Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Pastel Journal - latest improvements

As regular readers of this blog are aware I like to 'tell it how I see it' but very much prefer to highlight and share information on this blog about art or exhibitions or products or services which I find excellent and/or interesting.

Occasionally however I highlight aspects of a product or service which falls short of my expectations. I did this on October 25th in Art Journals in the USA and customer service. One of the matters raised in that post was the 10 weeks it had taken for the October issue of The Pastel Journal to reach me after it was shipped out from the publishers in the middle of August. Not a criticism of the magazine at all but rather one of the method of its distribution to overseas subscribers.

I also very much endorse highlighting when things go well. Accordingly I'm extremely pleased to report that the current (December) issue (see right) of the Pastel Journal has turned up only two weeks after the October issue!

Maybe the very many comments recently passed on the Internet - which started on the Wet Canvas Forum and were then echoed on this blog and elsewhere - had an impact? On the other hand I now gather that it wasn't only overseas subscribers in the UK who had to wait a very long time for their copies but that the delays also affected a number of subscribers in the USA. So maybe there were some comments through more normal channels as well?

I do know that my Pastel Journal turned up in a wrapper which had changed (so maybe the delivery service has too?) and that the post code on the wrapper indicates that it's now coming from EC1 - which is just down the road from me!

Anyway, whatever the reason for the improvement, I'm absolutely delighted to be getting it so much faster and won't be needing to take advantage of the 100% satisfaction guarantee offered by the publishers if this improvement can be maintained.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
If at any time during your subscription you're less than satisfied with THE PASTEL JOURNAL, let us know and we'll refund your entire subscription amount. No questions asked.
Pastel Journal FAQs
I know a couple of people who've also received their December issue after a very protracted delay last time round.

Do please comment if you've also found that delivery times improved this month for you as well.

Developments online

One of the really interesting developments in the last 12 months has been the way in which the regular Art Journals are beginning to work out and develop a greater presence online - much in the same way that newspapers have done to date. (Who would have known I'd become a regular reader of the New York Times online?)

For me, American Artist has led the way in this respect and their online site is excellent. It also has an online pastel section.

F&W Publications and their art journals - which includes The Pastel Journal - have also been developing their presence online in the last six months or so. Each of the journals now have a have a specific blog and a "What's going online" section in their index at the front of the magazine - and I'm beginning to notice that there are more and more items each month. For example this month the online site has:
The latter relates to one of the articles in the December edition of Pastel Journal. It's the result of the editorial team's distillation of many suggestions as to what might be the 'best of the best' - the best pastel paintings by the best pastel artists. I won't say which artists are included or which paintings - other than to say one of them is Whistler!

Online, that article started off with this post The Greatest Pastel of all time on the Pastel Journal blog back in May of this year. It then carried on with this thread on the Artist's Network Forum and continued in discussions in various places.

I'm not sure interactive participation in shaping the content of art journals has really taken off as yet although online comments are very clearly influencing the nature and shape of newspaper content these days. I do know that I didn't participate in commenting on either thread at the time, however it's a really interesting question and the article set me wondering.

We all know that as individuals we'd all have our own individual preferences and very probably a different take on The Greatest Pastel - or even the best 8. I know I would have chosen a different set of artists and paintings. For example I would have definitely included Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and I'm virtually certain I'd also be aiming to include at least one twentieth century/contemporary pastel artist.

Today I've got a long drive to the NEC and back so maybe I can work out what I would have chosen and then maybe construct another post - although I suspect the 'mulling it over' stage may take some time. Does anyone else also want to have a go as well? If so, we could maybe all agree a date when we all post our conclusions on our blogs?

Let me know in the comments section below if you want to participate.



  1. Interesting reading on Pastel work and the medium. I found a great essay dealing with the same subject at

  2. I will be posting on this subject, too. One went up yesterday, and I will let you know when I have some conclusions/opinions on "The Greatest Pastel".


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