Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Pastel Journal and the Annual Pastel 100 Competition

The Pastel Journal is an American magazine for pastel artists which I subscribe to and highly recommend as both an interesting and highly stimulating publication for all serious pastel artists. We don't have anything remotely like it in the UK and I guess that's probably pretty much the same case elsewhere in the world.

One of the main reasons I particularly enjoy the magazine is the quality of images from pastel artists all over the world which are a regular feature of the magazine. The magazine provides excellent technical features and interviews with leading pastel artists. It also gives you access to wonderful details of pastels, materials, supports and other associated materials of relevance to pastel artists. The only publications which do better are some of the specialist catalogues by the American suppliers.

Pastel 100 8th annual competition
I now look forward every year to the edition which features the winners and images selected for the Pastel 100. The results of the 8th Annual Competition are featured in the April 2007 issue. This edition is filled end to end with images of some superb work by pastel artists. The cover is the image for this post and features part of Wendy Caporale's self-portrait which won one of the major prizes. (Self Portrait with Avignon II, 25.5 x 19.5 inches, Wendy Caporale )

There are no images on the website of the competition winner. A book was produced of the images from last year's Pastel 100, but if you can't afford the book then beg, borrow or subscribe to get hold of the April 2007 copy (cover above) - or buy the April issue for $9!

The competition is divided into categories and each has a specific juror - this year it was as follows:
I'm going to be reviewing the winners and other artists featured an d propose to cover each of the different sections during April in an individual post. However these will be spaced out as my copy of Pastel Journal only arrived yesterday, I need some time to track down websites (disappointingly very few appear to have any at present) and to see if I can get permission from any of the artists to show images of their work (plus I'm under the cosh at the moment to get work organised for an exhibition)!

The next post in this mini-series will feature the major prize winners - assuming they have websites!

Pastel 100 9th annual competition
Anybody interested in getting their work featured in the next Pastel 100 needs to study this link to the details of the 9th annual pastel 100 competition - closing date 9th September 2007. Pastel work from this will be featured in the April 2008 edition of Pastel Journal.

The eligibility details include the following:
  • The contest is open to all artists in North America and abroad.
  • Artists must be age 16 or over.
  • Work must be at least 80% soft pastel; no oil pastel. Nupastels and other "harder" pastels are considered soft pastels.
  • All works must be original. Compositions based on material or other artists' work are NOT considered original and are not eligible.
  • Source material must be available upon request.
  • Work previously published at the time of submission to this contest in any national publication or receiving an award at a national-level exhibition is NOT eligible.
The answers to frequently asked questions are here.

The Pastel Journal: Subscription details
Secure online ordering is available - however they currently seem to be having a problem with the subscription form obliterating everything on the site (it doesn't normally look like this!)

There are six editions a year and a year's subscription in the USA is currently $27 compared to $some 42 on the newsstand. If you live in Canada it's $37 and it's also $37 if you live in the rest of the world - but it comes surface delivery rather than air mail. More subscription details here.

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Casey Klahn said...

I want to say something about the incredible Wende Caporale, who's self portrait graces this cover. I truly feel (but, then again, who am I) that she will be propelled into the "next level" for her art by this exposure. Well deserved, too.
She is Daniel Greene's wife, which may or may not be a Lee Krasner - Jackson Pollock dynamic. It's not for me to say.
Interestingly, some of Greene's recent important work has Wende in front of NYC subway tiled walls. It is beyond portraiture and into figurative work of the Harvey Dinnerstein type.
But, I'm supposed to be talking about Corporale, here. Notice that she stands in front of a D. Greene famous portrait, which I had the luck to see at The Art Student's League one time. Stunning work. She is obviously noting the influence, but I also note that it is behind her head. Above that is a Cassatt, and also another one in the lower left of the painting. Influences. Her daughter is the subject on the easel.
Another influence, in my opinion, may be Rosalba Carriera (Mother of Pastels), who did a self portrait like this with herself holding her portrait of her sister. Influences.
She is facing the viewer, thinking, and holding the pencil. Drawing-centric? Self directed? (yes, I think so very much).
Anyway, it is a terrific thrill to see what I think is a breakthrough painting for our time.
I look forward to your reviews this month.

Making A Mark said...

Thanks Casey. Nice analysis and commentary.

I'd spent some time deciphering what I can guess we might term her 'influences and inspirations'. I'd spotted the Daniel Greene work - it's on the front page of his website. Also the Mary Cassatt top right as I saw that one in person last year during the Americans in Paris exhibition at the National. I didn't know it was her daughter on the easel but guessed it was somebody of significance to her. Plus I thought I spotted a drawing by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in the background.

I think it's a terrific portrait - well worth both the prize and the cover!

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