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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Demo at the Sierra Pastel Society meeting by Kim Lordier

It was held on April 16, 2011 at the Senior Center in the El Dorado hills, 990 Lassen Ln. I really wanted to go, and had marked my calendar early this winter so as not to miss it!  Imagine, getting to meet one of my absolute favorite pastel artists, and watching her do a demo!!  I planed to take my sister, and take her out to lunch, and just have a fun day.  Maybe she would see just why I love pastel so much!   Then I had a brain-storm, and called my plein-air buddy, Carole, from Dayton, whom I met from the Wet Canvas web-site to join us!  I didn't have to ask twice, she is always ready for a pastel adventure.  My sister was great, and did all the driving, I bought the gas and the lunch.  We found a great little spot in Placerville called "Z-Pie"   which is a little restaurant that serves gourmet pot pies!  We were in and out of there in no time, and just 20 minutes or so from the Demo center. 
                As we drove into the parking area at the Senior Center, Kim was going out the back door to her truck and we got to met her right then!!! She is so gracious, pleasant, warm, and genuine.  Really a nice gal.  I was so happy to see that in her, and it goes well with her artwork.  She also seems to be a bit shy, but very personable, good speaker, and so polite!   We sat with the Sierra pastel society members, and really enjoyed a great demo.
    She told how she comes up with an idea, weather she plans to use photographs to plan a comp, or if she is out doing plein-air. She says while is always about the light- -light as it touches things or places, its also about a "mood"  So, using composition, and color, she tries to capture a certain light , and mood in her work.   She begins with a Notan Drawing, and after figuring out which one she will use in her sketchbook, she then draws that notan  right onto her pastel support.  Of course many hands went up, and folks were asking" what do you use to draw your notan with" - -and " Do you always use a sanded paper?"  and the normal materials- used sort of questions.  Kim answered all so very clear and politely, so easy to understand.   I will post the few pictures I took while there.  I was so busy listening and watching , plus my good camera is being repaired, so I only took a few.
Here, she is beginning to draw out her notan,, using the #244 Nupastel, which is a dark blue-violet.  She also said she mostly uses the Wallis Belgium Mist paper, and has it dry-mounted to foam-cor by her framer. She really was not happy about turning her back to do her work, but that could not be helped. She is so polite!This shot depicts her Notan, after she has used turpentine and a Bristol brush to wash the pastel, and she used graceful large strokes in order to capture the gesture of the tree and the landscape.  The flash is on in my camera, and so the wetness reflected back and it looks shiny. She did get 4 values in this value-map notan, counting the color and value of the paper.  Even the notan was beautiful, and you could tell easily how the picture would finnish!
Here is the first blocking  in of the painting, going all over the picture, and thinking of value all the time.  She talked about how she works, folks wanted to know how she thinks as she works, how she makes choices in both color, and value and her strokes. She was so interesting to listen to. you could tell when she got quiet she was into her painting and thinking about it, not all us people!  So that also helped us understand that when we are in deep thought, doing the work, our minds even get quiet, and intuitive- -  -no chatter! We have shifted over to the left-brain!  Watching the painting take place, and the light begin to come thru was great.
This above picture is where she left things.  You sure could see the light coming thru, and she said there were a couple of things she needed to think about, and maybe change.  She talked about line, shape, mass, value and the importance of doing your notan.  The sky , while having a lot of light, was not resolved. She wasn't sure yet about that. There was a couple of triangle shapes she needed to resolve as well, and as time was running out this was a good place to take questions and talk about what she had done.   It was great to listen to a artist talk about the struggles of painting, and the joy of painting, too.
This is the last shot I took, she is talking about value-choices and other interesting things. I really enjoyed the day. Carole had a great time and met Urania Christy Talbolt as well!!  We all did, she is so nice.  Carole is the Sister to the BestBrella lady, and so sold one to Urania!  So she had a good day, too.


  1. Wow! Thanks Ida for such an indepth description of the demo, especially since I could not attend!!! Sounds like you three had a great day!

  2. Thank you Ida. Great write-up. Wished I could be there.

  3. Thanks, Carolyn and Donna! I wish we could all take a 2-week long plein-air class with her!

  4. Great blog post. I wish I could have been there.

  5. Ida, I went out plein air painting today and took a printout from this demo by Kim. It helped me to simplify, plus I think my turp wash went better. Thank you again for showing this demo.

  6. Wow!! i am so glad you could use this info, Donna!! I have used it often, and it really helps in Plein-air with either Oils or pastels!!
    Ron, you should give it a try, its so like the oil value study painting you did of those trees!! You can do it in pastle in plein-air, really.