Sunday, September 09, 2012

Why You Should Go to the IAPS Convention

This Weeks Mini Paintings acrylic, pastel and Ink each 2.5x3.5
these minis available at Daily Paintworks auctions this week
 What are you doing next June 2013?  It's not too late to plan a trip to Albuquerque New Mexico to attend the 10th Biennial convention of the International Association of Pastel Societies.  I just checked the registration site and some of the workshops have been sold out but there are still plenty of workshops, seminars and demos to choose from.

I will be going and this will be my 3rd convention. I have been asked by students if it is worth going and won't it be too expensive?  The answer is YES it is worth going and No it isn't too expensive if you plan it right.  Need some convincing? Read on.

'Hollyhocks I'    2.5x3.5
 Why Should I go to IAPS?

  • The opportunity to see the rock stars of the pastel world in action.
  • The chance to see your favorite artists demo or take a one day workshop to see if you want to spend money on a longer workshop experience. At my first IAPS convention I saw a demo by Richard McKinley and I knew I needed to get to want of his week long workshops. (which I did and it was a highlight in my painting career)
  • The opportunity to try out and purchase the latest and greatest pastel supplies at the expo. All of you favorite vendors are usually there offering specials.
  • The chance to talk to your favorite vendors and have supply questions answered in person.
  • Visiting Terry Ludwig's booth at the Expo (also known as the Candy Store) and getting to make up your own box of pastels with all of his luscious colors available. 
  • Meeting your favorite pastel artists in person.
  • Meeting new friends and visiting with those you don't get to see very often.
  • Albuquerque New Mexico!  is a great place to visit. I always try to spend an extra day or two to visit some of the great places nearby. Santa Fe, Taos, Acoma Pueblo for starters!
  • Being immersed in a high energy atmosphere for a few days surrounded by others who share a passion for pastels! 

'Hollyhocks II'  2.5x3.5 
 But I am not a professional artist or I am new to pastels....Should I go?


  • YES! for all of the same reasons as above. You don't need to be a professional of have a lot of pastel experience to get a lot from the convention offerings. Last year several of my students went and had a wonderful time and learned a lot. In fact several will be going again!

'Hollyhocks III'   2.5x3.5
OK I am convinced But I can't afford to go!

  • First remember that it is a business deduction if you are a working artist. 
  • Try to find a roommate to share the cost of the lodging. 
  • Breakfasts, one dinner is included in the cost of registration. I saved money on food by getting snacks and drinks and the nearby Walgreens. There is a wine shop and Bistro within walking distance of hotel that has great wines from New Mexico.
  • Start looking for airfare deals. Last time I got a great fare from Atlanta on a one day sale. I paid $200 round trip!
  • Check you change jar....those coins add up!  
  • Have an open studio Holiday sale and put the proceeds towards your trip!
I hope to see you at the convention and if you have any questions please ask!  
For more information visit the IAPS Convention Blog HERE

3 comments:

Vanessa said...

Hi Karen. I just signed up last week. I was hoping that you would be teaching a workshop! I signed up for a few by Marla Baggetta and Margaret Dyer.

I've never been to one of the IAPS conventions but thought I should treat myself and go check it out. Though I must admit I am a little intimidated.

Hope I get to finally meet you in person :)

Karen said...

Hi Vanessa! I am so glad you are going! We will have to make a point of meeting for sure!! You will have a great time and no need to be intimidated! :)

Cheri Halsema said...

I have never been...Karen you've almost convinced me now!