Now that we are back in Arizona, we wanted to get back on track with our pastel paintings and get more involved with our pastel society. On the first Sunday of November was the monthly pastel meeting and it was in a new location, on Thunderbird Road in North Phoenix at a framing shop. The owner was kind enough to allow our group to meet there once a month for free. You can see that we are in the back warehouse part of the shop and Karen Budan, our president is standing at the front of the room leading the meeting. This year there are a few new activities each month. One is bringing a new framed finished painting and everyone votes for the artist of the month. There were several to choose from and they were all good, but this month Karen got the top honors with her still life of fruits and vegetables. Also there was a critique of the paintings submitted for the art challenge. A month previous to this meeting, 10 people signed up to do the art challenge and received a green, glass goblet at the end of the meeting. This month we saw the many ways that the goblet could be included in a painting, including; on the sandy beach with a string of pearls, on a bed with a cat paw reaching inside the goblet, tipped over with an ice cream sundae slid across the table, with the proverbial bottle of wine, and so on. It was great fun to see what ideas each person had. So I signed up for this months art challenge and at the end of the meeting all 10 of us received a yellow tea towel. Yes indeed, this will be a challenge for me as I really haven't conquered drapery yet, so I will need to figure out a good idea without too many folds.
Also this month we went to the Fall Pastel Art Show Reception in Mesa, AZ where we saw all of the entries that had been selected by this show's judge, Allen Garns. http://www.allengarns.com/ Here is Allen talking with two of our members against a wall with some of the many excellent pastel paintings. The painting that he gave the Best of Show Award was called Lipstick and it was my favorite painting there as well, although Martha had done a great portrait of a dog looking up longingly called "is that cake?" and it was my second favorite painting and I was glad he gave it an honorable mention. He spent some time prior to the awards explaining how he went about selecting the paintings for the show, telling us that the first things he looked for were drawing and composition. After that first pass, he then looked at value and color. So I need to make sure my drawing skills are up to snuff and study some more on composition.
In addition to moving in to our new home, trying to get furniture, and getting our studio set up, we have also been visiting with my brother and meeting up with friends. Mike and Rose started going out to look at mobile home parks also and it did not take them long to find something. They got into a really nice park over in Mesa and their home was really set up well with new appliances and fans and fixtures, painted walls, carpeting, and drapes. Its almost as if they are moving into a brand new home. And they got a great deal in terms of capital outlay, spending about half as much as we did. There are some great buys right now in this area for a winter residence...for all you potential buyers out there.