You’re a pastellist, an artist who paints with soft/dry pastel sticks, and people like and admire your work, or see great promise in it if you’re a developing artist.
You also have been met by incomprehension, people saying "so this is watercolour?" or "I see you paint in oils". When showing them your pastel sticks, people do respond "but you can't have painted that with those!" As we pastellists know all too well, soft pastels is not a fully respected and appreciated medium in Europe.
Experience in Europe, and elsewhere, shows that, when educated about pastels, our collectors and customers do respond wonderfully well. When we tell them that pastels are exactly the same high quality pigments as oil-paint, but will keep their fresh look many centuries longer, people do take notice.
Obviously we need to make soft/dry pastel work known, and help people to do some “housecleaning” of their habitual preconceived ideas. When artists get to know that pastel is a versatile medium that can be used in all manners of painting, they become interested. Art supply stores do respond to a demand, and will carry more interesting papers and pastel brands. Lots of sales certainly rises interest amongst galleries to represent pastellists.
A society promoting pastel work and pastel artists would be a great vehicle to increase appreciation of our medium and our work. Let's form a pastel society for pastellists all over Europe!
Clearly, there is a need for a group or society that gathers and support the pastellists that are alone in working with pastels as a serious medium in their countries and cities. There are a handful of pastel groups and societies in Europe, and they are doing a great job locally, but they are very few. Joining over borders and working for a common goal will give us a strength in number, and make it far easier to find other local pastellists for starting local groups. These groups will have much more weight locally if supported by a European society which would also be a member of the prestigious International Association of Pastel Societies, IAPS.
Come and join us!
On WetCanvas, the largest free artist's community on the Internet, a group of dedicated European pastellists have started to brainstorm about the forming of a society. Click here -- come and join us. A bit of cooperation can gain you respect and development as a serious pastel artist.
Join us now!
If you do not wish to be a WC member (free), but are still interested in taking part in forming or joining the society, either make a comment to this post, or use the Contact facility on the site. Or call +46 8 7471032. (08-7471032 if you reside in Sweden.)