2 days back from France, I took off for Albequerque New Mexico and the International Association of Pastel Societies bi-annual convention. This was my third time attending this convention. All pastel enthusiasts gather here. There's an exhibition of work, lots of oppurtunity to meet other artists, demonstrations, lectures, and workshops. It was great.
Seeing Fred Somers (http://www.fredericksomers.com/) demonstrate his lovely technique was a real highlight for me. What's great about Fred is his blend of very fine and realistic drawing skills with abstraction, bound together by his lovely sense of colour. Meeting up with Margaret Dyer was also lovely, and watching her demo with such fluency in her use of colour is quite captivating.
One of the highlights for me was going to the accompanying exhibition and seeing a large quantity of excellent pastel work. My favorite piece in the exhibition was a still life piece (Lemons!) by Stephanie Birdsall, from Tucson, Arizona. check her out at http://www.stephaniebirdsall.com/
The soft edges and simple subtle pallete draw me in. Of course getting to meet all these wonderful artists is quite exciting.
My first IAPS convention was in 1997, and in 2011, I am reuniting with other pastellists from all over. I get to watch their work change and evolve over the years. Meeting all the other Canadian delegates was also so great. So many accomplished pastellists from the west.