11 March, 2007

Pastel Resources

The Heins' Farm
7.5" 15"
Casey Klahn
Private Collection

A good source to study multiple pastel brands is certainly Dakota Pastels. Too bad I'm not getting paid to represent them, but I will haul some water for them, nonetheless. They focus on the pastel medium, and know their stuff. They have a sideline with brushes, and they also facilitate the La Conner Art Workshops, to round out their business.
The things that I like about them are that they carry a wealth of brands (nineteen!), especially my favorites, and many of those come in open stock. That means one may order the sticks individually. Also, their flat rate for shipping in the U.S., and they ship them correctly.
I once had another giant art cataloger ship a large set of expensive pastels in a box with cubic feet of dead space. The poor pastel case inside the box rattled around at will, like a ball in a gorilla cage. Broken sticks, a refund, and my resentment followed.
So, try Dakota. I also go through Jerry's Artarama, who provide patron discounts occasionally. They also publish a Pastel Center Catalog annually (I think). I will highlight some other specific retailers when they come up in my content through the remainder of this "Pastel Month".


Philip said...

I wondered why you favour pastels over other mediums?

Anonymous said...

WOW! BEAUTIFUL WORK Casey! I love it!

Casey Klahn said...

I'm glad you asked that, Philip. I do prefer pastel for now, but I don't want to compare any other medium as "lesser" to me somehow.
The first reason I turned to pastel was that it was a natural progression for a graphite drawer to add color to his work. Then, of course, one begins to respond to the medium, and it becomes more than, and different from, drawing.
I have dabbled with colored pencils, including recently again. I think it would be a direction to go if I wanted to pursue detail.
Oil would be my painting direction, were I to expand. Don't know why I would, really. Perhaps to explore larger sizes of canvas? Perhaps to work with transparency and multiple layers ( a la W Kahn)?
The paintings I have done are mostly Acrylic, but I am bad with the brush. I know I could do it, but I am focused on a style and a medium to make sure that I am saying something coherent with my art.
As luck would have it, pastel is going through a renaissance. Partly because of the availability of new tools and colors, and partly because of the army of artists who are working with it and promoting it.
Trends I notice in the past few years are watercolorists going over to pastel, and the co-use of pastels by artists who also work in and show oil paintings (Marla Baggeta, Wolf Kahn, Daniel Greene, Albert Handell)
Wow, looks like a whole post idea.
Thanks again.
Oh, yes. Etching, monoprints, seriographs (which I still call silkscreens) are also of great interest to me. It would require a little more of a graphic direction, maybe. My father in law has an old hand cranked press on his farm junk pile. I need to rescue it, as it's quite an item. I think 2 feet by 2 feet or bigger.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for recognizing the farm work, Angela. It's a diversion from any other thing I'm doing.

Robyn Sinclair said...

I too love the landscape of the farm, Casey. Sorry I'm late commenting. I've been out buying pastel pencils! And three more stick colours - I can feel myself sliding into the pile of dust now. And grab that printing press. Have you seen Belinda Del Pesco's prints. It's so tempting!

Casey Klahn said...

I'll look her up!

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism