A Pastel Artist in the age of Social Media

Colourful relationships for the pastel artist in the age of social media….

Things sure have changed since I began my career in fine art nearly 30 years ago, the internet was an obscure not quite fully formed idea and social media referred to the posters up around town telling of the dance on Friday night. All relationships creative and otherwise were made in person or not at all, for the artist, art shows, gallery openings and maybe some advertising in paper media were the complete order for connection in those days. Today the artist has a myriad of socially connective tools to reach out and build creative relationships. I can tell you that amidst all the change, the problems and challenges of an artist remain the same as they were 30 years ago and beyond. Today life moves at a speed which puts pressure on us all to keep up at an often undesirable pace, this bothers me some personally, but I can tell you despite some of these challenges particularly with respect to the constant connection of today, there is an opportunity to access new sources of inspiration and to make some great creative gains if we can shake off the less desirable distractions and enhance focus on some of the creative benefits the online world offers…..Let me shed some specific light on this….

I have found that the direct contact afforded me by the immediate connection with many talented folks around the world has opened up a world of inspiration in so far as engaging other creatives, there is an unending supply of like-minded people in all manner of creative pursuits out there, I have found many folks to be more than willing to collaborate with or contribute to my creative endeavours, even with something as simple as the sharing of some photo reference material.

My recent experience in expanded consideration of new subject matter was with a lovely girl we shall just call Jillian, Jillian is an outdoor adventurer, she lives the wilderness lifestyle in grand form, she is a gal who isn’t afraid to roll up her jacket for a pillow and sleep right out under the stars in a moment’s notice, but at the same time, same evening in fact, Jillian could walk into a ballroom in a long black dress turning heads with every step. Some time ago I happened upon and had been looking through her photography online and found a rather compelling shot of her in a park on a lake on the west coast, it was so simple and elegant and took in the best of how I saw her to that point, which as we began to talk remained unchanged.

The completed piece of artwork, still on its board, surrounded by a variety of pastels.

Subsequent conversation back and forth with her lead to my greater interest and use of her in one of my latest paintings, when I asked her if I may paint her she was very excited at the prospect, it took me some time to compose my studies as I was determined to get it right! The long and short of it, with the 3000 mile back and forth I was able to accomplish all that I wanted, it’s a special thing when you can connect with someone from a shared artistic point of view, it’s even more interesting when that person is so far away, it offers something fresh and new, sharing your love of similar subjects and then effectively working together to produce a great piece of art. The whole of my point being, these creative and involved connections with wide ranging people were not nearly as possible so many years ago and it’s my opinion that a world of opportunity awaits us creatively and otherwise if we will avail ourselves of the tools of today to make these connections. Yes, the internet and all of its invasive and distracting impacts has made us all a little crazier, but if you can, take a step back and harness some of that energy and look closer at what is right scrolling by you daily, you can use the tools of social media to enhance your creative output by making new and fantastically interesting connections in places you never thought possible, you never know what great outcome may be at hand…

A blonde haired women in a lumberjack shirt, balanced on a large piece of driftwood, looking out in the steep sided lake.

Associate Artist Intake for 2022

It seems a while ago since we asked for applications from artists to become an Associate Artists & wow the applications came in thick & fast. So much so it took our Unison Helen a good while to get through them all.

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A predominantly grey pastel painting.

The Power of Greys

Greys are a vast and complex family of colours that seasoned artists spend a life-time of pursuit in order to achieve and harness their incredible potential.

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