Saturday, February 23, 2013

Confessions of a Pastel Connoisseur


'Eye Candy'       12x12          pastel            ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase on Etsy $125
Is there a 12 step program for pastels?  You know the inevitable affliction that happens when you discover the pastel medium. That urge to add more pastels to your collection.  The difficulty to resist buying yet another new set. 

 If there is a cure for it I don't really want it! I am a Pastel Collector and connoisseur and proud of it!  It really isn't a problem if you want to add to your pastel collection. The problems come when they aren't set up for painting.  I know I am guilty of not wanting to break up a pristine new set of beautiful pastels. But they do us no good looking pretty in their original boxes. They are eye candy but they also have a job to do!

We have to be brutal, take them out of their nests, take off the wrappers, break them into pieces! 


I haven't purchased new pastels in two years so it was time for replacements. I had saved some money and decided to splurge on a set of 120 pure colors by Diane Townsend. Right after I pressed the purchase button I received an email from a local artist/facebook friend who was downsizing and wanted to liquidate some of her pastels. Once I saw what she had It was futile to resist.  Have a look!


Diane Townsend soft form and Terrages

Terry Ludwig pastels including the Marsha Savage set

Eye candy

Diane Townsend soft form set of 120 pure colors purchased from Blicks

Unison pastels including the Albert Handell landscape set

My studio box 

So now I have the Diane Townsend set and the liquidated pastel sets I purchased not to mention the pastels I already have in my studio!  I love being a Pastel Collector or Connoisseur (sounds better than junkie)  but I am also a Pastel Painter so I need to get brutal and make sure I set them up so I can use them.

I thought it would be insightful for you to follow along and see how I integrate pastels into my collection so that I will be able to actually use them rather than admire them!  I'll start tomorrow with the set of Diane Townsends. Stay tuned!

6 comments:

Peggy said...

I'm completely jealous!!

Donna T said...

Wow ... so many beautiful colors to choose from! I didn't know there was an Albert Handell set from Unison.

Karen said...

It is so much fun!!! Donna, he offers it on his website and probably at his workshops. I cant wait to use them!

Anonymous said...

I am just getting started in pastels and have been trying to decide on purchasing a set. I've looked at the Great American McKinley and McDaniels sets. (I paint landscapes and florals in WC.) Being a senior on a limited budget I am hoping to get a good foundational set (I have sample size Sennelier, Unison & Rembrandt sets and a set of 36 Polychromos). I am torn between all the great greens in McKinley set and what seems like a broader hue range in the McDaniels set.( Am also considering adding the Green Dakota set if I buy McDaniels Great American)
Karen, I feel paralyzed; can you please, please advise? Thank You. Pema; a fan of your daily email tips

Karen said...

Hi Pema,
Thanks for following my blog. I had a look at both sets and here is my thought. I love the McKinley set because it has some pure colors (for flowers) but it also has the wonderful greens and even more importantly the greyed down neutrals. You need these to make the colors pop. The McDaniel set does have more pure colors but no neutrals and limited grays. So either set is good with a few added pastels! Hope this helps!

pattisjarrett said...

Eye candy is right!