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Covered in dust- and it was worth it!

My blogging has been a bit spotty lately as I work on "Wind Chill," one of my larger paintings.

In addition, I decided to clean out my studio! That is quite a daunting task, as I had accumulated all sorts of pastel supplies, pastel tools, unfinished paintings, and LOTS of pastel (and other) dust! Here's the cleaned up and more organized studio view of my painting area:

As you can see, I like to have three paintings in progress at a time. The easel on the left is toned Wallis sanded pastel paper (no longer manufactured). I plan to work on a Chicago city scape from a scene taking place at dawn, hence the dark-toned paper will come in handy.

My eclectic supply of pastels are laid out atop a storage cabinet and sit in a pastel "suitcase" I purchased at Dakota Art Pastels. The cabinet draw that is ajar includes a set of American Artworks pastels, the Jim Markle Landscape collection. I highly recommend Jim's set of pastels. Click here to see Jim's webpage on his cool pastels.

The easel in the corner (painting is tentatively titled "Cross-Country Craving," another of my cross-country ski paintings), is a plein air easel with an attached pastel box. For those of you who have taken my classes, I favor those styrofoam containers that package meat, chicken, etc., to hold the pastels I am currently working with (hence the yellow meat tray - no meat).

On the right is the work-in-progress "Wind Chill," inspired by a beach scene on Lake Huron on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is my main easel, large enough to handle a 24x30 sheet of foam core backing.

For storage, I favor a large rectangular resin container that can fit 12x18-sized paintings.

You can see the blue-topped container on this shelf. I stack my pastel paintings starting with a piece of foam core (i.e. 13x19 for a 12x18 painting), attached the first painting with blue painter's tape, secure a sheet of acid-free glassine (looks like tracing paper) over the pastel painting, then add more paintings (rinse and repeat as they say).

I can stack a bunch of paintings on one piece of foam core, rather than having each painting rest on its own backing (a waste of supplies). When I sell a painting unframed, I secure the artwork to a piece of glassine, then place it between two pieces of acid-free foam core. I wrap it in a plastic poly bag and then a mailer, and there you have it! Click here for a detailed "How To" on shipping an unframed pastel painting, from "The Empty Easel."

I also maintain a couple of standalone resin filing cabinets with see-through drawers that hold all sorts of supplies such as foam brushes, rags, torillons, extra pastels, rubber gloves, acrylic and watercolor paints, oil paints, jars, brushes, etc.

While cleaning my studio I uncovered several vintage pastel paintings I created when I was a teenager. I will share some of these vintage 1978 creations in an upcoming blog.

The Great Lakes Pastel Society National Exhibit will be held May 18 through July 7 at the Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E. 8th Street, Holland, Michigan. The entry deadline is March4, so I will be busy working on paintings to submit to the show. I hope that my fellow GLPS artists in Southeast Michigan submit their works for the show. Here's a link to the current Great Lakes Pastel Society newsletter. This edition's "salon" featured Portraits in pastel.

Check out my Etsy shop and take advantage of this 15% off coupon!

For paintings available on Daily Paintworks, click here and look me up.

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