March 11, 2010

Thank you to The Pastel Journal

18 x 24

In her editor's comments of the April 2010 issue (the 11th annual Pastel 100 Competition), Anne Hevener, editor of The Pastel Journal, points out that the magazine regularly receives around 4,000 entries for its international competitions. With that in mind, I really can't tell you how humbling it is to be selected to receive an award with so few slots open (only 20 in the animal/wildlife category). So my very sincere thanks, once again, to The Pastel Journal and the folks behind the curtains and the panel of judges who spend endless hours making these things happen for us artists.

The piece I submitted was inspired by a trip to Skagit Valley, Washington, a place where I often find inspiration for paintings. The swans spend several months there during the winter and show up by the thousands! It is an amazing sight to see them gathered in the fertile fields of the valley. Below is one of the reference photos for my painting.

By the time I was done with the photo-shoot, the sun was starting to set and there was a beautiful warm glow on the birds and that was something I was anxious to capture in the painting. I created a bit more of that drama with the lighting than was actually there (in the photos) and it's having the ability to copy but the courage to create that I (now) find so enjoyable when painting.