chance to experience a number of great pastel artists in a short period of time, so that I can decide who I'd like to study further with (or persuade the PAC to bring to Canada). As well, it's wonderful to spend three days in the company of hundreds of pastel artists--not to mention what has become known as "the candy store"--a huge trade show with every manner of pastels, supports and various other tools of the trade at special prices. On the day I arrived, the Canadian pastel artists were showcased in a special session, and those of us at the convention attracted many conventioneers who were impressed with our newsletter, our website, and our demo'ing artists (Karin Richter, Roberta Combs, and Reine Goodrow). Learn more at www.pastelartists.ca
I attended a good talk about commissioned figure painting with Margaret Dyer, who had engaged a lovely young model to pose for us--I got dozens of usable shots that will someday become great paintings!
I watched, fascinated, as famous portrait artist Les DeMille created a likeness of my friend Denise with only two pastels. It was an impressive feat in about 20 minutes, but honestly I'm not sure it did her justice!
Next, I enjoyed a session with Des O'Hagan, who demonstrated his unique square stroke in the painting of a nighttime urban scene.
Finally, I was brought to tears by the open-hearted storytelling of Fred Somers. What a lovely man!
I resisted most of the things on offer, but will confess to bringing home a few small boxes of Terry Ludwig pastels, some packs of ColorFix paper, and two new videos to share with my students. Oh, and I HAD to buy this gorgeous little painting by Mimi Jungbluth from the IAPS juried show--she just reached out and jumped right into my heart!
The next IAPS will be in 2013--plan to attend if you can--you won't regret it!