Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Colored Pencil School

Nicole Caulfield started the Colored Pencil School website earlier this year and edits it jointly with Maggie Stiefvater. She says

"An exhibition, at a local gallery, of artwork done by members of the New England branch of the Colored Pencil Society of America first triggered my interest in colored pencil. The quality of the artwork completely blew me away and, as a result, I wanted to start working in colored pencil straight away!

From practical experience, I now know colored pencil to be an excellent medium to work in and one which allows people to create great art while working in a lot of different ways. In addition, it hasn’t presented me with any obstacles in terms of getting gallery representation and selling my work to the public. I'm confident that if the art community understands more about the medium, the way it works and what can be achieved through its use - in both pure colored pencil and mixed media artwork - then we'll come to see more and more people using colored pencils to produce and exhibit great art.

My aim now is to promote colored pencil to the wider art community and the public at large and to see it hung more and more in shows and galleries.

I started the Colored Pencil School site earlier this year, with the help of fellow color pencil artists, because I wanted to create a place where:

  • artists can find information about colored pencils (such as workshops, product reviews and , and teacher's tools to help spread the media of colored pencil)

  • those already using colored pencil can find lists of opportunities to exhibit their work in both shows accepting a range of media and those which are color pencil specific."
I can highly recommend the new website (also listed in the coloured pencil section of my right hand column) - and that's not just because this blog is listed there and I'm one of the friends! I know that this is a real commitment on Nicole's part to sharing and highlighting useful information about coloured pencil.

Nicole is also rapidly proving she knows what she's talking about! She has recently had her work accepted for two major national exhibitions (see below) and is the webmaster for and designer of the website of the New England Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America.

“Diner Reflections”, juried into the annual exhibition of the CPSA

“Half a Peck” juried into the 29th Annual of Salmagundi Club Non-Members Exhibition.

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  1. I love colored pencils and it is nearly the only medium I use.
    Mostly it is considered a school toy and I never have minded about it. From you I am learning now that it can be a noble full time grown up people tool. I am happy with that.

  2. Coloured pencil is so versatile and you can acheive soft grainy effects, gentle watercolour-like washes or deep, rich almost oil-like images.

    I have tried them only late last year and this year and love all aspects of them.

    Nichole's images are superb

  3. Thanks for the link to crackskullbob - I have never been there - fun-funny. Those coloured pencil apples are amazing - I will have to check out your links. Thank you for putting this info up.

  4. May I say that the 2 works displayed impress mainly by technical virtuosity? They are typical examples in my opinion for works in colored pencil that overemphazise craft qualities and end up with otherwise weak semi-photographic pictures. Preferrably these artist choose subjects which allow them to bath in all sorts of optical gimmicks to blow the viewer away with technical skill. That´s not for me.Frankly I prefer your head drawing sessions by far.

  5. Martin - thank you for the compliment about my drawings.

    I think the amazing thing about coloured pencil is its versatility - as Jeanette indicates - it enables different people to do diffent things. Nicole favours realism which is a very well established type of art. In the past, CP has been very much known for its association with realism because of the scope it provides for very controlled finishes - however I think that's beginning to change - just as many artists change during the course of their art careers. I'm all in favour of having a place for all the different types of art - just as I hope the art world can be inclusive about all the different types of media. We can all learn new things everyday!

  6. Thanks for pointing people towards the site, Katherine! As a new colored pencil artist I had no idea how many different styles and techniques they could be used for, so I hope that helps newbies and established artists explore the medium.

    I think Nicole's work is spectacular, though my favorite aspect of her work -- her intentional graininess -- isn't as apparent in these two works. Great interview!

  7. my first time here; wow - these are just wonderful!


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