#thepastel8 Visit to Thorneyburn

A fabulous day was spent at Thorneyburn last Friday in the company of Fiona Carvell, Michelle Lucking, Nina Squire, Cathy Pearce, Lynn Howarth, Meral Altilar, Lucy Brangwin and Rebecca de Mendonça. All of them Unison Colour Associate Artists and brilliant ambassadors for our pastels.

#thepastel8 Visit to Thorneyburn 1
Artists and Unison Colour team in front of the coach house.

Starting the day off with coffee and biscuits in Kate Hersey’s kitchen the artists learnt how Unison Colour came about through John Hersey’s desire to find a soft pastel in the colours he wanted but couldn’t find, so set about creating his own range.

#thepastel8 Visit to Thorneyburn 2
Lynn meets Jim.

We then met Jim in the ‘dry room’. The girls were very excited at meeting him, who in-between having lots of photos taken of himself with the artists, explained the first process of turning pure pigment into soft pastels.

#thepastel8 Visit to Thorneyburn 3
Nessie explains the making process.

Then off to the next studio, where Sue and Nessie gave an excellent hands-on demonstration of rolling pastels, whilst describing the many processes involved in getting the loose mixture to this stage.

#thepastel8 Visit to Thorneyburn 4
Hazels shows what happens in the drying room.

Up in the top studio Hazel, Queen of Quality Control at Unison Colour, explained the intricate process of ensuring the exacting standard in consistency and colour each of the 380 colours in the range must reach.

#thepastel8 Visit to Thorneyburn 5
Cathy rolls her winning pastels.

Each Artist had great fun in rolling their own pastels, resulting in Cathy Pearce being awarded the ‘Prettiest Pastel Award’ although it was a close call as they all did exceptionally well ending up with pastel encrusted hands!

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Feeling inspired by all they had seen and heard the Artist’s set off to wander about to do some plein air drawing with their own Unison Colour pastels. Lynn Howarth chose to do a portrait of Jim, which she presented to him. It was such a wonderful likeness. Jim was absolutely delighted and quite moved to receive such a lovely gift.

Whilst the girls were busy drawing, delicious food was being prepared courtesy of the ‘Thorneyburn Team’. The old school bell rang out calling the Artist’s in for lunch, which was taken in Kate’s Garden, providing the perfect English Country Garden setting on a glorious summer’s day for a picnic.

There were big hugs all round on their departure on what had been a truly amazing day for everyone.

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Anti-Twilight Arch

I feel particularly blessed to be living in the Wiltshire countryside with its huge open spaces and beautiful sweeping plains. Also I feel incredibly lucky to be living in a position where I see this view of what we locally call Oliver’s Castle.

Nessie’s Sunset

I am really excited to be sharing this blog with you. The view is looking over the western side of the North Tyne Valley, towards Dallycastle in Northumberland.

An Interview With The Interviewer

Today we are turning the tables, and talking to Stephen Fuller, an Associate Artist both known for his atmospheric and dramatic landscapes, and his in depth interviews of other Associate Artists.

Equestrian Artists and their use of Soft Pastels

This year, Unison Colour have sponsored the ‘Best Pastel Award’ at the Society of Equestrian Artists ‘Horse in Art Exhibition’, with the lucky prize winner receiving an Emma Colbert Animal Set as their prize.

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6 Responses

  1. What a wonderful opportunity for your Associate Artists to be able to visit!

    Where is Sue Kerrigan-Harris? I thought she was an Associate too? Sue’s a great Ambassador for Unison Pastels ever since she got me into Soft Pastelling!

    1. Hi Wendy! Actually the trip was organised by the 8 of us as a group of close friends who also happen to be associate artists, and was part a long a weekend girls trip away that included a trip to visit the lovely people at Unison. I think if it had been purely a trip for associate artists to visit Unison there would have been about 90 of us visiting that day!

  2. So lucky to have enjoyed the amazing atmosphere and hospitality from the Unison Team. It was such a treat – thank youuuuuu xxxxxxxx

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